First Look: 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500


The light-duty 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 receives a few modest updates for the new model year, including appearance tweaks and new trim packages.

Exterior design changes include a split front grille for select 1500 models that’s similar in style to the updated grille for 2011-2012 Silverado 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickups. Also available is a chrome mesh grille matched with either a chrome surround on midlevel LS and LT models or a body-colored surround on the high-end LTZ. LS and LT models also feature a silver lower bumper that’s more aerodynamic on two-wheel-drive models without tow hooks, and new 20-inch chromed aluminum wheels.

In a move that perhaps mirrors Ram’s aggressive pricing strategy for the Ram 1500 Express model – we won’t know for sure until we see the MSRP – Chevy is bringing back the Custom Sport Truck Package just in time for its 45th anniversary. It bundles the following features:

  • Vortec 5.3-liter V-8 engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Heavy-duty trailering package
  • Automatic locking rear differential
  • Heated power-adjustable, manual-folding outside mirrors with chrome caps
  • 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels
  • Bodyside moldings with chrome accents
  • Chrome door handles
  • EZ-Lift locking tailgate
  • Power driver's seat
  • Steering-wheel controls
  • Bluetooth phone connectivity
  • Stereo with USB port
  • Dual zone automatic climate control
  • Fog lamps

The Custom Sport Truck Package is available nationally on Silverado 1500 extended cab models and in California, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Florida and Arizona, New Mexico, Arkansas, Kansas, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi on Silverado 1500 crew-cab models.

Another new trim group is the White Diamond Edition. It’s available in LT or LTZ models and includes a unique White Diamond Tricoat exterior color, chrome mirror caps and door handles, and bodyside moldings with chrome accents on LT models. The LTZ version adds the Z60 high-performance suspension package, 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels, touring tires and chromed tow hooks and exhaust tip package.


New standard features across the entire lineup include cruise control and a spare tire lock. For improved safety, all Silverado half-tons, except the Silverado 1500 Hybrid, now feature tailer-sway control and hill start assist.

Four new exterior colors have been added: Silver Ice Metallic, Mocha Steel Metallic, Carbon Flash Metallic and Graystone. Two new interior color combinations are available: Dark Titanium/Light Titanium and Dark Cashmere/Light Cashmere.


All right first post...unless someone beat me to it. Computers

Aww crap, they should have done the bumper like the HD

Nothing awe inspiring...but at least it is a step in the right direction.

Keep trying General Motors! Right now is not the time to be holding back.

What I meant is change the Nissan Titan bumper to the 2011 HD bumper! And put in the 3.6 L V6. Until then, I'm not really impressed. No bashing, just being honest. Good luck GM!

If the new Silverado/Sierra are supposed to be all new redesigns for 2013, then I can understand why they're not doing much to gain attention for these 2012s other than just keeping it competitive.

No mpg improvements???

Sounds like a spec sheet from the then new 2004 Ford F-150...GM's come a long way in 8 years.

Have never really cared for two-tone color packages on the GM trucks. Looks like some just took a roll of tape and a rattle can. The new Ram however looks sharp in two-tone paint that wraps around the wheel wells.

Pretty sure the big exterior re-design is not coming til 2014 model year...

Add the 6.5' bed option to the crew cab!

@Mike Levine

When can we expect the results of the half-ton shootout that you are currently working on?


Sandman: did I miss something? were did they talk about, much less show a two-tone paint? they did mention a two tone interior, but rattle can?

Lets hope that the 8 speed automatic shows up for the 2013 MY.

I like the front grill area and front fenders and I also like the rear fender area but the whole cab area I hate interior and exterior. I would also like to know if when the results of the light duty shootout will come.

Ok, let's start with two many doors. Why the big rage for four-door pickup trucks any more? Conventional two-door rigs are getting rare and even the "extended cab" models are getting hard to find. Why?

