2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 5.3 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 315 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/21 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

  • The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is an accomplished contender in the full-size pickup segment thanks to its wide range of body styles and capable performance.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Smooth and quiet ride; comfortable seats; powerful V8 options.

  • Cons

    Large turning circle; weak V6 engine; bland interior design on base trim; limited cabin storage.

  • What's New for 2012

    The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado sees only minor changes. Among them are restyled front grilles/bumper fascias for LS and LT models, an updated navigation system (now hard-drive-based) and the inclusion of trailer sway control as part of the stability control system.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (20 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Not fun to drive!

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Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

If you want a truck that rides n feels like a Cadillac and tows like a champ(nothing more) buy a silverado. I've had my truck for a year and love it for road trips and towing. Aside from that...yawn. If you want a truck that will JUMP when you hit the gas, get sideways on demand, and still tow when needed buy a Nissan! Sincerely, sad silverado owner



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Impressive truck

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Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

This is my first Silverado and it exceeds all of my expectations. The ride and handling is far superior to the mid-size pickup I traded in on it. The interior is comfortable and very roomy- I can fit six adults easily. Power with the 5.3L and 6 speed is plentiful and makes this truck fun to drive. It gets identical fuel mileage to my former mid-size too. The frequent shifting of the 6 speed took some getting used to but the shifts are mostly unnoticeable and power is always on tap. The autotrac 4wd is fantastic in the snow. Overall I'm very impressed with the truck.



1 of 7 people found this review helpful

I hate my 2011 silverado

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Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

I have had noting but disappointments from my 2011 silverado i purchased new. From the bed rails that dent from falling acorns to brakes that overheat when the truck is empty, simply exiting the freeway???? you cant pump gas into it because they changed the down angle but no gas stations around me are updated. the traction control button stopped working at 39,000 miles, so I took it appart and found it was super glued together from the factory or dealer I dont know which but definitely cracked/broken plastic bits obviously glued back together???? (are you kidding me??? no I am not) when I asked costumer service they have nothing.



1 of 2 people found this review helpful

2011 chevy with 6.2

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Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

have had this truck over a year now. Love it, has 11500 miles on it. I seem to be the only one that does a review on it to have the bigger 6.2 V8 insted of the smaller 5.3 v8.(had two 5.3 before not that great of a motor, no power). Let me tell you it does not get good gas mileage. 13 in city and 16.5 on highway. I knew this when i got it. The ride is great and the BOSE stereo sounds great. have pull 4 ATVs and all the camping stuff that weighed about 8000 lbs. still passed other trucks like they were standing still and still had more power left. 403 HP is all i have to say.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

6 speed auto trans

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Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

2012 Silverado - the 6 speed auto trans is a no-go ! Shift points are in the middle of right hand turn speed. Its a poor transmission, and jerky. You wont like the 6 speed auto...




In 2011, best bang for

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

I put a good 10,000 miles on it while in Alabama and it performed well. The real test was to come - I had it shipped to Alaska, upon moving, and have put 6,000 Alaska miles on it since being up here during one of the worst winters in history. I have to say, this truck performed flawlessly. Although, per the dealership here, it is suggested to not use AUTO 4x4 as it will eventually ruin the 4x4 - Just keep it in 4 High in inclement conditions. Ice, Snow, Mud, Slush, not a problem for the Silverado. Ya, the interior sucks compared to Ford, but I dont care to much. Love the huge center console/elbow rest. Gas mileage in AL and AK have been consistent at 15.4 on cruise, all HWY miles.



Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 15
  • cty
/
  • 21
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado sees only minor changes. Among them are restyled front grilles/bumper fascias for LS and LT models, an updated navigation system (now hard-drive-based) and the inclusion of trailer sway control as part of the stability control system.

Introduction

The current Chevrolet Silverado platform is 6 years old, having debuted in the 2007 model year just like the Toyota Tundra. And yet even though Ford and Ram offer trucks that have been updated since then, the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado remains a competitive choice in the full-size pickup segment. Regular upgrades, comprehensive utility packages, value-added special editions and respect for a strong heritage all keep the Silverado fresh.

The 2012 Silverado 1500 is on relatively equal footing with other full-size trucks when comparing towing capacities, body style choices and options. Kudos goes to the Silverado 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 Silverado 1500 is not without a few faults, though. We find the Work Truck interior aesthetically dull compared to base models from Ram and Toyota. The aging V6 engine struggles to motivate such a large truck. A large turning radius hampers maneuverability, leading to frequent multiple-point turns in tight parking lots.

Comparatively, the Ford F-150 has more innovative technology features available, the Ram 1500 has a smoother ride quality and the Toyota Tundra is roomier in crew cab trim. Yet the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 remains a solid choice in our book and deserves attention when cross-shopping in this very competitive segment.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is a full-size pickup offered in a variety of cab/cargo-bed configurations in both two- and four-wheel drive. Body styles include regular cab, extended cab and crew cab. Regular and extended cabs are available with either a 6.5-foot standard bed or an 8-foot long bed. Crew cabs are mated to only a 5-foot-8 short bed. Regular cabs are limited to the base Work Truck and midlevel LT trims, while the extended and crew cabs come in LS, LT and the range-topping LTZ trim.

