2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Review
Pros & Cons
- Quick acceleration and strong towing/hauling ability thanks to available V8 engines
- Front seats are comfortable for long drives
- Cabin is pleasingly quiet at highway speeds
- Long list of available options allow for extensive customization
- Ride quality isn't as smooth as that of some other trucks in the class
- Eight-speed automatic is available only with V8 engines on upper trim levels
Edmunds' Expert Review
All-purpose vehicles such as the Chevrolet Silverado can haul passengers and plywood and tow trailers up steep grades without breaking a sweat. It's one of the reasons why the modern full-size truck is one of the most popular vehicles on the road today. They come in many forms, from a sparsely equipped, three-seat workhorse to leather-wrapped people haulers. Fully loaded crew-cab models even rival full-size luxury sedans in terms of rear seat legroom and creature comforts. The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is no different, offering a variety of cab and bed configurations and tons of available features.
But several aspects of the Silverado help distinguish it from its rivals. If you live in California, you could check out the LT model's eAssist package, which adds an electric motor and regenerative brakes to support an engine start-stop system. This mild-hybrid system raises EPA estimates for the 5.3-liter V8 and eight-speed automatic transmission combo by 1 to 2 mpg all around. New for this year is the Teen Driver system, which allows users to obtain notifications whenever certain parameters (such as a maximum speed or emergency safety systems) are breached or triggered by a secondary driver, such as a valet or teenager. A number of appearance packages are also available to differentiate your Silverado from the crowd.
The Silverado's primary competitors are the 2017 Ford F-150 and 2017 Ram 1500, both of which offer a wide range of engines, cab and bed combinations, and luxury and safety features. You should also consider the Nissan Titan, which is completely redesigned for 2017. All are fine choices, but the versatility and customizability of the Silverado 1500 mean it's definitely worth a look.
Standard safety features on the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear seat side airbags, and side curtain airbags. Also standard on all trim levels is the Teen Driver watchdog feature, which can be used to set certain parameters for secondary drivers such as teens and valets. All Silverados except the Work Truck come with OnStar, which includes services such as automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and stolen vehicle assistance.
Options include a rearview camera (available on all trim levels except Custom), front and rear parking sensors, and the Enhanced Driver Alert package. This suite of driver aids adds a lane departure warning and intervention system, a forward collision warning system with low-speed emergency braking, and the Safety Alert seat that buzzes the driver seat bottom as an additional form of warning.
In government crash tests, the Silverado earned a perfect overall five-star rating, with five stars awarded for both total front-impact and side-impact protection and four stars for rollover protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Silverado 1500 earned the top rating of Good in the moderate-overlap front-impact, side-impact and roof strength tests. In that agency's small-overlap front-impact test, the Silverado received the second-lowest Marginal rating. The Silverado's seat/head restraint design was rated Good for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
During Edmunds' braking test, a 2WD Silverado Regular Cab came to a stop from 60 mph in 122 feet, a very short stopping distance for a full-size pickup. A heavier and larger 2WD Silverado Crew Cab came to a stop from 60 mph in 128 feet, still a few feet shorter than average.
2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 models
The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 full-size pickup is available in three cab styles: the two-door regular cab, the four-door extended (Double) cab and the crew cab. The regular cab seats three and can be had with either a 6.5-foot-long standard bed or an 8-foot-long bed. The extended cab can seat up to six and comes only with the standard bed. The crew cab adds full-size rear doors and increased rear legroom and is available with the standard bed or a shorter 5-foot-8-inch bed. All cab and cargo bed configurations can be ordered with two- or four-wheel drive.
Regular cabs are limited to the Work Truck (WT), LS and LT trims. The extended cabs come in WT, LS, Custom, LT and LTZ trims, and the crew cab comes in all the aforementioned trim levels (except the Silverado Custom) as well as the plush High Country. The off-road-oriented Z71 package can be ordered in LT and LTZ models with four-wheel drive.
The WT comes with 17-inch steel wheels, xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, active grille shutters, manually adjustable mirrors, a bed light, tinted glass, air-conditioning, cruise control, power door locks, a tilt-only steering column, a driver information display, vinyl seating, vinyl floor covering, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat, a 4.2-inch color audio display, a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack. Upgrading to cloth upholstery adds adjustable lumbar support for the driver.
