First Drive: 2012 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ

Silverado LTZ 1 II

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Review: 2012 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Crew Cab 4x4

Price Sheet: 2012 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Crew Cab 4x4


I will stick with my Tundra, my 2007 GMC had so many problems that I will stay away from Chevy as well. Keep up the good work Mike!


I think Ford skimped out on the 6.2L. The 5.0L has it, but then again, it's the engine that needs to be competitive. The 6.2L has room for growth.

This is an interesting debate 5.3L VS EB.

The 5.3L gets the best V8 EPA mpg and due to its ancient design should be reliable but it clearly lacks the performance of the EB, 5.0L, 6.2L, Hemi or 5.7L iforce loaded or unloaded. I would rather have the Titan's 5.6L V8 as it will dyno way better than the 5.3L V8.

The EB gets the Best MPG for power you can get in a 1/2 ton but also gets the worst when towing the odd thing is I would bet anything if Chevy had the EB Ford guys would call it a people carrier due to poor FE when towing and great unloaded as Ford guys for years have said that "trucks are made for work" and I dont how much work your getting done when you have stop for fuel.

Some one asked why Ford doesnt use EB in the Super Duty well my guess would be the poor FE when towing despite the fact that at the wheels the EB makes more torque than 6.2L and is the most torque you can get in a 1/2 ton.

@Lou: The Tundra's tow ratings do meet the J2807 standard and I believe Toyota was the first to comply, two years ahead of schedule--again Toyota leading the way :)

Here's a link to the article:'

Also, I believe ANY tow rating posted on this site for ANY truck should CLEARLY indicate whether or not it complies with the J2807 standard.

Let's just be glad that for now we still have an auto industry. I have friends that have Silverados that have had no problems and love them. I also have friends that have F-150s that would never have anything else. I have friends that are loyal Toyota truck owners. Same with RAM. They are not all wrong are they? Again buy what you like and appreciate the fact that there are choices. It could be much worse guys. We could let the Chinese in with their F-150 and Colorado copies. They probably have some RAM and Silverado copies as well. Be thankful that more Americans are back to work and that GM and Ford are giving their workers profit sharing checks and not pink slips. Hopefully the gas prices will not get too high and kill this boom in sales. We all could use a better economy and more jobs. Be thankful for what we have and get off the negativity.

I was wondering, for your next article, can you go over the drivetrain packages for chevy and gmc? more specifically, can you go over and compare and contrast the z71, z85, and z60 packages that are available?

Thanks a bunch!

Amen, Brother!

FWIW I dislike how this site makes you click on other links after you've already clicked on the article link. Y'all always do it with shootouts and now your doing it with test reviews, too... :(

In reading the article it pretty much sums it all up with these phrases "vanilla" and "won't ... excite". I do think the grill/bumper refresh looks much better though compared to the old. But GM needs to hurry and bring out the all-new truck. Despite there only being a 2 year difference between the introduction of the GM trucks and the Ford & Dodge trucks, the GM trucks just seem very out-dated. I'll be interested to see if they step up their game with the new one

I am also a big believer in the philosphy at Chevy. Some other companies are big on things like fancy suspensions and heated steering wheels! But I like that CHEVY IS DIFFERENT. I like the philosophy at Chevy that if it doesn't get used A LOT, which means daily, it does NOT belong on the truck. All that these fancy gimmicks do is weight down the truck and hurt THE FEATURES THAT MATTER like fuel economy and value for the money. Chevy trucks are for hauling and towing, not luxury.

@Bob, the only person I've ever seen posting obviously under different and multiple names is you. Secondly, if you don't think Chevy guys like myself don't want things like King Ranch interiors and 'fancy gimmicks' as you call them I don't know what to tell ya. You're as out of touch with the Chevrolet truck buyer as GM. You say Chevy trucks are for towing and hauling huh? And Ford King Ranch, Lariats and Platinums are not?? A Dodge Ram Laramie Longhorn Limited cannot toe or haul?? Please Bob, do us Chevy guys a favor and shut up. I've already stated I won't buy anything that says GMC on it and I buy dozens of loaded up trucks all of the time. If Chevrolet doesn't want my money anymore I've about had it with them. I'm to the point I'll give it to Ford or maybe even Dodge like the rest. Most ranchers and gas pipe line guys I deal with every day are driving loaded up Ford Platinum or King Ranch's and working the daylights out of them. I've never liked GM's 2 truck line nonsense. It's pure brand dilution for Chevrolet trucks and does nothing but hurt the value of what GM shares I do own. I don't like that my taxpayer money went to fund it either as it's a completely unnecessary line. As it stands you have your Sierra. Now button it and keep your hands off my Chevrolet.

