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Is the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 all the pick-up you need?

By Trent Giunco, 24 May 2020 Reviews

Is the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 all the pick-up you need?

From America, with help from HSV


Wheels first drive review

Overall Rating

5 0 5

Plus & Minus

  1. Plus Strong 6.2-litre V8; mega 4.5-tonne towing capacity; seamless conversion to RHD

  2. Minus Size takes time getting used to on-road; it’s mighty thirsty; no diesel planned – yet

The Wheels Verdict: The market for American-sourced pick-ups is growing down under, meaning rigs like the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ are becoming worthwhile business. However, most are left-hand-drive only, which is where HSV comes in, converting the US-grade pick-up to right-hand drive to an OEM standard. Ultimately the Silverado 1500 is big and brash. But those who want a large pick-up won’t be disappointed.

WHAT IS THE CHEVROLET SILVERADO 1500 LTZ?

Crikey, it’s big! Don’t let its status as the ‘baby’ of the Chevy Silverado line-up fool you. This piece of American pick-up truck is still almost six metres long and two metres wide. Pricing for the 1500 LTZ is yet to be determined, but according to HSV, expect to pay around $110,000 before on-roads and options. And don’t go too crazy on the HSV accessories as there is $33,106.63 worth of options to choose from.

WHY WE’RE TESTING IT

The US-sourced pick-up market is going from strength to strength down under. RAM and Silverado sales are increasing month-to-month with the interest in such vehicles building at an alarming rate. The Silverado 2500 is a big rig, while the order-only 3500 is a true specialist proposition, so the ‘diminutive 1500’ could be just right. So we’re seeing if it’s any good.

Read next: How American pick-ups are set to save Australian manufacturing jobs

CHEVROLET SILVERADO 1500 LTZ REVIEW

Branding something an acquired taste doesn’t have to elicit negative connotations. Everyone can’t always like everything. And in the case of those who like big, American-sourced pick-ups, the want and desire for such vehicles is strong. Hence HSV and Walkinshaw have seized the opportunity, importing and converting the large Yank dual-cabs in impressive numbers.

Now there is a new player, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ. It stands as the entry-level variant, sitting below the 2500 and 3500 offerings, but given it’s 5885mm long, don’t classify it as ‘small’. It’s just not as large as its siblings. For reference, the 1500 is still bigger than a Volkswagen Amarok.

It looks tough, with optional 20-inch Gloss Black wheels ($1103.30) and it’s packing a 6.2-litre V8 under the hood… sorry, I mean bonnet. HSV is currently only offering the highly specified LTZ variant, and it’s expected to come in at around $110,000 – which isn’t exactly spare change.

However, you’re buying a lot of metal and robust mechanical gubbins. Packing 313kW and 624Nm, the EcoTec V8 is no slouch despite the 1500 tipping the scales at 2588kg. Despite using GM’s Dynamic Fuel Management system (code for cylinder deactivation), the 1500 still slurps 12.3L/100km – and that’s without towing and using a light right foot. The $5062.20 optional HSV exhaust not only sounds angrier, it adds 9kW/10Nm to the outputs.

Given most will buy the Silverado to tow and carry things, the key figures you need to know are that it has a 712kg payload, and a maximum braked towing capacity of 3500kg using a 50mm ball or 4500kg using a 70mm ball. We found that towing a 2.5-tonne caravan up steep hills isn’t an issue – thanks to plentiful torque, the automatic even resisted the urge to hunt through its 10 ratios. There is also a handy adjustment in the cabin for the trailer braking, and dedicated apps and cameras specific to towing.

Read next: American-sourced trucks are booming down under

The 2020 1500 sheds 205kg compared to the previous generation thanks to GM’s all-new T1XX platform and dynamically the Silverado impresses with the Proactive Roll Avoidance tech working well. However, unladen there is some scuttle shake, while the suspension can tend to skip over bumps when cornering. Our car was fitted with HSV-tuned suspension, which offered a little more control, but it is yet to be signed off for market. Adding a 325kg ballast to the tub helped settle things down. The optional $5841 Brembo brake upgrade also offers stronger performance and better feel through the pedal. The transfer case is a two-speed, electronic Autotrac unit, while there is also a heavy-duty locking rear differential as part of the all-wheel drive system.

