When one of the most popular full-size pickups in its class gets a mid-cycle refresh, it’s always worth a closer look. The Chevy Silverado 1500 has proved itself time and time again, and the 2022 model is no exception. The Silverado has earned countless accolades over the years, with critics lauding its dependability, low ownership cost, and higher-than-average resale value, but Chevy seemingly isn’t content to coast on past success. The 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 not only doubles down in areas where the Silverado already excels but introduces some interesting new features that are sure to win over some new fans.
Technology is the watchword here, with Chevy turning to some intriguing new solutions to set the 2022 Silverado 1500 apart from the competition. In addition to this revamped approach to in-cabin infotainment, the pickup introduces a tweaked version of Chevy’s popular Super Cruise driver-assistance system designed specifically for the unique demands of the truck lifestyle. Let’s dive in and explore some of the coolest features of this year’s Silverado.
Life on the Big Screen
In a crowded market where some auto manufacturers struggle to define themselves from the competition, in-vehicle infotainment systems have become the next frontier in the auto arms race. Given our modern preoccupation with screen time, this comes as little surprise, with consumers increasingly demanding a seamless digital experience no matter if they’re lounging on the couch or cruising down the highway at 70 mph.
The 2022 Silverado is up for the challenge, with a 13.4-inch widescreen central display on all models at the LT trim level and above. The massive display is a significant upgrade from previous model years, which featured an 8-inch screen and 4.2-inch instrument cluster, and gives the Silverado an instant edge over many of its competitors in the full-size category. We should note that Silverados with the Work Truck, Custom, and Custom Trail Boss trims will retain the 7-inch display and 3.5-inch cluster they’ve featured in previous years.
The infotainment system features the usual suite of apps from Apple, Android, and Google, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Google Assistant, Maps, and Play, but it’s the display’s size and user-friendly configuration that makes us take notice. The larger screen makes the system easier to navigate than some smaller displays, which can go a long way in preventing the sort of distracted driving that can result from fiddling with more cramped touchscreen controls. These digital controls encompass the left half of the display, easily within reach of most drivers, while the right side displays GPS route information, music selection, weather, or any number of other included apps.
The display includes the usual USB charging ports, but it’s another creature feature that really showcases the thought and attention put into making the Silverado’s infotainment system as convenient and familiar as possible. Including a physical home button might seem like a throwback, but as the iPhone’s haptic response home button has proven, there’s something very satisfying about that familiar clicking feeling.
Many automakers have gone touchscreen crazy in recent years, seemingly more focused on whether they could go fully digital than whether they should. While these touchscreens do hold some advantages in terms of customization, they’re not always the best choice due to their lack of immediate response, physical feedback, and screen sensitivity. The less time spent adjusting controls, the better, and this is especially true in a moving vehicle where that momentary delay could mean the difference between a fender bender and a full-on accident. The physical home button allows drivers to quickly navigate back to the home screen without having to worry about whether they pressed too softly, had wet hands, or were a little imprecise in hitting the icon.
Revamped Instrument Cluster and Truck-Specific Super Cruise
The Silverado’s mammoth 13.4-inch display might get most of the headlines, but for our money, the digital instrument cluster is the most intriguing new inclusion for the 2022 model year. This customizable array of gauges, sensors, and feedback replace the instrument clusters of old, with the digital platform opening the door to some fun customization options. In addition to the standard mph, mileage, RPM, and fuel indicator, the digital instrument cluster can be set to display fuel efficiency, GPS, range, compass, and more. The design gives the pickup an almost high-performance feel, which is no coincidence, according to its designer. “It’s a more contemporary, refined design that elevates the premium nature of the interior,” said Alexandre Scartezini, Chevrolet Truck’s lead interior designer. “It’s also a more driver-oriented space that’s connected to our performance heritage, with a hint of Corvette influence in its design DNA.”
The system also comes with four preset layouts, each designed for specific driving scenarios. Are you going to be on the highway for most of the trip? A simple GPS displays everything you need without overwhelming you with a lot of extraneous info. Blazing a path for the first time and need all the visual cues you can get? Simply switch to another preset, and you’ll never lose the trail again. The cluster can also display the pickup’s current terrain mode, giving drivers the confidence to plow through adverse weather conditions. This approach allows the array of gauges to avoid a common pitfall in the design of many dashboard displays: too much info overwhelming the driver or an obnoxiously minimalist approach that’s sleek but ultimately useless.
The Silverado’s instrument panel is also the home of Chevy’s Super Cruise driver assistance feature, which makes its debut on the Silverado High Country trim package. The name is a bit of a misnomer, as this system offers much more than your standard cruise control. Super Cruise represents Chevy’s foray into the intriguing new world of hands-free automated driving, and though the system is still being developed, it can currently be used on over 200,000 miles of roads in both the U.S. and Canada.
The system employs a suite of technology to deliver both a hands and worry-free experience, using eye monitoring and radar-like scanning as safeguards. While automated driving is an exciting prospect, the technology is still in its fledgling stages, and as such, regulations still require drivers to keep their eyes on the road when using any hands-free driving technology. To this end, the Silverado employs a steering wheel-mounted camera to follow a driver’s eyes, activating a light-up strip set in the steering wheel and audio cue to get their attention should their gaze start to wander.
Designed with pickup drivers in mind, this iteration of Super Cruise addresses some of the unique challenges posed by towing and trailering. The system can be calibrated to factor in the increase in drag and braking distance inherent in towing, which, when combined with Chevy’s Advanced Trailer System, Trailer Side Blind Zone Alert, and in-vehicle trailering app, allow drivers to enjoy some valuable peace of mind while still taking advantage of all the benefits of the semi-automated driving tech. The Super Cruise system is all made possible thanks to eight available cameras, a number that bests all competitors in the class.
The Silverado Technology Stays Ahead of the Competition
With the inclusion of these systems and more, the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 continues to cement its reputation as a class leader. With nearly endless customization options, an advanced driver-assistance mode tailored to the pickup, and a performance-inspired instrument cluster, the Silverado pulls off a trick that too many auto manufacturers have trouble with: deploying technology in a logical, measured way that makes sense in the context of the vehicle itself. Too often, we see these bells and whistles tacked on in what amounts to little more than a marketing ploy, but the 2022 Silverado makes the most out of the included tech, delivering a more comfortable, safer ride thanks to its bevy of cameras, sensors, and feedback. That’s not to say these upgrades aren’t also pretty fun, we already see ourselves spending far too much time in the driveway finding an instrument cluster configuration that matches our outfit, but at the end of the day, they all serve a specific function that makes the 2022 Chevy Silverado one of the most intriguing pickups of the year.