I have to agree with BrianHawn. I posted this in the new SD thread but I've been doing construction and snow removal for 37 years. We're in the Cedar Rapids area of Iowa but go up to Waterloo and even into Moline Illinois both of which are small John Deere countries in and of themselves. I know many of Deere employees. I've watched them all switch from Chevy trucks to Ford's over the last 10-15 years. When we used to buy Chevy's we bought them at Community Chevrolet/Cadillac there in Cedar Falls. Last time I was at their lot they were having serious trouble selling their trucks. Our Ford's we purchased through Witham Ford there which is also a Chevrolet dealer now (again). I also know their salesman have a tough time getting anyone into Chevrolet trucks now as they just don't compete with the Ford's they also sell. You go into Des Moines and there's a mega dealer there which has literally thousands of vehicles. It's a multi acre lot of Ford,Chevy and Dodge trucks side by side for comparison. The Chevrolet's just look horrible next to the other two.

We quit buying Chevy's when they pulled the straight axle out from the front. Went to Dodge's for 6 years which had transmission issues so we switched to Ford's when the Super Duty was created and never looked back. Concerning interiors, out of our 23 Super Duty's we only have 2 that are cloth. We have 6 King ranch's and the rest are Lariats. We only buy quality leather now for our work trucks. The cloth just doesn't last and is to hard to keep looking good. All 12 of our F-150's are Lariat's and my personal truck is a Platinum. Why Chevrolet has not these things I'll never understand. Chevrolet trucks are missing out so bad here in the midwest it's not even funny. There's so many millionare farmers it's mind numbing. Nearly all driving King Ranch and Platinum trimmed Ford trucks in the fields. I've literally seen thousands. Brian's also correct that GMC just is not the truck of choice in these parts. I can't say I personally know a single person who owns one. It's always been Chevy/Ford country here. Back when we bought Chevrolet's I wouldn't have even entertained the thought of a GMC in my fleet. It was just a rebadge, not the real thing.

Ugly, boring truck.

Amen for Fords and Rams.

Two of my GM friends switched brands to boycut them. Hope GM sinks!

I am not a Captain America kind of guy but it sounds like you are saying you want the World's Largest Automaker, 2011 Fortune 500 company and a American employer to go out of business hurting the fragile recovery by laying off more Americans. I dont care if the bailouts were the right or wrong thing to do because thats all politics but you can atleast want whats best for America going forward.

@ Greg J,

read the price sheet. (a.k.a. The Sticker) A link was posted.

Hecho en Mexico.

Way to create jobs there, GM.

@LJC - IIRC the Tundra lost the most towing capacity with the heavier Crewmax 4x4 when they adopted J2807/ The lighter regular cab wasn't effected as much. That is what I meant.

@LJC: the Hemi is still a two valve engine.

@Bob: What shootout did the Chevy 1500 win lately? Did I miss it? Since I live in the hills I will stick with my Hemi, and a Tundra would be pretty darn good too, especially with it's good gear choices. A whole lot less RPM, if you want to buzz an engine to get up a hill, stick with a 5.3 and have at it! Or, since you want to compare it to Ecoboost mileage, how about comparing it to Ecoboost capability. But the 5.3 might get better mileage with 9,000 pounds hooked to it, cause they make so little power, and it would be moving so slow. If Chevy ever gets 26 MPG from a full size it would be cause they used a 2.45 rear gear and ran a tiny little 29" low resistance tread tire. I can see it going 1400 rpm and dropping a gear at the hint of an incline. It will be rated to tow 5,000 pounds and will drop to second gear at interstate speeds, and 1st gear at less then 50 MPH. It will constantly hunt for gears. LOL, The older trucks that talk about doing ok with less engine were lighter, hard to compare your 3,900 pound truck to a 5400 pound one now

