Full-size pickup trucks represent the heart of middle America, providing family carrying comfort, excellent payload, and strong towing capabilities. The 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is in the thick of the pack, delivering multiple cabin style, bed, and powertrain choices.

Best Value

The 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 comes in eight trims: WT, LS, Custom, LT, LT Z71, LTZ, LTZ Z71, and High Country. You’ll find regular cab models with standard (78.7-inch) and long (97.77-inch) box choices. The Double Cab comes with the standard box only. The Crew Cab has short (69.33-inch) and standard box choices. Rear- or two-wheel drive is standard; four-wheel drive is optional.

Our “best value” model is the Silverado 1500 LT ($36,909) with two-wheel drive, the Crew Cab, and the short box. This one comes with the V6, but we recommend upgrading to the V8 for optimized towing and generous power under heavy loads.

  • Model: 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 2WD Crew Cab, Short Box
  • Engine: 5.3-liter V8
  • Output: 355 hp / 383 lb-ft
  • Transmission:Six-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • MPG: 16 city / 23 hwy
  • Options:5.3-liter V8 engine ($1,195), Max Trailer Package ($2,160, integrated trailer brake controller, enhanced cooling radiator, heavy-duty rear springs, heavy-duty rear locking differential, 3.73 rear axle ratio, 18-inch bright-machined aluminum wheels, trailer hitch with connectors, and a modified suspension).
  • Base Price:$41,095 (including the $1,395 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price:$44,760

Performance

Chevy Silverado 1500

Chevy’s three-engine lineup has served the Silverado well for many years. The eAssist Hybrid is an intriguing option, although it's relegated to a few west coast markets. If you find one, you’ll gain just a one mpg edge over the V6 or the smaller V8.

A 4.3-liter V6 makes 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. A 5.3-liter V8 generates 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. You can also get this engine as part of an eAssist mild hybrid system. The fourth engine is a 6.2-liter V8 making 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. The V6 and standard 5.3-liter V8 work with a six-speed automatic transmission, while the higher trim models, the mild hybrid and the larger V8 come paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Our choice is the middle of the three engines, Chevy’s small block V8 which offers the best balance of performance and efficiency. Indeed, its combined 19 mpg matches the V6, thanks in part to cylinder deactivation. The overwhelming number of truck buyers choose this engine, with the larger V8 ideal for medium-duty applications. But that comes at a price to fuel efficiency – we found the big V8 simply too thirsty.

Style

Pickup trucks have certainly evolved through the years, coming in bigger and brasher with each succeeding generation. That’s the look of the Silverado 1500 with its bold upright grille dominating its front fascia. Chevrolet takes the usual slab-sided design and embellishes it with chrome on higher trim models. Some models come with running boards, while all models have rear bumper side steps — what a great way to access the bed without having to pull a step down or make the jump up. Our model pick comes with 18-inch machine-finished aluminum wheels, chrome touches and keyless entry.

Where the exterior is bold and overstated, the interior is soothing and quiet. Five adults can fit with ease, but the best seats in the house are up front, thanks to the wide and comfortable bucket seats. Cloth seats are standard; the rear fold-up bench seat features a 40/20/40-split layout with under seat storage.

This Chevy can make a case for the best interior in its class, or at least one with the best center console display and telematics. All driver controls are where you expect them and are easy to read and solidly constructed. The prize, though, is the Chevrolet MyLink audio system with an eight-inch touchscreen. This system includes OnStar, Bluetooth, satellite radio, HD Radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Audio smartphone compatibility, a CD player, six speakers and a WiFi hotspot. Two USB ports and an auxiliary input round out the offerings. You also get power windows and door locks, a manual tilt steering column, air conditioning, and cruise control.

The Best and Worst Things

Some people may like the Silverado’s brash styling, while others may find it overwhelming. Big kudos to Chevrolet for delivering an excellent infotainment system.

Right For? Wrong For?

Chevy Silverado 1500

Lovers of big trucks who aren’t Ford or Ram fans. In fact, if you’re a Chevy guy or gal, the Silverado 1500 is your in-your-face-Ford truck. Where Ford goes with an aluminum-intensive body, Chevy stays true to its steel roots.

The person who doesn’t need this much truck. Fortunately, the mid-size Colorado supplies nearly everything truck buyers want in a more manageable package. Smaller engines, including a diesel option, make the Colorado a better choice for some than the Silverado.

The Bottom Line

There are hundreds of design options you can choose when building your 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500. Regardless of your chosen model, discounting is a given. Typically, the higher up of the trim chain, the bigger the cash incentive. With an all-new model on the way, the discounts this year should stay consistently strong.