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2011 Chevrolet Silverado Review

July 14, 2018
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2011 Chevrolet Silverado Review

When consumers started to buy extended cab and crew cab pickups instead of cars and SUVs, the Detroit Three accelerated development of the trucks. They were updated nearly as often as midsize sedans.

General Motors pulled the Chevrolet Silverado ahead by a model year, launching it as a 2007 in summer ’06. At the time, Silverado was arguably best in class by capability, refinement and interior quality. The aggressive update backfired when the 2008 oil shock and subsequent financial crisis hit. Management at first delayed development of its replacement, but that now appears to be back on track for a ’13 model year launch, placing this model in the penultimate year of its lifecycle.

The current GMT900-platform Silverado remains competitive, if not best in class. Maximum trailer capacity is 10,700 pounds. If you opt for the economical two-mode hybrid version, that number drops to a still-capable 6,200 pounds. And of course, like the competition, the Silverado is offered in a wide array of trim levels, cabin configurations and powertrain choices.

Bodystyles: Truck
Engines: 4.3L V-6, 4.8L V-8, 5.3L V-8 (2), 6.2L V-8, 6.0L V-8 with electric motors
Transmissions: Six-speed automatic, four-speed automatic
Models: WT, LS, LT, LTZ, XFE.

While heavy-duty versions are all new, the Silverado 1500 enters its fifth model year with minor changes. It benefits from wind noise enhancements, and also gets the ninth generation of OnStar. Steel Green Metallic replaces Carbon Flash Metallic as an exterior color. And there are two new special model and promotional exterior paint colors, Victory Red and Magna Steel Metallic.

The LT trim level comes with chrome bumpers standard, while the LTZ uses body-color front bumpers. The Z71 off-road package features unique body side identification, and gets the Victory Red color listed in “What’s New.”

WT, LS and LT get a “pure pickup” interior with larger controls and door handles and a double glovebox. LTZ gets its own instrument panel, larger center console, heated leather front seats and Bose audio.

The Silverado’s Z83 suspension features monotube front and twin-tube rear shocks. Z85 is tuned for enhanced handling and trailer towing. The Z71 offroader has specific monotube shocks. The Z60 street package has 20-inch wheels. NHT is for maximum towing, with monotube rear shocks, off-road tires on 17-inch wheels and high-capacity rear springs. The XFE includes aerodynamic enhancements for optimum fuel economy.

StabiliTrak with rollover mitigation, roof-mounted rollover-capable head curtain airbags and safety belt pretensioners are standard. Remote vehicle starting, Autotrac active transfer case, Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist, a rearview camera and tire pressure monitoring are options.

WT, LT, LTZ regular cab, 4.3L 2WD: 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway
WT, LT, LTZ regular cab, 4.3L 4WD: 14 mpg city/18 mpg highway
WT, LT, LTZ regular cab, 4.8L 2WD: 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway
WT, LT, LTZ regular cab, 4.8L 4WD: 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway
WT, LT,

  • Work truck capability
  • Interior quality
  • Torquey V-8s
  • Configuration variety
  • Hybrid economy
  • Aging design
  • Confusing trim levels
  • Hybrid sticker price

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