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2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Extended Cab

Overview
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2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Extended Cab Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.5

In the world of half-ton pickups, the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado rules supreme. Granted, the Ford F-150 pickup can lay claim to being the best-selling pickup in America but, if you combine the sales of the Silverado with its identical cousin, the GMC Sierra, GM walks away with the best-selling title, no questions asked. Today's Chevrolet must contend with more than just Ford and Ram, however, because Toyota and Nissan are now selling half-ton pickups as well. To keep its big rig competitive and its customers happy, Chevrolet constantly improves the 2012 Silverado pickup line, giving it one of the most fuel-efficient V8s in the segment, not to mention the only hybrid pickup truck available. But, truck buyers care less about a 1- or 2-mpg increase in fuel economy than they do power, hauling ability and comfort. Here, too, the 2012 Silverado half-ton pickup delivers, with a max tow rating of 10,700 pounds when equipped with the 6.2-liter V8 and the Max Tow Package.

You'll Like This Car If...

With its numerous possible configurations, the 2012 Chevy Silverado half-ton pickup will please all but the chronically indecisive. From cab configurations to bed lengths to trim and option packages, the Silverado is the half-ton jack of all trades, including models that can run on E85.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Short of its conservative styling, there isn't much to quibble with when looking at the 2012 Chevy Silverado pickup. Those who need the towing power of a diesel engine will have to look to the Silverado HD 2500 or 3500 pickup trucks.

What's New for 2012

For 2012, Chevrolet gives the Silverado full-size pickup a refreshed front end, available heated/cooling seats for the LTZ, and a new White Diamond Edition. Also new is an available navigation radio with built-in hard drive that eliminates the need for map data stored on DVDs.

Driving the Silverado 1500 Extended Cab

Driving Impressions Thanks to its rigid frame, coil-over-shock front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering, and advanced construction techniques, the full-size 2012 Chevrolet Silverado pickup offers decidedly better ride and handling characteristics than Silverados...

past. A stiff chassis means a stronger platform for towing and the Silverado's fully boxed frame delivers strength in spades. As for power, the Silverado pickup offers a few options. The 4.3-liter V6 is a good choice for those hauling only light loads in the bed and not towing. For bigger jobs, the 5.3-liter V8 is an excellent choice combining power and fuel economy in an affordable package. The big dog in the Silverado's kennel is a 403-horsepower 6.2-liter aluminum block V8. Power delivery with each V8 engine is more than ample, and the electronically controlled 6-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission delivers it smoothly and without hesitation.

Big Knobs
In a welcome bow to those who work hard to earn their keep – and who live in frigid climes – the 2012 Silverado pickup 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.

2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Extended Cab Details
Interior

Like everything about the 2012 Silverado half-ton pickup, the interior choices are multifaceted. If you go with the WT (Work Truck), LS or LT trim, you get an interior and instrument panel that is pure Chevrolet truck: Simple and straightforward. Opt for the top-of-the-line LTZ trim, however, and your Silverado 1500 pickup becomes a bit more plush, with a highly refined instrument panel complete with wood inlays, soft-touch surfaces and additional ambient lighting. To make the cab feel more spacious, Chevy engineers mount the instrument panel low and far forward and, on Silverado Crew Cab pickups, the rear-seat area is made almost as welcoming as on some full-size SUVs. Up front, the big 40/20/40 split-bench seat features a lockable storage bin with a built-in 12-volt outlet. The bin is large enough to accommodate a laptop computer. Incorporating stadium-style seats allows the rear-seat passengers a better view forward, and when only partially occupied, the seats feature a 60/40-split design allowing them to be laid flat.

Exterior

For those who find some full-size trucks to be overstyled and almost cartoonish, the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado half-ton pickup is a welcome dose of classic American styling. With clean lines, muscular fender flares and enough chrome to be cool without going overboard, the Chevy Silverado pickup is as comfortable arriving at the work site as it is departing for a night on the town. Chevy was able to create such tight gaps between the Silverado's body panels, thanks to the big pickup's fully boxed frame that makes the Silverado extremely rigid and immune to excessive body flex. The truck team at Chevy also went to great lengths to integrate the pickup box while simultaneously increasing its height. In a nod to better passenger comfort, the Extended Cab Silverado pickup features large rear-access doors capable of opening a full 170 degrees, with windows that fully lower into the doors.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado WT pickup includes a 4-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 10-way power heated front bucket seats, leather seating, power-folding power-adjustable heated mirrors, Bose audio with MP3-compatible 6-disc CD changer and auxiliary input jack, and a remote-start system. The StabiliTrak electronic stability-control system is standard on all 2012 Chevy Silverado 1500 models.

