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2012 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid Overview
Entering the Silverado Hybrid pickup's fourth model year, Chevrolet has made no cosmetic changes for 2012, adding only a hard-drive-based navigation and sound system as an available upgrade. All trims are available only as a Crew cab with a 5.8-foot bed.
Two rear-wheel-drive (RWD) and two 4-wheel-drive (4WD) trims are available for the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid for 2012: HY1 Crew Cab, HY1 Crew Cab 4WD, HY2 Crew Cab and HY2 Crew Cab 4WD. The powertrain for all trims is a Vortec 6.0-liter gas/electric V8 engine paired with two 60-kilowatt electric motors supplied by a nickel-metal hydride battery pack—located under the rear seat—and a 2-mode hybrid transmission (also known as an electronically variable transmission). This combination achieves 379 hp of combined output with the electric motors and 367 lb-ft of torque. The Silverado Hybrid is rated by the EPA to get 20 mpg city/23 highway.
Standard features for all 2012 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid trims include dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, power door locks, power windows, power steering, tilt-adjustable leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated power driver’s-side mirror, heated power passenger-side mirror, cloth seats, 40/20/40 split front bench seats, 60/40 split rear bench seats, power driver’s seat with lumbar support, 6-speaker sound system (with AM/FM stereo, single in-dash CD player and MP3 playback), Sirius XM satellite radio with a 3-month trial subscription, Bluetooth wireless technology, OnStar with Directions & Connections Plan for the first 6 months, intermittent front windshield wipers, automatic headlights and 18-inch steel wheels with chrome-clad wheel covers and all-season tires.
Moving up to the HY2 trims adds a hard-drive-based navigation system with Sirius XM NavTraffic for a 3-month trial subscription, power adjustable pedals, leather seats, front bucket seats, power passenger seat with lumbar support, electrochromatic automatic dimming rear-view mirror, heated power external mirrors with integrated turn signals, rear window defogger, premium 7-speaker Bose sound system with AM/FM radio, in-dash single CD/DVD player and subwoofer, USB ports, and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels with all-season tires.
As for safety features, all 2012 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid trims have seat-mounted front side airbags, thorax side impact head curtain side impact airbags, front head curtain side impact airbags, 4-wheel disc brakes with an antilock braking system with regenerative capability, tire pressure monitoring system, daytime running lights and StabiliTrak with a traction control system. A rear-view camera, rear parking assist and fog lights come standard on HY2 trims only.
Some current owners of the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid mention they had to learn to adjust to the transition between electric and gas power and that there is a noticeable lurch forward when the gas engine kicks in, even in motion. As a result, acceleration sometimes has a mushy feel. Optimal fuel economy can be obtained, some note, only after learning how to adjust driving patterns to compensate for various driving conditions.
Chevrolet is definitely looking for niche buyers when it comes to the 2012 Silverado Hybrid. Even in partial electric mode, the pickup gets only a few more miles per gallon than gasoline-only counterparts, such as the Ford F-150 or even the regular Silverado 1500. That, plus the fact that it offers only a single cab option as well as a single size bed, plus limited towing capacity (6,100 pounds when properly equipped), means that the Silverado Hybrid will appeal only to a specific type of buyer. Although the Silverado Hybrid does come with some nice standard features, its sticker price—when compared to other full-size pickups—will have some buyers looking elsewhere before signing on the dotted line.
by Mark S. Baker
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