Chevrolets’ Silverado half-ton pickup offers several new additions and enhancements for 2021.
The first most significant is the Multi-Flex tailgate that first debuted on GMC Sierra pickups. Although the Silverado LTZ 4WD Crew Cab truck tested didn’t have it, we experienced it on a previous Sierra test truck that was reviewed in 2020. The tailgate offers six different positions with an easy, full-length step for a natural stride onto the truck bed.
The other major addition is Chevy’s Enhanced Trailering feature. It offers Trailer Length Indicator, Jack Knife Alert, Cargo Bed View enhancement, Rear Trailer View with guidelines and Trailer-Angle Indicator plus Rear Side View enhancement (a nifty feature that gives a split view of the trailers’ angle, of the left and right sides of the truck and compatible trailer, and does so in forward and reverse for better visibility. It’s available with several cameras, that show what’s behind a trailer, even what’s inside to check on cargo. There’s also an invisible-type view that see’s right through the trailer. Amazing technology.
Silverado LTZ is offered in Regular Cab, Double Cab and tested Crew Cab, along with short and long bed lengths, several trim packages plus a new off-road Trail Boss version. And they’re available with seven different powertrains.
Silverado can be powered by a choice of 2.7L Turbo I-4, 3.0L inline six Turbo Diesel, 4.3L V6, 5.3L V8, 5.3L V8 DPM, 6.2L V8 DPM.
Our LTZ trim test truck came with the impressive 3.0L Turbo Diesel that generates 277-hp and a stump pulling 460 lb/ft of torque, the same torque rating as the 6.2L V8. When coupled to a 10-speed automatic transmission, the 3.0L garnered EPA mileage estimates of 22 city and 26-highway mpg with start/stop engine technology.
If you have towing needs (or attaching a snow plow), this potent diesel has a trailering capacity of 9,100 pounds with 4WD, and 9,500 pounds with 2WD. And despite the associated diesel rattle from the engine bay, Chevy deadened it ever so nicely inside the cabin.
And speaking of the cabin, a 20.5-inch step onto the step rails puts you into the luxury sedan-like interior. Perforated leather front seats are heated/cooled and sensibly supportive.
The gear shifter for the Silverado’s 10-speed automatic transmission is on the steering wheel column instead of console so the latter can make better use of other features such as a wireless phone charger.
Silverado’s’ vertical stack in nicely arranged with an 8-inch touchscreen for audio, voice recognition, apps, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and 4G Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity, a rearview camera with four different views including an overhead 360 degree and trailer hitch view. That, plus HVAC controls are large and can be operated with gloved hands. But selections can also be made on the touchscreen.
4WD controls are push buttons for Auto, 2WD, 4-High and 4-Low. Above them is a trailer assist dial. Standard as well is an auto locking rear differential, good to have if getting stuck in mud or deep snow.
The back seat is heated and can easily accommodate three large adults as leg, head and shoulder room are graciously abundant. Flip up the seat bottoms and underneath there’s a full-length, 5-inch deep bin to stow items out of sight. There’s also a pair of nifty hidden compartments behind the outboard seat backs to hide small items.
The remote controlled (or manual) tailgate release lowers/raises the dampened and light gate. With it lowered, load height is 35 inches.
There are steps embedded into the outer corner edges of the rear bumper for stepping up to load, retrieve or secure items in the bed, instead of having to lower the gate.
Silverado LTZ diesel offers good ride quality on Goodyear Wrangler 20-inch tires. The independent suspension system, with coil over twin-tube shocks, provides taut handling with nary any body lean in sharp turns. Steering is a bit heavy but the weight of the diesel powerplant is understandable. The heavy vehicle carries a GVWR of 7,000 pounds.
The Silverado LTZ Crew Cab came standard with a host of important safety features that includes rear cross traffic alert, lane change alert with side blind alert, front and rear park assist and tire pressure monitoring. Included too was the trailering package with hitch guidance, trailer brake controller, advanced trailering system, satellite radio and much more.
On the extra cost side, the Technology Package ($2,070) adds the multiple-view camera system, head-up display and 8-inch touchscreen.
The Safety Package II ($1,095) includes forward collision alert, lane keep assist w/lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, adaptive cruise, auto high beam and safety alert seat (drivers’ seat bottom buzzes when sensing an imminent accident).
Then there’s Silverado’s LTZ Convenience Package II ($1,070) providing a pair of 8-inch video screens behind the front seatbacks, voice recognition, the aforementioned apps, premium navigation, Bose audio and wireless charging.
The 3.0L diesel engine tacks on another $995 with the Z71 Off-Road Package ($850) adding the twin tube shocks, skid plates, hill descent control, HD air filter, Autotrac two-speed transfer case, all-terrain tires and more.
A spray-on bed liner fetches $545, Cherry Red Tintcoat another $495 with delivery taking the base price of $52,400 to $61,115. Yes, that’s a lot of money, but the nicely loaded Silverado diesel is a lot of truck. It received a four out of five-star overall government safety rating; four for driver/passenger frontal crash; five for front/rear seat side crash; and four for rollover.
This impressive half-ton is covered by a 3 year/36K bumper-bumper warranty; 5/100K powertrain including roadside assistance and courtesy transportation; and free first maintenance visit.
If trailering is in your needs, even utilizing a fifth wheel, the Silverado with the 3.0L diesel powertrain is likely unbeatable for price or fuel economy.