@Denny, I know that dealer. I run trailers from here in MN to Omaha every day and go right by the place. I don't know if it's 1 dealer or 3 seperate on one big lot but what a display of Chevy-Ford-Dodge! I'll always be a Chevy guy myself. I have a 68 Chevelle I take to shows and one of the last C5's off the line. My wife has an 09 LTZ Tahoe and we also bought a new LTZ Equinox for my daughter last year. I'm also restoring a 71 Camaro with my grandson. I never cared for anything else GM made outside of Chevrolet/Cadillac but Chevrolet is where my heart will always be. That said my last new Chevy truck was in 97. After that generation ended Chevy trucks completely lost their Mojo. When I thought about getting a new one in 04 I just couldn't pull the trigger. That Silverado looked like it came from China and was just horrible to look at. This new one is just as bad if not worse. Those huge whale wide bulges and that screwed up front end are just terrible. I'd never own a Gmc either but would have 'considered' the current Silverado if it looked like the Sierra. When we bought the Equinox though I looked at one Silverado closely inside the dealership and it's hard to describe but it just felt and literally Looked cheaply built. I was not impressed at all. Particularly when it's straight up rival the F-150 is so nice. I never liked Ford trucks until the 04 but like them now. I didn't like Dodge trucks until this new one either but it's a winner now. Both the Ford's and Dodge's are clean and mean looking now with high dollar interiors. The Chevy continues to be a mess.

That said I never thought I'd own Anything that said Ford on it but just may. I'd consider the Dodge as I always did like old Mopars but won't buy one that's not built in the US. That might be an issue as so many of the 1500's are made across the border. That would be a no go. I've been driving our work issued truck for the last few years (F-150) and really like them. I have to pay to drive it for personal use though and would just rather be in my own truck again. I really don't know what to buy but I have money burning a hole in my pocket for a new truck. If GM hadn't screwed up Chevrolet trucks so bad I'd buy one.

First of all, that plant was open in 1994, not yesterday.
They used to build CrewCab models only, but that production was moved to Flint, MI in 2010. It's not a full time pickup truck assembly plant, they still build CrewCabs there but only if demand is high. They wil start retooling plants soon so maybe more CrewCabs are built there now.
My truck was build there and it's put together very well.
Second of all, it was your greedy unions that pushed companies to look elsewhere for cheaper labor. If you had your own company in need of cheaper labor you would do the same and then tell everybody to f@#$% off.
Everybody has plants in Mexico. Did you know that Ford has 4!? And I don't blame them.

You're delusional as always Bob. What Ford guy in their right mind would Want Chevy trucks to be better or give a rat's ass about GMC? If you're at all referring to me I only think Chevy truck's should be as nice as Ford's because I used to drive them and still have a soft spot for the Bowtie. If it were gone tomorrow though I sure wouldn't cry about it. Ford will continue to build my truck so big whoop. And two trucks Are a waste. RedMan is dead nuts right on this. I really don't think it will be around much longer anyway. I thought all of the talk about conservative media waiting for their nominee and then going after Obama for keeping GMC was just a bunch of right wingers babble. I think it is indeed for real now after watching Fox hammer the Volt into the ground recently. They're going to do exactly as whoever had that inside information said they would. The Lefty tree huggers hate trucks so Fox and the rest will make it plain as day that Obama kept 2 gas guzzling, global warming truck lines and paint GMC like Hummer. Then they'll try and turn the conservatives who did support the bailout on GM for an unnecessary use of taxpayer funds for building 2 trucks and correctly point out nobody else in the world needs 2 trucks so why should GM?. GM will be forced to roll GMC into Chevrolet under political pressure.

