2021 Chevy Silverado updates bring towing tech and wireless smartphone capabilities

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are going wireless for the 2021 Silverado, and both are standard on the Silverado's more-feature filled trims.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Custom Trail Boss
Enlarge Image
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Custom Trail Boss

This is a 2020 Silverado, but the 2021 model looks exactly the same.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado was likely in for some big updates, but the COVID-19 pandemic put the brakes on such a major update, parent automaker said earlier this year. Now, it looks like Chevy has instead opted to fiddle with standard equipment and roll out a healthy assortment of new features for its bread-and-butter pickup.

Chevy on Monday revealed the 2021 Silverado's new equipment list, which ranges from upgraded towing and payload ratings to new technology onboard the truck. Highlighting the changes are improved towing capacities for the 2.7-liter turbo-four and 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel engines. Those who opt for the four-cylinder Silverado in crew cab configuration will now have the ability to tow 9,300 pounds, up by 2,500 pounds, and a new regular cab model with a long bed will tow 9,600 pounds. Both ratings are for two-wheel-drive Silverado models, mind you. The updates also see the payload rating rise to 2,280 pounds, again with a two-wheel-drive version.

The biggest news is the addition of the Multi-Flex tailgate, which Chevy already told us about last week. If you dig the GMC Sierra's MultiPro tailgate, you'll love Chevy's version because it's an identical system.

If you want to live the diesel life with the 3.0-liter inline-six Duramax, there's great news. It costs $1,500 less to option a Silverado with the diesel engine. Yeah, it's a price reduction, which is rather unheard of these days. Towing capacity climbs 1,500 pounds for a max rating of 9,500 pounds (in two-wheel-drive form, like the other updates) and Chevy promises the engine still returns 33 miles per gallon highway.

Need more towing tech? Say no more with the 2021 Silverado. Three new technologies are on the menu for 2021: Trailer length indicator, jack-knife alert and cargo bed view enhancement mode all join the roster. In other good news, the options list also expands for entry-level Silverado models. Now, a Safety Confidence package is available, which tosses in automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert and front pedestrian braking. Note that AEB is standard on the Silverado's chief rival, the Ford F-150

Elsewhere, the midrange trims pack some previously optional packages as standard and the more luxurious LTZ and leather-lined High Country models gain standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The systems work with a wired connection on all trims, but wireless capability is also available on the LT, LT Trail Boss and RST trims, too.

Look for the first 2021 Silverados to reach dealers this fall. Next year, we'll likely see a more substantial update that focuses a lot of effort on the interior.

The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is a mixed bag

See all photos
Watch this: 5 things you need to know about the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado