The 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is a strong competitor in the full-size pickup truck category. Redesigned last year, the Silverado is available in three body styles, with three bed choices and seven trim levels available.
The 2015 Chevrolet Silverado is a full-size pickup truck that offers standard 4×2 and available 4×4 configurations, as well as three body styles, three bed choices and a family of three gasoline engines.
While the Ford F-150 makes the move to aluminum, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 retains its traditional high-strength steel body. That decision hasn’t hurt the Chevrolet as its own naturally aspirated V6 model matches the base Ford F-150’s fuel economy.
Standard models are marked by black trim around the grille and on the side mirror caps. Upgraded models bring in color-coordinated side mirrors or chrome trim, as well as chrome around the grille. The grille is massive and flanked by stacked headlamps. Chrome bumpers and fog lights are available. Daytime running lights are standard.
The Silverado has an enormous hood, strong shoulders, slab sides and a lift and drop tailgate. All models come with rear side step bumpers. Spray-on bed liner is available and a bed light is standard. All-season tires are standard; wheel choices begin at 17 inches and include steel, chrome or alloy finishes.
The Chevrolet Silverado seats three, five or six people. Cabins are roomy, particularly in the front seat. Standard models make use of a lot of plastic and soft-touch materials across the dashboard, around the instrument panel and center stack and on the doors.
The Double Cab model has traditional front-hinged doors, unlike the F-150 with its rear-hinged doors requiring the front doors to be open to gain access to the rear compartment. Rear seating room in the Double Cab is cramped and the seat offers thin support. Crew cab models are roomy and comfortable in both rows.
Up front are two cloth-covered bucket seats with a middle storage compartment, which can be converted into a seat when folded. That seat is small and might serve someone who is equally short. Upper trim levels upgrade the storage compartment to a full console.
The instrument panel features a six-analog display with large tachometer and speedometer readouts. Battery, radiator, fuel and oil gauges are positioned on top of the panel. A digital driver’s information center is in the center.
The center stack features a standard and tiny 4.2-inch display; an 8-inch color display is available and much easier to view and use. Knobs and buttons below the display control the audio and climate control systems. At the base of the stack are switches to deactivate traction control and for activating the bed light. A 12-volt outlet is also present.
Other notable interior features include two USB ports, a second 12-volt outlet and an auxiliary input in the middle storage compartment. This truck comes with a two-tier glove box, in-door drink holders and storage, an overhead sunglasses compartment, reading lights and three cup holders.
Buyers choosing the 4×4 model will find those controls to the left of the steering wheel and located on the lower dashboard. Those controls manage both off-roading and trailering.
The current (or third-generation) Silverado brings in the third generation of its engine line, dubbed EcoTec3. All three engines are outfitted with direct fuel injection, variable valve lift technology and cylinder deactivation.
The base engine is a 4.3-liter V6 rated at 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. This engine, previously available on the base truck only, receives a 50 percent power boost from the previous 195 horsepower. Chevrolet pairs the engine with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The smaller of the two V8s is a 5.3-liter engine making 355 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. It also comes paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The larger engine, displacing 6.2 liters, is rated at 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. It comes paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Fuel economy for the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado is 18/24 mpg city/highway with the V6 engine; 16/23 mpg city/highway for the 5.3-liter V8; and 15/21 mpg city/highway for the larger V8 engine.
As tested, a Silverado 1500 Double Cab 4×2 equipped with the 5.3-liter V8 was delivered. It provides the best combination of power and efficiency among the three engines. Payload capacity is outstanding, measuring 2,260 pounds in the Double Cab 4×2. With its 3.23 rear axle, this truck pulls up to 9,500 pounds, which is nearly 4,000 pounds more than trucks with the 3.42 rear axle. The trailering package raises towing capacity to 11,200 pounds.
The test model performed with passion — it offers excellent off-the-mark acceleration and keeps delivering all the way up to highway speed with the transmission shifting smoothly. Handling and braking are as you expect with a pickup truck — nothing spectacular, but it gets the job done.
Base Silverados come equipped with OnStar, General Motors’ subscription-based telematics system that provides turn-by-turn navigation, automatic crash response and hands-free calling. You also get 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hot spot capabilities.
Silverados equipped with the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system gain access to one of the more useful touch screens in the industry. The colorful touch-screen display features apps to access radio stations, media and Bluetooth, the latter making it possible to connect up to 10 devices wirelessly.
You can easily pair your devices and stream your audio. Drivers with iPhones can use the included Siri Eyes Free to compose messages verbally without looking at the screen.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not conducted full testing for the third-generation Chevrolet Silverado 1500. However, in moderate overlap front testing, the IIHS assigned the 2015 Silverado with its highest Good score.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado an overall 5-star crash test rating, which is its highest score.
All models come equipped with a suite of air bags, stability control, traction control and daytime running lights. Lane departure warning and a backup camera are available.
Pricing for the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado starts at just under $27,000 and can run as much as double that price for a fully optioned, top-of-the-line 4×4 model with every package and accessory taken.
Well-equipped regular cabs run from roughly $30,000 to $35,000 when choosing a 4×4. Discounting can shave several thousand dollars off the sticker price of nearly any Silverado truck.
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and its twin, the GMC Sierra 1500, remain strong competitors in the full-size truck segment. The Ford F-150 may have the sales leadership and the aluminum body, but GM’s trucks should be given due consideration when shopping in this segment.