The Real Reason the 2021 Chevy Silverado Deserves More Respect

Pickup trucks in America compete in a wildly popular segment. Although this segment is also highly competitive, many customers are loyal to their preferred truck maker. Even if the next Ford F-150 isn’t great, many people will still buy them because they are Ford people and always have been. This is a fascinating thing that happens mostly in the truck world. Even though the 2021 Chevy Silverado hasn’t been doing as well lately compared to Ford or Ram, it is still a good truck deserving of respect. 

Is the 2021 Chevy Silverado a good truck? 

Like in most cases, good is relative. According to the Roadshow review, the 2021 Silverado is a decent truck, even if it has been getting outperformed by the other big dogs lately. Yes, the Ram is fancy and comfortable, and sure, the Ford can do almost anything, but the sheer number of configurations for the Chevy makes it a real player that shouldn’t be dismissed. 

A black 2021 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Carhartt Special Edition parked on a dirt road
The 2021 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Carhartt Special Edition on display | Chevrolet

The Silverado is offered in a nearly overwhelming amount of engine and transmission options, seven to be precise. These options include a V-6, a turbocharged four-cylinder, two V-8s, and a Duramax diesel 3.0-liter inline-six, all with various transmission pairings.

 Not only does it comes with all those engines, but it also comes in three different body styles; single-, double, or crew-cab. Not to mention all body styles can be paired with 70-, 79-, or 98-inch long beds. There are also three different axle ratio options and two- or four-wheel drive options. There is literally a Silverado in whatever shape and power output you could want. 

How to pick? 

In the Roadshow review, Emme Hall chose the 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel I6 with a 10-speed transmission and 4WD. The Duramax diesel makes 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. This engine with the 10-speed transmission is reported to have plenty of power around town and for passing at highway speeds. Obviously, the torque is hefty and ready to get to work. 

A black 2021 Chevy Silverado HD Carhartt Special Edition parked in a dusty barn with tractors
2021 Chevy Silverado HD Carhartt Special Edition | Chevrolet

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In this configuration, the Roadshow tester reports an estimated 24 mpg combined. That diesel really comes through here; for the amount of truck, this fuel economy is pretty impressive. Of course, like most trucks of this size, currently on the market, the Silverado is said to handle on par with the others, which is to say, probably a bit clumsily and bouncy. 

How much can the 2021 Chevy Silverado tow? 

Given the wide variety of options, it should come as no surprise that the Chevy, when set up properly, can do some hauling and towing. As tested, it can haul 2,060 lbs in the bed and can tow up to 9,000 lbs. That’s not bad, but similarly spec’d the Ram can haul 1,800 but tow 9,710. However, the beefiest of the Silverados can haul 2,280 lbs and tow 13,300 lbs. The max for the Ram is maxed at 2,300 and 12,750 lbs, respectively. 

2021 Chevrolet Silverado Multi-Flex Tailgate with the truck parked in front of a house
2021 Chevrolet Silverado Multi-Flex Tailgate | Chevy

So what’s the problem?

You see, the Silverado is very much a contender on sheer truck stuff, but when it comes to interior fit and finish and driver aids, the Silverado starts to fall behind Ford and Ram. According to Roadshow, the Chevy doesn’t include any sort of adaptive cruise control until the top-level Silverado. However, things like land departure assists and forward-collision warning are available in all trim levels. 

The Ram really takes the cake here. It offers a ton of features across the board, and the Ford is clearly in a league of its own in this regard. And as far as the interior goes, the Silverado is really basic. The Roadshow test likens the interior to that of a 2015 Silverado. It is covered in hard plastics, an undersized infotainment screen, and is simply less comfortable than the other big players. 

Gone days when trucks were just for working

These days trucks aren’t just for work. If that were the case, I would say that the Silverado would likely be a top dog again, but with Ford and GM making tough trucks that are also much more equipped and more comfortable for every-day use, the Chevy can feel a bit lackluster in comparison. The 2021 Chevy Silverado is still a good truck, but it is playing by 20-year old rules in a modern game.