The Silverado changes little for 2013 as Chevrolet prepares a redesign for the 2014 model, which will be introduced later this month. The Silverado has a wide range of styles and powertrains, making it a solid competitor in the all-important full-size pickup market in south Louisiana.

With a maximum payload of 1,701 lbs. and a towing capacity of 9,600 lbs. the Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 2WD comes in five trims, with five engine offerings and five suspension systems. There are also three cargo boxes: short, standard and long. It doesn’t take a math major to determine the Silverado offers choices aplenty when it comes to selection of a proven full-size pickup.

Let’s start with the basics: the WT (work truck) model is a regular cab truck for people who don’t need any of the frills that some urban cowboys desire. The LS and LT models have a “pure pickup” interior, as Chevy calls it. The LT includes more premium seating materials and a leather steering wheel, while the LTZ adds many of the premium interior features available in trucks. Finally, an XFE model delivers the best fuel economy of the bunch.

The five engine choices include:

  • 4.3-liter V-6 rated at 195 hp and 260 lb.-ft of torque
  • 4.8-liter V-8 E85-capable rated at 302 hp and

305 lb.-ft. of torque

  • 5.3-liter FlexFuel V-8 with Active Fuel Management

rated at 315 hp and 335 lb.-ft. of torque

  • 5.3-liter FlexFuel V-8 with an aluminum block,

rated at 315 hp and 335 lb.-ft of torque.

  • 6.2-liter V-8 E85-capable with an aluminum block,

rated at 403 hp and 417 lb.-ft. of torque

Our choice would be one of the V-8 engines, particularly the 5.3-liters variants. Our test truck had the 5.3-liter V-8 with the iron block, mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. It was an excellent powertrain with plenty of muscle for tough jobs.

The Active Fuel Management feature of these engines boosts mileage by disengaging half of the cylinders while the engine is under light loads at highway speeds. Mileage estimates for our test Silverado were 15 miles per gallon in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. With a 26-gallon fuel tank, our test Silverado’s range was well over 500 miles.

Chevrolet also offers five different suspension systems, including:

  • Z83 for a smooth ride with monotube front and

twin tube rear shocks

  • Z85 for enhanced handling and trailer towing
  • Z71 for enhanced off-road capability
  • Z60 for maximum street performance

NHT or maximum towing capability

The inside of our LTZ trim Crew Cab was fine like wine, with power and heated leather seats, automatic dual-zone air, a 60/40 rear bench, premium Bose sound, a leather steering wheel with controls and other premium interior features. The base price was $39,290. About 5-grand worth of optional equipment added navigation with XM radio, a power sliding sunroof, chrome steps, a rearview camera, a power sliding rear window and a locking tailgate with EZ Lift.

The Silverado is a time-tested and proven pickup truck. We put 200,000 miles on one that we owned years ago. With choices ranging from the WT base “working man’s truck” all the way up to the LTZ, and with five engine choices and five suspension selections, it would be hard to go wrong with this pickup.

2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2WD Crew Cab

  • Engine: 5.3-liter V-8 with Active Fuel Management
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic
  • Horsepower: 315
  • Test model LTZ trim base price: $39,200
  • As-tested price: $45,090
  • EPA mileage rating: 15 mpg city / 21 mpg highway