Space inside the cabin is expansive and comfortable, with 10-way power adjustable seats up front (heated and ventilated). Rear legroom is at limo levels, while headroom is more than ample. The back pews can easily handle adults three abreast without rubbing shoulders. There are even handy storage cubby holes in the seat backs, with numerous USB charging points throughout as well as a wireless charging pad.

Read next: HSV SportsCat axed

Connectivity is accounted for with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, displayed on an 8.0-inch touchscreen, and a Bose sound system. The Silverado also gains key safety systems highlighted by adaptive cruise control, AEB and lane-change alert with blind-sport monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Active lane keeping isn’t available yet, but HSV is working on calibrating the Chevrolet system for Australian use.

The HSV conversion to right-hand drive is flawless and appears to OEM standards, a sentiment infused throughout the Silverado 1500 experience. The Chevy might not be the biggest pick-up offering or utilise a turbo-diesel powertrain, but it’s got ample muscle and capability to boot. For those that want something beyond an Amarok V6, the Silverado 1500 ticks a lot of boxes. Aussie tastebuds now have an interesting new flavour to savour.

RIVALS

RAM 1500; RAM 2500

CHEVROLET SILVERADO 1500 LTZ PRICE AND SPECS

Engine: 6162cc V8, OHV, 16v

Max power: 313kW @ 5600rpm

Max torque: 624Nm @4100rpm

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

Weight: 2588kg

0-100km/h: 5.6sec (estimated)

Economy: 12.3L/100km

Price: $110,000 (estimated)

On sale: Now

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Second opinion: 4x4 Australia

4X4 Australia

4X4: Australia’s guide to the off-road adventure lifestyle.

Mixing in-depth vehicle reviews with off-the-beaten-track adventures and gear tests, 4X4 is all about enjoying Australia’s great outdoors.

HSV adds the Chevrolet light duty Silverado 1500 LTZ growing range of American pick-up conversions.
By: Trent Giunco

GIVEN most will buy the Silverado to tow and carry things, the key figures you need to know are that it has a 712kg payload and a maximum braked towing capacity of 3500kg using a 50mm ball or 4500kg using a 70mm ball

We found that towing a 2.5-tonne caravan up steep hills isn’t an issue, thanks to plentiful torque, and the automatic even resisted the urge to hunt through its 10 ratios. There is also a handy adjustment in the cabin for the trailer braking, and dedicated apps and cameras specific to towing.

Venture off-road and the Silverado 1500 delivers 235mm of ground clearance, a 21-degree approach angle, 23-degree departure angle and a rampover angle of 20 degrees. The transfer case is a two-speed electronic Autotrac unit, while there’s a heavy-duty locking rear differential as part of the all-wheel drive system.

You can select between four-wheel drive high and low, and two-wheel drive mode. While the dirt section was limited on test and hardly enough to trouble the 1500, constant rain made the track muddy, however the Goodyear Wranglers (275/60R20 all ’round) coped well.

HSV has done the hard yards in its testing which started in late-2018. A team of engineers (a total of 45 worked on the entire project) even took three Silverado 1500s and a caravan to the outback, covering 12,774km over a few weeks. The route even included the revered Gibb River Road, and apart from punctures, all three Silverados stood up to the tough test.

Helpful additions for towing included in the Advanced Trailering Package are hitch guidance with hitch view, integrated trailer brake controller, trailer theft alert and an in-vehicle advanced trailering system.

The HSV conversion to right-hand drive is flawless and appears to OEM standards, a sentiment infused throughout the Silverado 1500 experience. The Chevy might not be the biggest pick-up offering or utilise a turbo-diesel powertrain, but it’s got ample muscle and capability to boot. For those who want something beyond an Amarok V6, the Silverado 1500 ticks a lot of boxes.

