By KBB.com Editors
The Ford F-150 may hold the title of best selling individual pickup in the country, but when you combine the sales of the Chevrolet Silverado with the nearly-identical GMC Sierra, it's a different story. The General Motors pickups outsell the Ford handily and also outsell all the import label pickup trucks combined. After undergoing a complete remake in 2007, the 2010 Chevrolet Silverado enters a year witnessing a tough slog for truck and SUV sales. To its credit, the new line of Active Fuel Management-equipped V8 engines offered in the Silverado give it segment-leading fuel economy. And, for those with an ecological bent, a number of engine choices are now Flex-Fuel E85-capable. There is also a hybrid model, reviewed separately.
If you need to tailor your pickup truck to your exact requirements, the 2010 Chevrolet Silverado enables you to do just that with a wide variety of configurations, bed lengths and trim levels. The Silverado's V8 engine lineup offers Active Fuel Management technology, Flex-Fuel E85 capability and even a hybrid model.
The only quibble we have with the Silverado is the baffling array of choices buyers have – multiple trim levels, cab sizes, bed lengths and even instrument panels. Plus, the availability of the Silverado HD further muddies the waters for potential buyers.
The 4.8-liter, 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter engines are now E85 Flex-Fuel compatible; the 4.8- and 5.3-liter engines also gain variable valve timing. New standard features on all 1500 models include side-curtain and front seat-mounted side-impact airbags as well as StabiliTrak stability control. New available features include a USB port on all but the base radio, a six-speed automatic transmission on Regular and Extended Cab models with the 5.3-liter engine and greater availability of the backup camera option.
Driving Impressions Thanks to its rigid frame and advanced construction techniques, the 2010 Chevrolet Silverado offers a markedly better ride-and-handling combination than many of its competitors. The Silverado platform includes a fully-boxed...frame (for more chassis stiffness), coil-over-shock front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering, and the result is a surprisingly maneuverable and comfortable vehicle. A lengthy test drive over rough, washboard gravel roads revealed a quiet and composed cabin. While the available 4.3-liter V6 could probably get most jobs done, the Silverado can also be equipped with a variety of V8 engines, most with 5.3-liter displacement. A 6.2-liter 403-horsepower aluminum-block V8 is available as well. Power delivery with each V8 engine is more than ample, and the electronically-controlled six-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission delivers it smoothly and without hesitation.
In a welcome bow to those who work hard to earn their keep – and who live in frigid climes – the Silverado has knobs, switches and door handles that can be easily operated while wearing gloves.
Active Fuel Management
The Active Fuel Management system available in four different V8s cuts the operation of four cylinders when they are unneeded and enhances fuel economy.
The Silverado features two distinct interiors. The WT and LT trim levels feature the "pure pickup" interior with larger controls and a double glovebox, while the LTZ trim has a "luxury-inspired" interior. Both instrument panels are mounted low and farther forward for an increased feeling of spaciousness and visibility. The back-seat area in the Crew Cab models offers significantly improved room and comfort, and the stadium-style rear seat has a 60/40-split design and folding center armrest. A lockable storage bin is built into a big 40/20/40-split bench front seat. The bin can accommodate a laptop computer and features a 12-volt power outlet.Exterior
With the widest track in its segment, the 2010 Chevrolet Silverado is substantial but it eschews the bulbous but juvenile muscularity of some of its competitors. Instead, it looks tailored and subdued front to rear. Highlights include narrow gaps between body panels, enabled by the latest version's significantly stiffer frame that limits body flex. The handsome horizontal grille is divided by a thick bright metal bar that flanks a bold Chevrolet "bow tie" symbol. Designers also took special pains to integrate the pickup box while at the same time making it taller. Entry to the rear seat/storage area of Extended Cab models is eased thanks to large rear access doors that open 170 degrees, and power-operated rear side windows lower completely into the access doors.
