2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid Review
At first glance, the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid seems like the best of both worlds: good fuel economy and pickup-truck utility. However, reviewers say the Silverado Hybrid might not be the best choice for everyone.
If you’re shopping for a basic work truck, you shouldn’t be shopping the Silverado Hybrid. It can’t tow much, it’s only available with a short bed and its interior may offer more features than some back-to-basics shoppers need. Plus, critics don’t like the mushy regenerative brakes that are common to hybrids, and they say there’s a surging sensation when the powerful V8 finally kicks in. Shoppers looking for a low price won’t find it in the Silverado Hybrid.
It’s not all bad, though. The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid’s fuel economy is better than some midsize crossover SUVs. It comes with more standard features than most pickup trucks, and upgrading to the premium trim outfits the Silverado Hybrid in near-luxury fashion. If you were considering buying a crew cab Silverado outfitted in an upper-level trim, the price difference compared with the hybrid starts to shrink. Although the Silverado Hybrid’s towing capacity is less than competing trucks and some SUVs, it’s likely still plenty for most weekend warriors.
In the end, testers just don’t think the Chevy Silverado Hybrid is a great value. Though the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid gets better gas mileage than most trucks, reviewers say there might be too much of a trade-off to make it worth the hefty price premium. According to the EPA, it would take almost 10 years to make up for the extra money you’d spend on a four-wheel drive Silverado Hybrid over a base four-wheel drive, gas-only Silverado 1500 crew cab. If you have the money to spend on its hybrid powertrain and you don’t need the most capability, test drivers say the Silverado Hybrid is a fine truck. However, if you need more towing capacity or want to save some cash, this truck isn’t for you.
Other Trucks to Consider
Ford recently debuted the Ford F-150 Ecoboost, a full-size truck with a twin-turbocharged V6 that makes more horsepower than the Silverado does. However, the F-150 Ecoboost can also tow almost twice as much as the Silverado Hybrid can, while getting fairly good gas mileage. Its fuel economy can’t beat the Silverado Hybrid’s in the city, but it’s only 1 mpg shy of the Silverado Hybrid on the highway, and the Ecoboost engine is available on less-expensive trims than the Silverado’s hybrid powertrain is.
If you have your heart set on a hybrid pickup truck, your only other option is the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid’s corporate sibling, the GMC Sierra Hybrid. The Sierra Hybrid costs a few hundred dollars more than the Silverado 1500 and offers most of the same features and capabilities, but it’s still another option to consider.
Details: Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid
The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid comes in two trims: 1HY and 2HY. It’s only available as a crew cab with a short bed, though buyers can choose between two- and four-wheel drive. There aren’t any changes for 2012.
See the full list of 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid specifications.
- “The Hybrid model's price premium over conventional versions is steep, but so are the gas savings. Want a guilt-free rig that can handle all but the heaviest-duty jobs? This is the truck for you.” -- Consumer Guide
- "Considering the premium that the Silverado Hybrid commands - and that it no longer qualifies for a federal tax credit - it doesn't strike us as a smart purchase for most buyers.” -- Edmunds