Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 4WD — Now the best Silverado ever

By Jim Prueter

(June 14, 2022) I grew up in mid-east Michigan on a farm about 125 miles straight north of Detroit. Most families like mine were farmers or blue collar with most employment dominated by large auto factories and foundries, almost exclusively General Motors, surrounded on the outskirts by fertile farmland that mainly grew wheat, navy beans, alfalfa and sugar beets. In that part of the state pickup trucks were a hard-working tool and as much an elemental part of the landscape as grain trucks, tractors and combines.

In most pickup beds was an assortment gear, tools, equipment parts, oil, shovels and so forth. Four door pickups hadn’t been imagined yet so there was only room for three in the cab and I spent many long rides in the bed enduring blistering heat by day and freezing winds in cold months. The elevator or grocery store might have been a half hour away and the ride was always dusty, windy, a stiff as hell ride, and as kids we loved it.

Brand and job loyalty was a big deal when it came to what kind of truck one drove. I’ve heard stories where General Motors wouldn’t allow employees to park a Ford or Dodge in factory parking lots. If you work for GM and want a truck, you bought a Chevy. Ditto for Ford and Dodge.

But over the years trucks have changed and while still base-level work trucks dedicated as hard working tools of the trades and farms where the floorboard is an acre of dried earth, straw, or seed and hitting the seat awakens a plume of dust. New trucks today can easily approach a $80k window sticker challenging opulent luxury sedans and SUVs with various refinement like quilted leather upholstery, hand finished wood trim, unimaginable high-tech capabilities including hands-free-driving tech and infotainment systems that rival concert hall quality.

Like Ford and RAM, Chevy trucks have been around before any of us on this planet was even born and each brand laying claim to be the most capable, most efficient, most advanced, and the list goes on ad infinitum endlessly, without limit. I’ve reviewed all the brands, numerous times over the years and when a full-size truck regardless of brand lands on my weekly review schedule there’s always an excitement I feel because of my love of trucks.

Most recently it was the newly redesigned 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT Crew four-wheel-drive delivered to me for review. Chevy needed to up the ante with a new Silverado to stay competitive with their newly redesigns. Plus, the fourth-generation Silverado that arrived in 2019 was given a lukewarm reception based mostly on its odd styling, inferior interior and a step or two behind in technology.

I’ll start by giving you my overall impression of the new Silverado and that is it’s quite impressive and a damn good, if not great truck. Is it as good as the best-selling Ford F-150 or RAM 1500? In many ways its better, in others certainly equal to the task and still others it falls short. What I am absolutely convinced of is that the new Silverado will give Chevy loyalists a lot to get excited about.

For starters, Chevrolet has yet again restyled the front end of all Silverado trim levels, but only the LT and above get a completely new interior. There’s an all-new sweeping horizontal instrument panel, a more functional center console, better interior materials and a modern design layout. Also new is significant tech upgrades and features including a huge 13.4-inch-diagonal color touchscreen and new 12.3-inch-diagonal configurable digital instrument cluster standard. The new center console houses an electronic shift controller.

The new Silverado also adds Google built-in offers access to Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Play right on the infotainment screen. It’s set to work with Android Auto  and wireless Apple CarPlay capability and offers new levels of customization and flexibility.

Every Silverado now comes standard with most active safety features via the Chevy Safety Assist that includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, lane keeping assist with lane departure warning, following distance indicator, teen driver mode and more.

Our test Silverado came equipped with the $445 optional Multi-Flex tailgate, which can open and close in multiple ways to help secure bulkier cargo, provide a flat workspace, or make it easier to step up into the bed.

Chevrolet also offers a wide choice of engines including the 2.7-liter turbocharged 310-horsepower four-cylinder with 420 pound-feet of torque that powered our Silverado LT test truck. That engine is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Choosing the 2.7-liter four cylinder generated up to a $1,500 credit over the standard 5.3-liter V8 engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission.  Other available engine choices include a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder turbocharged diesel, or a 6.2-liter 420-horsepower V8 on upper trim levels.

Don’t expect the 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine to save you money at the fuel pump. Our four-cylinder is rated at 18 MPG combined city-highway however, during our weeklong of driving we averaged a disappointing 17.4 MPG. It performs acceptably with good acceleration and passing power, no detectable turbo lag, and shifts were smooth both up and down. Still, that fuel economy is better than the standard 5.3-liter V8 rated at just 16 MPG combined city/highway driving.

Depending upon the engine and drivetrain configuration you choose, the Silverado 1500 offers a maximum towing capacity of between 8,900 and 13,300 pounds. Silverado's maximum payload capacity ranges from 1,440 to 2,270 pounds which, is about average for a full-size truck and more than adequate for typical hauling needs, like a load of firewood or gravel.

On the road we found our Silverado impressive with a surprisingly agile and composed handling and a smooth ride while easily absorbed most road impacts. It’s also quiet and roomy with comfortable and multi-adjustable front seats.
Because of severe drought conditions and extremely dry terrain where we test off-road capabilities, our testing area has been closed so we are unable to comment on its off-road ability.

The Silverado LT trim is available in Double Cab and Crew Cab body styles with either standard or short cargo beds. It’s also offered in standard two-wheel drive or upgraded to offer four-wheel-drive. Those who prefer a more rugged Silverado 1500 would appreciate the Trail Boss trim level or, for serious off-roaders there’s the new ZR2 Silverado. Those wanting more luxury in your Silverado will find the High Country is worth a look.

Overall, the new 2022 Silverado is a good if not great full-size pickup truck with a wide array of “build it your way” choices for towing, cargo hauling, technology assists and infotainment. It’s a practical hauler with a roomy interior, solid build quality and will undoubtedly satisfy Chevy loyalists and traditional truck buyers.

2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 4WD

Vital Stats

Base Price: $48,300
Price as Tested: $52,480
Engine/Transmission: 2.7-Liter, 310-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission powers the all-wheel-drive system.
EPA Fuel Economy: 17/20/18 MPG – City/Highway/Combined
Seating: 6

Crash Test Safety Ratings: Overall “Good” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and highest possible five-star side crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It has not been tested by NHTSA for overall vehicle score or frontal crash test.

Where Built: Roanoke, Indiana

Competes With:
Ford F-150
GMC Sierra 1500
Nissan Titan
Toyota Tundra

Attractively refreshed interior and exterior styling
Polished ride, handling and driving dynamics
Much improved tech, infotainment and advanced driver assist features

Dismal fuel economy from 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine
Consumer Reports predicted reliability is worse than average