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2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Overview
Full-size pickups like the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 have become very popular, as they're increasingly seen as all-purpose models. The idea of a single vehicle that can haul passengers and construction equipment to a job site or tow a boat to the lake makes it a very appealing option, and the wide range of body styles, powertrains, and trims available means you’ll be able to find a truck to fit your needs. For 2018, Chevrolet makes a number of small changes to the Silverado 1500 to keep it in contention with the likes of the Ram 1500 and recently refreshed Ford F-150.
Chevrolet offers a large selection of configuration options to make a Silverado yours, beginning with the cab and bed. You can choose from three cab layouts—regular, double, and crew—and three bed lengths, ranging from 5.8 to 8 feet. Back in 2016, Chevrolet gave the Silverado a refresh that included a new design for the grille and slimmer headlights. The rest of the truck is mostly unchanged with flared-out fenders, integrated steps in the rear bumper to get into the bed easier, and a wide selection of wheels. Six trim choices—WT, LS, Custom, LT, LTZ, and High Country—each come with their own unique design touches to set them apart, such as acres of chrome trim and 20-inch wheels for the top-line High Country. The Custom trim becomes available for the crew cab and Cajun Red and Havana Metallic are new colors offered for 2018.
The Silverado’s interior was designed with the worksite in mind. This shows through in the design, as the dash features a logical layout of controls that are easy to find quickly. Also, the large buttons and knobs make it easy to change various settings even when wearing gloves. Materials and build quality are toward the top of the class, and all Silverado models get a complete gauge cluster including temperature gauges for the engine and transmission. Depending on the cab and trim, the Silverado can seat up to 6 people. Reviewers agree the double cab is best for short trips, due to its limited legroom. The crew cab is the better choice if you plan to carry passengers in the back on a regular basis. All cabs also have a lot of storage spaces, with deep door bins, dual glove boxes, and one of the deepest center consoles available.
A key change for 2018 is the base WT model getting a standard 7-inch touchscreen with Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system. The 7-inch system also comes standard on the LS. Custom, LT, and LTZ models come with an 8-inch system. Navigation is standard on the high-end High Country and optional for the LT and LTZ. MyLink is one of best infotainment systems in the class, thanks to quick responses to inputs, a simple interface, and physical buttons that jump to various functions. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration come standard on all trims. OnStar 4G LTE with a Wi-Fi hotspot makes the Silverado a perfect place to catch up on work or keep passengers entertained during long trips.
Chevrolet offers four engines for the 2018 Silverado 1500. The base engine for most trims is a 4.3-liter V6 with 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. Next is a 5.3-liter V8 offering up 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque that is standard on the LTZ and High Country, and optional on other trims. There is also a mild-hybrid system available for the 5.3 V8 known as eAssist. Previously available only for California, Chevrolet is expanding availability nationwide for the 2018 model year. The system pairs the V8 with a small electric motor and compact lithium-ion battery to provide a slight boost in fuel economy, stop-start, and regenerative braking. Topping the lineup is a 6.2-liter V8 providing 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. The 4.3 V6 and 5.3 V8 come paired with a 6-speed automatic. An 8-speed automatic can be paired to the 5.3 if you opt for the LTZ and High Country. The 6.2 V8 comes with an 8-speed automatic. All engines can be paired with either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or 4-wheel drive (4WD). EPA fuel-economy figures range from 15 mpg city/21 highway/17 combined for the 6.2 V8 with 4WD to 18/24/20 for the 4.3 V6 and 5.3 V8 eAssist with RWD.
Depending on how the Silverado 1500 is configured, it can tow up to 7,600 pounds with the V6, 11,000 pounds with the 5.3 V8, or 12,500 pounds with the 6.2 V8. That last figure tops the segment for crew cab trucks. It should be noted that the V8 tow figures are based on a truck equipped with the optional Max Trailering Package, which includes improved engine cooling, a beefy rear axle, heavy-duty rear springs, and an integrated trailer-brake controller. Chevrolet doesn’t list towing figures for the V8s when the Max Trailering Package is not optioned. Max payload ranges from 1,980 pounds for the V6 to 2,430 pounds for the 5.3 V8.
With all this capability, you would expect the Silverado 1500 to ride somewhat rough. But the Silverado provides a ride similar to a passenger car, as bumps and imperfections don’t enter the cabin. Be aware the max trailering package will make the ride somewhat bouncy due to stronger suspension parts being fitted to deal with the extra weight when pulling a trailer. Wind and road noise are nonexistent.
For safety, the Silverado comes with a full set of airbags, antilock brakes, traction and stability control, and the Teen Driver system, which allows a parent to set up a special key for younger drivers with limits on speed and radio volume. It will also give parents a report on their young driver’s recent trip, including whether the traction and stability control were activated. A reversing camera becomes standard across the board for 2018. GM’s OnStar telematics system is standard on all Silverados aside from the base WT and provides automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, stolen-vehicle location, and remote unlocking. Front and rear parking sensors, forward-collision warning with low-speed emergency braking, lane-departure warning and mitigation, and the Safety Alert Seat are optional. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded a 5-star overall rating to the Silverado 1500. In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) tests, the Silverado earned the best score of Good on most of them. The only test where the truck faltered was the moderate overlap front, where it earned the second lowest rating of Marginal.
Ask William Maley how he started as an automotive writer and he would say he just fell into it. Based in Michigan, William has driven vehicles of all sizes and shapes. His work has appeared on Autobytel, CARFAX, Cheers & Gears, and U.S. News Best Cars.
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