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 Gemütlichkeit on Tuesday, September 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliable, great utility and reasonable milage"
Cons: "Difficult maneuvering in tight areas"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Excellent Utility and reliability. I work as a building manager. On those days when the snow is deep and all is shut down - I still have to be there. This truck (4wd) got me through 15-18" snow which occasionally drifted to 4 feet across the road. It was amazing. It has great acceleration and incredible power. We had storm damage that brought down trees. I was able to throw a chain around the 2 ft trunk and drag it 100 feet out of the way. The other surprising thing is we get about 19 to 20 mpg on the highway. Owned for 4 years not a hint of trouble or repair at 70k Miles. One goofy thing - no bluetooth"
9 people out of 20 found this review helpful
By lenny on Saturday, September 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have had 5 different pick up trucks in my lifetime, this one is the best. The gas mileage is impressive for a full size truck. A dodge Dakota I owned was much worse on fuel and it's a mid size. I only had one trouble with a throttle body sensor and it was covered under warranty. A smooth powerful(5.3l)and dependable truck you can count on for work and play. I have owned it for six years and still love it. A down side maybe the interior has a little bit of a cheap feel compared to my friends Dodge Ram 1500. I also have an LT model, the LTZ is nicer, but couldn't afford it at the time. Good luck."
9 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By Proudchevyowner on Friday, August 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great price, great mph, panty-dropper"
Cons: "Rear cup holders shake (no biggie)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bought it used at 15,000 miles from a fleet rental place. I've had it for 4 months so far and put 5,000 more miles on it. I test drove Chevy, Dodge, and Ford pickups. You know it's a good truck when the only thing you have to complain about is that the carpet floor mat is starting wear from where my heel sits when driving! It drives great and is incredibly smooth on the road. The instrument panel is spot on accurate! It actually gets the EPA's mpg estimates. I average 18.7 mpg commuting. Between 21 and 22 mpg while going 65-70 mph. I gave it a 9/10 for driving dynamics only because it doesn't have the acceleration that F-150's do, but it still is a great driving and handling truck."
12 people out of 20 found this review helpful
By JTros on Thursday, August 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Ready to work, sturdy, reliable, roomy"
Cons: "Cheap interior components, thirsty, expensive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I own an LTZ. Has lots of bells and whistles that the standard Silverado's lack. Love the heated washer fluid in the winter, heated seats, and auto folding mirrors. There is a setting to allow single mirror or both mirrors to automatically readjust to aid in parallel parking and it's a handy feature. Bottom line its a truck. If you get on the gas you can watch the gauge move. It rides rougher than a passenger car but I don't hesitate to take it during long road trips with the family or friends. Five adults can fit in the truck comfortably. When I have needed it to pull she does and still has room to spare. I average 18 mph on the highway and about 14 in the city. Not horrible but not great. The 5.3L leaves something to be desired after abandoning my 6.2L on the Suburban but overall the truck has not let me down and still has a relatively low operating cost far as maintenance. I am starting to see some minor cosmetic wear on the steering wheel that will lead me searching for replacement OEM parts since they bug me but truck still has a lot of life left in it hopefully. My wife thinks I love this truck more than her. Who knows it's a pretty close call. Loving my Chevy. Beats the Ford 2013 F150 I have to drive at work and mine is just an 2008 model :)"
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Clenk on Sunday, August 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 79,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks, Comfort, Durability, Power"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought a brand new 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 off the lot in 2003 and I have only great things to say about the vehicle. That's why I decided to trade up finally and I am loving my new 2011 Chevrolet Silverao 1500 LTZ. They are rock solid trucks and I will never switch to another brand. I had over 500,000 miles on my 2003 and as long as you maintain your fluids, oils and general maintenance, you will be a very happy chevrolet owner."
11 people out of 23 found this review helpful
By Donny on Friday, August 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "acceleration, interior, suspension, handling"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Overall this has been a great truck to own. I'm not going to list every little detail that I like or dislike, but I will hit the high points that I found are important to me on the vehicle. Appearance is simple and streamlined. Remote start is a big plus especially in the winter months. Takes approximately 5mins for the vehicle to blow hot air so you or your kids get in. Vehicle will automatically shutoff 10-15mins after starting. Interior is straight forward, panels are not cluttered. Handling is amazing. You will slide out of your seats before the vehicle (Z71 4x4 model) rolls over. Suspension is very good with hitting bumps and not jarring you around in the vehicle. Off roading with the vehicle has been a blast. If you do hit a pot hole harder than normal the suspension seems to handle it really well. The on the go switch from 2WD to 4WD is quick. The turning radius when 4WD is active is not as good as I had anticipated. Acceleration is very quick, throttle response is outstanding. Shifting is smooth on acceleration. However, upon making a turn, and accelerating again, my vehicle does have a tendency to drop from 2nd or 3rd gear down to 1st gear and jerking your head back. Have not quite figured out the reason for this, other than the 6-speed transmission and rpm levels cause it. Braking is pretty good, but I do find applying the brakes hard and due to the weight of my vehicle, stopping is not as good as I had hoped for. I owned a 2010 F-150 XLT 2WD crew cab that would stop on a dime. Gas mileage is ok, I average 17.2 mpg driving 32 miles round trip to work and home. Long trips 18-22mpg. The cab is roomy and easily holds 5 people comfortably. I hope this helps anyone considering buying this vehicle."