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)
The 2013 Chevrolet Silverado half-ton pickup has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $24,000 for a base 2-wheel-drive Regular Cab WT. The LT Regular Cab starts closer to $29,000, while the top-of-the-line, 4-wheel-drive LTZ Crew Cab with all the options can run as high as $50,000. Before heading to your local Chevy dealership, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. We expect the 2013 Silverado half-ton pickup to retain good resale value within its segment, higher than the projected residual values for the Ram 1500, Nissan Titan and on par with the Ford F-150, but still below that of the Toyota Tundra.
By dukeone (WA) on Tuesday, December 03, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 709overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, very comfortable, great power."
Cons: "Can't think of anything I don't like about it."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I've been shopping for a truck, all makes. Test drove a 2011 Silverado 5.3L, and also a 2009 Hybrid. Loved 'em both, almost bought one. On both vehicles observed 22 mpg on the freeway without even trying, and with good power. Then I came across a 2013 6.2L LTZ w/ max towing pkg, and decided to get that one. Awesome! Easily gets 18 mpg on fwy, hasn't gone below 12.5 mpg sitting/crawling in heavy traffic for miles and miles. The Dodge, Ford and Tundra are very nice trucks also, but I love the Silverado."
By truck guy (MN) on Thursday, November 28, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "not enough !"
Cons: "very poor fuel economy !"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Great ride,good handling. first extended cab I have owned, very dificult to put anything in the back seat area in the garage ,or in a parking lot. fit and finish is very good. I have been driving and owning trucks for over 35 years and I can say this one gets the absolute lowest MPG of any half ton truck I have owned. GM will not stand behind their claim of 21 mpg hiway. I get 16 MPG on most trips traveled at 60 MPH,and 14 on the free way.very disapointed !!!"
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Brice (NC) on Thursday, November 21, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Rides nice, Powerful, Looks good"
Cons: "Not reliable, cheap plastic breaks easily"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"My 2009 5.3 LT Z71 is made in mexico. With about 50,000 on my 5.3, this truck had already burned up the spark plug on cylinder 7 three times. I took it to the dealer and under warranty they replaced my cam, lifters, and pistons. I got the truck back and it still idles very rough, I'm basically waiting for another problem to happen again. The dealer said they had already done the same repair for 40 trucks in the same year before I took mine in. Overall, the truck drives alright and is pretty comfortable, but interior features such as my center console handle have broken. Overall I would not buy a Chevy again. Ford's are more American and far more reliable. Very disappointed in GM as a whole with owning this truck."
By jerry (FL) on Thursday, November 21, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,200overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "very reliable"
Cons: "interior a little cheap"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"very nice truck fun to drive and getting 15.3mpg around town truck is lifted with 305-60-18 tires on it"
By 3rd Silverado Owner (LA) on Tuesday, November 05, 2013
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Gas Guzzler - My approximate mileage is 35,000
Pros: "Mechanically good truck and was very reliable."
Cons: "Gas mileage worst of any full size truck"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I went from a 2007 Silverado to an identically equipped 2011. The 07 consistently got about 21 to 22 MPG on the highway (interstate). This one with same size engine got about 15 mpg. This is consistent with everyone that I spoke with who has the 2008 through 2013 models. First guy I know to buy a 2014 says that the fuel economy is back up and getting about 20 on the interstate. I sold my Silverado, bought a Camaro and then I'm going back in a few months a buy another used Pickup that won't kill me on that gas. Stay away from the Silverado 08 through 13 unless you have very little driving to do. Other than the gas mileage I was happy with other aspects of the truck except that I thought the interior was much cheaper than the previous model."
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By PeeWee (CA) on Sunday, November 03, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "cost, reliabilty, all around features."
Cons: "A pillars have blind spot, you get used to it, def"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"In 2009 this was a very hard unit to find. basic truck with upgrade features of an up model for less, ordered intems and packages saved cost of upscale model, with same results."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful