The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 comes with a choice of three cab sizes: Regular, which seats up to three; and crew or extended, both of which seat up to six. The regular cab is a two-door; the crew cab has four standard doors and the extended cab features rear-hinged back doors.
Cargo beds for the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado regular cab come in lengths of 5-foot-8-inches and 8 foot. The extended cab features beds of 5-foot-8 or 8-foot, plus a 6-foot-6-inch wide box. The crew cab has a 5-foot-8-inch wide box.
Transmission options are five-speed overdrive, six-speed standard and four- or six-speed automatic. Both automatics have automatic overdrive.
Engine options for the 2012 Chevy Silverado include a V6 and four V8s. The base V6 features 195 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The 5.3-liter V8, available on all models and traditionally the most popular, has 315 horsepower and 335 pounds of torque.
The V8 engines use General Motors' active fuel management system (AFM), which deactivates four of the eight cylinders when less power is needed. AFM allows the engine to switch effortlessly between four and eight cylinders as power requirements change.
The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado hybrid has a 6-liter V8 combined with an electric motor housed in a transmission casing. The V8 uses the AFM system. The electric motor uses a nickel-metal battery pack that self-charges and can achieve 30 mph on electricity. The hybrid is available in 2WD or 4WD.
All models feature an electronic brake controller connector located under the dash, which eliminates the need to join wires when hooking up to a trailer. The 6.2L V8 crew cab with optional trailer package achieves the maximum towing capacity of 10,600 pounds.
The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado is fuel efficient because of its active fuel management system and E85 compatibility on some models. Two of the V8s are capable of running on 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gas. The horsepower remains the same when using E85 but the mpg drops by about 20 percent.
The V6 1500 2WD gets 15 miles per gallon in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. The 4WD model gets 14/18.The 5.3L V8 gets 15/21 for 2WD and 4WD. The 1500 hybrid gets 21/22 mpg for 2WD and 4WD.
Comfort features include remote engine start, automatic dual zone climate controls for the driver and right front passenger seats, OnStar communications, rear seat DVD entertainment, power sliding rear window and Blue Tooth cell phone link. The instrument panel includes two 12-volt power ports that can power electronic equipment.
Safety features include 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, an antiskid system and curtain side airbags, standard on all models. Tire deflation sensors and a rear-view backup camera are available.
For those who want more than a half-ton truck, the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 2500, a three-quarter-ton pickup, and Silverado 3500, a one-ton truck, are the next best options.