2010 Silverado 3500HD New Car Test Drive
The Chevy Silverado needs no introduction. If you're in the market for a full-size pickup you know what it is and what you can expect it to do. Since all full-size pickups are available in exceptionally wide ranges of sizes, engines, and capabilities, it's of primary importance to analyze your own needs and then select the Silverado that best serves those needs.
For 2010 there have been some detail enhancements to the Silverado 1500. A 3.08:1 axle ratio and fuel saver mode is standard with the 5.3-liter V8 for improved fuel economy, resulting in 15 mpg city/21 mpg Highway for 2WD models. There is E85 FlexFuel capability on the 4.8-liter, 5.3-liter, and 6.2-liter engines. Variable valve timing on the 4.8-liter and 5.3-liter engines improves fuel economy. A six-speed automatic transmission is on Regular Cab and Extended Cab models with the 5.3-liter V8. USB connectivity is on all except the base radios. On the safety side, side-curtain airbags and seat-mounted side airbags, and the StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, are standard on all 2010 Chevy Silverado 1500s.
The base engine is a 4.3-liter V6 (195 hp/260 lb-ft of torque) with a four-speed automatic, offered only on Regular Cabs and 2WD Extended Cab models with the standard bed. The 4.8-liter V8 (302 hp/305 lb-ft of torque) and four-speed automatic are standard on Crew Cab and 4WD Extended Cab models with the standard bed, and on many LT models.
The 5.3-liter V8 (315 hp/338 lb-ft of torque, or 326 hp/348 lb-ft of torque on E85), with active fuel management that shuts off cylinders to save fuel, and iron or aluminum block, is standard on most LTZ models and is matched with a six-speed automatic.
The top engine is a 6.2-liter V8 (403 hp/417 lb-ft of torque) available on Extended Cab and Crew Cab models; it uses the six-speed automatic.
XFE (Xtra Fuel Economy) models use a 5.3-liter V8, six-speed automatic and cruising-biased axle ratio of 3.08:1 to increase EPA ratings. XFE versions feature aerodynamic upgrades in the form of a soft bed cover and extended front air dam, plus aluminum wheels (including the spare) and lower front suspension arms, locking rear differential, and low rolling resistance tires. A trailering package is standard so XFE models can tow up to 7000 pounds.
The Hybrid, available only in the Crew Cab body style, uses a 6.0-liter V8 (332 hp/367 lb-ft of torque), battery pack, and four-speed automatic with two electric motors in it. EPA ratings are 21/22 mpg. Tow ratings are available to 6100 pounds, and maximum payload is in the 1400-pound range.
The 2010 Chevy Silverado is available in four trim levels: WT, LS, LT, and LTZ. Packages often upgrade amenities without upgrading engines or body styles.
The WT ($20,850) is a basic work truck that comes with a driver information center, AM/FM/XM stereo, 40/20/40 split-bench, vinyl-covered front seat, dual glove boxes, two auxiliary power outlets, tire pressure monitoring system, OnStar and a four-speed automatic transmission. The LS Crew Cab ($30,360) offers lots more in the way of features.
The LT ($26,810 for Regular Cab, 2WD) adds a cloth-covered front seat with lockable storage under the seat, a CD player and MP3 compatibility, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and outside temperature displays, chrome front bumper and 17-inch styled steel wheels, and power folding and heated exterior mirrors. LT models can be upgraded with premium cloth front bucket seats with six-way power adjustment, dual-zone automatic temperature controls, audio controls mounted on the steering wheel, fog lamps, aluminum wheels, chromed bumper, and a spare tire lock.
The LTZ ($35,280 for Extended Cab, 2WD) adds heavy-duty trailering equipment, an automatic locking rear differential, body-colored bumpers, reclining and heated leather front seats with 12-way power, an in-dash six-CD changer with Bose speakers, 18-inch wheels, turn signal indicators in the exterior rearview mirrors and heated windshield washers.
Extended Cab and Crew Cab models have back seats and windows in the side doors that power down. The Crew Cab has four front-hinged doors, much like a sport utility vehicle. The Extended Cab has rear access doors hinged at the rear that open to 170 degrees to provide full access to the rear seating area. The Regular Cab can be outfitted with a standard bed (6-foot, 6-inch) or long bed (8-foot). The Extended Cab also offers a short (5-foot, 8-inch) bed. The short bed (5-foot, 8-inch) is the only bed available on the Crew Cab.
Five suspensions are available: Z83 is the standard setup designed for a smooth ride; Z85 is a little firmer for enhanced handling and towing; Z71 is for off-road driving and includes 18-inch wheels; Z60 is for maximum street performance and includes 20-inch wheels; NHT is for maximum towing capacity (bigger rear axle with locking differential, HD cooling, and so forth) and includes high-capacity rear springs as well as all-terrain tires.
Option prices vary by trim level and body style. Among them: A power sliding sunroof ($995), 20-inch wheels/suspension ($1,045), a power sliding rear window ($250), rear-seat entertainment system ($1,480), and navigation system ($2,250). Options on lesser models include the locking differential ($325) and various levels of towing packages.
Safety features on all Silverado models include dual front airbags, anti-lock brakes, tire-pressure monitoring system, side-curtain airbags, and StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover mitigation technology.