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2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 overview: When good isn’t good enough


Feb 23, 2021

It’s a good-looking truck in RST trim, not less than.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The Chevrolet Silverado is a good truck, but it is nonetheless an underdog within the full-size pickup world. Capable and comfy because it could be, Chevy simply cannot compete with the fancy-pants Ram 1500 and do-it-all Ford F-150. But even so, the Silverado’s myriad configurations and distinctive design give it some real enchantment.


  • Smooth diesel engine
  • Lots of trailering tech
  • Plentiful charging choices

Don’t Like

  • Limited driver-assistance tech
  • Lousy inside
  • Last-generation infotainment

The Silverado is accessible with no fewer than seven engine and transmission mixtures, the whole lot from a base 4.3-liter V6 and six-speed computerized to a 6.2-liter V8 with a 10-speed auto. The midrange 5.3-liter V8 is accessible with 6-, 8- or 10-speed automatics, and there is a 2.7-liter turbo I4 on provide, as effectively. Beyond the underhood configurations, the Silverado is obtainable with single-, double- or crew-cab physique kinds. You can pair these with a 70-inch quick mattress, 79-inch commonplace mattress or 98-inch lengthy mattress. Three axle ratios are provided and you’ll select between two- and four-wheel drive.

For this overview, I’ve acquired what’s arguably the perfect mixture of the bunch: a 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel I6 with a 10-speed transmission and 4WD. I am unable to overstate how a lot I like this engine. Pushing out 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, there’s enough oomph to get this full-size pickup off the road rapidly. Highway lane-changes are easy-peasy because of gobs of midrange torque, and this truck will hum alongside at freeway speeds easily and effectively.

With the diesel engine and four-wheel drive, the Silverado 1500 is estimated to return 22 miles per gallon within the metropolis, 26 mpg freeway and 24 mpg mixed. With the crew-cab physique, the Silverado has a 24-gallon gas tank, so I may conceivably go 576 miles between fill-ups. The regular-cab truck will get a bigger fuel tank, and it will do almost 700 miles in a single stretch.

Generally talking, the Silverado handles in addition to another truck. The brakes really feel stable and linear beneath my foot, and the steering has a pleasant quantity of weight and suggestions. But Chevy may study a number of issues from Ram in terms of experience high quality. The Silverado is floaty over bumpy pavement and each pothole is a jarring expertise. You can get adaptive dampers, however solely on the tippy-top Silverado High Country. A full air suspension, just like the Ram’s, would actually do rather a lot to make this truck extra livable daily.

Three cab configurations and three mattress lengths can be found.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

In phrases of truck stuff, the Silverado is on the weaker aspect of aggressive. When correctly configured (two-wheel drive, lengthy field), max payload is 2,280 kilos, whereas towing can get as excessive as 13,300 kilos (four-wheel drive, double cab, commonplace field, 6.2-liter V8). The Ram can haul as much as 2,300 kilos in its mattress and tow a max of 12,750 kilos. Meanwhile, the Ford F-150 can go as excessive as 3,325 kilos payload and 14,000 kilos of towing capability, though, frankly, if you are going to be towing that a lot on the common, you are higher off stepping as much as a heavy-duty truck.

My diesel-powered crew-cab tester can haul 2,060 kilos in its quick mattress and tow 9,000 kilos. A equally spec’d Ram 1500 with the three.0-liter EcoDiesel handles 1,800 kilos of payload and 9,710 kilos of towing, because of a 3.92:1 rear axle ratio (the Silverado’s diesel engine solely goes to three.23:1). The greater the rear axle ratio, the extra low-end grunt you get. Ford’s 3.0-liter PowerStroke diesel in SuperCrew configuration can haul 1,805 kilos within the mattress and in some way nets a 12,100-pound tow ranking with 3.55:1 gearing.

However, the Silverado has a bunch of recent expertise for 2021 to make towing simpler and safer. There’s a jackknife alert that helps whereas cornering and a trailer size indicator makes lane adjustments simpler. A cargo mattress digicam makes it a cinch to hook up a fifth wheel trailer, and if prospects set up a digicam on the rear of their trailer, they will see a behind-the-trailer view with tips and angle indicators proper from the truck’s infotainment display screen. Great as these are, nonetheless, the Silverado’s company twin — the GMC Sierra — presents extra digicam views. Still, Ford and Ram cannot match Chevy right here.

