NEW FOR 2009:

– New Silverado Hybrid model
– Six-speed automatic transmission with 5.3-, 6.0- and 6.2-litre engines
– More powerful, E85-capable 6.2-litre V8 available on 1500 Crew Cab
– Vehicle stability enhancement system standard on 2500HD with single rear wheels
– New 18- and 20-inch chrome-clad wheel designs
– Available OnStar 8.0 with Turn by Turn Navigation and Destination Download, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, rearview camera system, and NavTraffic feature on XM satellite radios
– Exterior colours: Black Granite Metallic and Imperial Blue Metallic added

For 2009, the big news for the Chevrolet Silverado is the introduction of a two-mode hybrid model, which provides up to a 32 per cent fuel economy improvement in city driving when compared to a conventional hybrid. Regular Silverado models benefit from a new six-speed transmission on select engines.

Depending on the configuration and options chosen, the Silverado 1500 comes with a choice of 4.3-litre V6 or 4.8-litre V8, with four-speed automatic transmissions, or 5.3-litre V8, 6.0-litre V8 or 6.2-litre V8, with six-speed automatics. The 5.3- and 6.0-litre use Active Fuel Management, which shuts off half the cylinders under light load for improved fuel economy. The 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty models use a 6.0-litre V8 gasoline engine or 6.6-litre V8 diesel, both with six-speed automatics.

The Hybrid uses a 6.0-litre V8 with Active Fuel Management, regenerative braking and auto stop mode, mated to an electrically variable transmission (EVT) and 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System (ESS). The Hybrid is able to launch and drive up to 48 km/h on electricity alone, and the system allows the V8 engine to run in its more economical four-cylinder mode for longer periods.

The 1500 is available in Regular, Extended and Crew Cab configuration, with short box (5-foot-8), standard (6-foot-6) and long (8-foot). Trim levels are the WT, LS (in Crew Cab only), LT and LTZ, and in two- or four-wheel drive.

Features on the WT 1500 include 17-inch painted steel wheels, manual mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, overhead console, vinyl floor covering, standard instrument panel with dual glove boxes, driver information centre, tilt column, 40/20/40 split-bench front seat, AM/FM stereo with auxiliary input, and OnStar. Extended and Crew Cab models include air conditioning and a manual-drop rear window.

The LT adds 17-inch chromed steel wheels, air conditioning, privacy glass, chrome grille surround, heated power mirrors, cruise control, carpeting with vinyl floor mats, leather-wrapped wheel, power windows with driver’s express-down, CD/MP3 stereo, and power locks with keyless entry. Extended and Crew Cab models have a power-drop rear window.

The LTZ adds 18-inch chrome-clad alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, locking rear differential, remote starter, trailer tow package, fog lights, power-folding heated mirrors with driver’s side auto-dimming, reverse tilt and integrated turn signals, heated washer fluid system, electric rear defogger, premium instrument panel with single glovebox, auto-dimming rearview mirror, enhanced driver information centre, wheel-mounted audio controls, driver and passenger express-down windows, garage door opener, heated leather seats with ten-way driver and passenger power adjustment, Bose premium sound system, XM satellite radio, and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity.

Also sold as the GMC Sierra, the Silverado goes from work truck to luxury liner, and offers a hybrid that promises up to 800 km from a tank of fuel. Features such as GM’s best-ever truck interior, a fully-boxed frame and strong engines makes the Silverado viable against new offerings from competitors such as Ford and Dodge.

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