If you want to tow, haul, or go off-road, then a pick-up truck is likely your choice. And Chevrolet's Silverado 1500 has been one of the best for decades. It's not the newest truck on the market, but frequent updates keep it from falling behind. And while it doesn't have the all-aluminum construction of Ford's F-150, it's still lighter than the Ford truck.
Inside, the Silverado has easy to use controls with great big buttons and knobs. It's comfortable, quiet, and rides about as well as a truck can. Silverado is available in trims ranging from the vinyl floor WT all the way to the loaded luxury High Country trim.
The Silverado last saw a facelift for 2016, that came with an expansion of availability of the eight-speed automatic. So it sees only incremental changes for 2018. Those include a 7.0-inch MyLink touchscreen radio replacing the 4.2-inch display system on WT trim. That also means a six-speaker audio system as the base stereo. A rear vision camera is now standard on all models.
There are three cab configurations available. Regular, the small rear-door Double cab, and full four-door Crew cab. Regular cab models come with short (6'6") or long (8') box, Double cab comes with the short box, and Crew cab models get either the short box or an even shorter (5'8") box. The trim levels are base WT (work truck), LS, and LT, (which get all cab and bed options, Custom (which is Double cab only, and slots in between LS and LT), LTZ (Double and Crew cabs only), and top trim High Country, which is Crew cab and all-wheel drive only.
The base engine for Silverado is a 4.3L V6 that offers 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque. Properly equipped, that engine can tow up to 3,447 kg. If you want V8 power, then Chevy offers a pair of choices. There is a 5.3L V8 that has 355 hp and 383 lb-ft. That engine can tow up to 5,035 kg. Top V8 is a 6.2L engine that makes 420 hp, 460 lb-ft, and can tow a best-in-class 5,670 kg.
The base WT trim comes with manual windows on regular cab, with power on double and crew cab. There is air conditioning, power locks, tilt steering, cruise control, a 7.0-inch colour display audio system, HID headlights, a locking tailgate, and tire pressure monitoring. The seat is manual adjust, the floor is vinyl, and the seat coverings are vinyl or cloth.
LS trim adds chrome bumpers, power mirrors, tinted rear windows, and remote keyless entry with remote locking tailgate. The windows are power, and the seats are cloth. Vinyl flooring is standard, with carpet as an option. The seats are cloth trimmed. LS gets OnStar with 4G LTE hotspot. A trailer package adds limited slip differentials, a hitch, and a trailer wiring harness.
Silverado Custom adds a custom grille and body-colour bumpers to LS models. It also has a driver info center and 20-inch alloys.
Silverado LT adds an electronic transfer case to four-wheel drive models. It has 17-inch alloy wheels and heated body colour exterior mirrors. The door handles and mouldings are also body colour. There is a rear-view camera, and a 4.2-inch colour info display in the instrument cluster. The floor is carpet as standard equipment, with a leather-wrapped steering wheel. There is a lockable storage compartment in the front bench seat. A convenience pack adds 10-way power seats to LS1, along with remote start and a 110 v power outlet. Enhanced driver alert package adds lane keeping assist, automatic high beams, low-speed emergency braking, collision alert, and parking assist.
LTZ adds the 5.3L V8 as standard, along with a locking rear differential. It comes standard with a trailering package. The wheels are 18-inch alloys. The headlights, taillights and fog lights are all LED, and the exterior mirrors get a chrome cap and turn signal repeaters. There is a power sliding rear window with defrost. The truck has a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, remote start, dual-zone climate control, 110 v power outlet, and heated front seats with power adjustment.
A Plus package offers a heated steering wheel and adjustable pedals. The sport package adds a Bose stereo and 20-inch chrome wheels. The Black pack adds 22-inch black wheels, black step bars, and black bow ties in the grill and on the tailgate.
Top trim is High Country, which has the eight-speed automatic standard. Active safety features include forward collision alert, low-speed automatic braking, lane guidance, and automatic high beams. There are 20-inch alloys, body colour bumpers, a unique chrome grille, step bars, 12-way adjustable power seats with heat, ventilation, and leather, a heated steering wheel, and a seven-speaker Bose stereo with navigation.
Chevrolet is big on special edition pickups. That means that you'll see lots of other trims on dealer lots. But most of them are stickers, trim, and wheel upgrades. They're generally based on an existing trim - like the LTZ Z71 based Centennial Edition - with a few extra bits.
Fuel economy for Silverado ranges from 13.4 L/100 km city, 10.0 highway for rear-drive V6 trucks to 16.0/11.7 for 6.2L trucks with four-wheel drive.