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Chevrolet Silverado

Chevy pickup-truck torch bearer.

HYBRID

With the demise of the Colorado, the Silverado is left to carry the pickup-truck torch for Chevy, a job for which it is supremely qualified. Like most modern pickups, the Silverado is infinitely customizable. There are three cab styles and three bed sizes measuring up to eight feet long. The Silverado has five engines to choose from — more than any of its competitors — ranging from a 195-hp V-6 to a 403-hp, 6.2-liter V-8. The midlevel 5.3-liter V-8 (offered with an iron or aluminum block) gets Active Fuel Management, which improves fuel economy by shutting down four of eight cylinders when the engine is under light loads. For those who want to save even more at the pump and don’t need to tow more than 5900 pounds, the Silverado Hybrid has V-8 power and achieves 20 mpg in the city and 23 on the highway. Inside, the accommodations are decent but fairly basic and can be upgraded slightly by choosing the top LTZ model. It includes a unique instrument panel and door panels, heated ten-way-power front leather seats, and Bose speakers. Still, if you put an emphasis on interior style or refinement, you might want to look at the Ram or even the Ford F-150. On the other hand, if capability takes precedent, the Silverado will not disappoint.

COMPETITORS

Ford F-150

GMC Sierra

Nissan Titan

Ram 1500

new for 2013

Models with the six-speed automatic transmission — fitted to all but the 4.3-liter V-6 — now have powertrain grade braking. On downhill grades, the transmission downshifts to lessen the need for long braking applications and to reduce rotor strain. Ruby red metallic and blue topaz metallic exterior colors have been added for 2013.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, and side curtain air bags are standard for the front seats. Stability and traction control are standard and include an electronic trailer-sway control system and hill-start assist. ABS and tire-pressure monitoring are also standard. A backup camera and an integrated trailer-brake controller are optional.

MPG

CITY 13–20

HWY 18–23

PRO

Standard trailer-sway control

Six-speed transmission optional on V-6

CON

Interior is a step below the competition’s

Base Price Range: $22,595–$40,885

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Rear-wheel, 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: WT, LS, LT, LTZ, XFE, Hybrid

BODY STYLE: Pickup, 2- to 6-passenger

ENGINES: 4.3L V-6, 195 hp, 260 lb-ft (E85 capable)

4.8L V-8, 302 hp, 305 lb-ft (E85 capable)

5.3L V-8, 315 hp, 335 lb-ft (iron or aluminum block; E85 capable)

6.0L V-8/electric hybrid, 332 hp, 367 lb-ft

6.2L V-8, 403 hp, 417 lb-ft (E85 capable)

TRANSMISSIONS: 4- or 6-speed automatic, continuously variable

CAPACITIES: Towing 5900–10,700 lb; payload 1519–1980 lb

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