CHEVROLET SILVERADO 1500 LTZ SPECS:
Engine: 6.2L V8 petrol
Power/Torque: 313kW/624Nm
Gearbox: 10-speed automatic
Kerb Weight: 2588kg
GVM: 3300kg
Payload: 712kg
GCM: 7160kg
Towball Capacity: 4500kg
Departure angle: 23.0°
Rampover angle: 20.0°
Approach angle: 21.0°
Wading depth: N/A
Ground clearance: 235mm
Fuel Tank Capacity: 91 litres
ADR Fuel Claim: 12.3L/100km
Price: 
$110,00 (approx.)

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Quick review: MOTOR

MOTOR

Motor focuses exclusively on high-performance cars, offering a heart-stopping, hair-raising blast into the world of prestige and performance culture.

HSV’s 313kW V8 dual-cab not quite the new Maloo

Scott Newman

Here at MOTOR, we’re well used to testing powerful utes from a factory in south-east Melbourne, and the latest offering from the artist-kinda-still-known-as-HSV follows a similar theme. There’s a 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 up front grunting out 313kW and 624Nm, though the ability to use either rear- or all-wheel drive is a new trick.

Less familiar (and welcome) is a 2588kg kerb weight and a footprint roughly similar to a city bus. The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 might be the ‘baby’ of the range, but it’s like one of those Samoan rugby-playing families where the runt of the litter is still 6’3” and 110kg. At 5885mm long, 2063mm wide and 1915mm tall, the 1500 dwarfs the typical dual-cab utes currently the darlings of the Aussie buying public.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Its size can be a handicap in an urban environment; you’ll need to pick your parking spaces carefully and underground carparks (or tight spaces) are probably off-limits, but its width isn’t a huge problem, still comfortably fitting inside most lane markings. The benefit of the Silverado’s dimensions is a vast interior. That rugby-playing Samoan family could practice line-outs in the back, and the two front seats virtually occupy different postcodes.

Of the many dashboard buttons is a Sport mode, but it merely adds unnecessary weight to the steering, so Normal is the way to go. The 10-speed auto (operated by a massive column-mounted lever) shifts swiftly and smoothly and is a good partner to that atmo V8. It isn’t just a Camaro engine; the L78 is less stressed, redlining at 5700rpm, but doesn’t skimp on outputs with 313kW/624Nm.

The other V8 utes: HSV's secrest Maloo W1s

It shifts this leviathan with surprising ease. Zero to 100km/h is in the low-6sec bracket, and while it doesn’t necessarily feel quite that quick, it hustles off the line smartly. Sounds good, too, especially with the optional Walkinshaw exhaust ($2990) that adds another 10kW or so into the bargain.

No one is going to expect sports car dynamics from something this size (or they shouldn’t). For what it is, the Silverado is impressive; it’s stable on the highway and goes more or less where you point it when the road curves. The 275/60 Goodyear all-terrain tyres don’t offer masses of grip, but there’s decent balance. The ESP defaults back on over 60km/h, which is sensible but a slight killjoy in something with this much power and wheelbase.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 preformance brakes

We drove the Silverado 1500 as there are plenty of reports frothing about the idea of a V8-powered dual-cab and this was a chance to test the concept. It has merit, as while this giant Chevy is no performance car, it sounds good, has masses of space and can tow anything this side of the QE2. As long as you can afford to buy it (from $113,990) and fuel it (we averaged 21.2L/100km over 300km) it’s worth a look.

Like: Honest performance; generous interior space; noise; presence; practicality

Dislike: Not really a performance motor; absolutely enormous; thirsty; bit pricey

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 specs

Engine 6162cc V8, OHV, 16v

Power 313kW @ 5600rpm

Torque 624Nm @ 4100rpm

0-100km/h 6.5sec (estimate) 

Weight 2588kg 

Price $113,990

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