2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Review and Prices

Last Updated: Aug 5, 2011

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2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Buying Advice

The 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is the best pickup for you if you want new tech in an old wrapper. 

The new tech is the first hybrid powertrain in a pickup truck. It harnesses a gas V-8 engine to a two-motor electric-drive system and improves fuel mileage by 40 percent in the city and 25 percent overall. The “old wrapper” tag is relative – after all, the Silverado and its GMC Sierra cousin were redesigned as recently as the 2007 model year. In truck terms, they’d still be youngsters if not for the fact that their archrivals from Ford and Dodge were all-new for model-year 2009. So the 2010 Silverado 1500 competes with full-size pickups that have fresher looks and more-innovative features.

Should you buy a 2009 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 or wait for the 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500? We would have said wait for the 2010 to get your mitts on a half-ton pickup with diesel power. But GM has shelved indefinitely plans to introduce a diesel engine option for the Silverado 1500 and Sierra 1500. So there’s little reason to wait for the 2010 Silverado. It won’t have any significant improvements over the 2009 version. And you’re not likely to be in a better bargaining position on price.

2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Changes back to top

Styling: No changes of note to the same handsome, conservative shape introduced with the 2007 Silverado. The 2010 Chevy Silverado Hybrid gets some eco-badging and borrows its aerodynamic front fascia and cargo-bed tonneau from the Silverado 1500 XFE (Xtra Fuel Economy) model, but otherwise looks like any other Silverado 1500. Silverado 1500s continue as two-door regular-cabs, extended cabs with rear-hinged back doors, and crew cabs with four conventional doors. Available cargo-bed lengths are 5.8 feet, 6.5 feet, and 8.1 feet. The Hybrid, which is expected to account for just 5-10 percent of Silverado sales, is offered only as a crew cab.   

Mechanical: The hybrid gets most of the hype, but the more far-reaching change is another feature also introduced for 2009: a hydraulic body mount for all extended- and crew-cab Silverado 1500s. It replaces a hard rubber mount as the connection between body and frame and triggers a surprising improvement in ride quality and control, particularly on rough or choppy road surfaces. Silverado’s most-popular engine is the smooth, versatile 315-horspower 5.3-liter V-8, which is available on all body styles. Along with the optional 367-horsepower 6.0-liter V-8, the 5.3 uses GM’s Active Fuel Management to save gas by automatically switching between eight and four cylinders, depending on power demands. Also available is a 195-horsepower V-6 and V-8s of 4.8 liters (295 horsepower) and 6.2 liters (403). The V-6 and 4.8-liter V-8 use a four-speed automatic transmission, the other engines a six-speed automatic. Maximum towing capacity is 10,700 pounds and is achieved with the extended-cab.
The 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid shares its powertrain with the Chevrolet Tahoe and Cadillac Escalade Hybrids. Its employs a 6.0-liter V-8 in combination with electric motors and a nickel-metal hydride battery pack. It can launch and drive up to 30 mph on electricity alone. The electric motors, housed within the transmission casing, also automatically kick in for extra acceleration. And in cruising conditions, they enable the hybrid’s Active Fuel Management-equipped V-8 to stay longer in its V-4 model. The system is self-charging and total horsepower is 332. The hybrid is available with two- or four-wheel drive, transmission is a continuously variable-type automatic, and towing capacity is 6,100 pounds.

Features: The 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 continues to answer most any need for utility or comfort. Roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-to-work features include a choice of basic four-wheel drive or GM’s all-surface Autotrac four-wheel drive, both with low-range gearing; permanently engaged all-wheel drive; five separate suspension setups, from off-road to sporty handling; and a variety of beefed-up cooling, towing, and cargo-carrying options. Wear-your-going-out-jeans amenities include leather upholstery, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a power sliding rear window, remote engine start, 12-way heated power front seats, and Bluetooth phone link. 

2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Prices back to top

Basic as basic gets is the rear-wheel-drive V-6 regular-cab short-bed with hand-crank windows, painted front bumper, and a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of around $18,600. Even this Silverado, however, comes with air conditioning, antilock brakes, and a tilt steering column. (Prices quoted here include Chevy’s mandated destination fee of around $925.) Climb the model ladder, adding more power, four-wheel drive, and larger cabs, and base prices quickly escalate into the mid-$20,000s and keep going into the upper-$30,000s. Ladle on the stand-alone and package options (leather, navigation, and DVD video, partner?), and a $50,000 sticker price is yours. In this, 2010 Chevrolet Silverado pricing keeps pace with the Ford and Dodge competition, though you may find your local Chevy dealer offering slightly better deals at the low end of the spectrum because its pickup design is older than that of its rivals. Base price for the Silverado Hybrid ranges from about $43,000 to about $46,000.

