Truck stuff is what the full-size Chevy Silverado 1500 knows as Monday through Sunday. A 310-hp turbo four-cylinder, two V-8 engines, and a Duramax turbodiesel with 495 pound-feet of torque occupy the Silverado’s wide load of powertrain offerings. While the 6.2-liter V-8 with 420 horsepower, crisp steering, and excellent brake pedal feel enables short bouts of Corvette cosplay, the Silverado’s sometimes rough ride is enough to quickly shake you from that dream. A conservative interior design with so-so material quality are offset by an enormous infotainment screen, though that equipment is only available on some trim levels. The Silverado’s max towing capacity of 13,300 pounds is ahead of its GMC Sierra 1500 sister pickup and the Ram 1500, but trails behind the Ford F-150. In short, this is a highly competitive pick-‘em-up.
What’s New for 2023?
While most equipment stays the same for 2023, Chevy does increase the power and torque of its Duramax diesel powertrain. Available for Custom Trail Boss, LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ, and High Country, the updated turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six Duramax gains 28 horsepower and 35 pound-feet of torque for an improved output of 305 horsepower and 495 pound-feet of torque. Chevy says a returned turbo, new pistons with a revised combustion bowl, and new fuel injectors have helped give the new diesel more muscle.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
While the base-level Work Truck and Custom trims are well-suited for tradespeople and folks on a budget, the LT model is where the fancier interior comes into play, and we think it’s the one to get. We’d also configure our Silverado with the crew cab and standard-length bed for max cargo and passenger space. We’d choose the 5.3-liter V-8 over the optional diesel engine because it’s cheaper and quicker. Unlike the standard turbo-four, the V-8 also lets us select the Z71 Off-Road package with a host of upgraded hardware that makes playing in the dirt and mud easier and more fun.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
A range of engines—including a turbocharged four-cylinder, two V-8s, and a Duramax diesel 3.0-liter inline-six—means there’s a Silverado 1500 for any job or adventure. Of the two eight-cylinder engines the 6.2-liter—with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque—is the quickest, propelling the Silverado High Country we tested to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds. For comparison, the smaller 355-hp 5.3-liter needed 6.1 seconds. The turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder boasts 420 pound-feet of torque. The diesel-powered Silverado we tested had the slowest acceleration of the bunch, but we were impressed by the engine’s smooth and quiet operation. The 305-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six Duramax now has 495 pound-feet of torque. Every version of the Silverado we’ve driven felt smaller than its size suggests. The truck’s handling is surprisingly agile, and the brake pedal provides firm and reassuring feedback. Those looking for a more rugged half-ton Silverado will appreciate the Trail Boss model. It features a 2.0-inch lift, gnarly tires, and other upgrades that make taking the path less traveled easier and more entertaining. The new ZR2 is the most serious off-roader, and we review it separately.
More on the Silverado 1500 Pickup
Towing and Payload Capacity
With a max towing capacity of 13,300 pounds, the half-ton Silverado is a seriously capable hauler. It beats the Ram 1500’s max-tow rating by 550 pounds but trails the F-150’s by 700. Chevy’s top tow rating is accessible with the 6.2-liter V-8, but the 5.3-liter version can still handle as much as 11,500 pounds. Models with the turbocharged four-cylinder can tow up to 9500 pounds. The Chevy pickup’s powertrains matter less when it comes to payload, which ranges from 1870 to 2280 pounds.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Don’t expect the Silverado 1500 to save you money at the fuel pump, but some of its various powertrain options are more efficient than others. The optional diesel is the most economical, with EPA estimates of up to 23 mpg city and 33 mpg. With all-wheel drive, its highway rating drops down to 26 mpg, which we matched on our 75-mph fuel-economy route. Meanwhile, the gas-fed turbo-four with all-wheel drive is rated at up to 20 mpg city and 22 highway. The thriftiest 5.3-liter V-8, all-wheel-drive powertrain is rated up to 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway; our real-world testing revealed that it was actually more efficient than the Silverado’s smallest engine, the turbocharged four-cylinder: in our testing the V-8 achieved 21 mpg whereas the turbo-four returned 18 mpg. The 6.2-liter V-8 has city/highway estimates of up to 16/21 mpg, and on our real-world highway test it also proved impressively easy on fuel compared with the turbo-four by delivering 19 mpg. For more information about the Silverado’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
From the stripped-down Work Truck model to the decked-out High Country, the Silverado can be configured in a multitude of ways. Base models offer nothing but the essentials, including manually adjustable front seats, manual locks and windows, and vinyl seats. However, starting on the LT trim, the cabin is significantly snazzier thanks to a handsomer dashboard design with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a huge center touchscreen. The High Country’s interior looks particularly pretty with its leather upholstery and open-pore wood trim. While the crew cab has an enormous rear seat with generous headroom, we found the cushions back there to be uncomfortable. Still, this is a practical hauler, featuring clever storage cubbies spread throughout the cabin. While the Chevy lacks the carbon-fiber-reinforced cargo bed that’s offered on the half-ton Sierra, it’s now available with a similar multifunction tailgate, dubbed Multi-Flex. Plus, the Chevy’s range of different bed lengths will undoubtedly satisfy traditionalists.
The Car and Driver Difference
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every Silverado 1500 is equipped with a touchscreen infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a mobile hotspot. The physical knobs and buttons make interacting with the system painless, and we appreciated the screen’s prompt responses to our touch inputs. The LT trim and up has a horizontal 13.4-inch touchscreen with enhanced features such as a Google-powered voice assistant, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and available Amazon Alexa integration.
How to Buy and Maintain a Car
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Every Silverado comes with an impressive list of standard driver-assistance technology, and it can be fitted with a host of towing assists that make pulling and hooking up a trailer easier. The top-tier High Country can even be equipped with Super Cruise, GM’s hands-free-driving technology that Chevy says even works while pulling a trailer. For more information about the Silverado’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Chevy covers the half-ton Silverado with a competitive warranty that doesn’t quite match the lengthy powertrain coverage of the Nissan Titan. However, every Silverado 1500 does get one complimentary scheduled maintenance visit.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Duramax
front-engine, rear-/4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door pickup
PRICE AS TESTED
$62,515 (base price: $53,090)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve inline-6, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
183 cu in, 2993 cc
277 hp @ 3750 rpm
460 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm
Suspension (F/R): control arms/live axle
Brakes (F/R): 13.6-in vented disc/14.2-in vented disc
Tires: Goodyear Wrangler Trailrunner AT, 275/60R-20 115S M+S TPC Spec 2369
Wheelbase: 157.0 in
Length: 241.3 in
Width: 81.2 in
Height: 75.4 in
Passenger volume: 139 cu ft
Curb weight: 5653 lb
Rollout, 1 ft: 0.3 sec
60 mph: 7.1 sec
100 mph: 21.5 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 8.2 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 4.2 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.2 sec
¼-mile: 15.5 sec @ 88 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 114 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 181 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.77 g
Observed: 23 mpg
75-mph highway driving: 26 mpg
Highway range: 570 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 25/23/29 mpg
More Features and Specs