Third Place

Chevy Silverado 1500 4WD Crew Cab LTZ

Base Price: $42,440
Price as Tested: $48,419
Engine: 5.3L V-8
HP: 315
Torque: 338
Transmission: Six-speed automatic

0-60: 7.5 seconds
¼-mile: 15.7 @ 92 mph
Weight: 5,341 lbs
Tow Rating: 9,500 lbs
Observed Gas Mileage: 16.4

Looking at the competition, the 2012 Silverado is outclassed, outmatched, and out of date.

First Impressions
Another truck that has not changed in several years, the 2012 Silverado received a slight facelift by way of a new front bumper and grille. Other than that minimal refresh, the GMT900 has been the same since 2007. Trailer sway control and hill-start assist are important safety technologies now included in all Silverado models, except the hybrid. A much-needed upgrade was the antiquated navigation unit. Keeping the Ford SYNC-rivaling navigation unit found only in the Escalade, the new unit does feature a higher resolution screen and better graphics. Recent news has it that the truck will get a complete overhaul in 2014, leaving GM faithful with a five-year-old design, which GM had made slightly better with each passing year.

From the Log Book
We are quite familiar with modifying the 5.3L Vortec, but in factory trim, the 315 hp and 338 lb-ft of torque placed the Silverado dead last in this shootout. Granted, the 6.2L Vortec Max engine is an option, but with the 4.8L and 5.3L found in most GM ½-tons, the test results show just how competitive the fullsize game is. Inside the Crew Cab, the leather seats and two-tone gray interior in the LTZ looked classy, however the materials weren't as soft as some of the other truck's leather, and the lack of seat coolers was an odd omission for an as-tested price of $48K. We took the Silverado up the tricky and hairpin corner-laded Ortega highway, which has a tendency to concern drivers due to its sheer cliffs, but the Chevy held its own with good body control, solid brakes, and a stable chassis. During that stretch of twisty highway, the Silverado's heavy steering helped with driver input, but several editors found the steering too heavy for everyday, around-town driving. We averaged 16.2 mpg in the six-speed auto-equipped Chevy, which is an improvement of 1.5 mpg over the last four-speed auto Silverado we road tested.

Closing Arguments
Winning our Truck of the Year in 2007, the then-new Silverado was a breath of fresh air, however, the other manufacturers have upped the ante with more powerful engines, elegant interiors, and designs that now make the Silverado look outdated. We're looking forward to getting more of that fresh air when GM launches the new Silverado hopefully at the end of next model year.