The 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is a worthy choice for a full-size pickup thanks to its wide range of body styles, capable performance and comfortable ride.
Since the current generation of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 debuted, competing trucks have outpaced the Chevy with recent redesigns. But don’t assume the Silverado (or its GMC Sierra twin) is ready to be put out to pasture just yet. Over its production run, this full-size truck has seen its share of improvements on top of the solid foundation with which it started. Despite the mounting pressure from rival manufacturers, the 2011 Silverado 1500 remains one of the best trucks in this category.
In terms of capabilities, the Silverado 1500 ranks right up there with its competition in terms of towing capacities, body style choices and option choices — the differences are very slight. The Chevy is notable, however, for its smooth ride and low wind and road noise levels. Factor in comfortable seats — at least in the upper trim levels — and the Silverado earns our endorsement as a long-distance road-tripper.
The LT trim adds upgraded audio speakers and a USB jack, premium cloth seating, a lockable compartment with a power outlet built into the center cushion of the split front seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Standard safety equipment includes antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum) and stability control. Front side and side curtain airbags are also standard. Four-wheel disc brakes are available as part of the Max Trailering package.
In government crash tests, the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 earned the top rating of five stars in frontal collisions. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, a Silverado crew cab earned a top score of “Good” for frontal-offset crash protection and a second-best score of “Acceptable” for side-impact testing. In our testing, a Silverado crew cab with four-wheel disc brakes stopped from 60 mph in a short 120 feet.
Unlike previous generations of pickups, the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is actually pleasant to drive. The steering is light but reasonably precise, and the truck’s comfortable seats and smooth, quiet ride make road trips enjoyable.
The 5.3-liter V8 feels brawny. The six-speed automatic transmission that comes standard with the 5.3-liter V8 does an admirable job of keeping power on tap, while the four-speed feels outdated by comparison.
On the whole, the Silverado’s interior fit and finish ranks highly, Crew-cab models feature comfortable rear seats with flip-up seat cushions that provide a nearly flat load floor.