Chevrolet has improved the Silverado 1500, with increased payload and towing capacities, plus a deeper bed versus the previous model. But the redesign doesn’t match the fancy cabin or comfortable ride of some competitors.
The Silverado’s biggest change is in the powertrain. Its 5.3-liter V8 engine can now be paired with a new eight-speed automatic transmission, and the combination provides better throttle response and quicker acceleration, answering one of our chief criticisms of the dull, flat-footed previous generation. The new eight-speed automatic transmission and the loss of about 300 pounds help the Silverado achieve 17 mpg overall, a 1-mpg gain over the previous truck.
Drivers can’t escape the Silverado’s huge size when taking corners, but for a full-sized pickup truck it has responsive steering and little body lean. But the Silverado’s ride is stiff, choppy, and uncomfortable, even by pickup-truck standards, and especially so when the bed is empty. Road and engine noise are impressively muted, though. The optional power-opening tailgate is a nice touch; high-end trims have one that can even be closed remotely. We recommend adding running boards because it’s a tall climb up into the spacious cab.
The front seats are fairly basic, very firm and flat with only a minimal amount of support, but we appreciate the two-way lumbar adjustment. The backseat is huge, giving passengers plenty of room to stretch out.
Overall, the interior of our LT trim is unimpressive for a $50,000 truck, with cloth seats, cheap-looking controls, and a clunky old-school column-mounted gear selector. At least the easy-to-use infotainment system comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
It’s disappointing that advanced safety equipment such as forward collision warning,and automatic emergency braking are only available on high-end trim levels. At least blind spot warning with rear cross traffic warning is widely available.
Our test results for the Silverado also apply to the essentially similar GMC Sierra 1500.