The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado is a straightforward, good-looking pickup that'll work in nearly every circumstance, with any outfit. It's the buzz cut of full-size trucks.
The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is a full-size pickup truck that's better than a half-ton Labrador retriever—just as friendly and loyal, but highly unlikely to leak in your shoes.
It carries over virtually unchanged from last year—just a couple features were added—and is offered in a broad line of trims starting with base work trucks (LT) that start less than $30,000 up to LS, Custom, LT, LTZ, and luxo High Country models that can approach $60,000.
The Silverado earns a 6.3 on our overall scale thanks to its sharp looks, versatility, and comfort. Fuel economy isn't a huge selling point for these trucks, and it falls on our scale for that. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Styling and performance
The Silverado 1500 relies on crisp lines, square shoulders, and a tall hood to announce its arrival. It's a handsome truck that gets better looking in top trims. A Custom trim with body-colored trim and big wheels tackles "Sport" appearance trucks from rivals, but most trucks will be utilitarian haulers.
Inside, it's a no-nonsense world of upright edges and clearly marked knobs and dials that do what they say—and say what they do. It's the "Jitterbug" approach to interior design, and one that we can get behind for pickups.
A V-6 is standard in the Silverado, and a pair of V-8s step up from there. The 4.3-liter V-6 is good for 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque, and suitable for most jobs—even towing most recreational toys. A 5.3-liter V-8 is the next pick and pushes the Silverado to drag more than 11,500 pounds, if properly configured. Its 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque will hit the sweet spot mentally for many buyers, and its not a bad pick. A 6.2-liter V-8 sits atop the heap and can haul up to 12,500 pounds this year, but its massive 420 hp and 450 lb-ft somewhat spoils the ride if it's not carrying a load.
Most trucks will be mated to a 6-speed automatic, although top trims with the 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V-8 engines are paired to an 8-speed. More gears doesn't translate into better mileage here; most trucks average around 18 mpg combined even with more forward cogs.
All trucks can be rear- or four-wheel drive, with dozens of combinations possible between engine, transmission, and axle ratios to maximize fuel economy or towing.
Comfort, safety, or features
The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado doubles as a mobile office, daily driver, and work hauler for many people. It's very comfortable in all three capacities and is even being used as a family sedan. Its versatility begins and ends with the open bed in the back and spacious in-cab room. Top trim trucks add luxury features such as large infotainment displays and active sound cancellation.
The Silverado 1500 has earned fairly good scores from federal testers for crash safety, and the IIHS has given it mostly top "Good" scores in every category, except the small overlap crash test.
Top LTZ and High Country models can be equipped with an advanced suite of safety features that include active lane control, front and rear parking assistants, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking at low speed. The latter feature is new for 2017 along with a Teen Driver program that monitors speed, distance, and any safety system interventions when younger drivers are on their own.
Like all full-size trucks, there are myriad combinations of features, accessories, and schemes that can be added to the Silverado. We advise taking inventory at home first: what's needed and how much it can cost. Base trucks are empty canvases from which to add more seating, bigger beds, more capability, more technology, and higher costs.
We don't see many buyers off the street springing for WT models, so LS trucks are a good place to start. Something in a 5.3-liter Crew Cab, perhaps?