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2004 Chevrolet Silverado

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2004 Chevrolet Silverado Review

Powerful drivetrains and unique options.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2004 Chevrolet Silverado is looking more like its fellow family members, the Avalanche and Trailblazer, since it was refreshed in 2003. The Silverado is half-ton rated for regular-cab, extended cab, and Crew Cab models. There is a wide range of powertrains, including a 4.3-liter V-6, and a 4.8-liter, 5.3-liter, and six-liter V-8. Heavier-duty models have an option to be equipped with a Duramax diesel V-8 or a big-block, 8.1-liter gasoline V-8.

Base trucks now have black bodyside moldings, chrome bumpers, CD player, cruise control, and power locks. The Work Truck Package is available on all models except the Crew Cab for 2004. The 2500 and 2500 HD have a three-quarter-ton rating, while the 3500 has a one-ton rating. Increased levels of hauling and towing capability come with the higher numbered models whereas the lowest rated 1500 model offers editions not available in the others.

The Range

Body Styles: pickup truck
Engines: 4.3-liter V-6, 4.8-liter V-8, 5.3-liter V-8, 6.0-liter V-8, Duramax diesel V-8, 8.1-liter gasoline V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT, Chevrolet Silverado SS, Chevrolet Silverado Z71, Chevrolet Silverado 2500, Chevrolet Silverado 2500 LS, Chevrolet Silverado 2500 LT, Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD LS, Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD LT, Chevrolet Silverado 3500, Chevrolet Silverado 3500 LS, Chevrolet Silverado 3500 LT

What's New

The 2004 Chevrolet Silverado offers a lower-cost Work Truck package on regular and extended cabs. Cruise control, a sound system, and chrome rear bumper, and wheels are now included on the base model. The LS model now has an automatic transmission as standard fare, and it loses the option for a V-6. The passenger-side outside door lock has been deleted from the design. A tonneau cover is offered. Inside, there is now under-seat storage.


The 2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is offered in base, LS, an LT trim levels and in four variations, including the new Crew Cab, regular cab, and extended cab with either a 6.5-foot or eight-foot cargo bed. The Silverado offers a Work Truck package, as well as SS or Z71 package. Four wheel-bases from 119 to 157.5 inches are available. A Sportside design with flared rear fenders is offered, but Fleetside cargo beds are standard. Payloads of 1288 to 2123 pounds for the Silverado 1500 and 2789 to 3094 pounds for the Crew Cab models are the range. The Z71 edition of the 1500 is 4x4 and has gas shocks, specific stabilizer bars, off-road jounce bumpers, and special distinctive decals and skid plates.

The three-quarter-ton full-size Chevrolet Silverado 2500 is a step up from the lighter-duty 1500 and comes in base, LS, and LT trim levels. All models feature the slab-sided Fleetside cargo beds. New in 2004 is a short-box Crew Cab model. The Silverado 2500 front suspensions use torsion bars. If equipped with a weight-distributing hitch and sway control, it has a towing capacity of 10,700 pounds. It is offered in regular-cab and extended-cab body styles and is powered by the 300 horsepower, six-liter V-8. The regular cab version has an eight-foot cargo box, while the four-door extended-cab model has a 6.5-foot box. Wheelbases are 133 and 143.5 inches, respectively. Payloads up to 10,700 pounds are possible when the 2500 is equipped with a weight-distributing hitch and sway control.

The Silverado 2500HD is available in base, LS, and LT trims. It can be mounted on the buyer’s choice of five wheelbases and comes in regular, four-door extended, and four-door Crew Cab models. Fleetside cargo beds are available in long and short lengths. Bed lengths are either 6.5-foot or 8-foot. Payloads range from 3075 to 4047 pounds.

The one-ton version of the Silverado 3500 is available in base, LS, and LT trim levels. A Work Truck package is also available for the 3500. Body styles available are regular cab, four-door extended cab, four-door Crew Cab, and plain chassis cab with no cargo box. Fleetside cargo beds in long or short sizes are available on all. Payloads range from 4941 pounds up to 5559 pounds for the regular-cab long-box version. The Silverado HD with larger engines can actually tow trailers up to 12,000 pounds.


Regular-cabs have either bucket seats or a three-place bench seat. Extended-cab models have a three-place rear bench and either two buckets or a three-seat bench up front. Crew Cabs are outfitted for six occupants. Cloth, vinyl, and leather seat coverings are available. XM Satellite radio is an available option. The Z71 off-road package includes a cassette/CD stereo and remote keyless entry.

Performance & Handling

The 2004 Silverado 1500 is available with four engines: a 195-horsepower, 4.3-liter V-6 (standard); 285-hp, 4.8-liter V-8; 295-hp, 5.3-liter V-8; and a version of the 5.3-liter V-8 that can run on gasoline or E85 ethanol. The SS is equipped with a high-output, six-liter V-8 that delivers 345 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. All are paired with a four-speed automatic or five-speed-manual transmission. Insta-Trac and Autotrac four-wheel-drive systems are available. Insta-Trac permits shifting in and out of 4WD-High on the move while Autotrac sends all of the power to the rear wheels on smooth, dry pavement, and shifts it to the front as needed on wet, slippery surfaces. The Silverado 2500 is outfitted with a 300-hp, six-liter V-8 engine and mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. The Silverado 2500HD trucks are equipped with a standard six-liter, V-8 engine. For additional hauling power, an 8.1-liter, gasoline V-8 or a Duramax turbo-diesel V-8 can be installed. It is standard equipped with a five-speed manual transmission, but four- and five-speed automatics and a six-speed manual are available. For the Silverado 3500, the powertrain choices are similar to the three-quarter-ton 2500HD series and include a 300-hp, V-8 engine; a 330-hp, 8.1-liter, gasoline V-8; and a Duramax turbo-diesel V-8 that delivers 300 hp with a manual transmission 310 hp when paired with an automatic.


The 2004 Chevrolet Silverado is equipped with anti-lock brakes and child-restraint top-tether anchors standard. Dual front airbags include a passenger-sensing system.

EPA Fuel Economy

Chevrolet Silverado: 13/17 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet Silverado: 17/21 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Roomy extended cab models
  • Powerful V-8 engines
  • Innovative features

You Won't Like

  • Inferior materials inside the cabin
  • Questionable build quality

Sum Up

Powerful drivetrains and unique options.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Dodge Dakota
  • Dodge Ram
  • Ford F-150
  • Nissan Titan
  • Toyota Tundra

See the New 2014 Silverado.


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