NEW FOR 2013:

– Powertrain grade braking now included in all six-speed automatic transmissions.
– Paint changes: Deep Ruby Metallic and Blue Topaz Metallic.

Chevy’s full-size pickup carries on unchanged until the completely redesigned 2014 models bow, save for the addition of a transmission update that adds powertrain grade braking, a useful towing tool designed to save brake wear. This is the oldest pickup among the big three domestic competitors, the Ram 1500 and Ford F-150. Still, it’s got the kind of variety in powertrains and body configurations to keep it competitive in the truck segment, if not class-leading. An economy-minded XFE model, offered in 2WD Crew Cab trim, boasts an impressive highway fuel consumption rating (for a truck).

Did you know Chevrolet still sold the Silverado Hybrid? We didn’t, but can you blame us? This high-tech truck isn’t exactly a big seller. Its advanced powertrain is efficient and works well, but we worry about what it might be like to own out of warranty. The Hybrid drivetrain can only be had in a Crew Cab body, in a choice of 2WD or 4WD. Frankly, we’re surprised this truck doesn’t sell more, considering that hybrid tech is in vogue right now; do doubt the high price turns off buyers, many of whom use trucks for work and can write off fuel expenses anyway.

The Silverado HD (heavy-duty) 2500 and 3500 models are covered in a separate section.

Engine choices in the 1500 are a 4.3-litre V6 or 4.8-litre V8 with four-speed automatic, and 5.3-litre V8 and 6.2-litre V8, both with six-speed automatic. The Hybrid uses a 6.0-litre V8 with Active Fuel Management and Auto Stop mode, regenerative braking, and a two-mode continuous electric ratio hybrid transmission, for a fuel economy improvement of up to 32 per cent when compared to a conventional Silverado. The system can launch the truck on battery power and run solely on electricity at speeds of up to 48 km/h, and keeps the engine in its fuel-saving Active Fuel Management mode for longer periods of time.

Features on the WT (Work Truck) include 17-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, manual black mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, overhead console, rubberized vinyl floor covering, standard instrument panel with upper and lower glove boxes, tire pressure monitoring system, driver information centre, tilt steering wheel, 40/20/40 front bench seat with cloth or vinyl trim, centre fold-down armrest, AM/FM stereo, automatic headlamps, and OnStar.

The LT adds 17-inch chrome-style wheels, chrome grille surround, front chrome bumper with body-colour top cap, privacy glass, compass, exterior temperature display, heated power mirrors, keyless entry, cloth 40/20/40 split-bench seat with fold-down centre armrest, power windows, cruise control, carpet floor with vinyl mats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input.

The LTZ adds 18-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, heavy-duty trailering equipment, fog lights, locking differential, remote starter, premium instrument panel, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, upgraded driver information centre, power-folding mirrors with integrated turn signals, auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth connectivity, electric rear window defogger, XM satellite radio, USB port, Bose premium sound system, and heated leather seats with driver’s side memory.

The Hybrid comes as a Crew Cab only. It is equipped similarly to the LT but adds 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, locking rear differential, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, XM satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity.

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