The Silverado is an easy truck to live with, thanks to its comfortable ride and reasonable floor height. Access is fairly easy, as is cargo loading. The truck also offers generous towing and payload capacity. A six-speed automatic transmission aids acceleration and fuel economy, while selectable full-time four-wheel drive adds safety in slippery conditions.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. ESC and head protection air bags available from 2007; standard from 2010. Side air bags standard from 2010.
Road Test

The Silverado is an easy truck to live with, thanks to its comfortable ride and reasonable floor height. Access is fairly easy, as is cargo loading. The truck also offers generous towing and payload capacity. A six-speed automatic transmission aids acceleration and fuel economy, while selectable full-time four-wheel drive adds safety in slippery conditions. While side- and curtain-airbags are standard, IIHS side-crash test results are disappointing. A hybrid Silverado was offered as well. Test results also apply to the GMC Sierra.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
4WD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
extended cab
regular cab
crew cab
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • CVT
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 4.3-liter V6 (195 hp)
  • 4.8-liter V8 (302 hp)
  • 5.3-liter V8 (315 hp)
  • 6-liter V8 hybrid (332 hp)
  • 6.2-liter V8 (403 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Paint was chipping on front grill. This was a quality is that gm did nothing about"

Anonymous, AB (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ 5.3-L V8)

"Paint peeling around the rocker panels ,Wheel well,bottom of doors and starting to rust"

Yvan Q., ON (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

"I have already had to have the passenger door repainted and the roof of the truck had to be replaced due to rust. The dealer paid to have the roof done but did not pay to have the door painted. The CHEVROLET Emblem has also faded. The truck runs good and I like the vehicle except for the rust problems I am having. I am beginning to wonder where the next rust is going to show up that I am going to have to pay to fix."

Anonymous, MB (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4.3-L V6)

"The Chevy emblems are fading and cracking"

Sharon S., MB (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4.3-L V6)

"The tire rim clear coat paint is peeling off all 4 wheels"

Michael L., MN (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ 5.3-L V8)

"Seems like the paint chips very easily from stones, etc more than I've seen with other Chevrolets I've owned"

Paul H., PA (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

"Chalking, large chips are missing"

Jeff H., AR (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 6.0-L V8)

"I think titis touch was poorly painted when constructed. The paint was very thin on the top of the cab."

Jerry S., TN (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)
Rust

"Started to rust around the back quarter panel and the back bumper around the trailer electrical plug in"

Yvan Q., ON (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

"Had to have the roof replaced and the passenger door repainted."

Anonymous, MB (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4.3-L V6)

"The full roof of the truck had to be replaced and the bottom of the door on the passenger side had to be fixed and repainted due to rust"

Sharon S., MB (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4.3-L V6)

"Entire frame underneath truck is rusting badly. Have been scraping rust and undercoating every spring to keep the rust at bay."

Ed G., AB (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 WT 4.8-L V8)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

"Door handle broke inside the door."

Anonymous, LA (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)

"The door handle on the front passenger door broke. The handle was no longer connected to the opening linkage. I looked on You Tube, saw how to remove the inside door panel, and everything connected to it, and how to remove the handle. Bought a new handle at the parts store for 59 dollars and changed it out in about 45 minutes. The handle was made of plastic, covered with a thin coating of chrome."

Charles B., TX (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 5.3-L V8)

"Had to replace a driver side door hinge because it sized up"

Michael L., MN (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ 5.3-L V8)

"Duplicate issue as failed handle described in previous question. Passenger Door inoperable."

John G., OR (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 4.8-L V8)
Locks and latches

"I have had to replace both door handles on the front doors. Small plastic part broke making door handle inoperative"

Randall R., GA (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

"Door handle broke on front passenger door. Was able to wedge it out and JB weld it rather than spend $250.00 for a new one installed"

Richard N., MN (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

"Outer door handle hardware lost connection to door latch (lever on handle is plastic and broke). Handle becomes inoperable from the exterior and can only be opened from inside the cab. Repaired at dealer but failed again after 3 months."

John G., OR (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 4.8-L V8)

"The door handle assemblies are made of plastic, and after years of opening and closing, they break. I have had to purchase, and replace two of the door handles last summer, and now another is almost needing replacement . Auto thieves are responsible for some of this breakage also, as the break them trying to enter the truck."

Anonymous, TX (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

"I have replaced three of the exterior door handles as the plastic broke and caused a loose handle."

Richard N., MN (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)
Seat controls - movement

"Forward / Back seat knob fell off on drivers side."

Anonymous, WA (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ 5.3-L V8)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"Sensor went out in steering column. It disabled the ABS"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)
Master cylinder

"LEAK; FAILURE"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 4.8-L V8)
Normal routine brake wear

"Both the front brakes and the rear brakes needed new Pads/Rotors and Shoes/Drums in the last year. However, the original brakes, both front and rear, lasted 100,000 miles !"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)
Parking brake

"Ends of rear brake cables rusted off where they attach to front cable at adjuster"

J K., NY (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)
Premature brake wear

"Worn to the point that it was making noise"

Louis C., FL (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 4.8-L V8)

"the rear brakes wore out before the front"

Michael K., VA (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)
Rotors

"Rotors are warped."

William N., IN (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 4.3-L V6)

"Poor quality rotors-vibration on hills from heating to fast"

Paul H., PA (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

"need replacing"

Chuck B., ON (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"Engine lights came on and off. Gym could not find the problem, but charged me $300"

Anonymous, AB (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ 5.3-L V8)

"Had to replace the entire computer"

Anonymous, MS (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)
Oil leaks

"It seems that the 5.3 has problems with oiling. Taken in for my first oil change it was found to be a quart low and no indication at all on computer system! Internet claims to have many more cases than just mine. So, not a good deal and no response from chevrolet?"

