Two years after its launch, Chevrolet has given its most popular vehicle, the half-ton Silverado, a sizable update. Helping it keep pace with Ford’s all-aluminum F-150 and the innovative Ram 1500, the 2016 Silverado 1500 gets a new look and a handful of new technologies to improve performance, convenience, and fuel economy.
A new stamped hood, grille design, and redesigned projector beam headlamps with LED accents are featured across all models; upscale trims can be distinguished by their LED fog lights and turn signals. While the rear end of the Silverado has been left alone, LTZ and High Country trims receive LED taillights, and buyers can spec the tailgates with remote locking functionality. Also new: power-operated assist steps for improved bed access. Three new colours join the portfolio for 2016: Siren Red, Red Hot, and Iridescent Pearl (pearl white). Underneath the new look is a stiffer chassis and frame, which benefits occupant safety in the event of a crash.
Inside the cabin, Chevrolet has added a new mid-grade version of the MyLink infotainment system with a 7.0-inch display. It joins the premium 8.0-inch system with upgrades to improve response time, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Chevrolet has also added in available wireless device charging on models equipped with front bucket seats.
Chevrolet offers the Silverado 1500 with a wide variety of cast-aluminum pushrod engines, all of which feature direct fuel injection, variable valve timing, and cylinder deactivation. Choices includes a 4.3-litre V6 (285 hp, 305 lb-ft), a 5.3-litre small-block V8 (355 hp, 383 lb-ft), and a big 6.2-litre V8 (420 hp, 460 lb-ft). What’s new is the availability of an eight-speed automatic on more models. It was formerly limited to the 6.2-litre V8, but can now be yoked to the 5.3 in LTZ and High Country trims. All other trims and the V6 continue to use a six-speed automatic. Where properly equipped, the Silverado can tow between 2,449-5,443 kg (5,400-12,000 lbs). Payload ranges from 748-1025 (1650-2260 lbs)
Despite a major dip in the price of fuel, Chevrolet will offer the 2016 Silverado with the eAssist mild hybrid setup on 4WD models with the 5.3-litre V8 engine. The system uses a 13-hp, 44 lb-ft of torque electric motor and a small 0.45-kWh lithium-ion battery pack to improve the truck’s fuel economy while on the move. Chevrolet says it trims city consumption 14.4 L/100 km, while highway consumption dips to 11.2 L/100 km. That’s a nine per cent reduction compared to the standard 5.3 litre V8. It comes standard with 4WD.
Pricing for the 2016 Silverado 1500 1WT Regular Cab 2WD starts at $29,355. The range-topping High Country trim sells for $60,795.