After a few grumblings from nonbelieving truck enthusiasts, our long-term 2004 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid became an asset to all the editors at Truck Trend. With just over 15,000 miles on the odo when it ended its term, our Chevy Hybrid had made several adventures to Death Valley and a few dry lakebeds and was the vehicle of choice for staff photographers. Its on-board generator creating almost endless streams of 110-volt current, the Silverado enabled the staff to charge batteries, view photos on laptops, and create a mini photo studio with the plugs in the Silverado (two bed and two in-cab).
Utilitarian is the key word here; this truck is more suited for the construction owner than the daily driver. That could be why Chevy is making it available in limited supply, mostly through commercial-duty dealerships. With that said, this is one of the better commercial-duty vehicles we've had the chance to push to its limits. But, for the average guy, this isn't the one to take on a long road trip with the family. Because of a unique engine-stop feature (at stoplights and coast-downs), there's an unnerving startup vibration every time you move from brake pedal to throttle. And if you forget it's there, it can be surprising when the engine turns over, and you want to pull out into traffic. According to the logbook, we had more than a few near-misses.
Stopping on an incline also is tricky. You have to brake with your left foot while giving the throttle gas with your right to turn the engine over and have it ready to go when the light turns green. Otherwise, you risk rollback before the driveline catches up.
As to maintenance, our Silverado's on-board computer requested just one service at 8754 miles, when we took the truck in for a checkup, which consisted of a lube, oil and filter change, and tire rotation and inspection. There also were three issues that needed attention. The first was an intermittent low-oil-pressure light; it was inspected and no problems or codes were found. Our second issue was a loose brake pedal; it was tightened with no further problems. Last, we had the dealer replace both rear-door window seals to get rid of a few minor leaks.