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2009 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Review

This review was written when the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 was new.

 The Silverado's day-to-day livability, combined with its value over time, helped make it U.S. News' Best Car for the Money in the full size pickup class.

It's hard to find a bad review of the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado, and most reviewers say it's hard to find a competitor with a better combination of ruggedness, capability and comfort. "There are no bad full-size pickups now, but the Silverado quietly excels in every area," says Car and Driver, adding, "Let's just agree that a perfect truck is hard to find, and we'll drive the Silverado till we find it."

However, the Silverado isn't without competition this year.  Both the Ford F-150 and Dodge Ram have been redesigned, with the F-150 offering an upgraded interior and some tech features, like Ford's SYNC system, that the Silverado can't match.  The 2009 Dodge Ram enters the market with a coil-spring suspension--the only one in the class-- and that  gives it a ride that some reviewers is more comfortable than the Silverado's.

In fact, in a four-way comparison, Edmunds awarded the Silverado third place, calling it "athletic and willing, but the day-to-day functionality and convenience come up a little short. It's a solid truck that could stand a bit more polish." According to that test, though the Silverado's interior is nice and well built, handy features like a fully-integrated iPod connection, a rear view camera, or rear-seat entertainment were not on their test Chevy, though it was priced the same as the competition. The Silverado also lacks the in-cabin storage bins available on the Ram and F-150.

One thing's clear: the Silverado, Ram and F-150 can be bought at a deep discount due to Detroit's troubles.  Check out this month's Best Chevrolet Deals to see what incentives are available on the Silverado. 

Since its last redesign in 2007, the Silverado 1500  has won a number of awards, including recognition as Car and Driver's "Best Pickup," Motor Trend's "Truck of the Year," and Motor Week's "Driver's Choice." The 2009 model still offers a staggering number of engines, trim levels, bed lengths, suspension configurations and other options. New for this year is a giant 6.2 liter V8 engine, and a six-speed automatic transmission for V8 equippt extended and crew cab models. All V8 models get standard electronic stability control. An integrated trailer brake control is now available, as is a backup camera.  All new for 2009 is the XFE trim, a two-wheel drive version of the truck that's been engineered for the best possible fuel economy.

The Silverado 1500 is available with two-wheel or four-wheel drive; with a short, standard or long bed; with a regular, crew or extended cab, and in Work Truck, LT and LTZ trim levels. Reviewers enjoyed the Silverado's capabilities and comfort regardless of which combination of the award-winning truck they drove. Buyers should appreciate the Silverado's gas mileage, which is among the best in the class.

If you're shopping for a full-size pickup truck, you should also consider the Silverado's platform-mate, the GMC Sierra, as well as the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram and Ford F-150. 


  • "A lengthy list of available features, including 4WD that can be used on dry pavement, makes Silverado an excellent choice for anyone shopping large pickups-- Consumer Guide
  • "During our various road tests of the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado, we've come to the unanimous opinion that this truck is one of the top choices in the half-ton pickup truck class."-- Edmunds
  • "In short, the Silverado is probably the most honest interpretation of the term "truck" on the market right now. It's designed to move stuff, to give you everything you need and no fluff, something worth noting in a market stuffed with gimmicks and gadgets. " -- Jalopnik
  • "There's no arguing with the Silverado's impressive basic package or its class-leading powertrain: This engine and transmission combination is as good as it gets in a pickup, allowing us to mostly overlook some of the Silverado's deficits, namely a too-stiff ride, weak handling and some subpar switchgear." -- Left Lane News
  • "Nicely appointed and as comfortable to drive as SUVs." -- Kansas City Star
Review Last Updated: 7/17/09

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