Generation after generation, there has been a full-size Chevrolet truck available for consumer and work purposes. Indeed, the first Chevrolet truck was introduced in 1930 with the Silverado name appearing some 45 years later in certain trim levels of the C/K truck. In 1998, Silverado became the model name for this series of trucks that are sold in 1500, 2500 and 3500 designations. Available in 4×2 and 4×4 configurations, the Silverado seats three to six passengers, is sold in three cabin configurations and is available in short, standard and long bed configurations. The Silverado is a twin to the GMC Sierra and competes with the Ford F-150, the Ram 1500, the Nissan Titan and the Toyota Tundra.
Every Chevrolet Silverado projects a strong stance with its massive grille, stacked quad headlamps, broad hood, strong shoulders and solid slab body. Like most full-size trucks, the Silverado offers various trim levels that add to this vehicle’s appearance. All models, however, feature oversized side mirrors, large wheel wells, body side moulding and a drop down rear tail gate with a step up bumper. Some models bring in a fancier grille, color-keyed mirrors and door handles, chrome wheels and other embellishments. Sold in regular, extended and crew cab arrangements with truck boxes ranging from 69.3 inches to 97.8 inches long. Standard 17-inch steel wheels can be upgraded to 18-inch aluminum or 20-inch chrome-clad wheels.
Engines and Transmissions
Four engine choices are available with the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado. A base 4.3-liter V6 gas engine is paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission and available in the work truck (WT) edition only.
Three V-8 engines are available elsewhere and include a 4.8-liter, a 5.3-liter and a 6.2-liter engine. The smallest V-8 engine is paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission and the larger engines are paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. With its cylinder deactivation technology that shuts down unneeded cylinders at highway cruising speed, the 5.3-liter engine offers the best fuel economy of all Silverado pickup trucks and is rated at 15 mpg city, 21 mpg highway.
If you are looking for an interior that is bright, roomy and expansive, then the Silverado is all that and more. Ranging from the spartan WT edition with 40/20/40 vinyl seats to LTZ editions with optional leather-appointed seats and soft touch material everywhere, there is a Silverado to meet most any need.
Indeed, the Silverado is both a work truck and a family vehicle, a model that can be outfitted in many different ways. Inside, the instrument panel features a brightly-lit four- or six-analog display behind a tilt steering wheel with optional mounted audio and cruise control switches. The center stack features offers audio and climate control displays. Base models feature manual air-conditioning while dual zone climate control is included as part of a package upgrade or is standard with LT and LTZ editions.
OnStar directions and connections is available with the WT edition and standard elsewhere. That feature includes a 6-month subscription. Controls are found in the center stack or available on the steering wheel.
Fold down the front middle seat and two cupholders and a storage tray can be found. Extended and crew cabs include a 40/20/40 reclinable bench seat with a center area storage compartment and drink holders. Standard cloth seating surfaces can be upgraded to premium cloth or leather. Lockable under the rear seat storage, a dual glove compartment and front door pockets are among the storage compartments that are available with the Silverado.
WT editions offer manually operated windows and door locks. Power accessories are available elsewhere. An AM/FM stereo with CD/MP3 player is standard with all models except the WT and may include a USB port. SiriusXM satellite radio is available. A Bose sound system is optional with the LT edition and is standard with the LTZ. Nav Traffic and a touchscreen navigation radio is available with the LTZ edition. Bluetooth hands-free technology is available with the base models and standard elsewhere.
All Chevy Silverado trucks come equipped with 4-wheel anti-lock brakes. Stabiltrak, which includes stability control, trailer sway assist and hill assist is standard. Optionally, you can order your truck with brake control.
Silverados come equipped with front and seat mounted front side airbags. A side curtain airbag system with rollover detection is included.
Every 2012 Silverado offers a 5-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty covering the engine, the transmission and related drivetrain parts. A new vehicle warranty has you covered for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. Rust through protection is offered for up to 100,000 miles or six years. A roadside assistance plan, offering ’round the clock coverage is included and is for 5 years or 100,000 miles. Extended warranty plans are also available — see your authorized Chevrolet pickup truck dealer for more information.
A Silverado hybrid edition is also available, a vehicle that features a 6.0-liter V-8 engine. Available with crew cab editions, this model features a 332-hp engine that is paired with a hybrid-specific transmission. The Silverado Hybrid’s two-mode system enables this truck to switch between economy hybrid mode to regular truck mode, giving truck owners the best of hybrid and truck utility. The 2WD model is rated at 20 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, offering best in class fuel economy.
See Also — 2012 Nissan Titan Overview & Specs
Photo: GM Corp.