The Ford F-150 may hold the title of best selling individual pickup in the country, but when you combine the sales of the Chevrolet Silverado with the nearly-identical GMC Sierra, it’s a different story. The General Motors pickups outsell the Ford handily and also outsell all the import label pickup trucks combined. Despite last year’s economic woes and General Motors’ subsequent remaking, the Silverado continues to be a strong seller for Chevrolet, which is probably why Chevy has done very little tinkering with the 2011 version. To its credit, the line of Active Fuel Management-equipped V8 engines offered in the Silverado give it segment-leading fuel economy, and, for those with an ecological bent, a number of engine choices are now Flex-Fuel E85-capable. There is also a hybrid model, reviewed separately.
If you need to tailor your pickup truck to your exact requirements, the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado enables you to do just that with a wide variety of configurations, bed lengths and trim levels. The Silverado’s V8 engine lineup offers Active Fuel Management technology, Flex-Fuel E85 capability and even a hybrid model.
Beyond an upgrade to OnStar 9.0, some new colors and some minor enhancements to reduce wind noise, there are no major changes for the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado.
Thanks to its rigid frame and advanced construction techniques, the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado offers a markedly better ride-and-handling combination than many of its competitors. The Silverado platform includes a fully-boxed frame (for more chassis stiffness), coil-over-shock front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering, and the result is a surprisingly maneuverable and comfortable vehicle. A lengthy test drive over rough, washboard gravel roads revealed a quiet and composed cabin. While the available 4.3-liter V6 could probably get most jobs done, the Silverado can also be equipped with a variety of V8 engines, most with 5.3-liter displacement. A 6.2-liter 403-horsepower aluminum-block V8 is available as well. Power delivery with each V8 engine is more than ample, and the electronically-controlled six-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission delivers it smoothly and without hesitation.
In a welcome bow to those who work hard to earn their keep – and who live in frigid climes – the Silverado has knobs, switches and door handles that can be easily operated while wearing gloves.