The standard equipment changes slightly depending on the cab configuration. Extended-cab models get a full-width folding rear bench, while crew cabs have a 60/40-split folding bench. Extended- and crew-cab models get power windows and a six-speaker audio system, and regular cabs get manually operated windows and a four-speaker system. Front tow hooks are standard with four-wheel-drive models.
An upgraded infotainment system is available with a 7-inch touchscreen, Chevrolet's MyLink interface, OnStar (with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi), smartphone compatibility via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity, voice controls and the six-speaker sound system (for regular cab models).
The LS adds stainless steel finish wheels, chrome bumpers and grille, power and heated mirrors, deep-tinted glass, power windows, remote locking and unlocking, and the upgraded infotainment system. The Silverado Custom is similar to the LS but receives special exterior trim, front tow hooks and 20-inch alloy wheels (remote locking/unlocking is deleted but can be added back by selecting the Convenience package).
From the LS, stepping up to the LT adds an EZ Lift and Lower tailgate, alloy wheels, body-colored door handles and mirrors, a rearview camera, cloth upholstery (with adjustable lumbar support for the driver), carpeting, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, an upgraded driver information display, and an 8-inch touchscreen with HD radio, satellite radio and a CD player. Double and crew-cab models with front bucket seats also get a floor-mounted console with wireless phone charging.
The LTZ adds the 5.3-liter V8 engine, chrome exterior trim, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, LED foglights and taillights, a heavy-duty locking rear differential, front tow hooks, a seven-pin wiring harness connector, a trailer hitch, remote engine start, a security system, power folding mirrors with puddle lamps, auto-dimming driver and rearview mirrors, a power sliding rear window with defogger, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 110-volt power outlet, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated eight-way power driver and passenger front seats with two-way power lumbar, and driver-seat memory settings.
The luxe High Country includes a unique grille, 20-inch chrome wheels, front and rear parking sensors, chrome side step rails, cargo box tie-downs, a spray-on bedliner, a trailer brake controller, a heated steering wheel, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, a navigation system, ventilated front bucket seats with four-way power lumbar adjustment, power-adjustable pedals, second-row floor mats, wireless phone charging and the contents of the Enhanced Driver Alert package (see below).
The Z71 package, which is available for the LT or LTZ with 4WD, features 18-inch wheels and off-road-oriented hardware such as special shock absorbers, a heavy-duty air cleaner, hill descent control, underbody shields, recovery hooks, and a few unique exterior and interior styling tweaks.
Many of the features on the upper trim levels are offered on the lower ones as packages or stand-alone options. Other available features (depending on the trim level and configuration) include various axle ratios, off-road-oriented tires, larger wheels, tow mirrors, a power sunroof, LED cargo box lights, a rear under-seat storage bin and a rear seat entertainment system with a DVD/Blu-ray player. Notably, the Max Trailering package features an integrated trailer-brake controller, heavier-duty suspension calibration and a higher-capacity radiator. Available on all but the High Country, the Cargo Convenience package includes a spray-on bedliner, movable upper cargo tie-downs and a cargo management system.
Another key option group is the Enhanced Driver Alert package, optional on the LT and LTZ and standard on the High Country. It includes a lane departure warning and prevention system, automatic high-beam control, forward collision alert with low-speed emergency braking, a safety alert seat, and front and rear parking sensors.
There are also the All Star Edition and Texas Edition option packages, whose highlights (depending on the package) include 20-inch wheels, one of the available towing groups, remote starting, a power driver seat, a rearview camera and, of course, unique badging. Choosing a LT crew-cab model with the All Star Edition opens the gates to the eAssist package (if you are buying from an eAssist dealer in California). It adds a fuel-saving engine start-stop feature with an electric motor charged by regenerative brakes. Also included is the 5.3-liter V8, an eight-speed automatic transmission, a tonneau cover and LED cargo box lights.
Several styling packages are available, depending on body style and trim level. These include the Special Ops, Realtree, Midnight, Rally 1 and Rally 2 packages.
Standard on all but the LTZ and High Country trims is a 4.3-liter V6 with 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. It comes matched to a six-speed automatic transmission and either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. The EPA's fuel economy estimates stand at 20 mpg combined (18 city/24 highway) for two-wheel drive. With 4WD, EPA estimates drop slightly to 19 mpg combined (17 city/22 highway). In Edmunds testing, a Silverado 1500 2WD Regular Cab in Work Truck trim took 7.7 seconds to sprint from zero to 60 mph.
