2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Review
  • Car Review

2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Review

By Autolist Editorial | December 2, 2020

Quick Facts:

Pros:

  • Impressive powertrain options.
  • Bed features are very functional.
  • Fuel-efficient diesel engine available.

Cons:

  • Seats could be more comfortable for lower trims.
  • Safety ratings need improvement.
  • Fewer luxury options than on some rivals.

Would we buy one? We would consider it after looking at the rival Ford and Ram models.

Vehicle Type: A full-size pickup truck with two or four doors and seating for up to six people.

Price Range: From $29,895 MSRP to $54,895 MSRP, including a $1,595 destination charge.

Powertrain: A 4.3-liter V6 with 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque is standard with the base Work Truck trim.

A 2.7-liter turbo four-cylinder with 310 horsepower and 348 lb-ft of torque.

A 3.0-liter Duramax six-cylinder turbodiesel engine with 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque.

A 5.3-liter turbo V8 with 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque.

A 6.2-liter V8 engine with 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque.

Depending on the trim level and powertrain configuration chosen, three drivetrains are available. A 6-speed automatic transmission, an 8-speed automatic transmission, and a 10-speed automatic transmission with rear-wheel drive standard and four-wheel drive optional.

Competitors: Ram 1500, Nissan Titan, Toyota Tundra, GMC Sierra, Ford F-150.

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Overall Score: 7.4/10

Safety Features: 7/10

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the Silverado 1500 four out of five stars in overall crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2021 Silverado the highest Good rating in all crash-test categories except for the Small Overlap Front Passenger's Side test, where it scored Marginal, the second-lowest rating. Crash prevention was rated Superior, the highest possible score, when equipped with the optional automatic emergency braking.

The 2021 Chevy Silverado adds standard forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking for all models, rather than options on selected models. The high-tier LTZ and High Country trims have an available advanced safety package that includes adaptive cruise control, automatic high beam assist, lane departure warning, and lane-keep assist.


Value: 8/10

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The 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 offers numerous models and many optional upgrades and packages. Different cab and bed configurations make the Silverado 1500 fully customizable to individual preferences. From the entry-level Silverado 1500 Work Truck to the most expensive High Country, pricing is competitive for the class.

The mid-tier LT and RST trim levels that start around $40,000 are likely to appeal to more consumers than the WT base trim, but the base trim is excellent for a daily work truck. The slightly more expensive Silverado 1500 Custom Trail Boss comes with improved suspension for a better ride, plus features like remote start and the EZ-Lift lock and release tailgate.


Tech Features: 8/10

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The Silverado can be equipped with several trailering assist technologies like a camera-based guidance system that includes a rear trailer view, a trailer angle indicator, and a jack-knife alert to avoid a crash. The trailer length indicator is also handy because it provides a view of the trailer being towed with an overlay to avoid traffic in other lanes.

The Silverado has GM's Onstar telematics system with emergency calling and available concierge services. A 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard on the WT trim. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity come with the LTZ and High Country trims and are available for mid-tier models. More features like an 8-inch touchscreen and a Bose audio system are available.


Practicality: 8/10

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There are three cab styles and three bed lengths for the 2021 Silverado 1500. They are the Regular Cab with an 8-foot bed, the Double Cab (extended cab) with a 6.6-foot bed, and the four-door Crew Cab with a 5.75-foot bed. Rear and front seats have good legroom as well as headroom when four people are seated. However, the cabin is less roomy for six adults with the front bench seat standard on some models.

The Silverado 1500 has a maximum tow capacity of up to 13,300 pounds when properly equipped with the 6.2-liter V8 engine. The optional Multi-flex tailgate can be configured to open for better access to the bed or act as a bed extender for longer items.


Styling & Design: 7/10

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The several different trim levels and optional packages give the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 different exterior trim and styling. Base models use more black plastic than uplevel models with more chrome and larger wheels, while the RST has a sportier gloss-black trim appearance package.

The interior is relatively bare-bones with hard plastics and vinyl surface materials in the base Work Truck. High-end versions such as the LTZ and High Country offer more luxury-oriented touches like a heated steering wheel, perforated leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, and heated front seats.


Driving Experience: 7/10

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The Silverado's driving experience is very dependent on which engine is under the hood. Still, the base gasoline V6 and smaller 2.7-liter turbo four-cylinder engines should satisfy daily driver needs and work truck duties. The turbodiesel V6 offers more passing power once underway, despite its relatively low horsepower rating, but it's competitive with the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 with their respective diesel options. Most buyers, however, will be best served by either the 5.3-liter or 6.2-liter V8s.

The Z71 Off-Road Package adds some performance and comes standard on the Custom Trail Boss and LT Trail Boss. The package includes auto-locking rear differentials, skid plates, and a 2-inch suspension lift. However, the Ram 1500 TRX offers a beefy powertrain and better off-road performance than the Silverado 1500.


Fuel Efficiency: 7/10

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While there are many powertrains to choose from, most of them are underwhelming in fuel economy, except the 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine that gets commendable gas mileage. However, the Ram 1500 offers its 5.7-liter V8 with a mild-hybrid system for better efficiency, and the new 2021 Ford F-150 gas-electric hybrid is the only full hybrid among full-size pickup trucks for even greater efficiency.

The 4.3-liter engine with rear-wheel-drive (RWD) gets 16/21/18 MPG city/highway/combined, and the four-wheel-drive (4WD) with the same powertrain gets 15/20/17 MPG city/highway/combined according to the EPA. The 5.3-liter RWD gets 15/21/17 MPG, and the 4WD with the same powertrain is rated at 16/22/18 MPG. For the 2.7-liter RWD, expect 20/23/21 MPG, and the 3.0-liter engine RWD gets 23/33/27 MPG and 22/26/29 MPG with 4WD. The 6.2-liter 4WD is estimated to return 16/21/18 MPG city/highway/combined.


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