While the Ford F-150 is still the best-selling pickup truck in the US, the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado is one of the finest half-ton pickups available today. In fact, the Silverado and the GMC Sierra are actually the same vehicle under different badges, and when you combine their sales, you’ll see that they outperform the F-150 in sales every year.
If you’re running low on fuel, the Silverado’s Active Fuel Management system will cut engine operation down to four cylinders to increase fuel efficiency and get you to the gas station before you run empty. Also, for those cold winter days when you don’t want to take your gloves off before getting in your truck, the handles, knobs, and switches in the Silverado are all large enough to operate even with heavy gloves.
Changes for 2012
Not only did the front end of the exterior get a facelift for 2012, but some editions also offered heated/cooled seats, as well as a built-in hard drive with a navigation and mapping system.
What We Like
We like how stiff the chassis is in the Silverado, giving it better towing and hauling capacity, as well as more durability in rough terrain. There’s power and torque to spare in all variants, and the 6-speed Hydra-Matic transmission never hesitates.
What Concerns Us
If you really need to tow heavy loads, the regular Silverado engine might not make it, but the Silverado HD 2500 or 3500 diesel engines are more than up for the task.
Available in regular, extended, and crew cab variants, the Silverado comes with four engine options:
Engine – 4.3-liter V6
Power – 195 HP at 4600 RPM
Torque – 260 lb-ft at 2800 RPM
Fuel efficiency (MPG city/highway) – 14/18 (4WD), 15/20 (2WD)
Engine – 4.8-liter V8 Flex-Fuel
Power – 302 HP at 5600 RPM
Torque – 305 lb-ft at 4600 RPM
Fuel efficiency (MPG city/highway) – 10/13 (4WD E85), 13/18 (4WD), 10/14 (2WD E85), 14/19 (2WD)
Engine – 5.3-liter V8 Flex-Fuel
Power – 315 HP at 5200 RPM / 326 HP at 5300 RPM (E85)
Torque – 335 lb-ft at 4400 RPM / 348 lb-ft at 4400 RPM (E85)
Fuel efficiency (MPG city/highway) – 11/16 (4WD E85), 15/21 (4WD), 11/13 (XFE E85), 15/22 (XFE), 11/16 (2WD E85), 15/21 (2WD)
Engine – 6.2-liter V8 Flex-Fuel
Power – 403 HP at 5700 RPM
Torque – 417 lb-ft at 4300 RPM
Fuel efficiency (MPG city/highway) – 9/13 (4WD E85), 12/18 (4WD), 9/13 (2WD E85), 13/18 (2WD)
Some models have been recalled due to an issue with the ignition lock actuator, which can make it difficult to turn the key or can cause the ignition to bind in the “start” position.
Some owners report issues with “clunking” transmissions or transmission problems when towing heavy loads.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado and was authored by Valerie Johnston.