The Work trim (or WT) is limited to the bare necessities, which include air-conditioning (extended- and crew-cab versions), a trip computer, a tilt steering wheel, OnStar telematics, vinyl seating, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat and a four-speaker AM/FM stereo with an auxiliary audio jack. The LS adds full power accessories, keyless entry, cruise control, satellite radio and adjustable lumbar support for the driver.

The LT trim includes 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. The LTZ piles on 20-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control (in extended and crew cabs), an exclusive dash design with wood and metallic accents, leather upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable heated front bucket seats, driver-seat memory settings, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, Bluetooth, remote engine start and a Bose audio system with a six-disc CD changer, a USB/iPod interface and rear audio controls.

Many of the features on the upper trim levels are offered on the lower ones as options. Other popular options (depending on the trim level and configuration) include towing packages to meet different load requirements, the Z71 Off-Road package (skid plates, off-road suspension, 18-inch wheels and body-colored front end), 18- and 20-inch wheels, a sunroof, heated power-folding outside mirrors, an EZ Lift tailgate, a power-sliding rear window, a cargo management system, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, upgraded audio systems, a rear-seat entertainment system, a navigation system and ventilated front seats.

There is also the XFE (extra fuel economy) trim variant for the two-wheel-drive 5.3-liter V8 crew cab that features aerodynamic enhancements and lightweight aluminum components that improve fuel economy.

Powertrains and Performance

Chevy offers four engines in the 2012 Silverado, including three V8s.

The standard 4.3-liter V6 produces 195 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. LS trim buyers may upgrade to a 4.8-liter V8 rated at 302 hp and 305 lb-ft, or a 5.3-liter V8 that's good for 315 hp and 335 lb-ft. The biggest engine is a 6.2-liter V8 cranking out 403 hp and 417 lb-ft of peak torque. The LT trim, depending on body style, will have one of the two smaller V8s as standard, while the 5.3-liter is standard on the LTZ. The 6.2-liter is available as an option on select models.

A four-speed automatic transmission with a tow/haul mode is standard on Silverado pickups with the base V6 and 4.8-liter V8. The 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V8s utilize a six-speed automatic. In a recent Edmunds test, a Silverado with a 6.2-liter V8 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, which is quick for a full-size pickup. Properly equipped, a Silverado 1500 can tow up to 10,700 pounds.

Buyers have a choice of either rear- or four-wheel drive. The Work and LS trims with 4WD have a traditional floor-mounted selector for the transfer case. All other 4WD trims have Autotrac, which features an automatic setting that shifts into 4WD when wheel slippage is detected.

EPA fuel economy estimates range from 15 mpg city/22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined for a crew cab XFE down to 12/19/14 mpg for a 4WD Silverado 1500 fitted with the 6.2-liter V8.

Safety

Standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, OnStar, electronic stability control and traction control. Front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags are also standard. Four-wheel disc brakes are available as part of the Max Trailering package. In Edmunds brake testing, a Silverado crew cab with four-wheel disc brakes stopped from 60 mph in a short 120 feet.

In government crash tests, the 2012 Chevy Silverado received an overall score of four stars (out of five). It earned four stars for overall frontal crash protection and five stars for overall side crash protection. 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.

Interior Design and Special Features

The base model won't excite the senses but it meets the needs of work-only owners who want durability and don't have to worry about hosing out the mud, if needed. Comfort features along with fit and finish improve greatly when moving up to the more popular and upscale trim levels. The new navigation system offers an enhanced display and quicker response times. The heated and ventilated bucket seats are offered only on the LTZ trim level, but otherwise it's easy to get in a comfortable driving position with the available power-adjustable pedals. Crew cab models feature comfortable rear 60/40-split-bench seats with flip-up seat cushions that provide a nearly flat load floor. Interior storage is merely adequate, with small cupholders and haphazard center console organization.

Driving Impressions

We haven't always admired the ride on previous generations of the GM full-size pickup, but the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is pleasant to drive. It features a light yet reasonably precise steering response. The suspension keeps the body under control without any drama and provides as comfortable a ride as can be expected from a full-size truck. One downside is the wide turning circle, which doesn't help the broad-shouldered truck maneuver in a downtown parking garage.

The base V6 doesn't provide the power needed for hauling a heavy load, although the 4.8-liter V8 picks up the pace a little. The 5.3-liter V8 feels brawny while the 6.2-liter V8 turns the Silverado into a veritable muscle truck. The smaller engines are still saddled with an outdated four-speed automatic that doesn't contribute much to either low-end grunt or fuel economy. But the six-speed automatic transmission that comes standard with the two bigger V8s does an admirable job of keeping power on tap and features a well-calibrated tow-haul mode and cruise-grade braking.

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