Evolution, it seems, will be a very prevalent theme for the full-size pickup segment. The 2021/2022 Ford F-150 is reaping the benefits from its suite of updates, and it appears that Chevrolet is eager to throw its hat in the ring, too, with the bow-tie brigade unveiling the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado. Here are 3 things that you should know about this sleeker Silverado.
Reworked Silverado Front Fascia And Interior Aim To Address Weak Points
When the outgoing Chevrolet Silverado appeared a few years ago, it was obvious that the truck had some notable weaknesses, with the front fascia and the interior design both being the subject of early criticism. The 2022 model aims to address this feedback in several ways. A new headlight and grille design cleans up some clashing hardpoints and even throws in a new lower bumper. The look is still a love it or hate it affair on the standard Silverado, but the matter is different when you move to the ZR2 model.
That’s not a rumor either, the ZR2 moniker is finally coming to the Silverado for 2022, and like the smaller Colorado version, it brings its own share of changes to the truck. Here, the lower bumper is raised slightly to improve ground clearance, and the chrome bars in the grille are replaced with a blacked-out mesh treatment while the Flow-Tie badge helps increase airflow. We’ll dive into the performance essentials for this trail-ready brute later, but the blacked-out wheels and the reworked exhaust tips are all about functionality, and we think buyers will like what they see.
As for the interior, it’s arguably the most important part of the changes for 2022. The old truck’s odd-looking dashboard is gone and replaced with a crisper design and does a better job of addressing some key complaints from consumers. There’s a higher degree of fit and finish here, and GM designers did better integrate many of the switches and screens. An electronic shifter is also introduced, and High Country models use real open-pore wood trim and higher quality materials. That doesn’t mean that the column shifter is going away completely. GM will be using it on five-passenger-equipped models, and lower trims like the Custom and the Custom Trailboss will retain the old dashboard design.
Performance Hardware Helps Improve Silverado Capability
With the exterior and interior updates coming to the Silverado for 2022, Chevrolet engineers wanted to make sure that performance was not cast off into the outer reaches of relevance. The fore-mentioned ZR2 model leads the way in this regard and builds on some of the things that customers already experience on the Trail Boss but builds on it in key ways. Like the Trailboss, the ZR2 has a 2-inch suspension lift to improve ground clearance, but the ZR2 has more suspension travel thanks to the popular Multimatic DSSV suspension system.
Front and rear locking differentials are also on board, and the ZR2 comes with 33-inch off-road tires, which are slightly larger than the 32s on the Trail Boss. Add it all together, and the ZR2 gains 11.2 inches of ground clearance which is the best amount of clearance in the entire Silverado family. Front and rear skid plates help protect the underbelly from damage, while the front bumper has been reworked to create a better approach angle though it’s not as radical of a change as the one on the Colorado ZR2.
For now, all ZR2 models will only be available in one configuration, with buyers being limited to a short bed-equipped crew cab model that is equipped with the 6.2 liter V8 and 10-speed automatic transmission. Like other GM models equipped with this engine, it produces 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. While that figure is far short of the 700 plus horsepower fielded by the Ram TRX, it’s higher than the Ford Raptor, which allows the ZR2 to nestle in a proverbial middle ground when the three are compared together.
For buyers that need something a bit tamer, Chevrolet has also made performance changes to other members of the Silverado family. Buyers that get the four-cylinder model will benefit from a stiffer crankshaft and a reinforced engine block. The changes allowed them to squeeze more torque out of it, which results in a revised figure of 420 lb-ft of torque. That’s more than what you get in the 5.3 liter V8, and that should help improve the four cylinder’s towing prowess. The eight-speed has also been tweaked to provide smoother shifts and slightly quicker downshifting. As for the 3.0-liter diesel, the engine itself has not been altered, but chassis tweaks allowed Chevy to give it the Max Tow package, which pushes the diesel’s towing figure to 13,300 (a noticeable improvement from the old 9,500 lb rating.)
Beefed Up Safety Tech Makes Silverado Prime Family Choice
Along with the enhanced ability to do all kinds of truck stuff, Chevrolet engineers also made sure that the 2022 Silverado can do the safety part of the equation too, with all models now coming equipped with standard automatic emergency braking with built-in pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, and a lane keep assist system. High Country models come with Super Cruise and will be the only Silverado model equipped with it. Like the system we experienced in its GMC counterpart, the Silverado’s can execute automated lane changes and even work while towing a trailer. However, some of its capabilities are temporarily disabled to accommodate the trailer. The Multi-Pro tailgate system is still available, and Chevrolet has revealed that the bulk of its trailer assist technology will also carry over to the new truck.
Chevrolet revealed that the 2022 Silverado will officially go on sale next spring though they stopped short of revealing pricing and fuel economy information. As for its sibling, the GMC Sierra, look for that model to still share some of its core essentials with the Silverado; GM has stated in the past that it will be doing a better job of differentiating the two so they can appeal to their distinct customer bases.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.