Second: Too big wheels. 20" wheels means low-sidewall tires which means these rigs are going to ride even harder than they used to. 70- and 80-series tires used to absorb some of the harshness of the road and now you have to watch out for the least pothole or you'll need to replace a damaged wheel. Why?

Third: Physical, gross-out size. Exactly what purpose does it serve to have a truck so big you can't even park it in an average parking site--it extends either out into the path of cars driving by or takes up half of the spot ahead/behind you. Where I live I see the bed of the truck blocking the sidewalk while the front wheels are frequently in the curb. Not everybody has a nice, long driveway to park an oversized, over-thirsty piece of status symbol. In fact, today's "mid-sized" trucks are as big as the full-sized trucks of even 20 years ago, so just guess how much bigger the full-sized rigs are.

And that brings out the last part: Fuel economy. I would think it obvious to anybody that the bigger a vehicle is, the worse its gas mileage is going to be. With the fuel economy laws pushing for 40-50mpg fleet wide, you're going to reach the law of diminishing returns--you're going to hit a point where even a big 'tweak' to the engine design will only result in a 1%-2% improvement for thousands of dollars extra cost. Lose about a third of that truck; make it shorter and lighter by using less material and you'll see improved economy. If the full-sized truck today is able to realize the same economy or better than the compact trucks of 20-30 years ago, then imagine what those smaller trucks could do today.

Lastly, with the size and power of the newer "super-duty" trucks, it won't be long before you'll need a CDL just to own one as demonstrated by the test drivers of the most recent side-by-side comparisons. Bring these things back down to where the average Joe can afford to buy and drive one. There's no reason for a pickup truck to cost more than a family sedan. None at all.

@Vulpine, good post. I saw a black Dodge 2500(fairly rare here in Australia) two vehicles back a Toyota Hilux both painted black, they almost looked like twins. Agree totally about parking.

@ Vulpine:

Some counter arguments...

1: 4 door trucks offer far more interior comfort for the driver, not to mention any passengers. 4 door trucks work for the person who needs to tow and haul and still take the kids to school. (Or for the professional who needs to escort clients.) 2 doors are not hard to find, they are just less popular so you see less of them on the road and they stay hidden at the dealerships.

2: While this is sometimes true, trucks still come with plenty of sidewall. Most trucks are equipped with 32" tires from the factory when they have 20" wheels. When they have 17" wheels, the tires drop down to 29". That's the same amount of sidewall. Rams, for instance (the first to offer 20" wheels as production), use a 275/60 tire. That is plenty of sidewall. Furthermore, the 60 or 70 designation is RELATIVE. It denotes the sidewall height as a percentage of the width. Since rims have gotten taller, they've also gotten wider. The 225/70R16s many trucks used to have years ago have LESS sidewall than today's tires.

3: Perhaps you don't remember cars from the 50s or 60s? My Ram is shorter than most of them. If you can't park a truck, don't drive one. But for those of us you can, please leave us alone.

4: Obviously you've never towed much. Longer wheel bases offer better stability, beefier frames offer better strength and are better for trucks payloads. Does everyone need them? No. But why do you care what other people drive so much? And fuel economy? Don't even get me started on CAFE (what a crock of BS), but fuel economy has more to do with driving habbits than anything. Furthermore, automakers have the ability to make automobiles that use far, far less fuel than current vehicles, but due to the cost of such technologies, the lack of infrastructure, and the lack of consumer support, they don't produce them. A huge leap forward would be electro-motive vehicles. This technology works great in train engines, but until consumers get on board with the idea in their cars, the automakers won't spend the money to mass-produce them. And don't even say they should make a law that makes people buy them, that's part of the problem with today's world...

5: You're right, some people can't drive. Blame the moron behind the wheel, not the truck. Guns don't kill, people do. Trucks don't kill either.

And lastly: "There's no reason for a pickup truck to cost more than a family sedan. None at all."

