The Chevrolet 1500 Truck is a tough, dependable, if not particularly exciting or dynamic full-size pickup. Current models have a considerably improved interior, perhaps in response to heavier competition in this market. The Chevrolet 1500 is known primarily as a "work truck;" a good, solid truck that will get the job done as well as any light truck on the market.
The Chevrolet 1500 truck is the name most commonly given to the line of light pickup trucks from General Motors, particularly the Chevrolet Silverado. The Chevrolet Silverado 1500's counterpart from GMC is the GMC Sierra. General Motors started producing pickup trucks all the way back in 1930, but the classic Chevrolet Silverado 1500 first appeared on the scene in 1998, using the GMT800 platform. The Chevrolet 1500 truck continued to be based on this platform until 2007, when the GMT 900 platform-based Silverados were introduced.
The most current incarnation of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is a half-ton pickup truck that can be had in regular cab, extended cab or crew cab models. In addition to the base Work Truck model, there are LS, LT, LTZ, and XFE trim levels, although not all trims are available with all cabs. The Work Truck is the no frills edition, while the LS adds a few comfort and convenience touches, the LT provides all the standard conveniences, and the LTZ is the luxury model. The XFE offers enhanced fuel economy, and it should be noted that all models come with an E85 fuel-friendly flex-fuel engine.
A wide variety of engine choices can be found in the Chevrolet 1500 truck. Typical are the 4.8-liter V-8, which generates 302 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque, and the 5.3-liter V-8, which produces 315 horses and 335 lb-ft of torque. However, a lighter 195 hp generating 4.3-liter V-6 or a powerhouse 6.2-liter V-8 that sends out 403 hp are also available. The smaller engine 1500 trucks come equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission with tow and haul mode, while the 5.3 and 6.2-liter powertrains come with a six-speed automatic. The 1500 is available as a rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive pickup.
Light duty pickup trucks were part of the General Motors brand for most of the 20th century, but it was in 1999 that the Chevrolet 1500 (along with its heavier duty versions, the 2500 and 3500) picked up the name "Silverado." The light duty truck immediately preceding the Silverado was simply known as the 1500, either a C for a rear-wheel drive model or a K for the all-wheel drive version. Silverado was simply available as a trim level at this time. These earlier 1500s came in standard cab, extended cab or crew cab and typically featured a 5.0-liter V-8 or 5.7-liter V-8 linked to a four-speed automatic transmission.
When Chevrolet officially renamed the 1500 the Silverado in 1998, truck fans flocked to the newly branded truck, as its attractive exterior and powerful V-8 engine had tremendous appeal. The most powerful engine available for this 1500 was a 6.0-liter which came with the SS trim and generated 345 horsepower. Notable with this version was the QuadraSteer four wheel steering system which allowed for tighter turning but was ultimately deemed too costly.
While the exterior of this generation of Chevrolet 1500 truck looked great, some riders bemoaned the cheap interior materials and less than ideal overall interior design. However, as a work truck, the Chevrolet 1500 of this generation was more than satisfactory.
Conventional wisdom is that a reliable, dependable truck requires few changes, and indeed, there is not too much to distinguish the current Silverado from its previous generation counterpart, despite the fact that the current version is based on the more modern GMT900 platform which features better aerodynamics, better fuel economy and a redesign of interior, exterior and suspension. One welcome addition for those who like power with their light truck is the available 6.2-liter, V-8 engine and six-speed automatic transmission. The 6.2-liter engine generates 403 horsepower and 417 lb-ft of torque, and came on the scene in 2009.
The current generation of Silverado comes with a 6.5 foot standard bed or an 8 foot long bed, except the crew cab, which features a 5 foot 8 inch short bed.
The current 1500 also comes in a heavy duty version, called the 1500HD, which comes with a 6.0-liter V-8 engine that generates 300 horsepower and 360 lb-ft of torque. This more muscular light truck can tow up to 10,300 lbs. and haul 3,129 lbs.
In 2004, General Motors introduced a Hybrid version of the Silverado which has a 5.3-liter V-8 hooked up to an electric motor and linked to a four-speed continuously variable transmission.