Nuts & Bolts: 2010 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bottom line: The Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid crew cab, available with rear-wheel drive, is a good truck with innovative technology sold at a price that would drive most truck lovers away.

Ride, acceleration and handling: Appropriately slow acceleration, up to 29 mph under electric power, in city traffic. Highway acceleration is excellent. But, handling? It's a full-size pickup with a factory weight of 5,286 pounds. Under any circumstance, you handle that very carefully.

Head-turning quotient: Truck lovers love it. To others, it's just another truck.

Body style/layout: The 2010 Chevrolet Silverado has a body-on-frame construction, with a four-door, five-passenger cabin. It is a dual-mode hybrid. In stop-and-go city traffic, it is powered by a nickel-metal-hydride battery pack in tandem with two 60-kilowatt electric motors. That arrangement saves fuel where most pickups waste it. A 6-liter V-8 engine, with cylinder deactivation technology, takes over on the highway.

Engine/transmission: The engine is a six-liter V-8 (332 horsepower, 367 foot-pounds of torque). It is linked to a dual-mode automatic transmission -- a four-speed automatic gearbox in combination with an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission.

Capacities: Seats five people. It has a short cargo bed: 5 feet 8 inches. Maximum payload, what the truck can carry onboard, is 1,418 pounds. It can tow a trailer weighing 5,900 pounds. Fuel capacity is 26 gallons. It can run on regular unleaded gasoline, or 85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline (E-85), which burns faster and is likely to yield fewer miles per gallon than gasoline.

Safety: The 2010 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid gets top safety ratings (five stars for frontal crash protection, five stars for side-impact protection) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Standard equipment includes front and rear ventilated disc brakes, four-wheel antilock brake protection, electronic stability and traction control and six air bags.

Price: The base price for the 2010 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid crew cab pickup with four-wheel-drive is $47,820. Dealer's invoice price for that model is $45,190. Price as tested is $49,265 including $450 for the optional rear-view camera system and a $995 destination charge. Dealer's price as tested is $46,581. Available consumer rebates on this model total $4,000.

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