Yes, there is. When that truck has the same (or more ammenities), can carry more passengers or the same amount just as or more comfortably, all while still going off-road or through less than ideal conditions, make trips to the supermarket, hardware store, and mall all in the same day without needing to return home, and pull the family camper, boat, etc. whenever needed, it sure as hell can cost more than a family sedan, because it replaces the family sedan while adding more advantages and potential uses. Modern trucks are a buy-one, get-one type of purchase. You really do get a multi-role vehicle that can handle anything you throw at it - you don't have to have two vehicles anymore to be happy no matter what the situation is.

I looked at the GM Online Order Guide and it doesn't say anything about Graystone being a new color. GM had Graystone on the Silverado until the 2011 model year. I really, really wanted that color but waited until 2011. I am leaning towards an EcoBoost F150 but would be interested in the 2012 Silverado or Sierra if Graystone is back. I'm guessing GM mentioned it in their press materials?

@Simclk, nearly every one of your points emphasizes why they're not needed by the everyday person.

1. Trucks were intended to be work vehicles, not family ones. The driver never needed that much room before unless it was fully intended to be a CREW truck, which is why they were called Crew Cab. The level of luxury in so many of them is just as unnecessary; a work truck needs a tough and durable interior--not some girly soccer-mom interior.
Quite honestly you can't tell me that fully 50%+ of the American population is in the construction or farming business. To be quite blunt, pickup popularity began when insurance rates on sporty cars grew to excessive rates. What that's no longer true, trucks today have become little more than a status symbol, the bigger it is, the more 'manly' the driver, hmmm?

2. I am well aware about the ratio of sidewall to tread width. I'm looking at a 20-year-old one-ton truck out my window on 16" wheels and fully 6" of sidewall on each tire and when you look at the tires of the trucks in the photos above, I can guarantee the sidewall is less than 4" unless those trucks are simply too grossly oversized.

3. I do remember the cars of the late '50s and '60s. Back then parking lots had much larger slots, too. Roughly the mid-70s brought out a kind of two-stage parking where 'compact cars' were given precedence over 'full-sized cars' closer to the store entrances and now all parking slots are narrower and shorter than they were when most cars were 20 feet long. Now most spots are little more than 14' deep by barely 8' wide. I'll tell you now its the rare truck that fits comfortably into modern parking spots.

4. Maybe I've towed more than you know. I'm fully aware of the stability of a longer wheelbase when you need to tow a 5,000 pound trailer or more. In fact, I towed an 18' travel trailer first behind a Ford Gran Torino and later behind a Cadillac Coupe deVille. I'll grant that those people who tow have a need for a truck now since cars simply don't have that capacity, but very, very few trucks that I see are even equipped for towing, so that excuse is out the window.

5. I do blame the moron behind the wheel; I blame every one of them who has their rig pimped out and drives the thing like it's a sports car. Those trucks have likely never seen a load worthy of the name and are nothing but an expensive toy that, as I claimed before, is nothing more than a status symbol. Big engine with relatively light body means power to waste and a wasteful fuel economy to match. I would much rather see one of these guys driving a sporty Cadillac CTV than horsing a massive truck around. The gas mileage savings alone could counterbalance the only slightly higher cost and look good doing it.

Lastly, I re-state my previous comment: There's no reason for a pickup truck to cost more than a family sedan. That truck does not need the luxury amenities when it's built to be a working vehicle. It doesn't need the comfort of a living room when going off road for hunting or trail-running. It doesn't need to be the daily shopper when other, less expensive, more economical vehicles can do the same tasks more comfortably.
Look at the TV commercials for any brand of truck you want to name. They all emphasize toughness, power, hauling capability. Rarely do they say, "... with the comfort of a luxury car."
And I don't care how often you say "People don't need a second vehicle when one can do the job of many." To be blunt, no matter where you look, the majority of households in America own a minimum of two vehicles and the average is approaching three. Well, if one of those vehicles is a truck and works as a truck, the other vehicle-plus can do the daily duties and be far more economical.
The truck, any more, is a status symbol for people who don't really NEED a truck.

