Trucks & SUVs

Does the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado Have Any Redeeming Qualities?

Pickup trucks are defined by their tough-guy attributes like strength, durability, and how many beers they can shotgun and smash the cans on their forehead – you know, truck stuff. Arguably the most trucky of all trucks, the Chevrolet Silverado has not been doing so hot on the reviews circuit. In fact, the 2021 Chevy Silverado received the worst reliability rating of any truck tested by Consumer reports this year. The good news for Chevrolet is that like Jeep Wrangler owners, no matter how bad they can be, the fan base is loyal. 

Consumer Reports ripped the 2021 Chevy Silverado a new one

On CR’s test of the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado, you would have thought they were driving a cart pulled by two dead horses. It rated poorly in most categories resulting in an overall score of 45. In case y’all were wondering, that’s an F. Its two biggest disappoints came as poor fuel economy and predicted reliability. In fact, Consumer Reports named it the most unreliable vehicle scoring a 13 out of 100. Dang. 

CR also critiqued the hard plastic interior, fuel economy, and braking (particularly the diesel configuration). Surely for such a popular truck, there must be something good about it. 

The Engine and transmission feel good together

CR seemed to like the 5.3-liter V8 making 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque paired with the new eight-speed automatic transmission. (according to Car Complaints, the transmission seems to be a major weakness for the Silverado as customers have reported the most issues in that area.)  CR says the throttle felt “responsive and satisfying.” 

A photo of the Chevrolet Silverado outdoors.
Chevrolet Silverado | Chevrolet

RELATED: Pickup Trucks are CoolConsumer Reports Ranked the 2021 Chevy Silverado as the Most Unreliable Truck – These Trucks Are Not

Depending on what you need, the 2021 Chevy Silverado comes with a wide variety of powerplants. The smallest of all the engine options is a turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder (310 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque). The next up is the 3.0-liter turbo diesel engine (285 hp, 310 lb-ft of torque). Next is the 5.3-liter V8 in the CR tester. Lastly, the big dogs can get the 6.2-liter V8 (420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque). The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado has power options for days. 

Consumer Reports doesn’t hate the Chevy Silverado’s handling either

For a full-sized truck, the 2021 Chevy Silverado is responsive in the corners. Of course, there is somebody roll, but the Silverado keeps it pretty well under control. Somehow, even when pushed close to its cornering limits, the Silverado is said to handle its business pretty well. Granted, CR says all you have to do is slow down to gain control in the corner–not sure that counts as nimble or good handling, but we’ll take it for a pickup. 

Of course, like most trucks designed for working, the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado has a stiff and bouncy ride. The suspension is heavy-duty to account for large loads, and when those loads aren’t present, the ride suffers. 

I hate to bring up the obvious, but the Silverado can tow and haul with the best

The 5.3-liter V8 can tow 9,600 pounds, which isn’t mind-blowing, but the 6.2-liter big boy can snatch 13,400 pounds by the back of the neck. The Chevy Silverado has several optional tow packages, like the Trailer Camera package, available on the higher-end models. The Advanced Trailering system has many gadgets such as a trailer mileage tracker, electrical diagnostics, hitch guidance, and extra sensors for the trailer’s tire pressure monitoring. This package comes standard on the LTZ and High Country models and options on the lower end models. 

The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado would be great if it just didn’t break

So the answer is, yes, there are plenty of good things about the Silverado. The trouble is that it doesn’t matter how good a truck is; If it can’t be relied on, it isn’t a good truck. Period. I hate to see a Chevy struggle.