2022 Chevy Silverado Review | Big-time interior updates, new ZR2

Finally. It may have taken three long years and a whole heap of complaints from buyers and reviewers, but the Chevy Silverado, traditionally the second-best-selling pickup truck nameplate in America (with stiff competition from Ram), at long last offers an interior that sits at a level playing field with the rest of the pickup truck offerings. It only took three years for it to happen, too. In automotive terms, that’s moving at the speed of light, but the immediacy of the change speaks to how badly it was needed.

The end result is a truck that is immediately more competitive against the Ram 1500 and Ford F-150, especially on the upper end of its model lineup where its cabins were laughable when put up against the Longhorns and King Ranches of the world. And that’s not all. Chevrolet applied cutting-edge new technology to nearly every trim level including one of the industry’s first applications of Google’s Android Automotive operating system. Do note, however, that the Work Truck, Custom and Custom Trail Boss trims keep the old interior design and technology – given their lower price points, that’s probably fine.

While the shiny new cabin is the headlining act of the Silverado’s refresh for 2022, there’s a lot more under the skin worth talking about. Of particular interest is the new Chevy Silverado ZR2, an off-road specialist with suspension tricks up its fender-shaped sleeves that promise to make it compliant on the road and simultaneously burly enough to tackle the kind of challenging rocks, ruts, mud and bumps that the Ford Raptor and Ram TRX were made to conquer (though it doesn’t quite line up with those in terms of power and other attributes).

One more important caveat: The massively updated one shown here is officially the 2022 Chevy Silverado, but it won’t actually be available until the spring of 2022. In the meantime, Chevy is selling the 2022 Silverado LTD, which is basically last year’s truck but with the 2022 model year applied. There are many reasons for this, but suffice to say, if you see a 2022 High Country with the crummy old cabin, that’s why. It’s an LTD.

Interior & Technology   |   Passenger & Cargo Space   |   Performance & Fuel Economy

What it’s like to drive   |   Pricing & Features   |   Crash Ratings & Safety Features

2022 Chevrolet Silverado LT 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

What’s new for 2022?

The interior! It was quite bad before; now it has been wildly improved in terms of aesthetics, materials quality and technology. You can see the difference above as both belong to a Silverado LT. The new tech includes a 13.4-inch widescreen infotainment display that runs an Android Automotive operating system. Another key change is a console-mounted shifter for five-passenger models instead of the column-mounted one that remains for six-passenger cabs. There are visual changes outside as well (the grille bowtie has migrated upward); GM’s Super Cruise handsfree driving system is now offered on the High Country; the 2.7-liter turbo engine now produces 420 pound-feet of torque (more than the 5.3-liter V8); the base 4.3-liter V6 is dead; and the 3.0-liter diesel can be fitted with a Max Tow package that allows it to tow 13,300 pounds versus last year’s meager 9,500 sum.

There’s also an addition to the family: the Silverado ZR2. This off-road model features Multimatic DSSV spool-valve shocks, the same 2-inch lift as the Trail Boss but with more suspension travel, locking diffs, skid plates, 33-inch tires and an overall ground clearance of 11.2 inches. The front bumper has been redesigned and the exhaust tips relocated to improve approach and departure angles, respectively. It includes the 6.2-liter V8, so it shouldn’t be considered a true Raptor or TRX competitor. Instead, it falls somewhere in the open space with more capability than the likes of the Ford F-150 Tremor, Ram Rebel, Toyota Tundra TRD Pro and Chevy’s own Trail Boss.

1693664542 144 2022 Chevy Silverado Review Big time interior updates new ZR22022 Chevrolet Silverado LT2022 Chevrolet Silverado LT

What are the Silverado interior and in-car technology like?

The 2022 Silverado gets a completely new layout with updated materials starting with the LT trim (those lower retain the ugly old interior design) and it’s a massive improvement. Besides aesthetics, the overhaul includes a new 13.4-inch infotainment screen and 12.3-inch instrument display found in all trims, albeit with different skins and software suites to account for differing options. The new digital gauge cluster is bright, crisp, and doesn’t wash out even in bright sunlight.

Besides being on a new, bigger screen, the infotainment system is among the first in the industry to run on the Android Automotive operating system. It works very well, with snappy responses and solid voice recognition. If you’re an Apple user, don’t worry. Apple CarPlay is fully supported, along with Android Auto.

The upper trim levels see the greatest interior improvement, because frankly, they needed it. For instance, instead of a few bits of unconvincing wood trim slapped randomly to the side of the High Country’s center console, the new version gets the real deal, and it feels just as good as it looks. Heck, the new LT interior has a far more premium vibe than the old High Country did.