Oh, and by the way; I do feel I have a need for a pickup. I need a truck that can carry full-sized sheets of plywood and certain other loads that simply won't fit in the back of a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, but I don't need a truck that is so much bigger than that Jeep. Bring back the original Ford Ranger, the original Chevy S-10, the D-50 Dodge or another of the small but truly useful compact trucks. Hell, bring back the original Ford F-1, even it was smaller than today's trucks and was truly functional without all the bling.

@Sandman4x4, I was going to say the same thing about the two-tone..when did they mention anything about a two-tone color? But you beat me to it. But that last picture is a little decieving by how the reflection of the ground on the rocker panel does make it look like a two-tone.

This isn't any different from the old one except for the trim!

@Vulpine- I agree with you. Other people who dont need a truck should all drive Geo Metros. That way there is more gas in the long run so I can keep driving my truck to the grocery store! Sometimes I just run laps around town in first and second gear so I can hear my exhaust. No joke, do you hate me now? :-)


Your arguments cement a major problem with today's society - too much of everyone minding business that isn't there own.


Your old Cadillac? Was that really a need-based purchase?

I understand, you don't need a full-size truck. There are numerous older, smaller trucks available. And your Wrangler can tow a small trailer, so you have an option. But why do you care what other people drive?! Hell, if it was up to me, there would be no foreign econo-boxes here, but it's not up to me. It's my money I spend, not yours, so respect that fact and I'll do the same.

And FYI, high-horsepower engines can be made efficient. I have lots of friends with modifed Dodge duallys - jacked-up 4x4, oversized mud tires, lots of chrome, lots of crap they don't need, producing over 400hp and nearly 1000tq, and when they drive down the highway, they get 30mpg. Show me a CTS that does that with those power figures, and then show me a CTS that can tow!

Your problem is that you think you know better for everyone else. Quit whining! I'm not trying to be rude, but it pisses me off that people think the way you do. You're putting your biased, unsubstantiated views ahead of anything else. You, sir, are one of the ones responsible for killing off cars. Before too long, we'll all be driving mopeds, and you'll be happy, I'm sure.

If someone wants to go spend 50,000 on a truck, then 10,000 more to jack it up and make it there's, and pay the cost of fuel for them, then who are you to care?

Oh, and just so you know, those tires pictured in the photos (and used by GM for years) are 275/55R20s. They have a 5.95" sidewall height.

I misread the article and saw the road reflection on the bottom of the black truck thinking it was a two-tone paint job. Sorry my bad. I still stand by what I said however about not caring for GM trucks that come from the factory with two-tone paint. Just doesn't look good to me on the GM's like it does on some other trucks.


The F-150 has grown by a whole 3.1 inches in length over the past 30 years and is no wider. Then again base trucks didn't come with rear bumpers.

Aside from farmers and contractors, everyday people are lured away from boring appliances like the Camcordia by the sportiness, style, versatility/utility of trucks. Some see the slight penalty you pay in terms of MPG, upfront costs or ease of parking as friggin' worth it! I know I do.

I almost bought hard loaded Accord and for less than $1000 more got a well equipped F-150 SuperCab 4X4 XLT. Yeah I bought it for its style but didn't realize how badly I needed it till I got it. My kids love it and so do my dogs. Now we camp, mountain bike, MX, offroad, hike, fish, hunt, swapmeet, pan for gold... My ex hates it. She thinks like you.

Vulpine: MYOB buddy, you drive what you want I won't second guess you,(progressive twit) you sound just like ALgore, some of us need a truck or we like trucks, I for one think you get a lot more for your$ with a truck than a car, I haven't owned a car in yrs., and probably won't, and if I do it will be a coupe of somekind, American 300hp+ min.

