2022 Chevrolet Silverado Review: Far More Competitive Than Before

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The Chevrolet Silverado was fine until it wasn’t. Rival full-size trucks got major makeovers with whiz-bang features and sharp new tech, leaving the outgoing generation to feel fairly low-rent by comparison. But the 2022 Silverado brings Big Bowtie’s half-ton offering back into the fray with some unique tricks up its sleeve and one hell of an overall glow-up.

From a distance, the new Silverado might not look all that new. A little nip-tuck in the front fascia is all the Silverado needed, since exterior aesthetics was hardly the reason anyone was talking trash in the first place. My High Country tester’s grille looks a little air-conditioner-y, but it’s pretty sharp overall. The $445 Multi-Flex tailgate adds a whole bunch of versatility to the bed, while $1,495 retractable side steps make getting in and out easier for shorter folks, and they tuck up against the body nicely when not in use.

The single greatest point of improvement on the 2022 Silverado, though, can be found upon opening the door. LT trims and up get a brand spankin’ new interior that borrows a lot from GM’s full-size SUVs, and it’s so much better than before. The plastic-fantastic vibe is largely gone, there’s more soft-touch material in its place, and the dashes of wood around the cabin look and feel premium. There are still some familiar switches in familiar places, but for longtime truck owners, a little continuity between generations goes a long way.

Since pickups are equal parts work and family machines these days, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Silverado offers some solid daily practicality. The door pockets are huge, and the center console has three separate trays for storing whatever comes to mind. The cubby under the armrest is positively cavernous, too, and I enjoy the extra cubby hiding behind the infotainment display. If you want to throw a bunch of junk in the second row, the seats fold up for a little extra space. When hauling humans instead of buckets, second-row storage is nearly as plentiful as what’s up front.

Every Silverado with the new interior also gets a major tech boost. The new digs come standard with a 13.4-inch widescreen infotainment display running the latest version of the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 software. A dock along the left side offers quick swaps between pages, but there’s a split-screen setup that better utilizes all that real estate. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, but the coolest part is a bunch of new Google integration, including a voice assistant and Google Maps, the latter of which lets me log into my Google account so I can bring searches from my phone or desktop right to the car.

Finally, a modern interior befitting of a modern truck’s price tag.

Andrew Krok/CNET

My High Country tester also includes a flashy new 12.3-inch digital gauge display. There are four different configurations on offer, in addition to segments of the screen that can display all sorts of vehicle information. The only bummer is that you can’t put Google Maps in there; when navigation is running, the gauge cluster only shows the next turn and the distance to it. The $1,870 Technology Package adds a full-color head-up display that brings relevant information even closer to my eyeline. When it comes time to charge, the front row can access two USB-A and two USB-C ports, in addition to a 110-volt outlet, while rear passengers get one USB-A and one USB-C.

While most of that stuff is impressive, it’s not exactly unique to GM or the 2022 Silverado. But you know what is? Super Cruise. And while you have to shell out $60,000 or more to access it on the High Country model, in addition to paying $2,200 for the system itself, it’s worth it. It’s cool and composed in a way that Ford’s BlueCruise or Tesla’s Autopilot is not, and it’s damn easy to figure out what the system is trying to convey, thanks to very obvious icons in the HUD and gauge cluster, in addition to that slick LED array in the steering wheel. Just get the truck up to speed on the highway, hit the Super Cruise button, wait for the lights to turn green and Bob’s your uncle.

Super Cruise’s LED array in the steering wheel is the single best ADAS indicator across the entire automotive industry.

Andrew Krok/CNET

When Super Cruise is active, just keep your eyes on the road and the Silverado will handle the rest. The latest iteration of this software does a great job holding this large mass of metal in the center of its lane. Its newest parlor trick is automatic lane changes, which can be started manually by tapping the turn signal stalk, but Super Cruise is also capable of determining when to change lanes on its own. The movements are generally quick and drama-free. My favorite part is that Super Cruise won’t hang in the left lane if it’s avoidable; if the system detects an open lane to the right, it’ll keep itself from being that guy and holding up faster traffic. In that sense, it’s better than most human drivers.

Even if you don’t opt for Super Cruise, the 2022 Silverado is still pretty well loaded with safety systems. All trims get automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist. The aforementioned Technology Package adds adaptive cruise control, and while parking sensors are also part of the equation, they arrived disabled on my tester because of supply chain issues, although the window sticker includes a $50 credit for a later retrofit when parts are available.

No matter what you need your bed to do, there’s probably a configuration that can handle it with ease.

Andrew Krok/CNET

Otherwise, the 2022 Chevy Silverado is a regular ol’ pickup truck. Buyers can opt for a diesel inline-6, a turbocharged inline-4 or two different V8s, and my tester comes toting the top-tier 6.2-liter V8, which makes a sufficiently potent 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. It’s not exactly thrifty, coming in at an EPA-estimated 15 mpg city and 20 mpg highway, numbers I find easy to meet but not the easiest to beat. Nevertheless, all that oomph permits a max tow rating of 13,300 pounds, ahead of the Ram 1500 but just below the Ford F-150. The 10-speed automatic transmission is a smooth shifter up and down, but overeager low-speed throttle sensitivity makes smooth starts more difficult than I’d like.

The Silverado’s ride quality is predictably truckish, shuffling around like a big bowl of Jell-O on curvy forest backroads. My tester’s $900 adaptive suspension does a good job eating up most road inconsistencies, leading to a ride that’s generally chill, even with an unladen bed. There’s a Sport mode baked into the Silverado, but I have no idea why anyone would activate it; it just makes everything feel jumpy.

The Silverado’s 6.2-liter V8 has never been a slouch, but as gas prices reach the stratosphere, it’s a shame the only electrified Silverado is a six-figure moonshot, and that doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon.

Andrew Krok/CNET

The 2022 Chevy Silverado is not a cheap proposition. Regular-cab models start at $36,395, but that limits you to the Work Truck trim that lacks the new interior. Crew-cab variants start at $42,095 for the WT with rear-wheel drive. Stepping into that new interior requires about $50,000 at the minimum, with my fancy High Country tester starting at $60,300. My tester’s options list includes $2,495 for the 6.2-liter V8, $2,425 for a moonroof and fancier wheels, and all the upgrades I mentioned earlier. All in, the window sticker rises to a staggering $72,870.

There’s also the matter of electrification. The Silverado EV still only exists as a $100,000 kitted-out moonshot, while the Ford F-150 Lightning is reaching customers as we speak, and it can be had for as little as $53,000 in its XLT trim with the standard-range battery. The F-150 also comes in a gas-electric hybrid variant, and while the Ram 1500 only offers mild-hybrid electrification, at least it’s something. But if you’re not quite ready to bring batteries into the equation, the 2022 Chevy Silverado is quite the compelling package, with the right amount of killer tech and an interior that’s so much better than anything that came before. 

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