The 5.3-liter V8, which is standard on the LTZ and High Country and optional on other Silverados, makes 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. On WT, LS and LT trims, it is matched to a six-speed automatic, but it can be paired to an eight-speed automatic in LTZ and High Country models depending on the configuration. With rear-wheel drive, the EPA says Silverados with the 5.3-liter V8 and the six-speed will achieve 19 mpg combined (16 city/23 highway). With 4WD they rate 18 mpg combined (16 city/22 highway). Oddly, figures for the eight-speed fall slightly, with 2WD Silverados earning 18 mpg combined (16 city/22 highway), and 4WD models rated at 17 mpg combined (15 city/20 highway). This V8 is paired to the eight-speed automatic on the LT if the eAssist package is specified. It raises fuel economy estimates to 20 mpg combined (18 city/24 highway) on 2WD models and 18 mpg combined (16 city/21 highway) on 4WD versions. In Edmunds testing, a 2WD Silverado 1500 LT Z71 Crew Cab with the 5.3-liter V8 and the six-speed went from zero to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds.
Optional on the LTZ and High Country trims is a 6.2-liter V8 paired to the eight-speed automatic. It develops 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Trucks with the 6.2 V8 earn an EPA rating of 17 mpg combined (15 city/21 highway) with 2WD and 17 mpg combined (15 city/20 highway) with 4WD. A 4WD LTZ Z71 Crew Cab made the 0-60 mph run in just 5.9 seconds, a blistering time for a truck of its size.
Depending on cab and bed configuration, maximum towing capacity with the V6 tops out at 7,600 pounds. A Silverado 1500 with the 5.3-liter V8 and the Max Trailering package can tow up to 11,000 pounds, while the 6.2-liter V8 with the package can tow 12,500 pounds. Maximum payload for the V6 is rated at 1,980 pounds. Properly equipped, the 5.3-liter V8 carries up to 2,430 pounds, while the 6.2-liter falls to 2,160 pounds.
The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado's standard V6 engine provides more than enough power for most simple tasks. As you'd expect, the 5.3-liter V8 delivers even more thrust with good manners, though there's still a bit of vibration during hard acceleration. More seamless than ever, however, is the 5.3-liter engine's fuel-saving cylinder deactivation system, which swaps between V8 and V4 modes imperceptibly.
The six-speed automatic transmission provides smooth and timely gear changes in normal driving. However, we've noticed that there's still too big a gap between the transmission's gear ratios when towing heavy loads. For those who need to tow and don't mind stepping up to the LTZ or High Country trims, the 5.3-liter V8 with the eight-speed is a happy compromise. If you don't need the kind of luxury accoutrements those trims afford but still want a worry-free towing experience, the Max Trailering package is definitely helpful. In the past, we used a Silverado in this configuration to tow a trailer with an 8,600-pound load, and there was plenty of reserve grunt.
Overall ride and handling dynamics are some of the best available in any full-size truck. The 2017 Chevy Silverado 1500 feels robust structurally, yet most versions are compliant and comfortable over broken pavement. Take note, though, that the ride is noticeably stiffer on trucks with the Max Trailering package. A quiet cabin is one of the Silverado's strong suits; the pickup is adept at keeping road and wind noise to a minimum, even at highway speeds. In our long-term test of a Silverado 1500, we found this truck extremely livable for daily commuting and long road trips alike.
Given its size and focus on utility, the Chevy isn't exactly agile around turns, and there's plenty of body lean if you push it harder. But in normal driving it feels confident, and the steering is well-weighted. Off-road, the Silverado exhibits excellent composure when bouncing around on rocky trails.
Inside, all versions of the Chevy Silverado have high-quality materials, and we've been impressed by the build quality in all the trucks we've tested. There are numerous storage bins, a deluge of cupholders, and enough USB ports to keep all your devices charged and happy. Both touchscreen infotainment interfaces feature straightforward menus and effective voice commands. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are even easier to use because they imitate the respective smartphone interfaces that users are already familiar with.
With a choice of bench or buckets up front (depending on trim level), as well as available heating, ventilation and adjustable lumbar support, the Silverado's thickly padded seats promise plenty of long-trip comfort. If you go with the crew cab, you get plenty of rear passenger space with ample headroom, legroom and shoulder room. In addition, the current Silverado is better insulated from noise than ever before, and city potholes and grooved highway pavement seldom intrude on the cabin's calm. Finally, clambering into the cargo bed is made easier by clever steps and handholds built into both corners of the rear bumper.