The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is a bread-and-butter, all-American pickup with more emphasis on work than on gimmicks. The Silverado shares its GMT900 platform with the GMC Sierra 1500, but there are some styling and interior differences to appeal to shoppers with different tastes.
The Silverado comes in regular, extended and crew cab versions. Standard (6-foot, 6-inch) and long (8.0-foot) cargo beds are available on regular and extended cabs, while the crew cab gets a short (5-foot, 9-inch) bed. All configurations are available in two- or four-wheel drive. Chevy offers an incredible eight engines, but not all are available with each configuration. Some engines are E85 capable. GM also has five different suspensions in the Silverado lineup.
There are four trim levels: WT, LS, LT and LTZ. The popular Z71 offroad model returns with upgraded shocks, skid plates and special badging. Most V-8 models are rated to tow around 9,000 pounds, but some models manage more than 10,000 pounds with an enhanced trailering package. The Silverado doesn't offer fancy luxury packages, but rather provides an outstanding foundation to tackle tough chores while giving owners freedom to personalize their truck.
New for 2009
In addition to adding a monster 6.2-liter engine to the lineup, Chevy will also debut a new model designed to squeeze every mile possible out of a gallon of gasoline. The Silverado XFE (Xtra Fuel Economy) has aerodynamic enhancements, an aluminum-block 5.3-liter flex-fuel V-8, a six-speed automatic transmission and 3.08:1 rear axle ratio. Available on two-wheel-drive trucks, the XFE has an EPA estimated fuel economy of 15/21 mpg city/highway. That's 1 mpg better than non-XFE models. More V-8 models will get the six-speed automatic transmission, and an electronic stability system is now standard on all models except those with a V-6. GM also updated some electronic features; OnStar adds Turn-by-Turn Navigation, Bluetooth and Destination Download, and vehicles with XM Satellite Radio can now get NavTraffic. A rearview camera system is available on extended and crew cab models.
While GM is trying to differentiate the Silverado and Sierra, the common silhouette is hard to overcome, even with unique front fenders, grille, bumpers, headlamps, cargo box and taillamps. There's also still a strong family resemblance with the Chevy Tahoe/Suburban.
- Very wide rear-door opening on extended cab models to load passengers, cargo
- LT has chrome bumper, LTZ gets body-colored bumper
- Range of 17-, 18- and 20-inch wheels available
- EZ Lift tailgate available
The Silverado offers two distinct interiors. The WT, LS and LT get an interior that's more work-oriented, while the LTZ draws inspiration from the SUV lineup. Besides interior fabrics and colors, the dash layouts are different, and the work trucks have larger controls. The easiest way to tell the difference is that work trucks have two glove boxes and LTZs have one. The Silverado cab is spacious and well-organized. The work trucks come standard with cloth seating; leather is available on the LT. The LTZ gets heated leather seats, wood trim, a Bose sound system and a larger center console. The split-bench rear seat in crew cabs can be folded up to expand load space.
- Available power-sliding rear window
- Available moonroof
- Available navigation system on LTZ, LT
- Integrated trailer brake controls
- Theater-style rear seating
Under the Hood
- 195-horsepower, 4.3-liter V-6 with iron block and cylinder heads, cam-in-block, two valves per cylinder and 260 pounds-feet of torque
- 295-hp, 4.8-liter V-8 with iron block and aluminum cylinder heads, cam-in-block, two valves per cylinder and 305 pounds-feet of torque
- Flex-fuel 315-hp, 5.3-liter V-8 with iron block and aluminum cylinder heads, cam-in-block, two valves per cylinder and 338 pounds-feet of torque
- 315-hp, 5.3-liter V-8 with iron block and aluminum cylinder heads, cam-in-block, two valves per cylinder and 338 pounds-feet of torque
- Flex-fuel 315-hp, 5.3-liter V-8 with aluminum block and cylinder heads, cam-in-block, two valves per cylinder and 338 pounds-feet of torque
- 315-hp, 5.3-liter V-8 with aluminum block and cylinder heads, cam-in-block, two valves per cylinder and 338 pounds-feet of torque
- 367-hp, 6.0-liter V-8 with iron block/aluminum cylinder heads, cam-in-block, two valves per cylinder and 375 pounds-feet of torque
- Flex-fuel 403 horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 with aluminum block/cylinder heads, cam-in-block and two valves per cylinder that makes 417 pounds-feet of torque
- Four-speed automatic
- Six-speed automatic
GM's electronic stability system includes rollover mitigation technology. It's standard on all V-8 models. The Silverado can be ordered with roof-mounted side curtain airbags to help protect cab occupants on LT and LTZ models, but seat-mounted side airbags are not available. GM says its seat belt pretensioners activate during rear-end impacts.
- Four-wheel antilock brakes
- Traction control
- OnStar sends crash signal to emergency response
- Latch child-seat anchors
- Available ultrasonic rear parking assist
Of Interest to Truck Owners
- Maximum gross vehicle weight rating: 7,000 pounds (4x4 crew cab)
- Maximum payload capacity: 1,909 pounds (4x2 crew cab)
- Maximum towing capacity: 10,700 pounds (4x2 extended cab w/enhanced trailer package)
- Fuel tank capacity: 26 gallons (SWB), 34 gallons (LWB)
- Axle ratio: 3.23:1, 3.42:1, 3.73:1, 4.10:1
- Minimum ground clearance: 8.4 inches (regular cab 4x2 SWB), 9.1 inches (regular cab 4x4 SWB), 8.9 inches (regular cab 4x2 LWB, extended cab 4x2 SWB), 9.5 inches (regular cab 4x4 LWB), 9 inches (extended cab 4x4 SWB, extended cab 4x2 LWB, crew cab), 9.3 inches (extended cab 4x4 LWB)
- Approach angle: 15.6 degrees (regular cab 4x4 SWB), 15.8 degrees (extended cab 4x4 SWB), 15.5 degrees (crew cab 4x4)
- Departure angle: 24.2 degrees (regular cab 4x4 SWB), 22 degrees (extended cab 4x4 SWB), 23.1 degrees (crew cab 4x4)
- Ramp breakover: 24.4 degrees (regular cab 4x4 SWB), 17.8 degrees (extended cab 4x4 SWB), 19.6 degrees (crew cab 4x4)
- Cargo-bed load height: 35.4 inches (regular cab 4x2 SWB), 34.5 inches (regular cab 4x4 LWB), 34.4 inches (extended cab 4x2 SWB), 33.6 inches (extended cab 4x4 LWB), 33.5 inches (crew cab 4x2), 33.8 inches (crew cab 4x4)
- Cargo floor length: 69.3 inches (short bed), 78.8 inches (standard bed), 97.7 inches (long bed)
- Cargo floor width: 62.4 inches
- Cargo floor width at wheel well: 50.6 inches
- Cargo bed depth: 21 inches