2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid Review

Pros & Cons

  • Superior city gas mileage for a big truck
  • can accelerate to nearly 30 mph solely on electric power.
  • Questionable value
  • offered in only one body style
  • quirky power delivery
  • limited options.
Other years
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid for Sale
List Price Estimate
$13,875 - $20,541

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Edmunds' Expert Review

If you like the idea of dual-mode hybrid technology in a full-size pickup, the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid crew cab and its GMC Sierra twin are the only games in town.

Vehicle overview

On paper, the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid seems like a perfect union: a full-size pickup that gets 20 mpg around town, using both a whomping V8 for proper truck labor and a pair of electric motors during the stop-and-go. It's a truck that makes more power and gets better mileage than a non-hybrid Silverado or a Dodge Ram 1500, and can tow a 3-ton load behind it. Sounds like an ideal truck for urban cowboys working the city by day and dunes on the weekends, right?

The answer depends whether you prefer green in your wallet or within your social circle. The Silverado Hybrid's impressive around-town fuel economy -- typically 6-7 mpg higher than competitive non-hybrids -- is arguably the best reason to buy. Its dual electric motors can motivate the truck up to nearly 30 mph before the 6.0-liter V8 takes over, making stoplight lurches and freeway gridlock largely a gasoline-free activity.

The two-mode hybrid powertrain on the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid is no small engineering triumph. The system juggles the operation of the engine (including cylinder deactivation), two electric motors, and multiple gearsets and clutches. It also coordinates a complex four-speed electrically variable transmission, essentially a combination of a conventional automatic transmission and a continuously variable one (CVT). A nickel-metal hydride battery pack (located underneath the rear bench seat) provides the charge for the electric motors, and a regenerative braking system recharges that battery pack during deceleration.

With the electric motors kicked in, the combined output is 379 horsepower. And to maximize fuel efficiency, the V8 will shut down four cylinders under certain conditions including light-load cruising or when driving downhill.

All of this technology and efficiency comes at a premium, however. The Silverado Hybrid costs significantly more than a comparably equipped Silverado 1500 LT and doesn't offer much of a boost in highway fuel economy. Even the miserly Silverado XFE is rated just 1 mpg less than the Hybrid's 23 mpg highway rating, while the standard 5.3-liter V8 Silverado still rates a respectable 21 highway mpg. The Hybrid's uneven power delivery and unremarkable towing capacity for its class further limit its appeal.

Considering the premium that the Silverado Hybrid commands — and that it no longer qualifies for a federal tax credit — it doesn't strike us as a smart purchase for most buyers. Some green-oriented businesses might like the truck's reduced carbon footprint, and contractors who do a lot of city driving might even recoup the initial price premium after a few years. For most people, though, the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid will likely remain an overpriced curiosity.

2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid models

The 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid is a full-size crew cab pickup available in either 1HY or 2HY trim. The base 1HY comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, a soft tonneau cover for the cargo bed, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat, full power accessories, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with auxiliary audio controls, cruise control, OnStar, Bluetooth and a six-speaker CD/MP3 stereo with satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack.

The 2HY ups the luxury quotient with foglamps, heated exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals, rear parking sensors, a hard bed tonneau cover, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-adjustable pedals, leather upholstery, power front bucket seats, a navigation system with real-time traffic updates and an upgraded Bose audio system with a USB port.

A power driver seat is a stand-alone option for the base 1HY. Other options include remote start, a back-up camera (2HY only) and a sunroof (also 2HY only).

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2011 Highlights

Other than efforts to reduce wind noise and improved voice recognition through OnStar, the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid is unchanged.

Performance & mpg

Available in either two- or four-wheel-drive, the Silverado 1500 Hybrid is powered by a 6.0-liter V8. It's joined by two 60-kilowatt electric motors supplied by a nickel-metal hydride battery pack under the rear seat (warranted for eight years/100,000 miles). On its own, the V8 is rated at 332 hp and 367 pound-feet of torque. GM engineers say that combined output with the electric motors is 379 hp. The four-speed electrically variable transmission is a complex cross between a regular automatic and a CVT.

In Edmunds testing, a 4WD Silverado Hybrid took a leisurely 9.2 seconds to get from zero to 60 mph. By comparison, a conventional 2WD Silverado powered by the 5.3-liter V8 makes the same dash a couple seconds quicker. The Hybrid's maximum tow rating is 6,100 pounds, which is roughly on par with the 4.8-liter and 5.3-liter V8s, but well below the 10,700-pound maximum for the 6.2-liter V8.

EPA fuel economy estimates are 20 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 21 combined. The city is where the Hybrid shines -- most full-size trucks are in the 14-15-mpg range.


The 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid comes standard with stability control, antilock disc brakes and full-length side curtain airbags. OnStar is also included.

In Edmunds brake testing, the 4WD Silverado Hybrid came to a stop from 60 mph in 144 feet, below-average performance for trucks of similar heft.

The Silverado Hybrid has not been tested using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash testing procedure. Its 2010 rating (which isn't comparable to 2011 ratings) was a perfect five stars for frontal and side-impact collisions. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, testing the regular Silverado 1500, gave the truck a top score of "Good" for frontal-offset crash protection and a second best score of "Acceptable" for side-impact protection.


The 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid doesn't feel as powerful as 6.0 liters and a claimed 379 hp would suggest.

The main culprit is the powertrain's complexity. Floor the Hybrid from a stop and there's a noticeable pause as the truck creeps forward in electric mode, then hurtles away once the gas engine comes online. Acceleration comes in surges between 4,000 and 5,000 rpm. Taller gearing also keeps the V8 largely in a fuel-savings mode, with the electric motors offering less aid as throttle load and vehicle speed increase.

The electric power steering is transparent enough not to highlight itself as in other hybrids. Brake feel, however, alternates between artificial and frustrating. There's a delayed response to actual braking force, then grabby deceleration on engagement.


Inside, the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid is all work truck. Black plastic trim and functional, rudimentary switchgear rule out any pretensions. Still, for the hybrid price premium, we'd like the classy Silverado LTZ dash finery as an option. The rear seat is roomy and comfortable, though the seatback angle is a bit upright.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

If you are going to drive a truck . . .
4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB w/2HY (6.0L 8cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)
Have owned the Sierra for 8 months now and I really enjoy driving this truck. I get pretty much 20-21 MPG regardless of city or highway driving. On long stretches of country driving (45-50 MPH, no stopping) actually get about 26 MPG. Just don't drive that way much. Inside is big and comfortable. My kids like it and so does my wife. Black on black looks awesome. It is fun to drive. Pretty good in city traffic, awesome on the highway. The truck is finished nicely (not like a luxury car), but very comfortable.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover19.1%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid

Used 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid Overview

The Used 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid is offered in the following submodels: Silverado 1500 Hybrid Crew Cab. Available styles include 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB w/1HY (6.0L 8cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A), 4dr Crew Cab SB w/1HY (6.0L 8cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A), 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB w/2HY (6.0L 8cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A), and 4dr Crew Cab SB w/2HY (6.0L 8cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrids are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrids you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid for sale - 2 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $19,948.

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Should I lease or buy a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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