2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 First Drive Review: It’s What’s Inside That Counts

You spend 100 percent of the time driving a vehicle, inside the vehicle.

Yeah yeah, of course. In related revelations, sky is blue, water is wet. And Chevy trucks, in the face of significantly updated, cross-town competition, had interiors that couldn’t quite match up. With Ford, Ram, and even Toyota turning out impressive innards in their full-sized trucks, the Chevrolet Silverado (and mechanically identical GMC Sierra) felt old hat.

Well, not anymore. For 2022, Chevrolet has revamped the Silverado 1500 lineup, gracing the truck with a higher-quality, modern interior, along with choice improvements to the drivetrain and tech suite to ensure the Bow Tie remains fighting-fit in the tough truck segment.

Get a Quote on a New 2022 Chevrolet Silverado

What’s new?

Chevrolet calls this one of the most thorough mid-cycle refreshes it’s ever done. You wouldn’t know it from looking at the truck, though. The headlights see the subtlest of shape changes, but they still connect to the same clamp-shaped running lights below. Chevy has reconnected the front bumper design with the front wheelarches for a less disconnected-feeling fascia, too. There are different grille designs for most trims, but all are tidier than before. It doesn’t dramatically alter the look; if you were a fan before, you probably still are. If not, then the 2022 revisions won’t be changing your mind.

SEE ALSO: 2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone First Drive Review: Fancy Flagship

Under the skin, the Silverado still employs a quartet of engine options. A turbocharged four-cylinder is standard on most trims, and sees a torque bump to a fulsome 430 pound-feet (horsepower holds steady at 310 hp). There’s a pair of V8s (5.3- and 6.2-liters), putting down 355 and 420 horsepower, respectively. Finally, while the 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel inline-six still produces 277 hp and 460 lb-ft, Chevrolet has improved its towing capacity to 13,200 pounds (5,987 kilograms).

No, there’s no hybrid, full-electric model, or fancy independent rear suspension. A battery-powered Silverado is scheduled to touch down next year, though it looks quite a lot different from this truck.

There’s also a new ZR2 off-roader, applying the same successful formula from the Colorado to the next size up. That one deserves an article all its own, so tune into AutoGuide next week for that.

Loading …

Revamp is rejoiced

The Silverado might not look that different outside, but the familiarity evaporates when we crack open the door and climb inside. Gone is the plastic-fantastic dashboard design, which was so uninspiring even it looked like it was frowning. A 13.4-inch touchscreen now stretches across the central section, installed in landscape orientation to keep the driver’s eyes closer to the road ahead.

Beyond the new infotainment, Chevy has stepped up the material game. The plastics are less shiny, there’s more leather, and even the wood trim in the RST is fairly convincing, if not to the touch, then at least visually. (Interior images in this article are all from the LT trim.) The High Country gets open-pore former tree, along with a very smart two-tone leather. It’s a suitably lux dark blue, but the perforations let a rich brown peek through. From any perch in the house, this Silverado now feels on par with the fancy-pants models from its cross-town rivals.

SEE ALSO: Ford F-150 vs Ram 1500 Comparison: Truck Yeah

Space is best described as “vast.” Higher trims use a great big chunky center console, complete with electronic gear lever for less clutter around the wheel. The LT we briefly drove sticks to the stalk, however, and includes a foldaway third seat in the middle. Hell yeah, front-row bench seat.

Smart truck

A Canadian software team was responsible for the development of the new infotainment setup, which uses Android Automotive as its base. It’s incredibly intuitive to use, with sharp graphics and lightning-quick responses. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both standard, plus a Google-powered voice recognition system that proves reliable during our drives. Chevy has mercifully kept a whole bunch of physical controls below the screen for important, everyday functions, too—well, everything except a tuning knob. You can’t win ’em all.

The refresh includes a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, which provides a clear view of pertinent info as well as more customization than before.

It’s important to note that these improvements aren’t across the entire Silverado lineup. The new dual-screen hotness shows up from the LT trim onwards; the fleet-friendly lower trims soldier on with the old dashboard design. Chevrolet’s thinking is that buyers at that end of the market are unlikely to need or even desire the latest tech.

