2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4WD ZR2 Crew Cab
2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4WD ZR2 Crew Cab

The Chevrolet Silverado is a much-loved pickup and in fact is the second-best selling truck in the nation for 2022, second only to the Ford F-Series which retains the top spot for the 46th consecutive year. The Silverado can get the job done with several powerful engines and excellent towing and hauling capacity. However, the ride is firmer and the cabin isn’t as upscale as some rivals.

The Silverado got redesigned for the 2019 model year but the ride was stiffer and the interior lagged behind the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra. For 2023, the firm ride remains and the diesel engine gets more power.

There are nine(!) trims: Work Truck (WT), Custom, Custom Trail Boss, LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, ZR2, LTZ and High Country. Starting prices range from $35,600 for the WT to $70,100 for the ZR2.

Like most full-size pickups, the 2023 Silverado comes in a wide array of configurations so you can get the truck that’s right for you. There are four available engines, three cabs and three bed sizes. Rear-wheel drive is standard on most trims. Four-wheel drive is available on the trims with standard rear-wheel drive, and standard on some trims including the trail-oriented trims. Cab choices are a two-door regular cab, a four-door extended cab (double cab), and a four-door crew cab. Three bed sizes are available: 5’8”, 6’5” and 8’.

The four engines are a turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 310 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque; a 5.3-liter V8 engine that produces 355 hp and 383 pound-feet; a 6.2-liter V8 engine that cranks out 420 horses and 460 pound-feet; and a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel engine that generates 305 hp and 495 pound-feet. The four-cylinder engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic, while the other engines are paired with a 10-speed automatic.

My tester has the larger V8. Acceleration is lively and there’s plenty of smooth power for speeding up to merge or pass at freeway speeds. The 10-speed shifts smoothly and quickly. Body roll is kept under control when cornering. The steering is responsive, and the brakes are strong. The ride is firmer than rivals so you will notice bumps and rough roads. The Silverado handles like a smaller vehicle, which is nice especially in city traffic. I’d often forget I was behind the wheel of a full-size pickup.

Fuel economy is what you’d expect for a full-size pickup. EPA ratings for my tester with the larger V8 are 14 mpg city and 17 mpg highway with a combined rating of 15. I got 15 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.

The Silverado is capable for towing and hauling. Towing capacity ranges from 8,900 to 13,300 pounds and payload from 1520 to 2260 pounds, depending on the configuration.

Chevy says the Silverado has the most functional bed in the class with 12 standard tie-downs, and best-in-segment 89.1 cubic feet of cargo space. A power up/down tailgate is available. And the Multi-Flex tailgate is available on all trims and has six configurations including a standing workstation and step entry/exit mode to make it easy to get up in the bed.

Some trims are geared for off-roading. My ZR2 tester can easily venture off the beaten path with its four-wheel drive system, two-speed transfer case, electronic-locking front and rear differentials, off-road suspension, skid-plate package, 11.2 inches of ground clearance, 18-inch wheels and 33-inch all-terrain tires.

The updated cabin is much nicer than the outgoing model but still not as upscale as some rivals. My ZR2 trim only comes with a crew cab, and it’s very spacious with tons of passenger space in both rows. Seats are comfortable but not as supportive as what you’ll find in the F-150 or Ram 1500.  A large 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and huge 13.4-inch touchscreen dominate the dash.

 Standard features on the WT include push button start, remote start, rearview camera, vinyl seats, single-zone semi-automatic climate control, infotainment system with seven-inch touchscreen, two-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, two USB ports, and rubber floor liners.

Many features are standard or available on the upper trims including keyless open and start, remote start, surround view camera system, trailering view camera, bed view camera, head-up display, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, leather upholstery, wood trim, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, power driver’s seat, 10-way power driver seat, 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, infotainment system with 13.4-inch touchscreen and Google built-in compatibility, six-speaker audio system, Bose premium 7-speaker audio system, satellite radio, navigation, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, wireless phone charging, Wi-Fi, 120-volt cabin outlet, 120-volt bed outlet, LED headlights, and automatic windshield wipers.

Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, automatic high beam headlights, and following distance indicator.

Available driver assistance technologies include adaptive cruise control, trailer side blind zone warning, rear cross traffic braking, front and rear parking sensors, and rear pedestrian alert. Chevrolet’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system with trailering is available on the top High Country trim. Under proper conditions, Super Cruise allows for hands-free operation of the vehicle on more than 200,000 miles of compatible roads.

The infotainment system is user-friendly. The ginormous 13.4-inch touchscreen looks great and menus are logically arranged. The system responds quickly to touch and the Google-based voice recognition system works well. It’s easy to change the radio station or change climate settings with voice commands.

The good:

Available in a wide array of configurations

Capable for towing and hauling

Handles like a smaller vehicle

Upgraded interior

User-friendly infotainment system

Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

The not-so-good:

Firmer ride than rivals

Interior still not as upscale as some rivals

Pricing info:

My tester starts at $69,800. The Technology Package is $1,970 and includes a rear camera mirror, multicolor 15-inch head-up display, adaptive cruise control, and power rake and telescoping steering column. The hard tonneau cover is $1,250. The rocker guard is $1,195. Power sunroof is $995. The Multi-Flex tailgate is $445. There’s a $50 credit because this vehicle is not equipped with the steering column lock. Destination charge is $1,795 bringing the grand total to $77,400.

Bottom line:

The 2023 Chevrolet Silverado is capable whether you need a no-frills work truck or a higher-end vehicle for work, play and/or off-roading. While improvements have made the Silverado more competitive, it’s still not quite at the top of the segment due to a rougher ride and less upscale cabin.

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