2011 Chevrolet Silverado

The current Chevrolet Silverado seems like it's been around for a while, but the truth is, it received a comprehensive redesign just a few years ago. Chevy's full-size pickup truck offers a comprehensive range of powertrains and configurations, as well as a reputation among truck guys for durability and toughness. The Silverado's engineers based their efforts in part on feedback from actual owners, and the result is a truck that does just about everything you'd want it to. If you need a no-nonsense full-sizer that reliably gets the job done, the Silverado is a strong choice. Here are five reasons to buy the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado:

1. Wide Selection of Engines: The regular-duty Silverado 1500 has no fewer than four available engines. The base V6 is admittedly underpowered unless you just want a basic work truck, but the three V8s–displacing 4.8 liters, 5.3 liters, and 6.2 liters, respectively–turn the Silverado into a real workhorse. The 6.2-liter V8 might even be overkill with its 403 horsepower, although there's something undeniably cool about a truck that goes from zero to 60 mph in under 7 seconds. No matter which V8 you choose, you'll get both a cool sounding exhaust note and peace of mind from the fact that GM's been building these types of engines for a very long time.

2. A Body Style For Everyone: Chevy knows people expect unprecedented livability from pickup trucks these days. Especially in rural parts of the country, full-size trucks are regularly used for family duty as well as work. Accordingly, the Silverado is offered in regular-cab, extended-cab, and four-door crew-cab configurations, with the latter two offering adult-sized passenger space in back. If you need to carry people as well as cargo, Chevy's got you covered.

3. Tough Heavy-Duty Lineup: Regular-duty pickups are so capable now that you might wonder if heavy-duty trucks are even necessary anymore. But consider this: while the Silverado 1500 maxes out at a towing capacity of 10,700 pounds, the Silverado HD trucks can tow over 20,000 pounds when properly equipped. That's a serious spread, and there are many industrial applications that require the HD's extra muscle. If you go the heavy-duty route, we'd advise checking the box for the 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8, because we'd never turn down an opportunity to have 765 pound-feet of torque at our disposal.

4. Available Upscale Interior: If you're just looking for a tough, basic truck, the Silverado's lower trim levels fit the bill–but you might want to consider stepping up to at least the LTZ trim level, which gets you a different, premium interior taken from the Tahoe SUV. The materials and design are significantly better here, and if you spring for options like the Bose stereo and the navigation system, you'll feel like you bought a luxury SUV rather than a pickup.

5. Hybrid's Excellent Fuel Economy: The Silverado 1500 Hybrid is an odd duck, for sure, what with its combination of electric motors, batteries, and a 6.0-liter V8. Its complicated transmission behaves strangely, too. But if the quirkiness doesn't bother you, and you do a lot of city driving, you might want to give it a look–because this thing gets an amazing 20 miles per gallon in the city, where the other Silverados hit only the mid-teens.

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Josh Sadlier is an automotive journalist based in Los Angeles and has contributed to such publications as Edmunds.com and DriverSide.com. He holds arguably the most unexpected degree in his profession: a master's in Theological Studies.

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