TheCarConnection.com is impressed by the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado’s high standards of refinement. The Silverado clearly isn't a standout in acceleration or braking, but it steers and handles more crisply than we’ve come to expect, easing the white-knuckle affair that full-size pickup piloting can be on narrow city streets.
Motor Trend compliments the Silverado’s handling, saying it “takes a set as flat as any modified tuner truck we've driven.” They continue, praising the Silverado for providing “the smoothest road feel and most confident turn-in of any full-size pickup,” while Autoblog proclaims that the Silverado’s “steering and brake feel defies comparison to other half-ton pickups.” In a comparison test versus some of the Silverado’s main competitors, Car and Driver remarks that the Silverado handles the most confidently, with crisp steering and braking, while delivering a smoother ride than other pickups tested. However, Edmunds finds the braking performance of their truck, which weighs almost 5,500 pounds unloaded, a bit unimpressive.
Reviewers are generally happy with the performance provided by the 5.3- and 6.0-liter engines, but complaints almost unanimously center around hesitant reactions from the four-speed automatic transmission, which is still the only automatic offered with the base 4.3-liter V-6 and step-up 4.8-liter V-8 engine.
While off-roading, Autobytel.com notes trouble seeing over the large hood, especially when cresting large hills: “On more than one occasion, we were forced to stick our heads out for guidance.” The Web site adds that “on the plus side, the steering wheel stays steady and straight even when inching over uneven boulders or ruts.”
According to Consumer Guide, the Silverado with the 5.3-liter engine is among the most frugal in its class. The engine’s Active Fuel Management system can shut off four cylinders to save up to 20 percent in fuel.