Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Research the new Chevy Silverado 1500

The Good

The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 offers excellent towing capacity, a strong and reliable engine, and touches of quality throughout the interior. You can also customize and configure your new Silverado in a dizzying array of different ways, and it drives like a smaller vehicle even though it has just as much size as its competitors.

The Bad

The four-speed automatic transmission feels a little dated and prevents the vehicle’s performance from reaching its full potential. There have been questions in the past about the overall quality and durability of the Silverado’s exterior construction.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a full-size pickup truck that offers a better driving experience, the 2012 Chevy Silverado has a lot to offer. It is branded as the market’s strongest, most durable and longest-lasting heavy-duty full-size pickup truck.


The Chevrolet 1500 Silverado is available in 31 different trim packages, and the price of the vehicle will depend on which options and features you want. Variations across the trim packages include different engines, standard features, cab sizes and cargo box sizes. The base model is the Work Truck 4x2 Regular Cab, with the LTZ 4x4 Crew Cab being the top-of-the-line 2012 Silverado 1500.

MSRP: $22,195 to $42,440

Average paid: $21,307 to $39,469


Acceleration and power

The base engine is a 4.3 L V6 that generates a relatively modest 195 horsepower, accelerating the Silverado 1500 from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 9.5 seconds. However, if you want more power, there are plenty of upgrade options; three additional engines are offered. All are V8s, coming in sizes of 4.8, 5.3 and 6.2 L. The strongest of these engines peaks at 326 horsepower and 348 lb/ft of torque, providing significantly quicker acceleration and a lot more power, payload and towing capacity. You can also upgrade to a 6-speed transmission to improve overall engine performance.

Handling and braking

One area in which the Chevy Silverado 1500 definitely excels is in its handling capabilities. While nobody is going to confuse this full-sized truck with a nimble sports car, the Silverado drives and handles like a much smaller vehicle. It is more responsive, corners better and boasts finely tuned steering. On smooth surfaces, the ride quality is excellent.

All-wheel power-assisted disc brakes are standard on all trim options. In road tests, the Chevrolet 1500 Silverado displayed above-average deceleration capabilities.



The Chevy Silverado is distinguished by a well-appointed interior, made with quality materials. Regular cab configurations offer seating for three passengers, with extended and crew cabs seating five people on fold-away rear seats. Front seats are reclining 40/20/40 split benches, and vinyl is the default seating material. A black rubberized vinyl cover is included for the floor.


Standard features vary dramatically, depending on which of the many different trim packages you order. Equipment and features that are standard on all models include air conditioning, programmable cruise control, two 12-volt power outlets, an analog instrumentation package and a computerized driver information center. A no-frills AM/FM scan-and-seek stereo is the default vehicle entertainment system.

Cargo space

The cargo box area on the base model/regular cab measures as follows:

  • Length (at floor): 78.7 inches
  • Width (at floor): 62.4 inches
  • Width (at wheel housings): 50.6 inches
  • Height: 21.0 inches


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the 2012 Chevy Silverado 1500 a four-star rating for overall safety and rollover resistance. It earned a top score of five stars for its overall side crash resistance, its front seat safety, its rear seat safety and its side pole rating. Standard safety features include GM’s StabiliTrak system, which provides stability control, traction control, trailer sway control, hill ignition assistance and rollover avoidance. The Silverado also comes with six standard airbags, including front-impact driver and passenger airbags, head curtain side-impact airbags and seat-mounted side impact airbags. The vehicle’s basic warranty covers you for three years or 36,000 miles; its drivetrain warranty is good for five years or 100,000 miles.


Compared to the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, there are only minor changes to the various 2012 trim packages, mainly to the standard features included with each model. The given specifications are for the base model 2012 Chevy Silverado 1500; variations among the specifications and standard equipment available for the Silverado 1500 are discussed in the sections below.

  • Transmission: 4-speed automatic with overdrive (optional 6-speed automatic transmission available)
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Engine Type: Gasoline V6
  • Engine Size: 4.3 L
  • Horsepower: 195 @ 4600 rpm
  • Torque: 260 lb/ft @ 2800 rpm
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 MPG, City: 15 MPG
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 MPG, Highway: 20 MPG
  • Payload: 1,940 pounds
  • Towing Capacity: 9,100 pounds
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