2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Fuel Economy back to top

Not even counting the fuel-saving hybrid model, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (along with the GMC Sierra) gets the best gas mileage of any half-ton pickup on the road. The margin is slim – basically just 1 mpg in EPA city and highway ratings – and fuel economy is a relative term when it comes to full-size, 5,000-pound trucks.

With gas engines, EPA fuel-economy ratings for the Silverado 1500 bottom out at 12 mpg city/19 highway for model equipped with the 403-horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 and 4WD. Ratings top out at 15/21 for a 5.3-liter V-8 version. In between, the V-6 gets a best 15/20, and the 4.8- and 6.0-liter V-8s a best 14/19. Note that the 5.3-liter V-8 can burn E85 ethanol fuel, which may cost less at the pump but typically reduces fuel economy by 20 percent or so. For example, a 4WD 5.3-liter Silverado rates 14/20 burning gas, but just 10/15 using E85.

The 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid is rated at 21/22 with 2WD and 20/20 with 4WD. By comparison, a Silverado 1500 packing the similar 6.0-liter V-8 but sans hybrid technology rates 14/19 with 2WD and 13/18 with 4WD.

2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Release Date back to top

Look for the 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 in showrooms by autumn 2009.

2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Competition back to top

2010 Ford F-150: Redesigned for 2009 with updated styling, larger cabs, and a lighter, stronger frame. Power, fuel economy, towing, and payload capacity are improved, too. The F-150 has more passenger room and in-cab storage space than the Silverado, and the Ford’s cargo boxes have compartment and divider features the Chevy lacks. The new F-150 debuted with an all-V-8 lineup; horsepower reanges from 248 to 320 and fuel economy ratings span 14/18 to 15/20. Like GM, Ford shelved plans for an F-150 diesel, and it never had a hybrid in the hopper. Instead, Ford pins its high-tech hopes on the company’s EcoBoost V-6, a twin-turbo that aims to deliver the power of a V-8 with the fuel economy of a V-6. It’s due during calendar 2010, but could be part of a model-year 2011 F-150 launch. F-150 base prices begin from around $22,000 and top out around $45,000. Maximum towing capacity is 11,000 pounds.

2010 Dodge Ram 1500: Fully redesigned for model-year 2009 and set to acquire a hybrid option for model-year 2010. Ram’s newest look refines its macho styling with more-aerodynamic but still-brawny shapes. It gains its first half-ton crew cab and is first in class to eschew leaf springs for a rear coil-spring suspension (it retains a solid rear axle). The redesigned Ram has more power underhood, including a revised Hemi V-8 with 390 horsepower. A V-6 with 215 horsepower and a 4.7-liter V-8 with 301 also are available. Other than the Silverado and Sierra, the Dodge Ram 1500 is the only full-size pickup to offer 4WD that can be left engaged on all surfaces, a boon to traction when roads are damp and the bed is empty. Maximum towing capacity is 9,100 pounds. Ram 1500 base prices are in the $23,000-$46,000 range. Ram Hybrid prices are likely to start around $43,000. The 2010 Dodge Ram Hybrid’s electric-motor technology was developed in cooperation with GM and BMW, but Dodge pairs it with its Hemi V-8 for a horsepower rating around 390. Hybrid fuel economy is around 20/21 compared to 14/20 with the regular Hemi; both have cylinder-cutoff technology. The V-6 is also rated at 14/20, the 4.7 V-8 at 14/19.

2010 Toyota Tundra: Redesigned for model-year 2007, getting enough size, power, and features to qualify as the first import-brand pickup to compete directly with Ford, GM, and Dodge in the half-ton arena. A fine effort, but nothing to pull fiercely loyal domestic buyers in significant numbers, and launched too late to exploit the salad days of big-pickup as fashion statement. The 2010 Toyota Tundra continues with a competitive selection of gas-only V-6 and V-8 engines, cab types, and bed styles. It’s build at Toyota’s plant in the U.S. Fuel-economy ratings top out at 15/19 and bottom out at 13/17. Maximum towing capacity is 10,800 pounds. Base price range is around $24,000-$44,000.