Review: Chevrolet Silverado 1500

By: Cameron Officer

Presented by

A big blunt weapon engineered for show ponying on city streets? The new Chevrolet Silverado 1500 truck range might keep chrome panel fabricators in business, but it also has more tech tricks up its sleeve than you might be expecting. And it’ll go well off the tarmac, too

Spending a week with the latest iteration of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 revealed a full-sized truck that also sports a full-sized load of techno trickery designed to make it easy to live with and endlessly practical. Yes, even in the paddock.

There are three states of dress models in the Silverado 1500 range.

The Silverado LT Trail Boss gets things rolling with – arguably – the most appropriate hardware, for this part of the world, and specifically farmers, namely all-terrain tyres and no-nonsense bodywork.

The truck on these pages – the LTZ Premium – sits next in the line-up, while the rugged HD LTZ Premium (which swaps out the chrome for blackout accenting but retains the full leather trim) sits at the top of the tree.


The Silverado line-up consists of three options, with our test LTZ Premium sitting in the mid-range price-wise

Power on

The Trail Boss and LTZ Premium rely on the 313kW/624Nm power and torque spread from a 6.2-litre V8 petrol EcoTech3 engine under their broad bonnets, while the HD LTZ Premium swaps to manufacturer General Motors’ 6.6-litre Duramax turbodiesel V8. There’s plenty of power on tap here, but then you probably guessed that already.

A useful illustration of the way GM steps up through the Silverado range is to, literally, look at each iteration’s ride height.

The LTZ Premium is the lowest-slung at 1,933mm tall, while the Trail Boss, with those chunky Mud-Terrain Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tyres, sits at 1,963mm. The HD LTZ Premium wears 20-inch Goodyear all-terrains and rides highest at 2,039mm.

So, yes, these are all big vehicles across the board. There’s no getting away from that. But that’s all the better for what many buyers will use them for – towing stuff.


An XL-sized truck needs an XL-sized cabin. As you’d expect, there’s plenty of room in here

Haulin’? Ask...

A huge amount of attention has been given to ensuring the Silverado 1500s are absolutely fit-for-purpose with something hanging off the towball. This is reflected in the amount of safety and convenience spec given over to the art of haulin’.

The Silverado 1500 range arrives with two maximum braked tow ratings, depending upon what sized towball is fitted (a tow bar is standard, the towball is an optional extra). With a 50mm ball fitted, max capacity tops out at 3.5 tonnes, although with the larger 70mm ball in-situ, braked towing capacity rises to 4.5 tonnes for the LTZ Premium spec trucks, or a shade over 4.2 tonnes for the Trail Boss.

The LTZ Premium offers the biggest maximum payload by a slim margin at 760kg, with its load bed accessed by a sturdy electronically-operated tailgate.

With the potential for plenty of weight out beyond the rear axle, GM gives the Silverado LTZ Premium driver a suite of safety aids to help get the boat, car trailer, mini digger, or whatever else from A to B in a reassuringly controlled fashion.

These include a trailer brake control system to prevent sway, and a hitch guidance system as part of the Silverado’s 360-degree camera view package (which offers up to 15 different views around the vehicle), making lining up on the towball a doddle.

Then, before you head off, the LTZ Premium spec trucks also feature an in-cab trailering app, which helps with everything from pre-departure checklists to diagnostics for tyre pressure and lighting. 


The rear bench also flips up, adding extra space for larger items inside the cab

Invisible touch

The Silverado LTZ Premium also has a port for a trailer-mounted accessory camera in its rear bumper, which can effectively render big boxy tow-alongs like horse floats ‘see-through’.

This transparent camera view works by lining up the image from the camera attached to the back of the trailer and the camera at the back of the truck. It then detects the edges of whatever is being towed and outlines it but also shows the view behind the trailer, giving the Silverado driver a handy view of what’s following, beyond what the large wing mirrors show.

It’s all rather clever stuff and the Silverado LTZ Premium’s tech spread doesn’t end with towing assist features. Yes, the truck might represent a broad slab of beef, but inside the cabin, driver and passengers alike can access plenty of premium petit fours.


The standard Bose stereo system incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Sound and around

Highlights include a seven-speaker Bose Premium sound system through which Apple CarPlay or Android Auto help access music, podcasts and contact info from the driver’s smartphone. That smartphone can be charged wirelessly, while fully powered heated and ventilated seats, a powered sunroof, and dual-zone auto A/C are also part of the picture.

The Silverado LTZ Premium’s safety spec is similarly comprehensive, with adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist and lane departure warning all present as part of a wider suite of driver aids.

Verdict

The Chevy Silverado 1500 range is a bundle of fun and full of practical technology and convenience features. It’s so big, it’s actually useful (in a way that many ‘standard’ sized double cab utes reveal themselves not to be in some situations), with all the solidity and comfort its oversized footprint implies.

If you have the luxury of space and a shed big enough to house it (alongside all the things you need it to tow), then you’ll never outgrow a Silverado. It’ll be a sturdy, clever companion for work and play – a solid, surprisingly clever alternative to the usual fodder on the market.


This standard port in the rear bumper is for a trailer-mounted accessory camera, which can effectively render larger items being towed, like horse floats and caravans, ‘see-through’

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