Other goodies include available surround-vision camera, heated rear seats, Bose sound system, and a broader range of powered seat adjustments, depending on trim. A head-up display (HUD) is also available, but only on higher trims, just like the trailering app. The Silverado’s robust towing assistance suite really does remove a lot of the guesswork from the act. A hitch view and hitching guidelines make it easy to get started, and transparent trailer is a clever bit of tech that utilizes cameras on the truck and the trailer to “see through” the latter. Chevy also includes the “red carpet” view, which takes the trailer’s length into account to show when a lane change is safe. Owners can save up to 10 trailer profiles in the truck.

On the driver assistance side, every 2022 Silverado now features forward collision alert, automated emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, auto headlights, and front pedestrian braking as standard. LT models and up have the option of the 360-degree camera, rear cross-traffic alert, and perimeter lighting. Those all become standard on ZR2, LTZ, and High Country.

GM’s Super Cruise also debuts on the 2022 Silverado. It’s compatible with trailers this time, too. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to test it at all at the event.

SEE ALSO: 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning First Drive Review: The Game Has Changed

More torque, not more consumption

Our two-day test of the Silverado lineup gave us the opportunity to sample most of the trims on offer. The red truck you see here is the road-biased RST, which came equipped with the burbly 6.2-liter and 4WD. Chevy didn’t change anything here because frankly, it didn’t need to. The V8 is a peach of an engine, flexible and fuel-efficient. No, really; we were on steady-state country roads, sure, but an average of over 25 mpg (9.2 L/100 km) is frankly astounding.

Maybe it was the gas prices, or maybe it was that there was just one example available, but the keys for the four-cylinder Silverado were hard to score. It’s a perfectly acceptable engine, with a deep swell of torque arriving early to keep pace with the flow of traffic. With a slightly hillier, stop-and-go route and only eight cogs in the ‘box, it couldn’t quite match the V8 with a displayed 22.4 mpg (10.5 L/100 km), but the four-pot impressed us with its smooth delivery. Push it and the coarse sound is the giveaway, but considering the 9,500-pound (4,309-kg) tow rating, it should be more than enough truck for lots of folks’ needs.

Without any air-suspension fanciness, the Silverado remained calm and composed over the country roads. The rear end can feel out of step with the front over hard surfaces, and there’s that typical body-on-frame squidge found on every full-sizer, but even this city kid found the Silverado easy to drive—and see out of, even if that bluff nose can hide an entire small person.

Dollars and sense

How much does this newness all cost? You can technically get a 2022 Chevrolet Silverado for as little as $36,395 ($39,543 CAD), including destination, but that limits you to a short-cab Work Truck with rear-wheel drive. Picking up the new interior means opting for at least the double-cab LT, which starts from $47,495 ($52,643 CAD).  The High Country and ZR2 start about 50-percent higher still, available only as Crew Cab 4x4s.

Verdict: 2022 Chevrolet Silverado First Drive Review

The 2022 Chevrolet Silverado is a timely refresh in a brutally competitive segment. It’s all well and good that Chevy is planning a Silverado EV, but until that launches, it needs to at least look like it’s trying. The latest Silverado does more than that, offering up a compelling one-two punch of intuitive, modern tech and an interior that better fits the price tag. If the driving experience already provided smiles before, now the cockpit can too.


FAQs

  • How much does the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado cost? 
    • Entry prices start from $36,395 ($39,543 CAD), including destination. To get the new interior requires the LT, which requires a double-cab and lists from $47,495 ($52,643 CAD).
  • When can you buy the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado?
    • They’re already in dealerships at the time of writing.
  • Is there a fully electric 2022 Chevrolet Silverado?
    • No, that arrives next year, sharing its platform (and proportions) with the Hummer EV.

Become an AutoGuide insider. Get the latest from the automotive world first by subscribing to our newsletter here.

Loading …

5 Comments

steve says:

How can they leave that ugly front end unchanged?

nauticalone345 says:

Finally! After years of discontent by any discerning customer. It is though what is should have been from at least 2019, if not 2014 – where they even left out rear AC vents!? Thanks to RAM for improving the interiors to a level where they should be since 2019, given the hefty prices and very significant profit margins of these trucks.

don says:

you’re shocked?
remember this is the same company that for years stuck to “square” wells as a styling cue.
Not to mention whatever they call them on a GMC

don says:

A truck doesn’t have to be purty, Just reliable and deliver value, of whichI do notbelieve any truck is doing at the moment with restricted inventory and production of high end units.

Joe Yoman says:

Why have the mileage figures dropped so much? Every engine has lost up to 3 MPG on the highway and 2 combined with the latest updates. That makes the current Silverado the worst in class for MPG.