2012 Chevrolet Silverado

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2012 Chevrolet Silverado Review

Still a strong contender in hot segment

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview
Mechanically, the Chevrolet Silverado enters the new model year intact. Chevrolet instead refreshes the front grille and bumper, updates the GPS/navigation system from CD-based maps to hard disc, and offers several appearance packages one of which, the Custom Sport Truck package, celebrates Chevy trucks' 45th anniversary. Several new exterior and interior color combinations are now available. Dealer-installed options now include Wi-Fi system by Autonet which allows Internet access up to 150 feet around the 2012 Chevy Silverado.

Towing and payload continue to be best-in-class at the time of this article, with the Chevrolet Silverado able to perform towing at 23,000 pounds at one-ton fifth wheel; conventional towing at 18,000 pounds, and payload capacity at 7215 pounds. StabiliTrak now includes Trailer sway control and Hill Start Assist.

The Range

Body style: Pickup
Engines: 4.3-liter V-6, 4.8-liter V-8, 5.3-liter V-8, 6.0-liter V-8, 6.2-liter V-8, 6.6-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, six-speed automatic
Models: Chevrolet Silverado WT, Chevrolet Silverado LT, Chevrolet Silverado LTZ, Chevrolet Silverado LTZ, Chevrolet Silverado XFE, Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid

What's New

Besides the updated GPS navigation system, the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado gets two new appearance packages. The White Diamond Edition, offered on the 2012 Chevy Silverado LT and LTZ models, adds exclusive White Diamond Tricoat exterior paint, and chrome mirror caps and door handles. LT models get body side moldings with chrome accents while the LTZ version adds the Z60 high-performance suspension package, touring tires, 20-inch chrome wheels, and chrome tow hook and exhaust tip. The Custom Sport Truck, harkening back to the original 1967 truck, includes 5.3-liter V-8, heavy-duty towing package, 20-inch wheels, chrome door handles, and EZ-lift locking tailgate. Chevrolet throws in four new exterior color choices -- Silver Ice Metallic, Mocha Steel Metallic, Carbon Flash Metallic, and Graystone -- as well as two new interior color combos: Dark Titanium/Light Titanium and Dark Cashmere/Light Cashmere.

The Z71 Off-Road Appearance package is still available for properly equipped LT and LTZ extended and crew cab models. 2012 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ models can now be optioned with heated/cooled front seats. 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 models now come standard with cruise control and a spare tire lock.

Exterior

There are no major exterior or interior styling changes to the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado. Chevy Silverado LS and LT models now have a chrome surround to match the new chrome mesh grille, silver-painted lower bumper, and new 20-inch chrome wheels. 2012 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ models continue to use a body-color surround around their grilles. Four new exterior colors -- Silver Ice Metallic, Mocha Steel Metallic, Carbon Flash Metallic, and Graystone -- are available with two new appearance packages offering different looks and combinations.

The Z71 Off-Road Appearance package remains available for the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado and includes a host of features including Rancho front and rear shocks, 18-inch wheels with on/off-road tires, fog lights, and bold Z71 graphic. Note the Z71 Off-Road Appearance package is only available on LT and LTZ extended cab and crew cab models equipped with the Z71 suspension.

Interior

There are no notable changes in the Chevrolet Silverado's interior, which continue to be very utilitarian especially in the Chevy Silverado WT model. Chevrolet now offers two new interior color combinations -- Dark Titanium/Light Titanium and Dark Cashmere/Light Cashmere -- for the model year. Optional heated and cooled seats are now available on LTZ models while all 2012 Chevy Silverado 1500 models come standard with cruise control and a spare tire lock.

Performance & Handling

The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado drives like a smaller truck, much of this due to its box frame, additional crossmembers, and redesigned suspension from 2011. All these changes make the 2012 Chevy Silverado easier to drive straight, navigate turns, and more livable on a daily basis compared to the competition. Cabin noise is well-muted for this segment and the seats are comfortable. Brakes continue to feel a little mushy but they are strong. In properly equipped Chevrolet Silverado 1500 models, the Cruise Grade Braking feature in the transmission uses the engine to assist in braking which reduces brake wear.

Safety

All 2012 Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks come equipped with anti-lock brakes, standard dual front, head curtain side impact, and seat-mounted side impact airbags. StabiliTrak stability control now includes Trailer sway control, which keeps the Silverado and trailer on the straight and narrow, and Hill Start Assist, which prevents any roll-backs when going up a hill or any other incline. Other safety features include optional rear-parking assist (which uses ultrasonic waves to sense vehicles nearby and behind the Silverado), and OnStar, which can call for help if there's an emergency.

EPA Fuel Economy

Chevrolet Silverado WT: 15 mpg city / 20 mpg highway
Chevrolet Silverado LS: 15 mpg city / 20 mpg highway
Chevrolet Silverado LT: 14 mpg city / 19 mpg highway
Chevrolet Silverado LTZ: 15 mpg city / 21 mpg highway
Chevrolet Silverado XFE: 15 mpg city / 22 mpg highway
Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid: 20 mpg city / 23 mpg highway
Chevrolet Silverado HD: N/A

You'll Like

  • Towing power
  • Comfortable drive

You Won't Like

  • Bland interior
  • Lack on cabin storage

Sum Up

Still a strong contender in hot segment

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Ford F-Series
  • Ram 1500/2500 HD

See the New 2014 Silverado.

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