As a plain ‘ole truck, we enjoyed the Silverado. The interior was very comfortable and quiet — even in “engine mode” — and we’re impressed by the improvement in ride over earlier trucks. Compared to our 1990 Chevy budget project truck (and even other mid-’90s trucks we’ve owned and driven) the Silverado rides like a Cadillac.
It’s admittedly a bit odd to see the engine stop and start on its own, and it’s entertaining to watch the stereo’s LCD display the charging/motor system’s status. But if we ignored the gauges and just drove the damn truck, it felt pretty much like every other truck we’ve driven. The transitions from battery to hybrid mode and hybrid to engine mode feel mostly seamless, though Sean did experience a little drop-out in full-throttle acceleration. But the big question is: Does it tow?
Absolutely. It’s important to remember that even though this Silverado’s a hybrid, it’s still got a 6.0-liter V8 under the hood ready to ante up when the pulling gets tough. But even with the boat out back, we saw the Silverado entering battery-only and hybrid mode from time to time. And the additional braking energy expended stopping the rig translates into additional battery charge.
Granted, you’re not going to spend a lot of time under battery-only power while towing. With the a/c shut down and a very light foot, we managed to yank the boat along at about 15-20 mph with battery alone. It’s an interesting experience, especially for one standing outside as the truck passes by: It’s so quiet that you can easily hear the trailer’s springs squeaking and frame flexing and creaking.
Read on to page three for our conclusions.