Optional Equipment

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 2- and 4-wheel-drive models, various cabs and bed lengths and a variety of axle ratios are also offered.

Under the Hood

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 V8 is tops in its class, offering significantly more power and torque (pulling force) with very little penalty in fuel economy.

4.3-liter V6
195 horsepower @ 4,600 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 2,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20 (2WD), 14/18 (4WD)

4.8-liter V8 Flex-Fuel
302 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
305 lb-ft of torque @ 4,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19 (2WD), 10/14 (2WD, E85), 13/18 (4WD), 10/13 (4WD, E85)

5.3-liter V8 Flex-Fuel
315 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
326 horsepower @ 5,300 rpm (E85)
335 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
348 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm (E85)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 (gasoline), 11/16 (2WD, E85), 15/22 (XFE), 11/13 (XFE, E85), 15/21 (4WD), 11/16 (4WD, E85)

6.2-liter V8 Flex-Fuel
403 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
417 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 (2WD), 9/13 (2WD, E85), 12/18 (4WD), 9/13 (4WD, E85)

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Buying this car?

2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 1252 Ratings for the 2007 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.9/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Love this truck

By on Friday, June 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Excellent ride! Added borla dual exhaust, sounds great. Beautiful Ruby red color. Excellent ride quality, very comfortable on long trips, not one problem so far (almost two years old)"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Love this Silverado Hybrid want another one ! Best

By on Monday, June 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,169

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Cons: "touch buttons on Heater & A/C hard to use"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I love this Silverado Hybrid truck and would buy another one in a minute. Only problem is GM does not make them anymore. Its way faster with the hybrid drive (2 electric motors in drive train) and the gas engine, (then gas engine alone) getting 20 to 25 MPG sometimes a little higher. Lots of power and saves $$. I have had 4 other GM trucks and this is the best ever !! GM please make more of these !!"

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Excellent. Am retiring and can afford a new one

By on Friday, June 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Always there when you need it."

Cons: "Automatic windshield wipers are the only problem."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love the Chevy. I am retiring and going to get a new GMC Denali with a few more bells and whistles. I am a true GM fan and this Chevy has been a good friend. My 2007 Tahoe has 145k miles and we are going to be sad seeing that go but we only need 3 cars in retirement and my wife wants to keep her Corvette."

3 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Great truck, great looking truck, very reliable

By on Wednesday, June 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 111,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great truck, excellent to drive."

Cons: "gas mileage could be better. it loves gasoline."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"the only problem is the front end is low from the factory, once I put a leveling kit on the truck I had no more clearance issues. Take it hunting every year and it's a tremendous truck."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Excellent value & condition

By on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 79,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great condition; another 80,000 miles or more"

Cons: "Slight paint scrapes on rear panel"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This vehicle has been an excellent performer whether it was towing our 25' Jayco trailer, getting to the fishing hole or trips across the USA. Its entire life has been run on high grade synthetic oils, regular maintenance between 3,000-5,000 miles. Minor scratches on right rear panel. Has a Thule rack system with padded crossbars; coated pickup bed. Chrome running boards."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Dependable work truck, not good in snow/ice

By on Saturday, May 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Fair price, reliable, good for everyday"

Cons: "Poor traction in slippery conditions"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I drive this truck everyday & have taken great care of it. Bought it certified used at 30k miles. Have put on 15k in 2 years. Only normal wear and tear replacements (spark plugs, wires, air filter, tires). I have towed approximately 6500-7000 lbs with it for 130 miles in tow mode, had no problems. Great for local work. It's not very fancy but it is dependable, tough, and user friendly. The only thing the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado WT 4.3L V6 2WD version lacks is traction control. Be sure to add weight in the bed if driving in snowy or icy conditions, and have good treads on your tires, rear tires especially."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?