Lyons on Wheels
2021 Chevy Silverado Crew RST 4WD
Base MSRP: $ 29,300 (base Silverado) As Tested: $59,980
Sponsored by Mangino Chevrolet
I don’t normally begin a review at the end, but I’ll make an exception here. That’s because the big news for the 2021 Silverado is found at the tail end of the truck. First offered on 2019 GMC models (where it’s known as Multi-Pro), GM’s Multi-Flex tailgate expands to the Chevy lineup for 2021. The versatile option is available on all Silverado 1500 models. It added $445 to the $59,980 sticker price of this week’s Silverado Crew RST 4WD.
Traditional tailgates have two positions – up or down. Multi-Flex offers six functions, including a load backstop, an access step for the bed, and a standing workstation. The last of these I found quite useful. About 50″ wide by 10″ deep, it’s the right height for a laptop, giving you a portable, worksite desk. The tailgate has a load capacity of 375 lb., and functions can be controlled by the key fob, or a pair of tailgate-mounted buttons.
Silverado 4×2’s are offered in six trim levels and up to three box sizes. Make that eight trim levels for the 4×4’s, again with up to three box lengths – short, standard or long – depending on trim chosen. My test truck was a mid-range RST 4×4, with the Crew Cab and the short bed. So specified, the cargo box measures 70″ long by 71″ wide and 22″ high. There’s about 51″ between the wheel wells.
Towing capacity depends on the engine chosen. An RST 4×4 can be had with four: a 2.7L turbo four cylinder (310 h.p., 348 lb.-ft. of torque), 5.3L V-8 (355 h.p., 383 lb.-ft.), 3.0L turbo diesel 6 (277 h.p., 460 lb.-ft.), or a 6.2L V-8. As fitted in my test truck, the 6.2L EcoTec3 V-8 makes 420 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm, and 460 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,100 rpm. It’s linked to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Maximum payload is 2,060 lb. and max. conventional towing is 13,300 lb., when equipped with the Max. Trailering Package. Trailer technology upgrades for 2021 include a trailer length indicator, jack-knife alert and an enhanced cargo view with bed hitch guidance. The EPA estimates your fuel economy with the 6.2L V-8 at 16 city/21 highway and 18 combined, and I recorded 17 mpg’s in a 50/50 city/highway mix. Silverado’s ride quality is smooth and handling is stable. Like all big pickups, these are large vehicles, with a tall center of gravity – factors that drivers keep in mind, when on twisty roads, or in tight quarters.
Crew Cabs are luxuriously large inside. With front and rear leg room measuring 44.5″ and 43.4″ respectively, there’s no-excuse room for full size people in both rows. This is spread out, relax, long trip comfortable. Android Auto compatibility and wireless phone projection through Apple CarPlay are now available, and the roster of standard equipment for RST trim Silverado’s has been expanded for 2021 to include the Convenience Package, Trailering Package and an auto-locking rear differential.
A 40 year resident of the Capital District, Dan Lyons has been reviewing new cars for publications for nearly 30 years. He is the author of six automotive books, and photographer of more than 200 calendars.