A new off-road model, engine updates and a brand new interior highlight the many changes coming for the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500. With luck, all of this should address the many criticisms people had for the 2019 redesign.
While the Chevy Silverado ZR2 will garner a lot of attention, the other changes — such as a new interior, more towing for the 3.0-liter Duramax diesel and significant torque improvements for the base 2.7-liter engine — will have a larger impact on most consumers. And for those customers wanting the latest tech, yup, Super Cruise will be available on the High Country trim.
Finally, a Silverado ZR2
Building on the Silverado Trail Boss model and incorporating technology from the Colorado ZR2, the 2022 Chevy Silverado ZR2 brings the best of Chevy’s desert race testing into a stock truck.
The Silverado ZR2 will feature a variety of performance upgrades including a new suspension setup with Multimatic 40mm DSSV spool-valve dampers featuring three separate spool valves to control damping and three connected chambers for fluid flow keeping the shocks cooler longer.
Next, engineers tuned the springs, and the Multimatic dampers, gave the truck 33-inch off-road multi-terrain tires, a unique skid plate package and a new steel front bumper with removable end caps for easy replacement in case they are damaged, all in order to maximize front and rear suspension travel and withstand a day on the trail. The increased clearance amounts to 31.8-degree approach angle compared to other models. Plus, Chevy pushed the dual exhaust back to before the rear bumper in order to stop it getting flattened while off-road driving — a common issue for the Colorado ZR2.
Powering the ZR2 will be the 6.2-liter V-8 engine with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Towing will be maxed out at 8,900 pounds and the maximum payload is 1,440 pounds, which is on par with other stock off-road trucks on the market. One-pedal drive mode also is part of the ZR2, allowing you to rock crawl with less stress about when to gas and brake. This mode allows you to control throttle and braking simply by pressure (or lack thereof) on the gas pedal.
Finally, you’ll be able to easily distinguish the ZR2 from other models thanks to a black hood insert, unique grille with integrated lighting, a “flow-tie” emblem, ZR2 badges, unique 18-inch wheels, jet black/graystone leather-trimmed interior and other dark trim elements.
Cue the Ford Raptor and Ram TRX comparisons.
Major interior styling upgrades
While a new off-road model grabs the attention, the real focus on this mid-cycle refresh has to be the interior, which was heavily criticized when the truck launched.
All models LT and above get a new dash with a 13.4-inch diagonal horizontal touchscreen as well as a 12.3-inch diagonal digital and configurable instrument panel. Chevy says all the vertical elements of the prior-gen model basically got tossed out the window and replaced with horizontal lines.
Besides the new dash, complete with new materials aimed to making the interior feel more premium, the center console now gets an available electronic shift lever in models with bucket seats. Basically, for bucket seat trucks, you can option in a console shifter replacing the column shifter. Thankfully, this means the Silverado updates did not mimic the Chevy Tahoe, with its polarizing push-button gearshift.
Other material changes are coming to the High Country trim with authentic open-pore wood trim on the console, upper glove box and doors. The standard leather seats now have custom perforation and stitching pattern to make them stand out better from other trims. Finally, the Bose premium audio system, standard on High Country and LTZ, will have new stainless steel speaker grilles. This interior comes in two flavors: Jet Black and Nightshift Blue.
Minor exterior changes
On the outside, the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 will have a new front fascia, and each trim will get its own specific grille design, so it will be easier to tell the trims apart at a glance. The overall front-end design is meant to “lower the headlamps to emphasize the Silverado’s strength and stability.” This will also hopefully have the end result of fixing the “Poor” rating the truck gets for headlights from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety due to inadequate lighting and excessive glare.
Also, LT models and above will get new animated lighting sequences when approaching, starting or walking away from the vehicle coming from the wing-shaped daytime running lamps.
Finally, the 2022 Silverado will get some new colors with a Dark Ash, Sand Dune and a Glacier Blue Metallic Chevy says was inspired by their most loyal owners.
Torque and towing tweaks
Leading off the mechanical changes, is the 2.7-liter, 4-cylinder engine, which gets 20% more torque than the prior year thanks to a new, more rigid cylinder block with a 30% stiffer crankshaft. The result is a base engine with more torque than its competitors.
Chevy says the new enhancements translate into 420 pound-feet of torque and a maximum trailering of 9,600 pounds in a 2WD model. When mated to the 8-speed automatic transmission, the truck should have smoother shifter and quicker downshifts.
Another big criticism for the 2019 model was the low towing capacity for the 3.0-liter Duramax diesel. Chevy says they were able to make changes to the frame, increase the rear differential to 3.73 (from 3.23) and improve the cooling to allow trucks with this engine to add the maximum towing package. This improves the maximum tow rating to 13,300 pounds in a 2WD model. This is a huge improvement resulting in 4,000 pounds of towing more than the prior generation.
Rounding out the powertrain changes, Chevrolet is now paring both V-8 engines with a 10-speed transmission — this is instead of the previous 6- or 8-speed transmissions found on the 5.3-liter.
Tech improvements all around
Finishing off the refresh, there are technology improvements across the board for the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500.
First, the new infotainment screen is (literally) a huge improvement over the smaller screen and finally allows drivers to experience the myriad of cameras the Silverado employs. Also, the truck can be optioned with a rear camera mirror and a head-up display for even more digital screens.
The driver’s behind-the-wheel cluster has four different selectable layouts, allowing the drivers to bring up what’s most important to them as wel1l as alert the drivers to what drive mode they are in through different visual representations on the display. Also, on Silverado LT trims and above, you’ll get Google built-in compatibility as well as Amazon Alexa and wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto capability.
The big news, however, is the availability of Super Cruise for High Country models. This system uses a slew of technology features to allow for hand-free driving on more than 200,000 compatible roads in the U.S. and Canada.
It also works when trailering making the towing experience less stressful — as we found out first hand on the GMC Sierra 1500. When not trailering, the Super Cruise will allow for Lane Change on Demand and Automatic Lane Change, meaning the truck will literally pass people for you automatically or with a simple flick of the turn signal.
Wrapping up towing, the trailer-side blind-zone alert has been lengthened to accommodate the length of the trailer when towing and enhanced adaptive cruise control while trailering.
Chevy Safety Assist, a collection of six safety features, will be standard on every trim starting in 2022. These technologies include: forward collision alert, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking and automatic high beams.
The high-definition rear-vision camera and “Buckle to Drive” are standard across the lineup.
The bottom line on the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500
The 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 will go down as the truck that addressed a lot of criticisms while adding a ZR2 model destined to be compared with the top off-road trucks from other makes.
While the ZR2 is not as amazing as some people hoped, the fact Chevy is finally going to offer another stock off-road truck is great.
The new styling changes, larger infotainment screen, engine improvements, simplification of transmission and engine pairings as well as increasing the towing power of the 3.0-liter Duramax diesel are really big wins for Chevy, consumers and dealers.
Simply put, the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 is a much stronger full-size truck competitor, and that’s a win for everyone. Pricing and availability of the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 are to be announced.