2018 CHEVROLET SILVERADO 1500 REVIEW

It’s pretty easy to figure out why the Chevrolet Silverado is General Motors’ best-selling vehicle. Americans love pickups, so there’s that. But Chevy does its part by offering a huge range of Silverado configurations. It’s sold with three cab layouts, three bed sizes and three engine choices across six distinct trim levels. Whether you want a bare-bones work truck or a luxurious cruiser, there’s probably a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 for you.

A number of notable additions for 2018 further bolster the Silverado’s wide-ranging appeal. They were options last year, but a rearview camera and 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard on even the humble Work Truck trim. The eAssist package, which adds an engine stop-start system for improved fuel economy in city driving, is now available nationwide — the package was previously sold in a limited number of California dealerships.

The Silverado isn’t as new as the Nissan Titan, as light as the Ford F-150, or as comfortable as the Ram 1500. But Chevy’s bread and butter does most things well and should command a high spot on your shopping list of potential pickups.

what’s new

The rearview camera and a 7-inch touchscreen are now standard on the Silverado 1500. The mild-hybrid eAssist package (which turns off the engine when the vehicle is stopped) is now available nationwide and can be ordered in conjunction with the LT or LTZ trim. (It was LT-only last year.)

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The WT and LS trims are great for buyers planning on using this pickup as a simple gear hauler, but it’s best to skip those (and the Custom trim) and go straight to the LT if you’re looking for a few creature comforts. Cloth upholstery, a larger touchscreen, satellite radio and tailgate dampers are all standard on the LT, while two available packages add a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a rear window defogger, among other upgrades. The LT also opens the door to other options that you can’t get on lower trims, such as a navigation system and the city-friendly eAssist package.

trim levels & features

Like most full-size trucks, the 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is not only sold in a number of cab and bed configurations, a bevy of trims and options packages are also available.

The Silverado 1500 full-size pickup is available in three cab styles: the two-door regular cab, the four-door extended (Double) cab and the crew cab. The regular cab seats three and can be had with either a 6.5-foot-long standard bed or an 8-foot-long bed. The extended cab can seat up to six and comes only with the standard bed. The crew cab adds full-size rear doors and increased rear legroom and is available with the standard bed or a shorter 5-foot-8-inch bed. All cab and cargo bed configurations can be ordered with two- or four-wheel drive.

Regular cabs are limited to the Work Truck (WT), LS and LT trims. The extended cabs come in WT, LS, Custom, LT and LTZ trims, and the crew cab comes in all the aforementioned trim levels as well as the plush High Country. The off-road-oriented Z71 package can be ordered in LT and LTZ models with four-wheel drive.

The WT is powered by a 4.3-liter V6 engine (285 horsepower, 305 pound-feet of torque) matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. Its standard features list includes 17-inch steel wheels, xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, black front and rear bumpers, manually adjustable mirrors, a bed light, a rearview camera, air-conditioning, cruise control, power door locks, a tilt-only steering column, a driver information display, vinyl seating, vinyl floor covering and a 40/20/40-split front bench seat.

Standard technology includes a 7-inch touchscreen with Chevrolet’s MyLink interface, Bluetooth and a six-speaker audio system with a USB port, an auxiliary audio jack, and smartphone compatibility via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The standard equipment changes slightly depending on the cab configuration. Extended-cab models get a full-width folding rear bench, while crew cabs have a 60/40-split folding bench. Extended- and crew-cab models get power windows, while regular cabs get manually operated windows. Front tow hooks are standard with four-wheel-drive models.

The LS adds stainless-steel finish wheels (crew-cab models get alloys), chrome bumpers and grille, power and heated mirrors, deep-tinted glass, remote locking and unlocking, OnStar (with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi), and power windows for the regular cab.

The Silverado Custom is similar to the LS but receives special exterior trim, front tow hooks and 20-inch chrome wheels (Onstar and remote locking and unlocking are deleted but can be added back by selecting the Convenience package).

From the LS, stepping up to the LT adds a tailgate damper, alloy wheels, body-colored door handles and mirrors, cloth upholstery (with adjustable lumbar support for the driver), carpeting, vinyl floor mats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, an upgraded driver information display, and an 8-inch touchscreen with HD radio, satellite radio and a CD player. Double- and crew-cab models with front bucket seats also get a floor-mounted console with wireless phone charging.

Under the hood of the LTZ lies a 5.3-liter V8 engine (355 hp, 383 lb-ft) matched to either a six-speed or eight-speed automatic, depending on configuration. Its additional features include chrome exterior trim, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, LED foglights and taillights, a heavy-duty locking rear differential, front tow hooks, a seven-pin wiring harness connector, a trailer hitch, remote engine start, a security system, power-folding mirrors with puddle lamps, auto-dimming driver and rearview mirrors, a power-sliding rear window with defogger, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 110-volt power outlet, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, eight-way power driver and passenger front seats with heating and two-way power lumbar adjustment, and driver-seat memory settings.

The luxe High Country includes a unique grille, 20-inch chrome wheels, front and rear parking sensors, chrome side step rails, cargo box tie-downs, a spray-on bedliner, a trailer brake controller, a heated steering wheel, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, a navigation system, ventilated front bucket seats with four-way power lumbar adjustment, power-adjustable pedals, carpeted floor mats, wireless phone charging and the contents of the Enhanced Driver Alert package (see below).

The Z71 package, which is available for the LT or LTZ with 4WD, features 18-inch wheels and off-road-oriented hardware such as special shock absorbers, a heavy-duty air cleaner, hill descent control, underbody shields, recovery hooks, and a few unique exterior and interior styling tweaks.

Many of the features on the upper trim levels are offered on the lower ones as packages or stand-alone options. Other available features, depending on the trim level and configuration, include various axle ratios, off-road-oriented tires, larger wheels, tow mirrors, power-retractable side step rails, a power sunroof, LED cargo box light and a rear-seat entertainment system with a DVD/Blu-ray player. Notably, the Max Trailering package features an integrated trailer brake controller, heavier-duty suspension calibration and a higher-capacity radiator. For the ultimate hot-rod Silverado, a 6.2-liter V8 engine mated to an eight-speed auto is available on LTZ and High Country trims, producing a stonking 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque.

Another key option group is the Enhanced Driver Alert package, optional on the LT and LTZ and standard on the High Country. It includes a lane departure warning and prevention system, automatic high-beam control, forward collision warning with low-speed emergency braking, a safety alert seat, and front and rear parking sensors.

There are also the All Star Edition and Texas Edition options packages, whose highlights (depending on the package) include 20-inch wheels, one of the available towing groups, remote starting, a power driver seat and, of course, unique badging. Choosing an LT crew-cab model with the All Star Edition or LTZ crew cab with the Sport package opens the gate to the eAssist package. It adds a fuel-saving engine stop-start feature with an electric motor charged by regenerative brakes. Also included is the 5.3-liter V8, an eight-speed automatic transmission, a tonneau cover and LED cargo box lights.

Several styling packages are available, depending on body style and trim level. These include the Special Ops, Realtree, Midnight, Rally 1, Rally 2 and Centennial Edition packages.

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