The popularity of the full-size Silverado pickup pretty much indicated that nothing really needed changing. However, the addition of the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid Truck to the line was a welcome change as it offers even more fuel efficiency than the original model. The 6.0 liter V-8 engine has Chevy's Active Fuel Management System, which automatically switches off unneeded cylinders whenever possible to conserve energy. Add that to the Electrically Variable Transmission, and miles per gallon increases nicely. The EPA has rated the Hybrid at 21 miles per gallon in the city, and 22 miles per gallon on the highway. The Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid Truck can travel at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour using just the 300-volt nickel-metal hydride battery system. That is something to get excited about!
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On the outside, the truck is fairly indistinguishable from its non-hybrid cousins, with only a few hybrid badges on the tailgate and fenders. The crew cab body style is roomy enough for six passengers, and the truck is offered as either two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive. More features designed to keep fuel usage at a minimum include low rolling resistance tires and electric-assist power steering, which is credited with a full 25 percent of the total improvement in fuel savings. The Hybrid drivetrain reduces towing capacity from the 9,500 pounds of the standard Silverado to 5,900 pounds, which is still more than what most people need.
It is interesting to note that the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid Truck appears to have an advertising campaign aimed at women, who typically do not meet the profile of the standard large pickup buyer. The overview on Chevy's Silverado Hybrid site shows the truck parked in front of a clothing boutique, with the word "women" strategically placed to blend into the heading. Compare this to the opening shots of other Silverado models where the trucks are in motion over mountains and beaches, or pictured towing large trailers and boats. Of course, this was brilliant considering more and more women are opening their own businesses and living independent lifestyles.
The Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid Truck has safety features similar to the standard Silverado, such as front and side curtain airbags, electronic stability control, four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes, rear parking sensors, child seat anchors, braking assist, dusk sensing headlamps, turn signal mirrors and tire pressure monitoring.
The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid Truck scored as follows on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests (1 = lowest, 5 = highest): Overall - 4 stars, Front - 4 stars, Side - 5 stars, Rollover - 4 star.