And I already had the answer to this. Keep the EXT Cadillac or do "Sierra" by Cadillac and make it like the EXT but with 4 wheel independent suspension for a soft cushy ride and light duty use. That would be a True luxury type truck and something you will see from Lincoln and Chrysler no doubt anyway so GM could point to That as a legitimate use of funds for Cadillac.. You see Bob, I don't hate GM nor am I all that political. I support the auto bailouts as it did indeed help Ford. GMC as yet another truck line/brand is a poor use of taxpayer money though and I call it like I see it and agree with others who view it the same way. And if Chevrolet is going to be here then dammit it should be all it can be otherwise it too was a waste of taxpayer money.

Everybody has plants in Mexico. Did you know that Ford has 4!? And I don't blame them.

@GregJ- I do. I only buy Ford's but still wouldn't pay a dime for a Ford product that came from anywhere other than the USA or Canada. And if Ford thinks it has to crank out Anything from Mexico it sure as hell better be a Fiesta or something like that. NOT MY AMERICAN TRUCK!.

Chevy is dead.. Sorry guys but it's a fact. GM and for that matter GMC has ruined Chevrolet trucks to the point of no return I feel. I went and watched George Strait play in concert last night. If any of you didn't know he used to be a spokesman for Chevy trucks. I saw him 10 years ago in the same arena. At that time we walked over a mile to get to the show past nothing but those 90's bodystyle Chevy Silverado's parked everywhere by show attendee's. At the time I had just bought my new 2002 Silverado (my last new Chevy truck-and yes I still own it because these new ones are ugly as sin).

There's a song called Run where he says "Take a Chevy". 10 years ago the crowd erupted in applause and cheers as soon as he said those words. Last night I walked past row after row of Ford F-150's and Super Duty's walking to the building. Nearly all were nicely decked out King Ranch and Platinums. I never thought I'd see that at his show. And last night I waited for the applause and cheer's when he sang that song and it came to "Take a Chevy". You know what I heard? Nothing. 17 thousand people and not even a hand clap. It was at that very moment I knew it was over for Chevy trucks and the loyalty they once had. I left the building with a sad heart, I really did.. I don't know where Chevrolet goes from here to be honest. Their legacy and heritage has been so tarnished by bad body designs and poor build quality that I don't see how they can ever get back the loyalty and love they once took for granted. I hope with all my heart they can but in truth, I just don't see the way home anymore. :(

Ford has 3 plants in Mexico and 1 in Venezuela.

Well, Ford builds F-150's and Explorers in Venezuela.
Mexico plants do Fusions and such.

The only companies that assembles complete trucks in Mexico are GM, and Fiat-Ram. FYI.

Fiat-Ram assembles all of their heavy duty trucks and half ton regular cabs in Mexico.

GM assembles many of their crewcab Chevy Silverados and GMC Sierras in Mexico. (including the one in this first drive review.)

Ford assembles the diesel engine part in Mexico. The trucks themselves are assembled in the U.S.A.

If you want the most American assembled trucks go with Ford or Toyota.

The Venezuela plant is for South America. They don't have anything to do with U.S. sales.

I would take USA engine and trans and truck build in Mexico over Mexican engine and Chinease trans and truck build in USA (Ford)

Ford builds F150 in Venezuela

Yes it has, they were also producing F250 and F350 but Ford moved the production to KC last year or 2010

F150s built in Venezuela are for export, not US.

@FordTrucks - agreed.
I've never seen a truck or SUV with a Venezuela VIN. Out of 75 Ford plants worldwide, 26 are in USA, 5 in Canada, and 3 in Mexico. That would be just under 1/2 (45%) of their operations are in North America.
@Greg J - thanks for the link.

@ Lou: I see, thanks for the follow up.
@ TRX4 TOMMY: That's right, so all the "domestic" truck makers still offer a 2 valve per cyclinder truck engine.

The Ford Ecoboost engine for the F150 is made in Cleveland Ohio. In fact they just announced this week that they are adding 200+ jobs and a third shift in May. They will be producing that engine (F150's most popular) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

My brother inlaw bought a 2011 Chevy LTZ crew cab last year and loves it. He traded in his Ford King Ranch and he said the seats are more comfortable and supportive in the Chevy then in the Ford, especially on long trips!


Amen to that!!!

I just bought a 2012 f150 with the 5.0. Really nice truck. I still like my 06 5.4 though.

