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2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Extended Cab

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2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Extended Cab Review

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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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2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 1274 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

good to very good cond. one owner, no issues

By on Saturday, January 09, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,721

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
8/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"this is My personal work truck.there are no mechanical issues with it looks good and runs great. The only service it has needed was a front end alignment. (other than regular services). It has a high top camper shell on it now that can go with it. It is in good cond. The paint matches the truck."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

poor quality

By on Monday, December 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"4 drivers door panels replaced for broken armrests 2 oil leaks on engine fixed front shocks bad at 18kmiles power steering rack replaced"

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Great vehicle wanting SUV instead of truck

By on Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Just looking to move to an SUV and think I can get a better deal by selling and then buying SUV out right"

12 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Make sure to ask about the engine

By on Monday, November 09, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Engine problems

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"The Active Fuel Management (AFM) system that is in place for this engine causes all kinds of problems. I bought this truck used with 100k thinking it was a Chevy so I'd still get at least another 50-75K out of the truck before I needed to do any major work on it. About 5K miles after I bought it the engine started to idle really rough. I thought maybe it'd go away with time but it only got worse. Took it to my mechanic who found fouled spark plugs, in the 4 cylinders that deactivate going from V8 to V4 mode. After some online research this is a not an uncommon problem with engines using AFM. Oil is sucked into the cylinders from the oil pan which causes the plugs to foul at a greatly accelerated rate. GM will state that the engine just uses more oil than your standard engine but it's being pulled into the cylinders and burned with the fuel. From what I've read there isn't a fix GM is willing to admit to and they haven't issued a recall so if you have this happen with your vehicle you're out of luck getting them to help fix it. One easy way seems to be removing the AFM programming from the vehicle's computer entirely with a chip or going into the code and removing it. Hopefully this review will help save others headache and money in the future when considering the purchase of a vehicle with this engine (5.3L V8 with AFM)."

15 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Sharp "Florida" vehicle

By on Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,015

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
9/10
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

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

"Actual color is "Dark Cherry Metallic". It also has real hand painted pin striping. I bought this truck in Florida and it has been in South Florida every winter from at least November to May. Would sell this to my kin or best friends."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Good basic truck

By on Monday, September 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "A great truck for the $, better value than F150"

Cons: "Can't upgrade OEM radio w/ aftermarket"

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

"To start out, this is Silverado WT. Don't want or need lots of frills, just a truck I can beat on if I have to. It does have the convenience package so you get PW, Keyless and heated mirrors. Doesn't have the Z71 package so it rides almost car-like. It's a daily driver so it has lots of miles for it's age. There is some minor wind moise in the cab, but with the etended cab and suicide back doors that's to be expected. This is my first domestic pickup in about 14 years and my first Chevy. I would buy another one tomorrow."

16 people out of 26 found this review helpful

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