The 2010 Chevrolet Silverado WT includes a four-speed automatic transmission, tire pressure monitoring system, anti-lock brakes (ABS), air conditioning and two auxiliary power outlets. The 1LT adds cruise control, compass and temperature-display rearview mirror, power windows, door locks and mirrors, remote keyless entry and CD/MP3 player audio system. The LTZ adds 12-way power heated front bucket seats, leather seating, power-folding power-adjustable heated mirrors, Bose audio with MP3-compatible six-disc CD changer and auxiliary input jack, remote starting system and heated washer fluid system. The StabiliTrak electronic stability control system is standard on all 1500 models.
Depending on trim, the Silverado can also be optioned in several ways. It offers five suspension systems, each tailored to suit specific driving requirements. They include Z83 for a solid, smooth ride, Z85 for enhanced handling and trailer towing, Z71 for enhanced off-road capability, Z60 for street performance with 20-inch wheels and NHT for maximum towing capacity. A choice of two- and four-wheel-drive models, various cabs and bed lengths and a variety of axle ratios are also offered.
While we expect the 4.3-liter V6 and 4.8-liter V8 to be more than adequate in work truck applications, we recommend the 5.3-liter V8 engines, some with cast iron blocks and some with aluminum, but all with Active Fuel Management and variable valve timing. And for those who want more power (or towing capacity) the 6.2-liter is tops in its class, offering significantly more power and torque (pulling force) with very little penalty in fuel economy.
195 horsepower @ 4600 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20 (2WD), 14/18 (4WD)
4.8-liter V8 Flex-Fuel
302 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
305 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19 (2WD), 14/18 (4WD)
5.3-liter V8 Flex-Fuel
315 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
326 horsepower @ 5300 rpm (E85)
335 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
348 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm (E85)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 (gasoline), N/A (E85), 15/22 (XFE)
6.2-liter V8 Flex-Fuel
403 horsepower @ 5700 rpm
417 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/19 (2WD), 12/19 (4WD)
By ljnks on Friday, March 27, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 73,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "I can haul light items in the back."
Cons: "will not haul heavy items low power low MPG"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I have had this pick up for 3 years now, it has started and drove day after day, but with in the 1st month of owning it with just little over 42,000 miles on it, I had to have the catalytic converters replaced the blow motor switch replaced, then about a year of having it the head liner started falling, also have air leak around the windshield, passenger door window will drop down while driving. I personally will not own another Chevy after this one, wish I would have just kept my 94 Dodge Ram."
By cliff on Tuesday, March 24, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "starts well in cold conditions and is reliable"
Cons: "poor gauge display poor wind deflector/rear doors"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"good running and reliable.back doors fold in and can cause damage to front doors if not closed in proper succession a very terrible designe.the vehicle needs more gauges specifically a battery gauge etc.clock setting function is silly and needs to be all in one function.wind deflector under front bumper is cheaply made and keeps flying out of place or even off the vehicle-cheap plastic to plastic snaps that are not up to the job of holding the large deflector on especially in snow conditions.good starting in severe cold.should come with rubber matting on bed."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By cheesehead on Wednesday, March 11, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good styling, comfortable, dependable, plenty of power"
Cons: "a couple of minor rattles after a few years."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is my 4th 4WD Chevy truck and it has really lived up to my expectations. Being tall, I need lots of leg room and this truck is really comfortable for long trips. It handles great in the snow even without extra weight in the bed. It has all the power I need for hauling and towing and has always been dependable. The only thing I've ever had to replace is one of the power door locks."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Lito on Monday, March 02, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,400overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "reliable,strong, comfortable truck"
Cons: "Very poor mileage when used in city only."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"Very good and comfortable truck to drive Gets only about 14 miles per gallon in city and about 20 miles per gallon on highway. Very strong engine."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Steve on Monday, March 02, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "A vehicle you can depend on."
Cons: "No accessible storage behind seats."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Owned since 2009. Not one problem. Drives great. My regular cab has hardly any storage, which is my only complaint."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By marietta chevy on Wednesday, February 25, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,800overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "fair price, looks great"
Cons: "more bells and whistles"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This was my first Chevy Truck and I have to say that it has done it's job very well. I like the look of other trucks too and some have more room inside and what appear to be more features but as I enter the market for a new truck, Chevy/GM has earned my repeat business."
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful