Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid Performance
Reviews of the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid's performance are mostly positive, but a few test drivers question if the fuel gains are worth the compromises the Silverado Hybrid makes in towing capabilities. 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.
- "Ride Quality: Compliant and fairly comfortable, with less reverberation over bumps than in most pickups.” -- Consumer Guide
- "Even the miserly Silverado XFE is rated just 1 mpg less than the Hybrid's 23 mpg highway rating, while the standard 5.3-liter V8 Silverado still rates a respectable 21 highway mpg. The Hybrid's uneven power delivery and unremarkable towing capacity for its class further limit its appeal.” -- Edmunds
Acceleration and Power
The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid comes with one powertrain option: a 6.0-liter V8 mated to two electric motors and a four-speed automatic transmission. The whole setup makes 332 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque.
The Silverado Hybrid come standard with two-wheel drive, though four-wheel drive is available. No matter the trim level, the Silverado Hybrid gets 20/23 mpg city/highway, according to the EPA.
Even under electric power alone, most test drivers say the Silverado Hybrid launches with authority and has ample passing power.
- "They are big, but also smooth and quiet.” -- Car and Driver (on the engines)
- "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." -- The Detroit News
- "Silverado Hybrid accelerates from a stop and passes much like a conventional model, but a faint surge is felt and heard when it shifts between full electric and gasoline operation. The CVT is responsive.” -- Consumer Guide
- "The … Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid doesn't feel as powerful as 6.0 liters and a claimed 379 hp would suggest.” -- Edmunds
Handling and Braking
Some reviewers are surprised with how well the Silverado Hybrid drives. Although it has electric steering, a setup that usually results in numb steering feel, most reviewers say the steering feels natural and gives good feedback. While test drivers think the mushy regenerative brakes take some getting used to, most reviewers say they stop the truck with authority. Like many full-size trucks, the Silverado Hybrid has a comfortable highway ride.
- "Great stopping performance with regenerative braking.” -- Cars.com
- "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
- "Brake feel, however, alternates between artificial and frustrating. There's a delayed response to actual braking force, then grabby deceleration on engagement.” -- Edmunds
- "Odd brake-pedal feel.” -- Car and Driver
Towing and Hauling
The Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid cannot tow as much as other full-size trucks, with a maximum towing capacity of just 6,100 pounds. Some compact pickups can tow more than that. 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 need more than 6,100 pounds, the Silverado Hybrid may make sense because of its good city fuel economy ratings.
- "Compared with similarly equipped, regular GM pickups, there is a slight loss in terms of payload capacity and tow ratings.” -- Car and Driver
- "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