Sitting in the new-for-2022 Silverado’s interior next to the old one is really the best way to highlight the massive upgrade. The fact that both interiors are currently sitting in dealer showrooms offers buyers exactly that opportunity.

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How big is the Silverado?

It’s huge. But so are all full-size pickups today. There are three cab configurations: a two-door Regular Cab with an 8-foot bed, a Double Cab with four doors and a 6.5-foot bed, and the larger Crew Cab four-door with either a 6.5-foot or a 5.8-foot bed. The Regular Cab measures 229.5 inches from stem to stern, while the Double Cab and the Crew Cab short box are just two inches longer, and the Crew Cab long box tacks on another 10 inches. The off-road ZR2 version is sold only as a Crew Cab with the short box.

The Silverado features higher bed sides than most competitors, allowing Chevy to claim greater cargo volume. You can also get it with GM’s Multi-Flex tailgate shown above left. Payload ranges from 2,130 pounds for the 4×4 Crew Cab to 2,280 for the 4×2 Regular Cab. Buyers who would routinely max out the payload, however, should look instead at the Silverado HD.

The vast majority of Silverados sold are the four-door Crew Cab configuration, which has sprawl-out space in the rear seat. The rear seat cushion also can flip up to help when carrying cargo inside. Access is easy through huge doors, although it’s a climb up to get inside (more so on the off-road-themed variants with their raised suspensions). The Double Cab is less spacious, and its rear seatback is more upright (pictured below left). The Double Cab’s narrow rear doors are a clue that its back seat is meant for occasional use, but at least they’re front-hinged rather than Ford’s awkward clamshell design. You can also see the Silverado’s six-passenger configuration below left, which includes a front middle seat.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 15002019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

What are the Silverado fuel economy and performance specs?

The Silverado has a sprawling powertrain lineup with four engines, three transmissions and of course 2WD and 4WD. As a result, performance and fuel economy vary widely.

The base engine is now the unique 2.7-liter turbocharged inline-four, which produces 310 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. That’s a massive, 72-lb-ft upgrade over last year and considerably better than the 5.3-liter V8. Paired with an eight-speed automatic, it’s the standard powerplant in most of the mid-range trims and an optional upgrade for the base WT and the Custom. It’s a big step up from the old V6 that used to come in lower trims. The 2.7 feels nice and torquey at around-town speeds, only failing to match the feel of a mid-size V8 at the upper limits of what you’d typically drive on the highway. Buyers should be aware, though, that it definitely sounds like a turbocharged four-cylinder from inside the cabin, which seems incongruous in a big pickup. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 20 mpg combined for 2WD models and 18 mpg combined with 4WD.

The most economical setup, though, is the 3.0-liter turbodiesel, which carries exceptional EPA estimates of 26 mpg combined with 2WD and 24 mpg combined with 4WD. The diesel produces 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque — the latter figure matching that of the largest V8. It is optional on the Custom Trail Boss trim and higher, with the exception of ZR2. 

Standard on the LTZ and High Country, and optional on lower trims, is a 5.3-liter V8 good for 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy varies widely, however, as the engine can be paired with six-, eight- or 10-speed automatic transmissions. Unlike last year, it is only available with GM’s more advanced Dynamic Fuel Management system (DFM). The result is fuel economy that ranges from 15 mpg combined for a Trail Boss with the six-speed automatic to 18 mpg combined with the 2WD/8-speed combo. That’s a significant spread. We’d advise buyers to take a test drive of the 2.7-liter turbo before deciding to go with the smaller V8.

The 6.2-liter V8 is the top-dog offering with 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft. It’s paired exclusively with the 10-speed automatic, 4WD and DFM. It is standard on the ZR2, and optional on the RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ and High Country. EPA estimates range from 14 mpg combined for those with mud terrain tires to 17 mpg for a more road-going version.

2022 Chevy Silverado ZR2

What’s the Silverado like to drive?

The 2022 Chevy Silverado drives a lot like the 2021 Chevy Silverado (or the ’22 Silverado LTD). It’s a solid pickup truck, albeit one that has not yet switched to a smoother-riding coil-spring rear suspension setup like the Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra. We’ve been impressed with the Silverado’s road holding and steering since its last redesign for 2019. Despite its size, the Silverado is not ponderous to drive. Handling is actually fairly responsive, and it feels more nimble than its rival trucks. The ride quality is a sore spot, however. The LT Double Cab we tested bounded nautically over bumps, while other trims with bigger wheels produce tiresome impact harshness, and there’s some rear axle hop when the bed is unloaded. The top-spec High Country now comes with adaptive dampers that should smooth out the ride at least somewhat, but expect the Ram and F-150 to ride better regardless of version.

