The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 sees a mild reskin for 2022 that features fresh styling, a new interior, additional tech, and a shuffled powertrain lineup. As before, Silverado returns as a full-size pickup that comes in regular, extended (double) and crew cab body styles and is capable of seating up to 6 passengers. Competitors include the Ford F-150, Nissan Titan, Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra. Silverado is mechanically similar to the GMC Sierra 1500.
For 2022, Silverado gets a new front fascia, a fresh interior that includes an available 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 13.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system on LT trims and above, an off-road version called ZR2, an available Multi-Flex tailgate and a more powerful base engine. Not returning for 2022 is the 4.3-liter V6 engine, leaving Silverado with just four engine offerings. The new ZR2 is designed to compete with the Ford F-150 Raptor and Ram 1500 TRX. It includes special suspension dampers, uniquely tuned springs, locking front and rear differentials, model-specific skid plates, 33-inch off-road tires, redesigned front bumper, and unique rear bumper with easy to replace end caps.
Trim levels include WT, Custom, Custom Trail Boss, LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ, ZR2 and High Country. Prices start at $41,500 and climb to more than $62,000. Silverado's base engine is now a turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder that makes 310 horsepower and gets a torque bump from 348 to 430. Buyers also have a choice between two V8 engines. There's a 5.3-liter that makes 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque and a 6.2-liter that makes 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft. Finally, there's a 3.0-liter inline-six turbodiesel that makes 277 horsepower and 460 lb. ft of torque. The base engine comes with an 8-speed automatic while all other engines get a 10-speed auto shifter. Towing capacity is as high as 13,300 pounds when properly equipped, but most models have a limit around 9,500 pounds.
Offering a range of engines -- including a turbocharged four-cylinder-- means there's a Silverado 1500 for any buyer. For the pickup truck purist, the smaller 355-hp 5.3-liter V8 provides robust acceleration and needs just 6.1 seconds to reach 60 MPH from a stop. Those wanting more pop might consider the 420-hp 6.2-liter, which needs a scant 5.4 seconds to reach 60 MPH (remember this is a 5,500-pound truck. Then there's the interesting and appealing turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder (now fortified with 420 lb-ft of torque). It's no slouch and slots nicely between the two V8s in terms of performance and should net significantly better fuel economy. Got a ranch and horses (our houses) to haul, opt for the diesel. What it lacks in straight-line speed it makes up with stump-pulling torque.
Until Chevrolet added the turbo four a few years ago, Chevrolet was at a competitive disadvantage to Ford in the fuel economy game. That's no longer the case and the Silverado and F-150 go head-to-head with conventional-engine EPA ratings. (Don't forget though, Ford now offers a hybrid F-150). The Chevy 4-cylinder gets the best EPA numbers with ratings of 23 MPG city, 29 MPG highway and 25 MPG overall. Impressive indeed. All engines run fine on regular-grade gasoline.
Silverado offers a part-time and a full-time four-wheel-drive system. Like systems offered in most trucks, both systems have a low range for off-road slogging. The new ZR2 is very capable off road and can match Raptor and TRX feature for feature, even if it isn't so overtly decorated.
From behind the wheel, Chevrolet has always had a leg up on the Ford when it came to driving dynamics. Not that the Ford was a pig, just that the Chevy always felt a bit nimbler. Then Ram changed the game with a coil-spring rear suspension. And from that point, both Chevrolet and Ford were playing catchup. That's still the case with the new Silverado. It feels more agile and rides with a bit more comfort than the F-150, but trails the Ram in both handling and ride comfort.
For a pickup the steering is quite communicative and accurate. Silverado tracks straight and true on the highway and is quick enough at parking speeds - though there's still quite a few turns from lock-to-lock. Brakes have a reassuring feeling and plenty of stopping power. There's some head toss when the road gets bumpy, but it is reasonably controlled, and the ride actually gets better with a few hundred pounds in the bed.
The ZR2 isn't as in-your-face as a Raptor or TRX, but it is still extremely capable off road. Though it faces the same problem as its competitors -- size. Large pickups are just too big and heavy for some off-road challenges. On the flip side, find a winding dirt trail or farmer's field and you'll have a whole lot more fun in a large pickup that you would in a Bronco or Wrangler.
Ranging from a stripped-down WT to a decked-out High Country, the Silverado can be configured in a multitude of ways. And for 2022, there's actually a different interior as you step up the model ladder. LT and above get a fancy digital instrument cluster and large touch screen while lesser models make do with last-year's interior. The High Country's interior looks particularly snazzy with leather upholstery and open-pore wood trim.
Up front, the chair-like seats offer lots of padding but little support. There is plenty of head and leg room and Silverado does offer a steering-wheel-shifter and bench seat combo for three-abreast seating up front. The rear seat of crew cab models is positively spacious. Not quite as roomy as the Ram, but close. No problem getting three adults back there.
On the tech side, Chevrolet is getting there, but unfortunately, only LT and above get the true tech overload. Adding Super Cruise was in the plans for 2022, but it looks like that feature might have to wait until 2023 due to the chip shortage.
Silverado offers three bed sizes, though not all are available with each body style. Regular cab models get an 8-foot-2-inch bed. Extended cabs models get a 6-foot-7-inch bed. Crew cabs get either the 6-foot-7-inch bed or a 5-foot-10-inch short bed. Chevrolet added the multifunction tailgate from the GMC Sierra, dubbed Multi-Flex. Interior storage is quite good with lots of open and covered bins throughout. But Silverado lacks the clever in bed, bodyside storage bins found in some competitors.
Bottom Line - Pickup truck buyers are fiercely loyal and drastic change generally hurts sales more than it helps. That's one reason Chevrolet is so cautious when it rolls out its new trucks. Still, Chevrolet has updated Silverado nicely for 2022. There's now a clear separation between a work truck and double-duty family truck with the interior upgrade on LT and above. More importantly, Chevrolet nailed the details from a mechanical standpoint. The engines and transmissions are stout, towing and hauling numbers impressive and driving dynamics excellent.