Oxi; lots of us think toyota can't style anything worth a __it! you don't like the Chevy, I do, about 300,000+ do like the Chevy, and what maybee 200,000+ like toyotas tundra And tacomas! sounds like your in the minority, expecialy as the toyotas are so seemingly superior! jeeze amagine that! way way more people like and buy Fords, Chevys, Dodges and GMC's than all imports, and they are suposed to be inferior! thats how your lodgic can't stand on it's own! Toyotas, all toyotas are ugly, there is but one or two, in history that are real classics, 2000GT is one, just can't think of another?


I have to agree with everyone else. My 2011 F-150 FX4 5.0L Supercab will rarely if ever be used for towing. I just had a spray in bed liner put in it for the very few times I will be hauling anything.

But here's the deal...I ''like most others'' just want to be left the hell alone in what I choose to drive. If I want to drive a 40,000$ 4WD F-150 that gets 17 to 19mpg avarage and has a 360hp V8 engine then that's just the way I want it. Its MY money and I'LL spend it the way I want to.

To me having a truck is well worth the extra cost. I don't mind that it cost 130$ to fill up from empty...I don't mind that could get a Toyota Camery for 1/2 the price that gets 15 more mpg. I don't mind that I often park in the back of parking lots due to its size...I enjoy it! I paid for it! And I don't want to be told that I should be driving something else...Anyone who wants to drive a Prius is more the welcome, but you're not going to catch me dead in one.

Just noticed Nissan updated it's website for 2012 Titan. No real changes as I expected but they did add one super ugly sport package. The side graphics are the worst.

can't wait for the 2014's wonder what they'll look like

I thought the new one's will come out next year as 2013 MY.

@Yamahatim, "Sounds like a spec sheet from the then new 2004 Ford F-150...GM's come a long way in 8 years." I agree with you, Ford is the trend setter, has been for years... remember when the Supercrew 1/2 ton came out in 2001? Everyone thought that was stupid.

It's a good move on GM's part until they come out with the new 1/2 ton sheet metal and powertrain. It's way way overdue (like Ford's engine lineup was) but probably postponed things after their return from bankruptcy. Anti-sway control? Hmm who thought of that!

What it appears is that 2013 will be a carryover of the 2012's and will be a short model year like 2006. Early in 2013 the new trucks will be introduced at 2014's. That's what has been reported on a myriad of GM truck websites. Its been reported that in 2012 many of the factories producing the current trucks are going to be shut down and retooled for the next generation.

As for me styling could use a refresh, interior needs to catch up to Dodge and Ford and most of all we, Chevy guys, needs some help in the engine room. The LS engines rock but we need them pumped up a bit for a little more roll. A 5.3 should exceed the output of the Ford 5.0 without even trying all that hard. The 4.3, well great as it is, needs to be retired in favor of an eco-boost style V6. For now I'll drive my 2011 CC and enjoy it.

Chromed tow hooks? Seriously?

@ Nate M
or, instead of the hypothetical camry, you could get a Ford Explorer and get even better mileage again.

And ya, I def can't wait to see the 2014s, I'm sure gonna miss pushrod motors tho, when my current 5.3 gets to 400,000 mi, I'm going to order probably an LS3 crate motor for it, being that its a reg cab, should rip around pretty good. even with the 5.3 its no slouch.

@Vulpine You're right about trucks completely. You know exactly how they should be packaged and how their status symbols and unnecessary for most, if not all. This all coming from the owner of the most useful, realistic, efficient, non-status symbol jeep wrangler unlimited. I hope you don't shop, travel, or use your jeep wrangler unlimited for any family items, there are more fuel efficient vehicles for that. It's designed for off roading, it shouldn't be comfortable enough for day to day use. It should come with roll bars, a fire extinguisher, and a spare tire. No need for radio, A/C, cd player, any of that.

@Ed Edson--Who said GM is abandonning the pushrod engine? No one. In fact, GM is one of 2 companies keeping OHV engines competitive. Sure they need another power bump, but the next generation trucks should come out with the next generation small block. It's been widely reported to use puahrods & direct injection.

