As in years past, the Silverado is available in several different configurations to suit every need. Produced in 2-wheel- or 4-wheel-drive form, in regular cab, double cab or crew cab, short box or long, there's a Silverado for every buyer.
Interiors include an upright instrument panel and 6-gauge cluster, along with several interior storage solutions. Chevrolet MyLink provides quick and easy connectivity through the latest voice recognition software. The 4.2-inch or 8-inch color touch screen provides Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, twin USB ports and an SD card slot. Cabins are stronger and quieter too, thanks to high-strength steel construction and shear-style body mounts to help tune out noise and vibration. Double cabs and crew cabs utilize hydraulic body mounts to further isolate the cabs.
Beneath the cabin, the Silverado features electric power steering and a tuned suspension with wide wheels, for better handling and a more comfortable ride. Four-wheel disc brakes with Duralife rotors greatly improve brake feel an increase brake life.
Buyers have a choice of three all-aluminum "EcoTec3" engines to power their Silverado. Each features direct injection and variable valve timing, as well as Active Fuel Management cylinder de-activation, allowing the engines to run efficiently on just four cylinders when conditions allow. The base 4.3L V6 provides 285 horsepower and 305 lb-feet of torque. The 5.3L V8 produces 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, and the top-of-the-line 6.2L V8 makes 420 horsepower and 460 lb-feet of torque. Silverados equipped with the V6 can tow up to 7,200 pounds, which is tops for any base V6 in the segment. When equipped with the 5.3L V8 and Max Towing Package, Silverados can tow up to 12,500 pounds, which is best in class. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard in 4.3L and 5.3L Silverados, while an 8-speed automatic is standard when paired with the 6.2L V8, as well as in 5.3L Silverados in LTZ, LTZ/Z71 and "High Country" trims.
The 2018 Silverado comes in several distinct trim levels. Work Trucks include the 4.3L V6, disc brakes, a 40/20/40 front bench seat, power locks and windows, cruise control and a 6-speaker audio system. LS models build on Work Truck features and include remote keyless entry and MyLink, as well as 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capability. LT models feature the 8-inch color touchscreen, EX-Lift tailgate, 17-inch aluminum wheels and trailering package. LTZ models also feature the larger touchscreen but add the 5.3L V8 standard, leather seating, dual-zone climate control, rear vision camera and 18-inch wheels. Z71 trim on LTZ models comes with enhanced 4-wheel drive off-road capability through monotube shocks, hill descent control, all-terrain tires, fog lamps and a locking rear differential. The Silverado High Country is the top trim and includes chrome side assist steps, 20-inch wheels, a spray-in bedliner, premium perforated heated and vented leather seating, navigation, front and rear park assist and a Bose stereo.
The 2018 Chevy Silverado is available with segment-exclusive safety features such as Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning with an Active Safety Seat and Front and Rear Park Assist. StabiliTrak with Trailer Sway Control and Hill Start Assist are standard on all Silverados.
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 does a lot of things well. The latest generation of this half-ton truck drives better than many midsize pickups and offers some of the best powertrains in the segment and, of course, its towing and hauling numbers are excellent. But despite all these positives, it's a rig that's riddled with head-scratching choices and curious omissions. In short, it's a truck that leaves me with more mixed feelings than the Game of Thrones finale.
My Silverado test unit is dressed in Custom Trail Boss trim and features an extended-cab body with a 6.5-foot bed. That cargo box is probably the most versatile in the business. Engineers moved the side walls out to increase hauling volume and threw in a heap of tie-down hooks.
GM's integrated bumper steps and stake-bed handholds make it much easier to climb into this pickup's elevated bed and eliminate the need for fiddly drop-down or fold-out steps. Conveniently, the tailgate also lowers at the push of a button. You still have to manually close it on my tester, but there's ample assistance there so it's nearly fingertip-light.
It trumps the Ford Expedition, big time.
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