By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.4
When it comes to full-size pickups, it's hard to find fault with what Chevrolet has done with its 2013 Silverado 1500. Though technically not the best-selling full-size pickup in America (that honor goes to the Ford F-150), when combined with the sales of its sister pickup, the GMC Sierra, the two handily outsell their Ford rival. To remain relevant, Chevy continues to improve on the Silverado's powerful yet fuel-efficient V8 engines and offers the industry's only full-size hybrid pickup. We know truck buyers don't care as much about fuel economy as they do sheer brute force, which is why the Silverado delivers performance at or near the top of its class in almost every category, including a maximum tow rating of 10,700 pounds when properly equipped.
If you like variety in your full-size pickup, the Chevy 2013 Silverado is a virtual quick-change artist. Numerous bed lengths, body configurations, axles and cabs are available from the Silverado options list, as are many interior upgrades and E85-compatible engines.
If you like your pickup to be as expressive as it is capable, the 2013 Chevy Silverado 1500's somewhat conservative styling probably won't strike your fancy. Those who need the towing power of a diesel engine will have to look to the Silverado HD 2500 or 3500 pickup trucks.
Changes for 2013 are limited to two new exterior colors and the addition of powertrain grade-braking that uses transmission downshifting to ease stress and temperature build-up on the brake rotors.
Driving Impressions The combination of a rigid frame, advanced construction techniques, coil-over-shock front suspension and power rack-and-pinion steering give the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado an impressively smooth and controlled ride without sacrificing capability...or payload limits. A stiff chassis means a stronger platform for towing and the Silverado's fully-boxed frame delivers strength in spades. Power from the base 4.3-liter V6 is adequate for those hauling light to medium loads and not towing. However, bigger jobs will require either the 5.3-liter V8, which is an excellent choice combining power and fuel economy in an affordable package, or the powerhouse of the Silverado line, the 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.
In a welcome bow to those who work hard to earn their keep – and who live in frigid climes – the 2013 Silverado pickup has knobs, switches and door handles that easily can be 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.
If you go with the WT, LS or LT trim levels, you get an interior and instrument panel that is 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. 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. Incorporating stadium-style seating allows the rear-seat passengers a better view forward.Exterior
For those who find some full-size trucks to be overstyled and almost cartoonish, the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado half-ton pickup is a welcome dose of classic American styling. Thanks to the big pickup's fully-boxed frame, Chevy was able to create tight gaps between the Silverado's body panels. This architecture also 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. On Extended Cab models large rear-access doors are capable of opening a full 170 degrees and include windows that fully lower into the doors.
The 2013 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 2013 Chevy Silverado 1500 models.
Depending upon trim level, Chevy's Silverado can be optioned in several ways. For 2013, the Silverado 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.
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. The Hybrid has a 2-mode system that can operate on electric power only at low speeds, or deliver an electric assist to the 6.0-liter V8 at highway speeds or when towing.
195 horsepower @ 4,600 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 2,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20 mpg (2WD), 14/18 mpg (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 mpg (2WD), 10/14 mpg (2WD, E85), 13/18 mpg (4WD), 10/13 mpg (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 mpg (gasoline), 11/16 mpg (2WD, E85), 15/22 mpg (XFE), 11/16 mpg (XFE, E85), 15/21 mpg (4WD), 11/16 mpg (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 mpg (2WD), 9/13 mpg (2WD, E85), 12/18 mpg (4WD), 9/13 mpg (4WD, E85)
6.0-liter V8 Hybrid
332 horsepower @ 5,100 rpm
367 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/23 mpg (2WD), 20/23 mpg (4WD)
By TJ on Thursday, July 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "It's a nice riding truck. Comfortable to drive in"
Cons: "VERY,VERy poor quality in my opinion"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Purchased this new in Feb 09 about 10K - front rotors warped (warranty covered about 15K - rear brakes sticking (warranty covered At 20k I find the rims are corroding terribly. They are pitted, coating came off in spots. about 37k - check engine light small evap leak (dealer said gas cap.. hah $150 Very next week - check engine light AGAIN -same code(dealer said now fuel pump leaking - warranty) DID I NEED THE CAP, PROBABLY NOT! Dealer insisted it was bad anyway About 38k - power door locks failing. $100 About 50k - power window switch bad. not fixed yet AT 52K noticed rust on bottom edge of tailgate AND on the inside of the rear bumper About 58k - Front wheel bearing bad, wheel darn near fell off $395. This took out the front brake pads and rotor for another $300 NOW.... while doing my periodic checking of fluids etc.. I find the tranny a quart low :( (and it ain't leakin) So, YOU tell ME how you'd rate it! Then, to top it all off, I contacted GM to discuss these issues on two separate occassions when I had the problems around the 36K mark with the door locks and gas cap, looking for at least some partial help. On both occasions they convinced me to take it to the dealer for diagnosis and 'then we'll talk'. My fault for trusting their word. Never heard back from them either time and I had to contact them again after about a month to see 'what's up with this'. Both times they said 'sorry, can't help you' So, personally, after owning Gm vehicles for 30 years, I'm done with them."
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful
By DChsvAL on Wednesday, July 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I am the second owner and it's my first truck. It quickly became one of my favorite vehicles I've owned. MPG's are good for a full size truck, even better if you add a Diablo Intune with a custom ECU program. Gives better HP and torque as well. It has more than enough power stock, but who doesn't like more? I like the looks of this truck vs other trucks of the same year, except for maybe the Tundra. Honestly I like the Tundra more, but people want way too much for used ones. For the price, the Silverado is a better deal. However, the interior leaves much to be desired. It's very dreary with nothing nice to look at except loads of black plastic. Seats are quite comfortable and if you have the jump seat it provides a great place to rest your arm or do paperwork. The three cup holders is great in theory, but do not hold larger drinks very well. Better hope your drink has a cap on it or is in a can. Large fountain drinks do not stay in very well if you have to take a corner or stop abruptly. I had a large drink fly out and dump between the passenger side door and seat while going around a round-about on a Navy base. That was lovely. There's plenty of storage as well and adding a tool box under the rear seat makes the space very useable unless you want to put a sub-woofer down there. Overall, a really great truck. I have not had a single issue with it."
By Sam on Tuesday, July 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Purchased the truck new in 2008 and the only maintenance required, besides oil and filter changes, was front/rear brakes and battery. No mechanical problems."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Frank on Monday, July 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliable, easy to drive, smooth ride, looks great."
Cons: "Gas, turning radius and LT interior"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"A really good strong pickup truck, I prefer chevy's over ford's. Has a good amount of power for the 4.8 version. The interior is the best, but thats if you get the LT model. The gas consumption can get 14 mpg city if you keep the RPM's at 2000-2500"
By Mitchmc on Sunday, July 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Design, color, load capacity"
Cons: "Cab is small"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"The only drawback I have is, as compared to the 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 I had, the cab is not all that comfortable. Both my previous Dodge and my current Silverado were very comparable in equipment and options, but the Dodge cab was just enough longer front to back, that the seats had more adjustment room."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By CHIPSTER on Thursday, July 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,145overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "reliable, sturdy"
Cons: "poor gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"OVERALL, HAS BEEN AN EXCELLENT TRUCK. Did have issues with front end having to do with 4WD. No fit and finish problems to speak of, though. Do wish the mileage was higher (getting a hair less that 20mpg on hwy., 17mpg in town.)"