Pickup trucks have become more than just work vehicles. Now, they are being made to appeal to families as well. With great comfort, practicality, and capability features, more and more drivers are choosing to go with this route.
The Chevrolet Silverado has been considered a heavy-hitter in the full-size light-duty pickup market for a long time. It has several strong powertrains to choose from, along with a spacious and comfortable cabin and an impressive list of standard and available tech features. The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado adds even more options than ever, including wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on select models.
Another major perk when it comes to the Silverado 1500 is the fact that it comes in eight different trim levels. This allows buyers to find a model that balances their budget with the features that they are after. From the somewhat bare-bones Work Truck to the luxurious High Country, there is a version for every type of pickup driver.
How do you know which of the trim levels is right for you? The following guide is designed to help answer this question by highlighting the similarities and differences between the options.
Compare the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado WT vs Custom - What is the Difference?
The entry-level WT, or Work Truck, is well named. This is not the option for you if you are after an upscale cabin or cutting-edge features. Instead, the WT is perfect for those who are after a no-frills vehicle designed for getting the job done.
Coming standard for the WT is a 4.3L V6 engine that makes 285-horsepower along with 305 lb-ft of torque. This pairs with a six-speed automatic transmission. If you prefer, this model is also available with a 5.3L V8 that makes 355-horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. This engine pairs with an eight-speed automatic.
The options do not end there. The WT can also have a turbocharged 2.7L four-cylinder engine underneath the hood. These models are able to make 310-horsepower and 348 lb-ft of torque and use an eight-speed automatic transmission. Buyers get to choose between rear-wheel and four-wheel drive for the WT.
Towing numbers vary significantly depending on the engine chosen. For the standard V6, the Silverado can bring along up to 7.900 pounds when properly equipped. The 5.3L V8 has the ability to tow up to 11,500 pounds, while the turbo four-cylinder can tow up to 9,600.
Underneath the WT are painted-silver 17-inch steel wheels. Not a fan of that look? There are a variety of different styles available, although going bigger is not an option. This model has a locking tailgate and 12 fixed cargo tie-downs. Otherwise, the exterior is pretty basic.
This general theme continues inside the cabin, where the WT goes with vinyl upholstery and rubber floor coverings. There is standard air conditioning, but it is single-zone and manually controlled. Power locks and windows are included for a little added convenience.
Technology features are decent, all things considered. This model has a 7-inch touchscreen along with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Bluetooth is also included, as well as a six-speaker audio system.
A tire pressure monitoring system, rear vision camera, and daytime running lights make up the list of standard safety features. Several more advanced options are available, however. Forward collision alert, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic emergency braking can all be equipped on the WT as part of a safety package.
Step up to the Custom trim level and the engine options remain the same. It does jump up all the way to 20-inch aluminum wheels. While the WT showcases black exterior accent pieces, the Custom trim switches to body-colored instead. Other exterior upgrades include LED bed lighting, front tow hooks, power and heated side mirrors, and a power-locking tailgate.
Inside, the vinyl upholstery changes to cloth, and the floors are carpeted. A remote engine start is thrown in to help get the cabin ready before you even sit down. Technology upgrades include a Wi-Fi hotspot and satellite radio. Cruise control helps to round out the upgrades found on the Custom trim level.
Compare the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado Custom vs Custom Trail Boss - What is the Difference?
The Custom Trail Boss aims to make the 2021 Silverado 1500 a bit more off-road ready. This model is available exclusively with four-wheel drive and also throws in an automatic locking rear differential. The Custom Trail Boss goes down to 18-inch wheels but gains all-terrain tires. Other features helping to make this model more trail-ready include a heavy-duty air filter and a two-speed transfer case.
For this trim, the Silverado gets a Z71 suspension with a 2-inch factory lift. This improves the ground clearance. It also gives the truck better approach and departure angles to work with.
Inside the cabin, the Custom Trail Boss looks identical to the Custom trim level. Considering the step up to the Custom Trail Boss costs nearly five grand in comparison to a 2WD Custom, drivers will want to make sure they actually intend to use the off-roading features before making the jump. Otherwise, the Custom trim is the smarter buy.
Compare the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado Custom Trail Boss vs LT - What is the Difference?
Everything added by the Custom Trail Boss is deleted when moving to the LT. Instead, this model starts with what the Custom has as far as the features go. Unlike the Custom, the LT comes standard with the turbocharged 2.7L four-cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic transmission.
