Breaking Down the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500’s Towing Capacities
With five engine options, three different transmissions, three cab sizes and three bed lengths, there are a variety of configurations for the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500. All of these options greatly affect towing capacities, which range from the lowest of 7,200 pounds to the maximum of 13,300 pounds. Here’s a quick guide to the max configurations for towing based on engine and cab configurations.
Related: A Guide to the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500’s Towing Capacities
2021 Silverado 1500 Maximum Tow Capacity
The Silverado 1500’s maximum 13,300-pound configuration is a double-cab RST trim with four-wheel drive, the standard 6.5-foot box and the 420-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8. The Max Trailering Package and 20-inch wheels are required for the highest ratings. The Max Trailering Package adds the G80 automatic locking rear differential, enhanced cooling, heavy-duty springs, a larger rear axle with a 3.42 ratio, a trailer brake controller and a few other items. This brings the total price close to $50,000, which is $13,000 more than the Ram 1500 in its max tow configuration. However, compared with the Ram 1500 Tradesman, the Chevy RST is a higher trim level.
Max Towing Capacity by Engine
To get the highest tow ratings for any given engine, you must select the 3.42 axle ratio with the Trailering or Max Trailering packages. Chevy calls the 8-foot bed the long box, the 6.5-foot bed the standard box and the 5.5-foot bed the short box. Here are the top three towing capacities for each engine.
Turbocharged 2.7-Liter Four-Cylinder (310 hp, 348 pounds-feet of torque)
The 2.7-liter’s sole transmission is the eight-speed automatic. The top three tow ratings for this engine are 9,600 pounds, 9,400 pounds and 9,300 pounds. To get the 2.7-liter’s maximum 9,600-pound rating, pick a two-wheel-drive regular-cab long bed in the WT trim for a mere $29,000. For the 9,400-pound trailer rating, the 4WD regular-cab long-box WT trim is the one and starts a little under $33,000. The 9,300-pound rating comes in the 2WD double-cab standard-box configuration in the WT trim and starts around $33,000.
4.3-Liter V-6 (285 hp, 305 pounds-feet of torque)
The 4.3-liter V-6 is only available with a six-speed automatic transmission and provides towing capacities up to 7,900 pounds in the 2WD WT regular-cab long-box configuration at just over $27,000. Offering a 7,600-pound towing capacity are the crew-cab short bed, crew-cab standard bed and double-cab standard box — all in 2WD — and the regular-cab long bed in 4WD. All are in the WT trim and come in around $32,000. The third highest rating of 7,400 pounds is available in the 4WD crew cab with the short and standard boxes and the 4WD double-cab standard bed. All come in a little under $35,000 for the WT trim.
5.3-Liter V-8 (355 hp, 383 pounds-feet of torque)
The 5.3-liter V-8 can be equipped with the six-speed, eight-speed or 10-speed automatic transmissions, but the maximum towing configurations are all with the eight-speed auto and Max Trailering Package. Taking the top spot for this engine at 11,500 pounds are the 2WD crew-cab short bed at $43,000 and 2WD double-cab standard bed at $44,000, both in LT trim. Next up is the 2WD LT crew-cab standard bed at 11,400 pounds, also costing near $44,000. The third-highest tow rating for the 5.3 is 11,100 pounds in the 4WD crew-cab short and standard beds and the 4WD double-cab standard bed, all just under $48,000 in LT trim.
6.2-Liter V-8 (420 hp, 460 pounds-feet of torque)
Stepping up to the powerful 6.2-liter V-8 adds the 10-speed auto, which is the only transmission offered. The highest rating is 13,300 pounds in the 4WD double-cab standard bed in the RST trim with the Max Trailering Package and 20-inch wheels. This comes in close to $50,000. Next up at 12,100 pounds is the same package but with 18-inch wheels, also close to $50,000. The third highest is 11,900 in the 4WD crew cab both in the short and standard bed lengths in High Country trim levels at around $58,000.
3.0-Liter Inline-Six-Cylinder Diesel (277 hp, 460 pounds-feet of torque)
For 2021 the max tow rating for the diesel has been upped by 200 pounds from 2020 to 9,500 pounds. This is achieved in the 2WD crew-cab short bed and 2WD double-cab standard bed configurations both in the LT trim. They come in at about $42,000 and $43,000 respectively. Next up at 9,100 pounds is the 4WD LT double-cab standard bed for about $46,000. Third are the 4WD crew-cab short and standard beds at 9,000 pounds. They both start around $46,000 in LT trim.
Max Towing Capacities by Cab
Chevy offers three cab configurations: regular, double and crew. The regular cab is available with the 2.7-liter inline four-cylinder engine, 4.3-liter V-6 or 5.3-liter V-8, while both the double and crew cabs are available with all five engine options.
The regular cab’s highest tow rating is 10,000 pounds with the 5.3-liter V-8 and the 2WD long box.
For the double cab, the highest rating comes from the 6.2-liter, V-8-equipped, 4WD standard-box configuration weighing in at 13,300 pounds.
For the crew cab, an 11,900-pound rating can be achieved with the 4WD, 6.2-liter V-8 short and standard boxes.
Trail Boss Towing Capacity
The Silverado 1500 Trail Boss can be equipped with the 4.3-liter V-6, 5.3-liter V-8 or 6.2-liter V-8. The V-6 is paired with the six-speed automatic transmission, the 5.3-liter V-8 with either the six-speed or the 10-speed, and the 6.2-liter V-8 is pared to the 10-speed. All Trail Boss trims are 4WD.
The highest rating of 9,400 pounds is with the 5.3-liter in both the double-cab standard box and crew-cab short box Custom Trail Boss, 9,300 pounds follows in the crew-cab standard-box Custom or LT Trail Boss and in the crew-cab short-bed LT Trail Boss.
Next up is the 6.2-liter V-8 at 9,300 pounds in the LT Trail Boss with the crew cab and either the standard or short bed. It also has this rating in the Custom Trail Boss trim with the crew-cab short bed and double-cab standard bed.
Overall, the 6.2-liter V-8 provides the highest tow ratings in the 2021 Silverado 1500, but the cost also jumps significantly with its $50,000 starting price for that capability, not including any incentives. That can be an issue for those who want a strong tow vehicle but don’t need or want to pay for all the extra goodies. For 2021, the 5.3-liter V-8, however, provides up to 11,500 pounds of towing and can be had for around $43,000 with its max towing capability. You can check out Chevrolet’s complete towing guide for the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado to see more configurations.
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