The Duramax diesel engine is clean and highly effective.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The Silverado will get its personal model of GMC’s MultiProfessional tailgate for 2021, known as Multi-Flex in Chevy-speak. But even with out this, the usual tailgate is gentle and opens slowly. There are cut-out steps within the bumper to make climbing out and in of the mattress simpler, and my tester has a 120-volt, 400-watt outlet again there, along with 12 tie-downs and full LED lighting.

Where the Silverado actually cannot sustain with Ford and Ram is with driver-assistance applied sciences. On the Chevy, adaptive cruise management is barely provided on the very high trim, and issues like forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning are elective throughout the board. Ram presents much more options, and do not even get me began on the F-150, which has all of the driving aids you possibly can consider and may energy a whole tailgating get together if wanted.

Interior tech falls quick, too. A 7-inch infotainment display screen is commonplace whereas an 8-inch show is elective. Thankfully, Chevy’s Infotainment 3 software program is straightforward to make use of, and you’ll add wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. But try the spectacular performance of the 12-inch shows provided by Ford and Ram, and the Chevy simply appears to be like previous by comparability.

This cabin is absolutely dated.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

At least the charging choices are good, with one USB-A, one USB-C, a 12-volt outlet and an AC outlet up entrance. There’s one other USB-A and USB-C inside the middle armrest, and extra USB-A and USB-C ports for rear seat passengers. Wireless charging is accessible, too.

But you guys, the Silverado’s inside is fairly horrible general. This would possibly as effectively have been lifted out of a 2015 Silverado. Hard plastics are in every single place and even the house button for the infotainment tech feels icky. It’s all simply so low-cost. Spend 5 minutes inside a Ram 1500 and you may surprise why Chevy isn’t making an attempt more durable.

There is, nonetheless, a ton of space for storing. I can match a few bottles within the door pockets, a pockets within the door deal with, a pill within the cubby on the transmission tunnel and my mother’s gigantic purse within the heart armrest. There’s a spot for small objects simply forward of the cup holders and a bit of cubby on the sprint, as effectively. Passengers get a twin glove field, though the higher field is just not very deep and it appears issues would simply fall out upon opening. The rear seat bottoms flip as much as match bigger objects at the back of the cab, too.

Pricing for the 2021 Silverado runs wherever from about $30,000 on the bottom finish to almost $70,000 for a loaded High Country. My truck is a super-weird spec: a RST (which stands for Rally Sport Truck), paired with the Z71 off-road package deal and the diesel engine. Like, why would anybody attempt to mix a sporty on-road truck with an off-road package deal that provides Rancho shocks, hill-descent management and an upgraded air filter? It’s so unusual.

The Silverado simply cannot sustain with Ford and Ram.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

If you need off-road functionality, go for the Silverado Trail Boss, which has a 2-inch carry, computerized locking rear differential and meaty 32-inch tires. You cannot get that trim with the diesel engine, although, and off-roading with a full-size pickup is fairly robust — except you go for a Ford F-150 Raptor or Ram 1500 TRX. Personally, I’d simply snag a diesel-powered Silverado LTZ with a number of tech choices, which places me within the mid-$50,000 vary. When it comes time to spec a full-size pickup, the world is just about your oyster.

Oh, and in case you’re learn this far and surprise why I have not talked about the 2 different half-ton pickup choices, the Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra, it is as a result of they completely can’t compete by way of utility, expertise and powertrain choices. I’m not likely certain why you’d purchase both of these.

Then once more, I’m not likely certain why you’d choose a Silverado over the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500. Hell, even its GMC Sierra twin is better-looking and a bit of nicer inside. Sure, the Chevy has an excellent diesel engine, nifty trailering tech and plenty of inside space for storing, however it’s a number of steps behind the rivals in every single place else. Until the Silverado will get a reboot, it isn’t the truck I’d suggest.

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