When it comes to 1/2-ton pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is the sleekest and most modern-looking on the market. The drivetrain and technology continue that theme with an available high-efficiency turbocharged engine, large digital displays, and up-to-date safety and connectivity tech.
Four different engines are available on the Silverado 1500, including a 3.0-liter 6-cylinder diesel, a 5.3-liter V8, and a 6.2-liter V8. But the truck we tested had the 4-cylinder turbo engine, which is surprisingly robust and efficient. This 2.7-liter engine manages to output 310 horsepower and 348 lb-ft. of torque, about 10% less than the small V8, but a fuel economy bump of 3 mpg. We averaged about 18 mpg on a mix of highway and local roads. With gas prices the way they are these days, every little bit helps.
Working in concert with an 8-speed automatic transmission, the pickup offers plenty of power, and its independent front suspension helps provide a smooth and comfortable ride that does a good job absorbing bumps and vibrations. We were also impressed with how quiet the cabin is and how well it insulates from road and wind noise.
You can choose from five drive modes: Normal, Sport, Off-Road, Terrain, and Tow/Haul, which tweak acceleration, steering, and traction control for specific driving conditions. Since we didn't get to do any off-roading, we spent most of our time in Normal and Sport modes, with the latter providing a more satisfying throttle mapping that waits longer to upshift. A single-speed transfer case comes standard on the 4WD model, which lets you switch between RWD, 4WD Auto, 4WD Hi, and Terrain modes.
In the 4WD Crew Cab configuration, the Turbo 6 provides an impressive 9,000 pounds of towing capacity, just 500 shy of the 5.3-liter V8. Our truck came equipped with a trailer brake controller, a hitch-view camera, and Chevy's trailering app on the center stack display. This app can track trailer mileage, perform electrical and lighting diagnostics, provide maintenance reminders, monitor trailer tire pressure, and provide a pre-flight checklist to ensure you don't miss anything when connecting a trailer.
One of our favorite features on Chevrolet trucks is the Multiflex tailgate. This innovative tailgate provides a bar-height work surface, a stop to keep long items from sliding out, and converts into a full-width step for easy cargo bed access. There's also a deployable handle to give you something to hold onto as you climb up into the bed. This is in addition to the bumper foot cutouts, which provide additional access points for getting up to bed height. Chevy offers the Crew Cab model with either a standard 6-foot, 7-inch bed or a 5-foot, 10-inch short bed. There's also a 120-volt power outlet in the bed, LED lighting, and a bed-view camera is available as an option.
The LT trim doesn't have the fanciest materials, but Chevy offers higher-end models like the LTZ and High Country if you want a more premium look. The interior of the Silverado LT has a pretty basic, practical design, with cloth bench seats and a mix of plastics and soft-touch materials on the dash and center console. Leather-trimmed seats are available as an upgrade. You'll notice that the center console doesn't extend to the floor, and that's because the armrest and cupholders flip up to become the back of a center jump seat, increasing the seating capacity of the Crew Cab to six. There's also a flip-up storage bin under the center seat. Dual-zone climate control and heated seats come standard on LT models too.
There's an ample display of technology here, including a 12.3" digital instrument panel and a 13.4" ultra-wide touchscreen for controlling the infotainment system. This premium system features built-in Google Maps navigation and offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Both the front and back rows have USB and USB-C charging ports. Safety tech includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, lane-keep assist, automatic high-beam headlights, and a crisp, high-definition backup camera.
The back bench seat has plenty of legroom and headroom for adults and can also flip up in a 60/40 split to provide access to the load floor and transport oversized items you don't want to carry in the bed. There's also a small storage area under each seat - an ideal place to store emergency equipment and supplies.
The Silverado 1500 LT Crew Cab offers all the people and cargo-hauling utility you expect from a full-size pickup truck, along with a smooth, comfortable, and quiet ride. The turbo-4 engine offers good accelration and better-than-average fuel efficiency without sacrificing capability. We like this truck's modern and un-fussy design, which is more sporty than rugged. The base price for the 2022 Silverado 1500 Crew LT 4WD is $48,300. Our test truck had a total sticker price of $52,670, including the destination charge.