The Chevrolet Silverado range doesn’t have a small, medium and large model; it has large, larger and largest in the form of the 1500, 2500 and 3500. The “smallest” of the lot is still plenty sizable with many shared features from the higher up models. Oddly, the way these trucks can be configured sees a lot of pricing overlap, which makes the choice of which to get an even harder one. The Silverado 1500 starts off at $27,785 but when you start ticking options you can rack up a total over $60,000 equivalent to good 3500HD model.
Space is good in the Silverado 1500, even in the smaller regular cab version with seating for two, but for lugging family around then the double cab or crew cab would be best. Interiors across the range are very similar, lower models need more added but middle priced stuff is good, seating can be had in a few leather-finished options with comfortable bucket seats up front with power adjusting options. The High Country options are where the luxury-style appointments come in, but price matches. Visibility is what you’d expect in a truck, and layout and design is quite simple in execution, but it is a truck after all. This also means some materials are hard to the touch, but they have to be rugged considering the life these trucks will live.
Driving a Silverado 1500 is not a hard task that only comes in when it’s time to park it. The different engine options and drivetrains offer up different driving dynamics, as does the choice of cab size and load bin size, but they’re not too far removed from each other. The trucks are seven generations in now, and so the motor and transmission combinations work well together thanks to knowing what works where. Steering feedback is enough to that you know the truck will go where you point it, but that’s as far as any connection to the drive goes. All motors have Active Fuel Management and so shut down cylinders to save fuel, a smooth and seamless affair that you’ll probably not feel happening.
With so many body options on offer, there are a few engine options to tailor the Silverado 1500 to your needs. Starting at the top and trickling down, we see a 6.2-liter V8 with 420 hp, a 5.3-liter V8 with 355 hp or a baby 4.3-liter V6 with just 285 hp. The two smaller setups come standard with a 6-speed automatic transmission while the biggest comes standard with an 8-speed automatic (which is an option for the 5.3-liter). Drivetrains can be two or four-wheel drive, and tow loads differ between models ranging from 9800 lbs. up to 12,500 lbs. Upgrades are available, like complete exhaust systems, so you can get more out of your choice if needed.
The Silverado range has some good tech and spec available, which all came about as part of the last revision to the truck range. In fact, the last updates were almost exclusively in this area of the truck. Chevrolet MyLink is in play, as is wireless charging for applicable smart devices and there’s also Teen Driver that allows you to track how the kids drove the truck. High Country options now feature LED headlamps to bring them into the modern age. For safety there’s six standard air bags, low-speed forward automatic braking and a few camera options to monitor traffic and parking.
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is a good workhorse option, as well as a people carrier option. The pick of the bunch would be somewhere in the middle of the price range though because if you’re really going to start adding all the options, then you could be looking higher up at a 2500HD or 3500HD. Rival offerings have more modern options when it comes to engines available, most have powerful efficient turbocharged things you can choose. Still, there’s a reason they’re so popular, they look good and are strong and reliable with great heritage.