Little-changed for 2017, apart from new Teen Driver monitoring, Chevrolet’s full-size pickup trucks offer a dazzling selection of possibilities. Most buyers have a favorite brand and aren’t likely to deviate, but Chevy tempts with everything from a base work truck through posh High Country, plus a batch of special edition trims.

Pricing and Equipment

Starting at $28,880 (destination charge included) with a regular cab and standard 4.3-liter V6, the Silverado also comes in Double Cab and Crew Cab configurations, with a long or short cargo box. Chevy offers 5.3- and 6.2-liter V8s as optional extras. Trim levels range from WT (Work Truck) to LS, LT, LTZ, and High Country, plus off-road-focused Z71 versions of the LT and LTZ. Rear-drive is standard, but four-wheel drive available on all models.

Standard equipment with LS trim level and a short cargo bed includes:

  • 285-horsepower, 4.3-liter V6 with six-speed automatic
  • 17-inch steel wheels
  • LED lighting accents
  • CornerStep rear bumper
  • Chrome bumpers and grille surround
  • Remote keyless entry
  • MyLink with seven-inch touchscreen
  • Bluetooth phone
  • Trailer sway control

Performance Pros

Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • Comfortable, quiet ride. Full-size trucks definitely aren’t what they used to be.
  • Electric power steering is well-weighted, and lacks the overboost that makes steering too light on some rival trucks.
  • Smooth-shifting automatic transmissions: both six-speed and eight-speed.
  • With the 420-horsepower, 6.2-liter V8 and proper equipment, a Silverado can tow up to 12,500 pounds. Even the 355-horsepower, 5.3-liter V8 manages as much as 11,500 pounds.

Performance Cons

  • Few would expect fuel economy to be a strong point, and they’d be correct. The eight-speed automatic does no better than the six-speed. With the 5.3-liter V8 and rear-drive, the EPA estimates 16 miles per gallon city, 23 highway, and 19 combined with six-speed automatic. The V6 isn’t that much better, at 18 city, 24 highway, and 20 combined mpg.
  • The rear end tends to hop and jump over some rough pavement surfaces in the 6.2-liter V8-powered truck, ruining the ride – especially if cargo bed is empty.

Interior Pros

  • Straightforward, upright instrument panel contains well-marked buttons and knobs, easy to read and use. Upper trim levels get such extras as big infotainment screens.
  • Crew Cabs are spacious for four adults; regular and Double Cabs are roomy up front.

Interior Cons

  • Like all full-size pickups, the Silverado requires a bit of a climb to enter.
  • WT (Work Truck) trim translates to a minimum of standard features, but anyone buying a truck with that designation shouldn’t expect much in creature comforts.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

No single factor beats the combination of handsome, rugged design, no-nonsense functionality, and impressive practical capabilities. Today’s Silverado clearly overcomes the old notion that pickup trucks aren’t really attractive or comfortable.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Silverado got a five-star crash-test rating from NHTSA, but a rearview camera is not standard, except on LT trim and above. A group of active-safety features is available, but only on top trim levels.

The Bottom Line

Jacking up the price to lofty figures is awfully easy. Moving from a regular cab to the top-selling Crew Cab adds almost $10,000, while High Country trim runs more than $18,000 higher than Custom level. Option packages can raise the outlay higher yet, in addition to making the selection process even more daunting. An LS Crew Cab might make a sensible starting point.