We’ve spent just enough miles in Silverados powered by the new 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to feel confident recommending it as a viable alternative to a more traditional V8. If we were to opt for ultimate efficiency, though, we’d want the Duramax diesel engine that’s strong, impressively quiet and well-suited to truck duty.

The mid-level 5.3-liter V8 is a fine engine that pairs well with both the eight-speed and 10-speed automatic transmission offerings (depending on trim level). The bigger 6.2-liter most definitely does feel significantly more powerful than any of the smaller engines — it’s rated at a stout 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque — and works very well with its standard 10-speed auto. Most buyers won’t truly need the extra power of the bigger V8, but for those who do plan to tow heavy loads, it’s a good option.

We spent some time in a 5.3-liter Trail Boss a while back and found the engine paired well with the eight-speed automatic. An off-road stint in the Trail Boss showcased its mud-slogging capabilities, although those come at a cost to on-road comfort. However, buyers looking for the ultimate Bowtie-badged off-road pickup truck will want to check out the new-for-2022 Silverado ZR2, which features excellent Multimatic DSSV shocks and boasts an approach angle of 31.8 degrees, a breakover angle of 23.4 degrees, and a departure angle of 23.3 degrees. Those are class-competitive figures that allow the ZR2 to tackle the same kind of off-road terrain that Ford Raptor buyers have had access to for years. But the ZR2 doesn’t get an upgraded powerplant; the standard 6.2-liter V8 is the same as in any other Silverado.

The 2022 Chevy Silverado High Country gains GM’s Super Cruise hands-free driving technology. A short stint on the highway proves it works as well in Chevy’s luxe truck as it does in a Cadillac. It even allows for hands-free driving while pulling a trailer.

What other Chevy Silverado reviews can I read?

2022 Chevy Silverado ZR2 First Drive | Raptor rival? More like an alternative

We break down all the upgrades that make the new-for-2022 Silverado ZR2 more capable off of pavement than any other truck in Chevy’s stable. It’s priced similarly to the Ford, but doesn’t match up spec-for-spec with the segment-defining Ford Raptor. It instead stands separate as an alternative that ought to be easier to live with on a daily basis.

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2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Duramax First Drive Review

Here’s our most comprehensive review of the Silverado when fitted with the Duramax diesel engine. Although it can tow significantly more for 2022, that’s due to the availability of the Max Tow package as opposed to actual changes with the engine.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500


2019 Chevrolet Silverado LT Double Cab 2.7T Review

This review covers a few key variations of the Silverado: the modestly equipped but volume-selling LT trim and the extended Double Cab, plus the 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that is significantly updated for 2022. You can also read more about the four-cylinder’s engineering in our Silverado 2.7L RST first drive review.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500


2020 Chevy Silverado Trail Boss Off-Road Review

We take the most off-road-oriented Silverado 1500 off-road, finding it to be plenty capable but with a few compromises.

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2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 First Drive Review

Here is our more comprehensive review of the 5.3- and 6.2-liter V8 engines, including while towing. We also provide in-depth details about the new Silverado’s overall engineering and design.

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How much is the 2022 Silverado price and what features are available?

Prices have gone up across the board for 2022, with most trims around $1,000 more this year than last. The starting prices for the 2022 Silverado (including a $1,695 destination charge) are:

  • WT: $34,195 
  • Custom: $41,195 
  • Custom Trail Boss: $49,095 
  • LT: $45,295 
  • RST: $49,495 
  • LT Trail Boss: $54,895 
  • ZR2: $67,995
  • LTZ: $54,295 
  • High Country: $59,395 

More on pricing, specs and features information about the Silverado 1500 LTD can be found here.

What are the Silverado safety ratings and driver assistance features?

All 2022 Silverados come standard with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist and automatic high-beams. The High Country is available with Super Cruise, and is the only trim on which it’s offered. It also operates with a trailer, and it can execute lane changes. 

The 2022 editions hasn’t yet been crash tested, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the 2021 Silverado Crew Cab. It got the best possible score of «Good» in all but the «small overlap front: passenger side» test where it got a third-of-four «Marginal» score. In NHTSA crash tests, last year’s Silverado earned a four-star rating overall (out of five), with four stars for front and rollover crash protection and five stars for side-impact crashworthiness.

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