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2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid was new.


Performance: 7.4

While one reviewer is let down by the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid’s low towing capacity, other auto writers are impressed by its good fuel economy and technologically advanced powertrain. One test driver notes that the Silverado Hybrid offers a refined driving experience, saying that it drives similarly to an affordable large SUV.

  • "Unfortunately, the Silverado Hybrid has a couple of significant drawbacks, starting with the hybrid powertrain's performance quirks and an unimpressive 6,100-pound towing capacity." -- Edmunds 
  • "Anyone familiar with pickups of the 1970s and 1980s will appreciate just how refined these trucks have become. The Silverado Hybrid drives less like a truck and more like a full-size SUV." -- HybridCars.com 
  • "In Consumer Guide testing, a 4WD model averaged an excellent 20.1 mpg. Silverado Hybrid uses regular-grade gas." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • "It's not far-fetched to say the Silverado Hybrid's powertrain is more advanced than Lexus'." -- PickupTrucks.com (2009)

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid is powered by a 332-horsepower V8 engine, which is paired with an electrically variable transmission (EVT) that contains two electric motors. Rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is optional. The EPA reports that the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid gets 20/23 mpg city/highway, which is better than the fuel economy of most trucks in the class. Still, recently redesigned trucks like the Ram 1500 offer fuel economy that’s nearly as good.

Although one reviewer says that transitions from electric to gas power can be jarring, most test drivers write that the Silverado Hybrid accelerates quickly and offers plenty of power. The EVT also earns praise from one reviewer for its responsive operation.

  • "On the road, the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid has a few idiosyncrasies that take some getting used to. Specifically, the truck will slowly begin to roll forward when powered solely by the electric motors, but then it seems to take off when the gasoline engine kicks in." -- Edmunds
  • "Mash the accelerator and 367 pounds-feet of torque melds together with the engine's horsepower as a reminder that there's big iron under the hood. But that's not what the Silverado Hybrid is about." -- HybridCars.com 
  • "Silverado Hybrid accelerates from a stop and passes much like a conventional model, but a faint surge is felt and heard when it shifts between full electric and gasoline operation. The CVT is responsive." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • "No one would guess there's a 332-horsepower 6-liter V-8 under the hood -- and that power number doesn't reflect the instant torque from the 300-volt motor inside the transmission." -- The Detroit News (2009)

Handling and Braking

Like most full-size trucks, reviewers say that the 2013 Silverado Hybrid exhibits some body lean in quick turns. While one critic says that the steering system feels a little numb, he also notes that it’s still a direct system that easily points the Silverado Hybrid in the right direction. A couple of auto writers say that the Silverado Hybrid’s regenerative brakes aren’t as natural-feeling as they would like. One writes that the pedal feels soft, while another critic says that the brakes have a delayed response when the pedal is depressed.

  • "Speaking of which, brake feel alternates between artificial and frustrating. There's a delayed response to actual braking force, then grabby deceleration upon engagement. Then again, once you get accustomed to the response you can utilize the regeneration mode to help reduce brake pad wear and increase battery power." -- Edmunds
  • "As with all big pickups, push the Silverado hard on a curve and body roll is noticeable. The electrically boosted steering is on the numb side, but there is no need to constantly adjust the steering wheel to keep it between the white lines." -- HybridCars.com 
  • "The brakes are responsive, though the pedal is a bit soft due to regenerative charging that replenishes the hybrid battery." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • "The electric power steering felt surprisingly normal, with just the right weighting for a vehicle carrying this much mass." -- Autoblog (2009)

Towing and Hauling

Although one reviewer notes that its transmission is well-suited to towing a heavy load, the Silverado Hybrid’s maximum towing capacity of 6,100 pounds is significantly less than most full-size trucks’. Additionally, one test driver says that towing also takes a toll on fuel economy. While towing a car trailer, he notes that the Silverado Hybrid used roughly the same amount of fuel as other non-hybrid Chevrolet and GMC trucks.

  • "The rear-wheel-drive Silverado Hybrid can tow up to 6,100 pounds, while the four-wheel-drive model can pull 5,900 pounds. Both figures trail the maximum ratings of the regular crew cab by significant margins." -- Cars.com 
  • "CVTs are known for optimizing fuel economy, but can't handle heavy loads. GM's version of the CVT does so by locking the planetary gearsets to let the four heavy-duty fixed gears - still the most efficient way to manage power and fuel economy - take over and handle a load like trailer towing." -- HybridCars.com
  • "Towing as light a car trailer as you're likely to encounter, the Silverado scored 13.5 mpg, which is the same as GM's conventional gas-powered trucks and SUVs, in my experience." -- PickupTrucks.com (2009)

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