2009 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Review

26 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2009 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Review
Chevrolet Silverado

2009 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Chevy Silverado 1500 is powerful, but crash tests give pause

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 hasn’t had a redesign in a couple of years, so critics say it lacks the latest comfort and convenience features you’ll find on the redesigned Ford F-150 (*Est. $21,565 to $44,355) and Dodge Ram 1500 (*Est. $21,270 to $43,240). Experts say the powerful Silverado is still a solid workhorse choice, although its poor side crash ratings are a point of concern.

Even the Chevy Silverado’s massive towing capacity (10,700 pounds max) falls short of the new Ford F-150’s (11,300 pounds max). But when outfitted with the biggest engine in its class — a 403-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 with a six-speed automatic transmission — the Silverado accelerates and brakes better than the best F-150 in a joint towing test by PickupTrucks.com and Motor Trend’s Truck Trend.

It so tremendously dominated the power and pulling tests that it only barely lost to the better-equipped, better-riding F-150, PickupTrucks.com’s Mike Levine says of the Silverado. If the Silverado’s fuel economy performance had been even in the middle of the pack rather than last, it would have won this contest. The 6.2-liter Chevrolet Silverado pickup averaged just shy of 15 mpg, which is about what the U.S.

Environmental Protection Agency estimates (13 mpg city, 19 highway and 15 combined with rear-wheel drive; 12 mpg city, 19 highway and 14 combined with four-wheel drive).

Towing and hauling aren’t quite as great with lesser Silverado truck models, which hunt for gears when tested under load. Fuel economy goes up slightly with each drop in power, though. In addition to the enormous 6.2-liter engine, you can choose among three more V-8s and a V-6.

There’s a 367-horsepower, 6.0-liter V-8 with the six-speed automatic transmission; a 315-horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8 with either the six- or four-speed auto; a 295-horsepower, 4.8-liter V-8 with the four-speed auto; and lastly, the base 195-horsepower, 4.3-liter V-6, which delivers the Silverado’s second-best fuel-economy rating (15 mpg city, 20 highway and 17 combined) with the four-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. There’s also a rear-wheel-drive Chevy Silverado XFE (*Est. $32,905), or extra fuel economy trim. It uses the 5.3-liter V-8 but relies on aerodynamic tweaks, lightweight aluminum parts and the six-speed automatic transmission to coax out as many mpg as the V-6 Silverado, plus one mpg more on the highway.

Silverado offers a huge number of trim and power combos

The Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck offers just about any cab/bed/powertrain/trim combo you want, which Kelley Blue Book says can be either useful or baffling. First, there are the usual three cab styles. The regular cab seats three on a 40/20/40 split reclining bench, with a 6.5-foot or 8-foot bed.

Extended cabs add a 5-foot-8-inch bed option, plus narrow back doors and seating for six with front and rear benches (front buckets are available). The crew cab is roomier than the extended cab, reviews say, with adequate room for adults in the backseat and four normal doors. However, the Chevy Silverado crew cab isn’t as vastly roomy as the Ford F-150, Dodge Ram or Toyota Tundra (*Est. $22,490 to $41,605) crew-cab trucks, reviews say.

The Silverado crew cab comes only with the short 5-foot-8-inch bed.

The base Chevy Silverado WT (*Est. $19,375 to $32,205) work-truck trim has vinyl seats and no air conditioning on the regular cab, but tilt steering, a CD player, satellite radio and OnStar come standard. The step-up Silverado LS (*Est. $27,820 to $33,190), not available with a regular cab, adds cloth seats and a few extras like power accessories and cruise control. Off-road and towing packages are optional.

Chevrolet Silverado

Buyers get more options when they choose the Chevrolet Silverado LT (*Est. $26,490 to $34,295), which offers features such as heated leather seats, a better stereo, remote vehicle start and power seats. The Silverado LTZ (*Est. $34,360 to $41,355) makes all of those features standard, plus more, and it’s the first Silverado trim that makes front and curtain airbags standard equipment (side airbags are still optional).

Even with optional side airbags, the Silverado does a poor job protecting occupants in a side crash, the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety finds. If a similar pickup or SUV hit the Silverado in the side at 31 mph, rib fractures and/or internal organ injuries would be likely for the driver and possible for the rear passenger, IIHS says. For the driver, serious neck injuries would also be possible.

The Silverado does much better in government side crash tests, which mimic a car hitting the Silverado.

The Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck gets average reliability ratings. GM’s warranty — three years/36,000 miles basic and five years/100,000 miles powertrain — is now backed by the U.S. government, which will become the majority stakeholder in General Motors once it exits the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings it entered on June 1, 2009.

The GMC Sierra 1500 (*Est. $19,375 to $44,020) is nearly identical to the Chevy Silverado, although the Sierra wears a slightly different look and finishes behind the Silverado in one head-to-head test. Hybrid versions of both full-size pickup trucks are available: the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid (*Est. $38,020 to $47,305) and GMC Sierra Hybrid (*Est. $38,390 to $47,675).

As the second-best-selling truck in the U.S. behind the Ford F-150, the Chevy Silverado usually gets an automatic slot in head-to-head comparison tests; Truck Trend, PickupTrucks.com, Popular Mechanics, Car and Driver, Edmunds Inside Line and ConsumerReports.org all include it. Single-truck tests at LeftLaneNews.com and ConsumerGuide.com compare the Silverado with rivals in a smaller way. Kelley Blue Book’s brief review includes resale value estimates.

We found fuel-economy estimates at FuelEconomy.gov, and crash-test results at SaferCar.gov and IIHS.org. J.D. Power and Associates conducts extensive owner surveys to come up with its ratings.

Chevrolet Silverado
Chevrolet Silverado
Chevrolet Silverado
Chevrolet Silverado

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