As for the 2012 Silverado, I at least like the split grille of the LTZ (I think). Otherwise, they need to do something about the front bumper. The 3-piece look of it doesn't make it look like GM cared about quality. They could have easily patterned it from the look of the HD trucks.

Mike , please quit deleting my posts, I am entitled to my opinion about junky chevy's just like those that run down FORD'S

Looks great and the specifications put the f150 to shame. I wish ford would learn how to make trucks as good as GM does. Dodge trucks have surpassed fords in truck quality, style and peformance. C'mon ford! I guess that's why ford is letting the toyota tudra gang engineer and design their trucks from now on.

Looks great and the specifications put the f150 to shame. I wish ford would learn how to make trucks as good as GM does. Dodge trucks have surpassed fords in truck quality, style and peformance. C'mon ford! I guess that's why ford is letting the toyota tudra gang engineer and design their trucks from now on.

@tj- Not sure if troll.... or just stupid.

Benchimus: @ tj-- you know benchimus that a broken clock is right twice a day? thats the part about Ford using toyota!

I like the Diamond white package. It must be new for the USA as I've been seeing them for several years now in Canada.
I'm looking foreward to seeing pics and specs for the next gen trucks.
I'd love to see GMC, Ram,and Toyota offer a 6.5 box in a crewcab.
@Vulpine - nothing wrong with owning a "fancy" truck.
I know many guys in heavy industry and they buy high end trucks because when you work out of the cab of your truck for a living, it is less fatiguing.
I've always prefered more base model trucks but after living with a decent interior - I would not go back to a plain Jane one.
Regular cab trucks are rare because of things like manditory seat belt laws, and child booster seat laws.
Many trucks are bought for lifestyle reasons - camping, fishing, hunting, towing or hauling toys etc. No one needs to do those things.
I bought a truck for the previously mentioned reasons. Occasionally I need a truck for yard work, and house reno's. I like packing my muddy, wet dogs in the back of the truck.
Most people could get by with a van, mini-van, or small SUV.
That is true.
I tried that option for 2 years.
It SUCKED bigtime.
When one looks a truck sales, I'd say that most people would rather not compromise and buy a truck.

@tj.....thats the biggest knee slapper I have heard in a long time...that generic motors makes a better half ton than FORD ...and has better specs too.....what have u been looking at or smoking????

I just returned, today, from a camping trip. It sure was nice having my Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab 4X4; to tow my travel trailer, load up bicycles in the bed, and load my two kids (comfortably) in the back seat.

Gotta love full-size American pickups!

It would be nice if they addressed those God-awful egg-shaped mirrors.

In the colour category for trucks......Dodge have some really nice coulors, next, Ford......only a couple although.....sadly, Chevrolet,.....funeral colours. Come on can do better than what you have out there! Look alive!!!!

On the verge of purchasing a Silverado, but, poor choices in colour!

...majority I have spoken with, agree ith Dodge colours.

@Chuck Z

You are a pathetic excuse for a Ford fan. Other than that, my opinion about the Silverado still hasn't change. It's still still best in my mind. Except for the interior needing an update. Can't wait for the 2013! Thank you, that is all.

I purchased a used 2007 Chevy Silverado and when it rains the paint bubbles up. The paint also peels off. The manufacters dont return my calls. Different people have told me that there is a recall on the paint job for my vehicle. How about that for truck of the year???

Agreed ... The 2500 front end would have made it more attractive to this buyer now on my 8th Silverado.
$40k plus for a truck with Chevette style rear drum brakes! What are they thinking? Where's the 2 tone paint and some type of wheel opening appointment. I for one do not like the look of spot welds when I look at a wheel house.
Looks like I'll be considering the "blue oval" next.

I absolutley love it. Once again, GM has outdid itself with the silverado and im imressed. This is a true all american pickup truck that ford nor dodge can compete with. Go GM

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