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#1

in 2010 Full Size Pickup Trucks

Avg. Price Paid: $23,156 - $28,773
Original MSRP: $38,340 - $47,820
MPG: 21 City / 22 Hwy
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2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

 

Reviews of the 2010 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid's performance are mostly positive, but a few reviewers question if the fuel gains are worth the compromises the Silverado Hybrid makes in towing capabilities, or the Silverado Hybrid's hefty price. Overall, however, reviewers agree that the Silverado Hybrid is a capable performer for buyers who want to save gas and don't often tow heavy loads.

  • "The first production gas-electric pickup by any carmaker, the hybrid Silverado rolls just as well as its gasoline brothers, just quieter, cheaper and cleaner." -- Detroit News
  • "Although the 332-horsepower, 6.0-liter hybrid power plant sounds imposing, its somewhat odd power delivery and unremarkable towing capacity may further limit its appeal. " -- Edmunds
  • "Yup, this truck in two-wheel-drive trim gets 21 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. Plus, it can still haul (1,400 lbs) and tow over three tons." -- Automotive.com
  • "It's not far-fetched to say the Silverado Hybrid's powertrain is more advanced than Lexus'." -- PickupTrucks.com

 

Acceleration and Power

The 2010 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid comes with one powertrain option: a 6.0-liter V8 mated to two 80-horsepower electric motors and an extremely advanced automotive transmission with three planetary and four fixed ratios. The 322-horsepower V8 has extra fuel-saving technology, including cylinder deactivation. New for 2010, the V8 is also flex-fuel capable, so it can run on either gasoline or E85 ethanol.

By and large, reviewers are impressed with the powertrain, especially with the advanced transmission, which is technically a four-speed, but acts like a six-speed.  Even under electric power alone, they say the Silverado Hybrid launches with authority and has ample passing power. However, a few reviewers disagree, given the Silverado Hybrid's price, and say that gas-only Silverados with smaller engines offer better performance.

  • "GM's two-mode hybrid system could be the most complex powertrain ever produced." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Speaking of the accelerator, the green Silverado is no supercharged Tundra rocket-truck, but it's no smart fortwo either and should post 0-to-60 times in the 8.0-sec range." -- Motor Trend
  • "No one would guess there's a 332-horsepower 6-liter V-8 under the hood -- and that power number doesn't reflect the instant torque from the 300-volt motor inside the transmission." -- Detroit News
  • "It's undeniably neat to take a full-size pickup from zero to 29 mph solely under electric power, but the eccentric power delivery and unremarkable towing capacity render the cheaper 4.8-liter and 5.3-liter V8s wholly viable alternatives, particularly if fuel economy is not a top priority" -- Edmunds
  • " Add it all up, and GM's 2-Mode hybrid powertrain has three sources vying for the right to move you forward, and as you may imagine, there's enough processing power from the five CPUs to run a NASA-sponsored trip to the moon." -- Autoblog

Fuel Economy

The Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid's fuel economy is a high point, but buyers looking to trade up from their Prius hybrids may need to temper their expectations.  It may be a hybrid, but the Silverado Hybrid is still a large truck. Sill, with a 40 percent increase in city gas mileage that puts its fuel economy in line with a midsize V6 sedan's, the Silverado Hybrid makes a persuasive case to buyers who need a truck but also want to save on gas.

Several reviewers were also impressed that the Silverado hybrid can run on electric power alone for speeds up to 30 miles per hour. A few reviewers question if the gas savings are enough to justify the hybrid's price premium, however.  The 2010 Silverado Hybrid doesn't have fuel economy estimates yet, but the very-similar 2009 Silverado 1500 Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 21/22 mpg city /highway in two-wheel drive.  With four-wheel drive, the fuel economy is estimated at 20/20 mpg city/highway.

  • "Your lead-footed scribe achieved 19.6 mpg driving around the streets of San Antonio. Others who were gentler with the accelerator pedal than a New York cabbie achieved the claimed 21-22 mpg. Many V-6 sedans would be hard-pressed to hit that on a regular basis, and they don't weigh almost three tons." -- Motor Trend
  • "The city mileage for the two-wheel-drive models is the same as the EPA city ratings for both the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry four-cylinder sedans with automatic transmissions" -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • "Another factor in battery operation shows up in the rearview mirror. In attempting to operate on batteries in a 30 m.p.h. zone, fellow motorists were more concerned about wasting time than gas and drove within inches of our bumper in disgust or passed at high speed while waving one finger in the air." -- Chicago Tribune
  • "Assuming $2 per gallon and a net mileage gain of 5 mpg, payback is yours in about 40,000 miles." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "As with most hybrid systems, the big savings comes when driving in the stop-and-go traffic common in the city, with the hybrid powertrain accounting for a 40% improvement in fuel mileage.  On the superslab, the 2-Mode technology is a bit less effective, even with a revised front fascia, lower air dam and rear tonneau cover eking out a single extra mile per gallon in highway testing." -- Autoblog
  • "More fuel efficient doesn't mean actually fuel efficient" -- Car and Driver

Handling and Braking

Some reviewers were surprised with how well the Silverado Hybrid drives. Although it has electric steering, a setup that usually results in numb steering feel, most reviewers said the steering felt natural and gave good feedback.  While the brakes take some getting used to, most reviewers said they stopped the truck with authority.  Several reviewers also noted that the Silverado Hybrid rides very smoothly for a truck; some of the technology that makes the ride so smooth has been applied to the regular Silverado. Still, the Silverado Hybrid is a large truck and cannot be expected to drive like a sports car.

  • "The electric power steering felt surprisingly normal, with just the right weighting for a vehicle carrying this much mass. " -- Autoblog
  • "The 42-volt electric-power rack-and-pinion steering is nicely weighted with good feedback, in contrast to the majority of electric systems, which tend to be numb in feel." -- PickupTrucks.com
  • "The only quibble I had with the truck's performance was the brakes seemed too sensitive. However, after a few days of driving it, I quickly retrained myself to use the appropriate pressure. " -- Detroit News
  • "Ride quality is very good, thanks in part to the new hydraulic mid-body mount. Developed specifically for the Silverado Hybrid to counteract the weight of the battery pack, this mount does a good job of reducing freeway hop and otherwise cushioning the ride. In fact, it apparently works so well that GM decided to fit to all regular Silverados and Sierras. " -- Motor Trend
  • "Little different than conventional models, Silverado Hybrid handles similarly to other large pickups, with noticeable body lean in fast turns. The brakes are responsive, though the pedal is a bit soft due to regenerative charging that replenishes the hybrid battery." -- Consumer Guide

Towing and Hauling

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid cannot tow as much as other full-size trucks.  What's more, towing significantly reduces the truck's fuel economy, bringing it more in line with gas-only trucks. However, some reviewers argue that for the majority of users, who don't tow heavy loads and don't tow often, the Silverado may make sense because of the fuel it saves in unladen city driving.

  • "It can still tow up to 6,100 pounds and the bed can handle just more than 1,400 pounds." -- Detroit News
  • "Towing capacity is the only functional disadvantage of the Silverado Hybrid versus a regular Silverado 1500. Fitted with the big 6.2L V-8 and the towing package, the gas-only truck can pull as much as 10,800 lb, the hybrid can only manage 5900 in 4WD form and 6100 in RWD." -- Motor Trend
  • "Towing as light a car trailer as you're likely to encounter, the Silverado scored 13.5 mpg, which is the same as GM's conventional gas-powered trucks and SUVs, in my experience." -- PickupTrucks.com

 

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