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2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Review and Road Test on Everyman Driver

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is a full-size American pickup truck strong enough for various jobs, with a roomy cabin for long drives. It can tow up to 13,300 pounds, and the available turbo-diesel engine gets an estimated 33 mpg highway. Buyers can choose from three bed lengths and cab types. Recent updates have given the Silverado enhanced trailering technologies, and there are trim levels themed around work, family, off-roading, and luxury.

Pros: Highly configurable body and powertrain choices; Spacious interior with user-friendly features; Diesel engine blends strength with efficiency

Cons: Some competitors offer more luxurious cabins; Lacks a few cutting-edge infotainment features; Trail Boss trims return mediocre fuel economy

The Silverado 1500 is available with five engines. A 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder makes 310 horsepower and 348 pound-feet of torque. It has a 2,280-pound max payload and 9,600 max towing capacity. The EPA estimates fuel economy of about 20/23 mpg city/highway.

An available 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engine generates 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy is superb, at an estimated 23/33 mpg with two-wheel-drive. It can haul 1,870 pounds and tow up to 9,500 pounds.

Lower trim levels come standard with a tried-and-true 4.3-liter V6, a well-rounded motor that outputs 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. It can haul and tow up to 2,250 pounds and 7,900 pounds, respectively. EPA fuel economy is roughly 16/21 mpg with two-wheel-drive.

Trail Boss models, with four-wheel-drive and off-road technology, get approximately 14/18 mpg. The 5.3-liter V8 is available with built-in Dynamic Fuel Management (DFM), which improves performance, giving the Silverado up to 2,190 pounds of hauling in the bed, plus 11,500 pounds for trailering. It creates 355 horses and 383 pound-feet of torque, returning about 16/22 mpg city/highway.

The top-tier 6.2-liter V8 engine comes standard with DFM technology, and it produces a muscular 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Only available with four-wheel-drive, it should return around 16/21 mpg. The big V8 can haul up to 2,060 pounds, with towing an excellent 13,300 pounds. There are six-speed and ten-speed transmissions available, each with smooth power delivery.

The Silverado 1500 is highly configurable, available in regular, extended, and crew cabs. Shoppers choose between rear- and four-wheel-drive, plus short, medium, or long box sizes. There are six primary trim levels available: WT, Custom, LT, RST, LTZ, and High Country.

Prices start around $29,000 for a base WT trim. It’s a stout work truck, with a V6 engine, halogen headlights, vinyl bench seats, floor mats, air conditioning, manual windows/locks, a trip computer, two audio speakers, Bluetooth, a seven-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and USB/auxiliary ports.

The Custom model retails for roughly $36,000. It adds cloth seats, a security alarm, LED cargo bed lighting, a power locking tailgate, power heated side mirrors, an automatic power driver window, power locks, keyless entry, cruise control, satellite radio, a six-speaker audio system, a remote engine starter, and a wireless internet modem.

There’s a Trail Boss edition of the Custom, which adds off-road gear like a two-inch suspension lift, a two-speed transfer case, and all-terrain tires. It costs about $41,000. Starting at about $40,000, the LT has a turbocharged engine, LED headlights, chrome mirrors, chrome exterior accents, heated front seats, a power driver’s seat, keyless entry/start, dual-zone automatic climate control, a heated leather steering wheel. The LT Trail Boss rings in for around $51,000.

The RST costs about $43,500. Available only as a crew cab, details include body-color exterior accents, LED exterior lighting, LED fog lights, an eight-inch touchscreen, and a rear window defogger. Buyers get more luxurious amenities with the LTZ. Priced around $49,500, it adds safety technology like forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Also standard are chrome exterior accents, advanced trailering equipment, an automated tailgate, rear parking sensors, a power rear sliding window, power-folding memory side mirrors, perforated leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, a power passenger seat, heated rear seats, a universal garage door opener, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a household-style power outlet, HD Radio, and a memory card reader.

The High Country is the most upscale Silverado and, with a base MSRP of $53,500, the most expensive. It comes with a unique two-tone grille, enhanced LED headlights, lane-departure warning, running boards, a Bose premium audio system, navigation, wireless smartphone charging, an eight-inch cluster display, and front/rear parking sensors. Options include adaptive cruise control, a power sunroof, a performance air intake, a head-up display, automatic high beams, a bed view camera, and a surround-view camera system.

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