From work truck to luxury hauling appliance, the 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Silverado Hybrid suit a lot of truck buyers. It's a perennial best-seller, and even in these days of frugality, the Silverado is a good choice for truck buyers who don't need to splurge, but may want to. Like the tough competition, the Silverado is available in a seemingly endless variety of configurations; buyers can choose from two interior designs, four gas engines, one gas-electric drivetrain, two automatic transmissions, one two-mode hybrid transmission, and three cab styles. With its great payload and towing capabilities, the Silverado is versatile enough to serve the needs of Midwest farmers and suburban hipsters alike. It competes with the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan, but even more closely with the Dodge Ram, the Ford F-150, and the similar GMC Sierra. (TheCarConnection.com does not review the heavy-duty Silverado 2500, 3500, or 4500.)
Back in 2007, GM completely renovated the Chevy Silverado to great effect. The body design was simplified and cleaned up, and a larger bowtie grille was fitted to the front end. It's still a good-looking truck, though it's not as distinctive as the Dodge Ram-or as controversial as the Toyota Tundra or the Nissan Titan. The look is aging well, and this year there are no cosmetic changes save for some revised door-panel trim. In the cabin, the Silverado wears two styles; "pure pickup" versions have a high dash with low-gloss black plastic and no center console for three-across seating. Upscale LTZ versions get a wide console, bands of wood grain trim, and metallic-painted pieces that look far richer and more appealing. It's almost carlike compared to the more upright design on base versions, which also get larger door handles and controls to make operation easier for big hands with gloves. Both interiors share large, clearly marked gauges and soft blue backlighting, a meaty steering wheel, and humongous cup holders tucked either into the dash or the fold-down armrest, or molded into the console.