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A red 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 from a Chevy truck dealer is shown from the front on a salt flat.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly About the 2022 Silverado

Like the Big Three Gods of Olympian myth, when it comes to trucks, there are three names that tower over the industry. Ford, in its fourteenth generation of the F-150, Ram (of former Dodge fame), and Chevy with the venerable Silverado. 2020 brought some much-needed changes to the dated 2018 redesign. The bodywork, features, and interior are all getting updated, and the timing couldn’t be better. Pickup trucks are the best-selling vehicle in America, and your local Chevy truck dealers are gearing up to receive the newest crop for the upcoming year.

Just as Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon drew lots to see which part of the world they would rule, the Big Three American automakers are doing the same to see who will rule the roads. Will Chevy come out on top? Here’s what we know about the 2022 model, and you can be the judge.

The Good

The Silverado has had the same basic interior for years with minor changes up until now. Take a look at the cabin appointments of a 2014 and 2020 Silverado, and it’s hard to shake an instant wave of deja vu. While there are differences, the basic shapes are all there. The gauge cluster has the same gauges in almost the same places; the headlight controls and such are to the left of the steering wheel in a pod next to the vent. The steering wheel itself remains unchanged, but there’s no need to reinvent that. The infotainment screen is flanked by AC vents that are themselves surrounded by smooth plastic. A different song with the same backbeat, if you get my meaning.

In 2021, we got to see the exciting addition of the Multi-Flex Tailgate to the Silverado lineup. Now, for 2022 we are hoping to see Chevy’s Multi-Flex Tailgate system introduced into the entire lineup, from the most basic Work Truck package all the way up to the top trim High Country model. No longer is a tailgate a simple slab of metal that flops down when you pull a latch. The Multi-Flex Tailgate feature turns the tailgate into a functional part of any truck owner’s life. It allows one to fold up a section of the gate as a cargo stop, drop that same section in the other direction to make it easier to reach things in the bed, and fold out a ledge while it’s down to walk into the bed with two easy steps, for example.

Also, the rumors and quick glimpses of the 2022 Silverado show that it may include GM’s Super Cruise technology. Super Cruise is GM’s semi-autonomous hands-free driving system. It works on pre-mapped roads and allows you to actually take your hands off the wheel while driving. This will most likely only be an option for top trims, but it is still exciting to see it being put into more vehicles. Super Cruise has already been introduced on the upcoming 2022 Chevy Bolt EUV, and we think it will be an available option for higher trim 2022 Silverado. After all, why wouldn’t Chevy want to include this exciting feature on one of its most popular models.

A woman is driving hands-free in a 2021 Cadillac Escalade with Super Cruise.

The “Bad”

Engine choices will remain exactly the same as in 2021. While I’m trying to keep to a theme here, and I wouldn’t exactly call that bad, necessarily, it does hint at a lack of innovation that, much like the lack of any real cabin updates for nearly six years, can sully a brand’s reputation among its market. This isn’t the 1970’s where one could expect much the same engine in their Chevy truck as they did ten years ago.

No matter how good a design is, it must be constantly updated to remain competitive. As an example, the 2021 Chevy Silverado’s largest engine is the 6.2-liter V8 and was introduced way back in 2014. While it makes an eye-watering 420 horsepower with direct injection and saves fuel with cylinder deactivation, the Ram TRX makes a frankly insane 707 horsepower with the same amount of displacement and makes use of a supercharger.

Both brands plan on introducing an off road truck to topple the dynasty of the Ford Raptor in 2022, and both will be installed with the brand’s largest engine. The Ram Rebel will come out swinging with the legendary Hellcat V8… Will the rumored Chevy Silverado ZR2 be able to compete? And how will these two trucks stand up against the rumored power of the Ford Raptor R? While there are no current rumors of a new Chevy engine, it is possible they will reveal a surprise for automotive fans to enjoy in order to keep up with the competition. Only time will tell.

A sport bar on the bed of a 2020 Chevy Colorado ZR2 is shown with 'ZR2' cut out.

The Ugly

Okay, ugly is a strong word here, and taste is subjective, but I think that Chevy really does like to make a distinct design for better or for worse. Something that’s equally important to keep in both when designing a vehicle, and driving a car in general, is it’s a very good idea to know when to stop. Looking back through history, the Silverado is reminiscent of those cars found during the late 1950s. The cars of that era are famous for being longer, lower, wider. While this look may work for some, for others, it was boring.

The headlights look squeezed into a tiny, beady-eyed squint, while the bumper is a confusing mashup of angles and multiple layers. I miss those days when a truck bumper was just a chromed bar of metal across the front. Basic and sturdy. In fact, many miss what the generation of the 2021 Chevy Silverado claimed to take inspiration from, the 1988 Silverado. Much like the 55’ Bel-Air, that model of truck represented a simple design that over the years has been strained and stretched to try and stay modern in a way its competition doesn’t seem to have an issue with. Chevy, please stop making your truck a 58’ Buick, and we’d all be much happier.

There have been plenty of rumors of a slightly refreshed exterior for the 2022 Silverado model, although nothing is concrete. For those of us itching for a style change, a refreshed exterior look would be a blessing. While it would be a big step for Chevy to completely change up the exterior so soon in the generation, it may be the kind of bold move Chevy needs to make to blow away the rapidly encroaching competition.

King of the Road?

All in all, the upcoming 2022 Chevy Silverado has a lot of potential. While the styling can be polarizing, and the engine choices may need some freshening up to keep up with the competition, the promise of a new interior and smart features like the Multi-Flex Tailgate and Super Cruise show that Chevy isn’t out of the race by a long shot. As the automotive world gears up for another clash of the titans as the Big Three prepare their new entries to the highly lucrative truck market, truck fans wait on bated breath to see what the new year will bring.

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