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Chevrolet Silverado 1500: The Ultimate Buyer's Guide

Illustration for article titled Chevrolet Silverado 1500: The Ultimate Buyer's Guide

The Silverado is a solid working-man’s truck. What do you need to know before you buy a Chevrolet Silverado? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you everything right here in the Ultimate Buyer’s Guide.


Chevrolet loves to paint their Silverado as “America’s Truck.” Commercials are usually littered with patriotic country music, service members hugging their children, baseball games, apple pie, farmers, and, most notably, Chevy trucks driving through America’s heartland. There’s no doubt, General Motors wants to appeal to the blue collar crowd, and, in a lot of ways, they’re are succeeding. The Silverado offers timeless “big rig” looks while offering solid capability. It’s just a good lookin’, hard workin’, comfortable pickup truck.

What’s New About The 2015 Chevrolet Silverado

Illustration for article titled Chevrolet Silverado 1500: The Ultimate Buyer's Guide

For 2015, Chevy’s Silverado 1500 remains pretty much the same as the previous model year, save for a couple of small updates. The most significant update for ‘15 is the optional 8-speed automatic transmission that mates up to the optional 6.2-liter V8 mammoth-of-an-engine. Last year, the 6.2-liter was mated to a 6-speed. This new trans bumps max trailer tow up to 12,000 lbs. Also new for ‘15, all trims can now be had with a spray-on bedliner. New exterior color options and some tweaks to the in-car communications system and trailering mirrors, round out the notable updates for the 2015 model year.

Powertrain Breakdown

The powertrain options are classic Chevy: a pair of small-block V8s and a 4.3-liter 90-degree V6. But with aluminum construction and direct injection, these aren’t exactly your grandpa’s motors. All three options offer plenty of power and torque, with the 6.2-liter being the burliest engine in its class. The V6 and the smaller V8 come mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The monster engine, the 6.2-liter, comes with eight gears to manage its mighty torque.

2015 Chevrolet Silverado Engine Options

EngineMax Horsepower (hp)Max Torque (lb-ft)
4.3L V6

285 @ 5300 rpm

305 @ 3900 rpm

5.3L V8

355 @ 5600 rpm

383 @ 4100 rpm

6.2L V8

420 @ 5600 rpm

460 @ 4100 rpm

Fuel Economy Breakdown

Fuel economy for truck owners is pretty important. Trucks nowadays do more than just haul an occasional bail of hay around the farm, they actually serve as daily drivers for thousands of Americans. When it comes to sippin’ fuel, Chevy’s Silverado doesn’t do as well as the competition. Only the 4x2 V6 will score over 20 mpg combined. The rest of the configurations manage combined fuel economy in the teens. Ram and Ford offer better fuel economy options than Chevy.


2015 Chevrolet Silverado Fuel Economy Ratings (City/Highway/Combined)

4.3L V65.3L V86.2L V8
Fuel Economy - 4x218/24/20
12/17/14 [E85]
12/17/14 [E85]

Fuel Economy - 4x417/22/19
12/15/13 [E85]
12/16/13 [E85]

Trim Level Breakdown

Illustration for article titled Chevrolet Silverado 1500: The Ultimate Buyer's Guide

Chevy offers 6 basic trim levels for the Silverado. For 26 grand, you can get a V6-equipped 2wd WT with manual windows and a bench seat. Or you can go crazy and spend 50 large on a High Country crew cab luxo-truck with leather trim and lots of bells and whistles. All trucks come with electric power steering, a leaf-sprung solid rear axle, and coil-over-shock independent front suspension.

WT: Base truck. Starts at $26,170. Notable standard features: 4.3L V6, 6-speed automatic transmission, 2wd, regular cab standard box, black front fascia and bumper, black rear bumper, 17” steel wheels, locking tailgate, air conditioning, 4-speaker stereo, 4.2” audio system screen, 40/20/40 bench seat, rubberized vinyl floor cover, cruise control, power locks, manual windows, front and side airbags, all season tires.


LS: Starts at $28,220. Notable standard features over WT: Chrome front and rear bumpers, tinted glass, heated power mirrors, unique 17” stainless steel clad wheels, MyLink in-car communications system, CD player, satellite radio, bluetooth, power windows, keyless entry,

LT: Starts at $32,015. Notable standard features over LS: 17” aluminum wheels, unique chrome grille, damped tailgate, 6-speaker audio system, leather wrapped steering wheel, carpeting, 4.2” driver information display, vanity mirrors, under-seat storage.


LT Z71: Starts at $33,605. Notable standard features over LT: locking rear differential, hitch, 2” receiver, trailering harness and connector, unique shocks, unique front stabilizer bar, unique jounce bumpers, transfer case skid plate, hill descent control, tow hooks, unique badging and exterior trim, larger air cleaner, fog lamps, all terrain tires.

LTZ: Starts at $39,900. Notable standard features over LT: Double cab, 5.3L V8 engine, taller axle ratio, external transmission cooler, locking differential, projector headlamps, fog lamps, hitch, 2” receiver, trailering harness and connector, all terrain tires, 18” aluminum wheels, MyLink 8” touchscreen audio system, dual zone climate control, leather seats, power heated front seats with memory, telescoping steering column, power sliding rear window, rearview camera, remote start.


LTZ Z71: Starts at $40,490. Notable standard features over LTZ: unique shocks, unique front stabilizer bar, unique jounce bumpers, transfer case skid plate, hill descent control, tow hooks, unique badging and exterior trim, larger air cleaner, unique 18” aluminum wheels.

High Country: Starts at $47,965. Notable standard features over LTZ: Crew cab, short box, shorter axle ratio, unique suspension package, polished exhaust tip, wider all season tires, spray on bedliner, body-color front and rear bumpers, unique front grille, tow hooks, navigation, Bose sound system, leather heated and cooled bucket seats, front and rear carpeted floor mats, front and rear park sensors, unique 20” aluminum wheels.


Which One We’d Buy

Keeping all the trim levels straight can be a chore, so we’ll just tell you what we’d buy. If it were us, the sweet spot appears to be the double Cab/Standard Box LT 4WD with the optional 5.3-liter V8 engine, trailering package, and navigation for $39,335. For less than 40 grand, you get tons of power and enough towing capability to transport all of your project cars.


Important Facts At A Glance:

MSRP: $26,170 - $52,735 Max Advertised Towing Capability 12,000 lbs [6.2L]

Max Payload: 2,270 lbs [5.3L] Bed Sizes: 5.8 ft, 6.6 ft, 8.1 ft

MPG: 24 hwy / 18 city / 20 combined [4.3L] Engines: 4.3L V6, 5.3L V8, 6.2L V8

Transmissions: 6-speed auto, 8-speed auto (6.2L only)

Drivetrain Layout: Front engine, RWD/4WD

Photo credit: Chevrolet



I’ll go to my grave knowing that the All-Star Edition package for the LT trim is the best bang for the buck options package available, possibly ever.

The price is $2400, but you get an instant options package discount of $750, so you get all of this for $1650:

All Star Edition

  • Driver 10-way power seat adjuster
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Manual tilt and telescopic steering column on Crew Cab models (Not included with 4.3L EcoTec3 V6 engine)
  • Remote Vehicle Starter system
  • Chevrolet MyLink®1 8” diagonal display audio system
  • Rear Vision Camera
  • Rear-window defogger
  • 110-volt power outlet
  • 18” bright-machined aluminum wheels on LT with Z71 Off-Road Package
  • On LT without Z71 Off-Road Package, includes the Trailering Package, locking differential and fog lamps