A world of choice. Trucks are typically marketed with an extensive variety of options, and Chevrolet offers a world of options on their Silverado. As well as three cab sizes and three bed lengths, you can select between four different engines and ten trim levels, as well as adding AWD to models not fitted with it as standard. As such, it’s hard to make range-wide generalizations – a $37,395 Work Truck bears little similarity to a ZR2 Bison costing $78,940. The latter is off-road oriented, with five skid plates, 33-inch tires and terrain-responsive shock absorbers.

There are some range-wide themes, of course. The Silverado remains a blocky vehicle, though last year’s refresh softened the nose and significantly improved the cabin. The scowling face has more presence than the mechanically similar GMC Sierra 1500, though it’s a more utilitarian appearance as well. Smaller wheels look lost in those huge arches, and the side profile is rather ungainly as if a child tried to draw a truck but got the scale wrong. A pretty truck might be an oxymoron, but the Silverado doesn’t even come close.

It's what’s on the inside that counts. The Silverado might not have much to shout about externally, but the cabin is a different story. A 2022 refresh introduced a far more modern aesthetic, especially in LT models and above. Here, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a separate 13.4-inch widescreen infotainment display (powered by Google) create some visual drama. There are physical dials for the climate and stereo volume, while you can specify your 1500 with leather trim, open-pore wooden panels, and stainless steel speaker grilles.

Base Work Truck models lack any of this opulence, though they do offer keyless entry plus a smaller seven-inch touchscreen with smartphone mirroring and dual Bluetooth connectivity. We’d move up to the aforementioned LT trim, which has those twin screens alongside heated front seats with ten-way power adjustment for the driver, dual-zone climate, and satellite radio. Every model gets active lane control and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, but you’ll have to pay extra for surround-view cameras and an advanced trailering system that offers as many as 15 views for towing and off-roading. Long-distance commuters might also welcome GM’s Super Cruise system, which can self-pilot the vehicle (even while towing) on around 400,000 miles of mapped highways across the U.S. and Canada.

2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Interior

Winning the space race. If space is a priority, the Silverado has you covered. Not only does it offer the biggest cargo volume in the full-size pickup class, but it’s also equipped with a very spacious interior. That’s particularly true in Crew Cab models, which tend to be the default choice nowadays. It offers over 43 inches of rear legroom, acres of glass, and well-cushioned seats that can accommodate passengers of widely varying shapes and weights. Leather seating is standard on LT and above.

The cargo bed can be enhanced with features like bumper steps and a six-way power tailgate. The smallest bed is five foot eight and the largest is eight foot two, though Crew Cab models can only be paired with the smallest or mid-range six foot six beds. Our main complaint is that high sidewalls make it hard to reach objects inside without dropping the tailgate first.

Torque is cheap. You don’t have to pay much to enjoy a powerful engine with generous towing capacity. Even the unruffled 2.7-liter turbo engine generates 310 hp and can tow 9,500 lb, while the three-liter turbodiesel has been revised for this model year and now generates a tow-friendly 495 lb-ft of torque. That’s more than either of the gas-powered V8 engines, with a 355 hp 5.3-liter unit and a 420 hp 6.2 – the latter matching the turbodiesel’s 13,300 lb max towing weight.

While the 2.7-liter engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, its siblings are paired to a ten-speed unit with overdrive gears. Performance is strong in every configuration, though sadly the rest of the Silverado’s mechanicals aren’t as potent. Rear leaf springs result in a bouncy ride, especially under light loads, and there’s no sense of the truck shrinking around the driver – it remains a large and unwieldy vehicle to pilot at all times.

Final thoughts. There’s not much separating the main protagonists in the truck market, and even less to differentiate the Silverado 1500 from the mechanically similar GMC Sierra 1500. While the latter has its Denali trim, the Silverado retaliates with the equally plush High Country version, and the ZR2 Bison is clearly just an AT4X AEV by another name (which is no bad thing, frankly). Even the extensive array of cabin storage has been seen elsewhere.

As a standalone vehicle, the Silverado has lots of merits. The cabin is nicer than many rivals, with the widescreen infotainment display working better than some portrait-oriented alternatives. There’s excellent space both inside and out, while the quartet of engines is all lusty and powerful. Being able to tow over 13,000 lb is impressive, and higher trims are lavishly equipped. Our main criticisms revolve around the primitive leaf spring rear suspension that damages ride and refinement, the propensity for desirable options to inflate the purchase price, dismal fuel economy, and the punitive cost of adding AWD where it’s not standard – anywhere from $3,300 to $4,600.

Check prices for the 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 »