I laugh at these new 'Dare to Compare' commercials Chevy is running against Ford. Please... Why not just close your doors now? You asking to get your ass handed to you. The last off road capable Chevy truck was in 1987 end of story. Nobody drives a Chevy off road anymore. The frame sits to low to the ground and it doesn't have a live axle up front. That last good 1500 Chevy was in 1998 end of story. It was still good looking and built to last. From 1999 on, Chevy trucks have been the butt of jokes. Those 99-06 Chevy's are pure rust buckets here in Montana. They have such a bad reputation here for rusting out that you can't hardly give a used one away. And these 07's and up have to be the ugiest damn truck ever created by any trucking company in world history. GM is lucky they have so many braindead Chevy loyalists to have sold what they even did out of the gate. That loyalty is dying though when people step foot into a Ford or Dodge. Really, why would Anyone in their right mind buy a Cheaply built pos Silverado when they could have a sturdy well built F-150 Platinum/King Ranch or Ram Laramie/Limited. You'd have to be a braindead fool to buy a Chevy anymore. Even their cars suck now.

Down here in tobacco and soybean country, the roads are packed with GM HD diesel trucks and Dodge Cummins. Up until the last 7 years or so, there used to be an even mix of all the big 3 trucks. Since Ford kept putting junk under the hood, drove customers away by the truckload and made them flock to trucks with reliable powerplants, GM and Dodge. Most of the guys that I talk to said that they will never go back to Ford after the way that they were treated. After reveiwing the sales charts for the past several years, it amazes me that in the rest of the country people still flock to the Super Duty diesel. Perhaps they are braindead fools as well?

Ford makes their own diesel now. Problem solved. Concerning Chevy, their problem with sales has never been because of their gas or diesel engines nor their transmissions. Their problem has been the Truck itself that Carries the engine/transmission. Cheap interiors all around, poor body build quality and looks all around, the HD's lack a straight axle and have that low slung frame. If GM would actually build a proper truck both 1500 and HD that would house those engines and transmissions, they'd actually sell more and earn due respect. Until these things happen, they'll never seek what they're after.

Dodge on the other hand has everything Chevy does not. Good looks, good body build quality, good interiors, their HD has a straight axle and tucked in body frame. I can completely understand how people would choose a Dodge over the Ford if diesel reliability was a concern.

Those 99-06 Chevy's are pure rust buckets here in Montana.

@Todd, glad to know we're not the only ones with that issue. I bought my 1998 brand new and when I sold it 10 years later it was just barely starting to get some rust on the cab corners which was pretty typical. I had thought about getting a new Silverado in 07 when they fixed the front end of the 03-07 model but couldn't do it. My brothers 03 had the rockers already rotting out and rust bubbles on the cab and bed wheelwells. Heck, his frame had rust after year one and I know for a fact he went through brake lines like mad on that thing. Now those 99-07's are just littering up the streets all rusted away. Just awful what GM did to cut costs there.

My post though is concerning my experience with this new Silverado. My first Chevy was a used 85 4x4. I drove it for 6 years with no issues and loved that thing. In 98 I bought a new Silverado and the last of the great Chevy's IMO. For 10 years and 186k miles I drove that with only an intake gasket set replaced. A well built truck! In 08 I traded it in on a new 4 door LTZ/Z71 Silverado. I really wanted a 4 door truck and I wanted leather. I was not at all to keen on the new body design but with the LTZ you got the colored bumper that made it look better in the front at least. To my point, I'd NEVER recommend one of these trucks. I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy. I had wind noise in the cab from day one that the dealer said was "normal". It seemed like every week I'd find a new dent somewhere in the body that I hadn't a clue as to how it got there. My hood flapped in the wind and driving through a carwash air dryer so bad it was embarassing. The interior was absolute garbage for a supposed high dollar trim. We loaded a smaller piano into the bed and this is when I was 'done'. Three of us Very Carefully set it in there. Two were standing on one side of the bumper and It Literally BENT! I was so pissed off that had the moron who 'engineered' that truck been there I would have probably gone to jail. We got the piano into the bed and I expected a few scrapes but not what instead happened. The damn thing Smashed in the metal stampings and crumpled the front of the bed by the cab when we slid it forward! Never EVER again will I own another Chevy truck. Like A Rock my ass. It was a chintzy flimsy pile of garbage. You'd think I bought a throwaway car like a Cavalier or something not a 50k dollar 'truck' or so Chevy calls it. I traded it off on a new Platinum/Ecoboost F-150 and the difference in build quality inside and out is the difference between Heaven and Hell. Chevrolet lost my truck business And my car business over this. Our Malibu is going to the Ford dealer soon. If a guy was hellbent on buying a Chevrolet truck or is a Chevy guy like I once was he might as well buy a 1998 or Older truck from the 60's,70's,80's,90's and just stick a new engine in it. He'd be far better off.

