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Since the inception of pickup trucks, they’ve been purpose-built to work, serving farms, construction crews, and the logging industry, among others. However, over the last several decades, automakers like Chevrolet continued refining their pickup trucks, transforming the mechanized workhorses into vehicles worthy of a luxury label.

Now, even the least expensive Chevy Silverado trim, the Work Truck or WT, stands out as pickup trucks become increasingly comfortable while retaining the sturdy work ethic for which they’re known. 

A lineup of different 2023 Chevy Silverados on a riverbed.
Chevy’s 2023 Silverado lineup | Chevy Media

Are pickup trucks the new SUVs?

Pickup trucks feature a heavy-duty frame underneath the standard cab and bed configuration. This strong frame allows high-capacity payloads and carries a strong engine and transmission combination for towing and hauling heavy loads.

In addition, big wheels and tires combine with stout suspensions and, in some cases, four-wheel drive (4WD) for the increased ground clearance required for operating in rugged field conditions resulting in a high driving position and increased field-of-view. 

It’s those benefits that fostered the popularity of truck-based SUVs. The large frame meant big bodies with spacious interiors and doors that opened wide. Plus, the bird’s eye driving position made navigating city streets easier, and the truck’s statures and substantial weight made it safer for families in a crash, according to The Good Men Project. 

However, truck-based SUVs have some drawbacks compared to pickup trucks. 

First, truck-based SUVs cost more to produce, as pickup trucks never have three rows of seats, and truck beds are cheap compared to the cargo area behind an SUV’s rear seats.

Next, carrying dirty gear and pets inside an SUV creates a mess after camping, fishing, sporting events, and bike riding. Finally, pickup trucks offer more versatility since truck bed toppers range from flat tonneau covers to fiberglass shells to slide-in campers complete with kitchens and bathrooms. 

Is the Chevy Silverado Work Truck good for families?

While the regular cab Chevy Silverado WT is the least expensive option starting at $38,195, it only seats three people, including the driver. Stepping up to the double cab raises the price to $41,495. Ultimately, Consumer Reports says the $43,895 Crew Cab equipped with the short bed is the most popular combination.

The 2023 Chevy Silverado WT Crew Cab features a 310-horsepower 2.7-liter I4 with 430 lb-ft of torque backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission. The optional 355-hp 5.3-liter V8 with 383 lb-ft of torque and a ten-speed automatic powertrain adds $1,940. The Silverado WT drivetrain is a rear-wheel drive configuration. 

On the exterior, seven color choices include a premium Glacier Blue Metallic for an additional $395. Seventeen-inch silver-painted steel wheels come standard, or choose the bright silver-painted aluminum option for $395. Black bumpers, matching side mirror caps, and Chevy’s Durabed complete the rugged WT look. 

Inside the cab, you’ll find rubberized vinyl floor coverings and jet-black seat trim in either cloth or vinyl upholstery. The 40/20/40 split-bench front seat includes the following:

  • Under-seat storage
  • Reclining driver and front passenger seatbacks
  • A fold-down center seatback

The standard 7-inch color touchscreen infotainment system includes AM-FM stereo, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Out of the seven available option packages, the $795 Convenience Package and the $1,095 Assist Step and Tonneau Value Package offer the most attractive additions for families. The Convenience package includes cruise control, tinted glass, rear-window defogger, and heated power mirrors on Double Cab and Crew Cab models.

As the name implies, the Assist Step and Tonneau Value Package provide black side steps and a premium soft roll-up tonneau cover for the truck bed. 

For comparison, the Silverado High Country trim equipped with the 5.3-liter V8 starts at $63,995, about $18,000 more than the WT. However, while it comes with nicer wheels, leather upholstered seats, and more options to raise the price, it’s no more functional or reliable than the WT. 

How do most pickup truck owners use their trucks?

In a study of Ford F-150 owners, Axios found that shopping and running errands accounted for their most-frequent use of pickup trucks. Pleasure driving and commuting also occurred frequently for a majority of survey responders.

Over 70% only occasionally or rarely, or never used their trucks to haul any significant payload, and only 7% frequently used their trucks to tow a trailer. 

As truck makers pay attention to these trends, they’ll continue offering more comfortable pickups that also retain the workhorse strength that attracted buyers in the first place. The first wave of EV pickups illustrates this with brawny towing capabilities, heavy payload ratings, excellent horsepower, and stump-pulling torque, in addition to advanced technology and driver assist features. 


What Exactly Makes a Pickup Truck a Work Truck?