Anonymous, WA (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

"BURNS OIL, AND MINOR OIL LEAKS, ALSO FLUID LEAKS NEAR RADIATOR"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 4.8-L V8)

"Engine is burning oil, not really leaking. No evidence of leaked oil when I park."

Anonymous, TN (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 4.8-L V8)

"Active Fuel Management Engine burns oil causing the fouling of oil pressure sensor, spark plugs and piston rings."

Anonymous, MO (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Ball joints

"Unaware of the problem. after repair i had a remarked improvement in steering."

Anonymous, IA (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ 5.3-L V8)
Shocks or struts

"driver side strut was bad and had to replace. was told both sides usually are replaced at the same time and I told svc rep that the other side was replaced under warranty a coule years earlier but nothing was ever said about replacing both sides at that time...."

Anonymous, NE (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ 5.3-L V8)

"replaced right strut in 2014 under warranty. Left strut failed in 2017 not under warranty. Both should probably have been replaced at the same time in 2014 as the svc rep suggested replacing both this most recent time until I pointed out one was already done in 2014.. silence was golden"

Vaughn N., NE (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ 5.3-L V8)
Springs or torsion bars

"Checrolet used re-cycled or sub-standard cheap quality steel in the suspension steel springs, and also in other areas of the vehicle that contained steel"

Anonymous, MD (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 4.8-L V8)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"Steering linkage needed replacement. Covered under warranty"

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Mass air flow sensor went bad. Dealer was able to replace for about $520"

Brian K., WA (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ 5.3-L V8)

"Engine hit and miss during driving"

Anonymous, VA (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4.3-L V6)

"pressure senser not working at top of fuel tank,low cost part high cost repair."

Anonymous, PA (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)
Fuel injection system

"Fuel intake sensor"

Joyce C., AZ (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 5.3-L V8)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"TPS failed, older chev trucks have this part covered by an extended warranty but the 2012's do not."

Ed G., AB (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 WT 4.8-L V8)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"Vibrating noise in area of dash gauges."

J H., GA (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

"road noise turn up radio"

Anonymous, MB (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)
Wind noise

"Plastic along side the windshield rattles, Chevrolet knows it is a problem but want $300 to repair/stop it"

Louis C., FL (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 4.8-L V8)

"These vehicles have positive airflow vents behind the rear seat that open to the airspace between the rear of the cab and the front panel of the bed of the truck. The road noise off of the rear tires is transmitted into the cab through these vents. Chevrolet knew of the problem, and made some changes to try to minimize it, but it is still very loud, and annoying. I have stuffed rags into these vents, and they help somewhat, but the noise is still apparent."

Anonymous, TX (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

"there are times when I am listening to the CD player, the radio, mp3 player, or flash drive, when it starts to rapidly jump from one to the other. It is very aggravating. Sometimes I just have to give up and cut off the sound system."

Charles B., TX (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 5.3-L V8)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"At times the sound system will not remain on the media I am listening to. Jumps from CD to radio, station to station to flash drive, and aux. input."

Charles B., TX (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 5.3-L V8)
Radio

"All lighting features went out. Can't tell station, time/day, when I questioned the service professionals, I was told I would half to replace the entire radio."

John E., UT (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

"The cd player problem covered the radio also. In fact the only time I hear the radio at all is when the problem occurs. I never listen to the radio."

Charles B., TX (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 5.3-L V8)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Electronic ignition

"Throttle position sensor failed as soon as powertrain warranty expired. Older Chev trucks have extended warranty on throttle position sensor but not this year-2012."

Ed G., AB (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 WT 4.8-L V8)
Spark plugs or wires failure

"It didn't switch from six to four cylinder operation. I didn't fix it yet."

M- P O., MI (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)
Starter

"One bolt missing, one bolt broken off. Starter would not engage"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Fog Lamp bulbs keep blowing out too often."

Anonymous, WA (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ 5.3-L V8)
Headlights

"3 Low beam bulbs replaced last 6 months"

Anonymous, UT (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ 5.3-L V8)
Warning lights

"Engine warning light comes on.. although when checked out, all is fine. They believe it is caused by having to drive on gravel roads. We have the same problem with our 2006 Chevrolet Silverado"

Anonymous, ND (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 6.2-L V8)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Cylinder head

"needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4.3-L V6)

"The AFM, Automatic Fuel Management System, is a nice idea but isn't worth it. If it weren't for a creative workaround by my shop, I'd have to either spend thousands on a fix or replace the engine just because one of the hydraulic lifters was inoperable. I'll never have a vehicle with this system again."

Mark N., WY (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)
Engine rebuild or replacement

"required new pistons and rings due to a design flaw"

Richard N., MN (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

4WD/AWD components

"When in 4wd mode there was a noise upon acceleration, this also happened when in auto-4 wheel drive mode. Had it repaired at the dealer..it was in the front differential and axle and covered under warranty. Probably because I ran it in the auto 4wd mode too much. Was told to only use 4wd when necessary which I do now"

Anonymous, VT (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)
Electrical failure

"truck accelerated to nearly 80mph from a dead stop while foot was on brake causing truck to slam into bldg. Unintended acceleration."

Anonymous, FL (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ 6.2-L V8)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

"It was actually a leak in the transmission cooler line. Very minor but terribly expensive to repair."

Anonymous, NC (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)
Water pump

"Never had a water pump leak on a vehicle with less than 50,000 miles."

Anonymous, NC (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Transmission leaks

"The transmission would not downshift properly. It turned out to be a transmission seal that was leaking causing low fluid level."

Joe W., AL (2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

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