I used to sell these when I worked for our local Chevrolet dealer. I don't recall exatly what the deal was but I know for a fact all of the salesman who were more mechanically inclined than I said to stay away from the 08's and up. The 07's were the truck to get if you wanted this bodystyle. The two guys I'm thinking of had to help unload and load these off/on trailer trucks and only the 07's were strong enough underneath to tie the cables where they tied them to. The very next year GM cut more strength out of whatever it was. I also recall the door handle's being very cheap. If you pull on the outside handle of one that's painted, look behind it. The smooth plastic gets unfinished and there's no paint. Every time I went to open one I'd look down at the handle and just shake my head at how cheap GM got. Wind noise in the cabin was common. Water leaks on the extended cabs were common flooding out carpets. The transmission clunk sound as you put it into gear was common. Complaints on sheetmetal issues were huge at our bodyshop. Crooked bumper end caps were common from the factory. Misaligned interior parts were common. Seat covering on the cloth seats were huge complaints as well. We had so many seats that were covered from the factory improperly it was unreal. Our bodyshop had to attempt and straighten out the fabric and tuck it away properly so the buyer's wouldn't notice. Lint sticking to the fabric was also a common complaint. Complaints about ripples in the sheetmetal over the rear wheels were common. Flapping hood complaints were common. Peeling wheel clearcoat complaints were common. Bumper sturdiness complaints were common. The black coating on the frames would come off within a year or two allowing the frame to rust. We had Many complaints on that. People upset with rear drum brakes was a gripe I got as a salesman all the time. Most people including nearly everyone at the dealership hated the bodystyle. It was sold on Chevy brand loyalty alone in my experience. Even the Chevy logo Bowtie on the rear tailgates turning black and losing their gold was an everyday complaint. We even had brand new trucks come in with no gold left in them from the rain in shipping.

I could swear that if these trucks didn't say Chevrolet on the side, you'd have thought you were selling a Chinese truck. I swear to God they were/are that poorly constructed. I can completely see how Ford took over the market and why Dodge is climbing with their new body truck. We couldn't sell a 2500 if we tried so we never stocked more than 2. And if I had a dollar for everytime I heard "Why can't I get a King Ranch" or something like that I'd be retired. We lost sales to the Ford dealership up the street all the time. We lost car sales over the whole mess tied to it. All I can say is thank the Lord I'm not selling Chevrolet's any longer.

@Lou- LOLOL! That would be the perfect ending to bobs commercial.

Hello can I instal the grill to my 2009 1500 truck ???

I wonder if the Mexican made trucks are union made? Either way the Mexican made trucks sure do help subsidize the UAW trucks.

Gotta love the Mexican made label.

I'll take my truck that's made in Texas.

Still ugly. And red looks good only on very few vehicles...this is not one of them. Until Chevy gets past wanting to design legacy elements into their trucks (like the gawd aweful grill/bar...the over-under headlights...the square wheel openings) they will never be able design an attractive truck. Let it go, Chevy...let it go...come to the present and leave the 70s behind.

Hilarious - Chevy - Ford - Dodge owners civil truck war. No vehicle in America is 100% USA made...thats business today. Pretty sure 85% of what u own is foreign made.....I do enjoy the truck wars :)

That poor 5.3 turd. Just can not keep up with the 5.7 or 5.0 from Ram and Ford while getting less or equal MPG. The 6.2 has huge power on the other hand but piss poor MPG. The current GM crop of pickups truly has fallen behind in quality and capability.

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