This model is also the first to offer the 3.0L turbo-diesel engine that will make you 277-horsepower and 460 b-ft of torque. This engine pairs with a 10-speed automatic and can tow up to 9,500 pounds. The 5.3L V8 is also an option when you choose the LT trim.
On the outside, this model upgrades to chrome trim and sits on 18-inch alloy wheels. You will find that 20-inch wheels in a few different styles are also an option. LED headlights are another major addition made for the LT. Inside, the cabin gains heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and dual-zone automatic climate control. The touchscreen also goes up to 8-inches rather than 7-inches.
The LT can have the same driver aids added as the trims that came before it. This model is also eligible for front and rear park assist. Overall, the LT feels like a large step up from the Custom level.
Compare the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado LT vs RST - What is the Difference?
For the RST, Chevrolet gives the Silverado 1500 a sportier look. It does not make too many changes to the actual performance, however. Unlike the LT, the RST does get the automatic locking rear differential. The RST sits on 18-inch aluminum wheels and gets LED foglights as well as LED taillights.
A rear window defogger is added for the RST. Otherwise, the RST trim level is essentially a dressed-up LT. Whether or not it is worth the extra cost is extremely questionable.
Compare the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado RST vs LT Trail Boss. - What is the Difference?
Once again, Chevrolet gives you the option of adding some more off-road capability to the Silverado 1500. The LT Trail Boss is a nice blend of capability and luxury. This model comes with the 5.3L V8 engine standard underneath the hood. A 6.2L V8 is also an option for this model, making 420-horsepower along with 460 lb-ft of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission comes along with this engine, which can tow up to a whopping 13,300 pounds.
The diesel engine is also once again an option with the LT Trail Boss. Like the Custom Trail Boss, this model is only available with four-wheel drive. The LT Trail Boss also gets a heavy-duty battery and auxiliary transmission oil cooler.
Inside, this trim looks similar to the LT. It does, however, upgrade to bucket front seats. The LT Trail Boss also gains a center console for added convenience. The LT Trail Boss costs significantly more than the standard LT and the RST, once again limiting its appeal down to only true off-road enthusiasts.
Compare the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado LT Trail Boss vs LTZ - What is the Difference?
The LTZ is the first of the two truly luxurious Silverado 1500 models. It builds off the LT and comes standard with the 5.3L V8 engine, although the diesel is once again an option. Underneath the LTZ are stylish 20-inch alloy wheels.
Significant upgrades are made inside of the cabin, including the addition of ventilated front seats and heated rear ones. This is the first model to include wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for a more clutter-free experience inside the cabin. Leather upholstery is standard as well as power-adjustment for the driver and front passenger.
The advanced trailering system is another add-on that is included when you choose the LTZ. It includes things like a pre-departure checklist, trailer maintenance reminders, a trailer tire pressure monitoring system, and more. It also gets a trailer brake controller, which will allow you to adjust the trailer's brakes from inside the cab of the Silverado.
Blind-spot monitoring and the parking sensors become standard for this model. The rearview camera also displays a higher definition image for the LTZ. Overall, this trim level earns its hefty price tag with a nice combination of practical and luxury features.
Compare the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ vs High Country Trim. - What is the Difference?
At the very top of the trim ladder lives the High Country model of the 2021 Silverado 1500. Mechanical features remain the same as what you find on the LTZ. That said, this is the only other trim level available with the larger V8. This model does stand out from the rest of the lineup with its 20-inch chromed alloy wheels. It also adds a spray-in bedliner to its list of standard equipment.
Inside, the tech upgrades are respectable. This is the first model to upgrade from its six-speaker audio system to a seven-speaker setup from Bose. Although one extra speaker may not seem significant, the subwoofer that it also adds does make a significant improvement. This sound system is also available for the LTZ.
The High Country trim comes standard with navigation as well as handy wireless device charging. All of the previously optional driver aids are included, as well as lane departure warning.
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Which Trim to Choose?
Due to the way Chevrolet designed the Silverado 1500 trim levels, they all will appeal to a decent number of drivers. The Work Truck represents a good value and has more standard features than found on many of its rivals. At the other end of the list, the High Country offers an upscale experience on top of the rugged capability pickup drivers are typically after.
For the majority of buyers, the LT trim level is going to be a good model to ultimately land on. It opens up the options when it comes to powertrains and unlocks many more available features. The LT Trail Boss is also a good choice, provided that you plan on leaving the beaten path on a regular basis.
When it comes to the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, the LT trim level has the broadest appeal and will be the right choice in many cases.
• Compare the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Trim Levels