Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A close-up on the headlight of a red 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 WT for sale is shown.

Is the Base Chevy Silverado 1500 WT Enough for Me?

The Silverado 1500 WT (Work Truck) is the entry-level trim for Chevy’s iconic full-size, light-duty, half-ton pickup truck. It represents the most affordable way to buy this truck—but does it have enough to justify its MSRP? Can you get good mileage out of the WT? Does it have any upgrade packages? Can it fulfill the demands of a full-size pickup?

For those of you looking at a Chevy Silverado 1500 for sale, we’d like to break down the WT trim and determine if it’s enough truck for you and your budget. We’ll review the stats, features, and available options so you’ll have an idea of whether this is the right model for you.

Bed and Cab Configurations

The WT can be configured for whatever specialty you’ll primarily need your truck for. (Keep in mind that different configurations will change the overall price.) This base pickup is available in three cabs and three bed sizes. For the former, you have the Regular Cab (two doors), the Double Cab (two full and two half doors), and the Crew Cab (four full doors).

The three bed sizes are a Standard Bed that’s six feet and six inches with 71.7 cu.ft. of cargo volume, a Short Bed that’s five feet and eight inches with 62.9 cu.ft. of cargo volume, and a Long Bed that’s eight feet and two inches with 89.1 cu.ft. of cargo volume. You can mix and match the different beds and cabs together, except for the Crew Cab or Double Cab with the Long Bed and the Regular Cab with the Short Bed.

The cheapest configuration is the Regular Cab with the Standard Bed. The most expensive configuration is the Crew Cab with the Standard Bed. If you want a two-row Silverado 1500 WT but want to cut down on the initial costs, the Double Cab with the Short Bed or the Crew Cab with the Short Bed are the cheapest two-row cab options.

Powertrain/Drivetrain Options

If you’re planning on buying a WT but are unsure about its performance capabilities, know that it comes standard with the new TurboMax power plant, a 2.7-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder. It’s been receiving a lot of positive feedback and is notable for getting the job done with 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. It’s married to an eight-speed automatic transmission. For older WTs of the fourth generation, there’s the older version of the 2.7-liter four-cylinder and the 5.3-liter EcoTec V8 that makes 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque.

You can also get your WT in rear- or four-wheel drive, so you can upgrade to be off-road-ready if you crave that or simply want improved stability. The WT with a V8 gets this trim’s max trailering capacity—between 10,900 lbs and 11,200 lbs—with a payload limit of 2,280 lbs. For newer WTs with the TurboMax, you get a maximum towing capacity of 9,500 lbs with a maximum payload capacity of 2,260 lbs.

The summary screen of a 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 is shown, featuring the gauges, fuel, and mileage information.

Fuel Economy Figures

Shopping on a budget isn’t only about the initial costs but the overhead of ownership, which includes your fuel costs. So, what’s the fuel economy like for the WT? Well, it’s not as good as you’ll find on the 3.0-liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel, but the TurboMax does offer better fuel economy figures than the V8 and older V6 options for the Chevy Silverado 1500.

When it comes to the rear-wheel drive WT, you get 18 MPG in the city and 22 MPG on the highway. For a four-wheel drivetrain, you have 18 MPG in the city and 21 MPG on the highway. For fourth-generation V8 iterations of the WT, rear-wheel drive gets you 16 MPG in the city and 21 MPG on the highway. In four-wheel drive, the V8 makes 15 MPG in the city and 20 MPG on the highway.

So, as far as fuel economy is concerned, you get the best figures for a newer Silverado 1500 without spending several thousand more upfront for the Duramax Turbo-Diesel for its longer-range figures. If you opt for older used WT trims with the V8, you will naturally end up with lower specs—so you’d have to weigh price versus fuel economy with newer versus slightly older WTs based on the powertrain configuration.

Comfort and Convenience

The interior comfort features of the Silverado 1500 WT are, of course, basic for this entry-level trim. However, you still have the choice of vinyl or cloth upholstery. Your seats will be manually adjustable, though, as power seats only come standard on the higher-level trims.

You’ll have access to infotainment creature comforts, as a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Chevrolet Infotainment System 3 comes standard on the WT trim. What’s more, if you opt for the 2024 Silverado 1500 WT, it comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, which is great for those who crave their music or podcasting fix as they commute.

The WT also comes standard with Bluetooth streaming and built-in voice command pass-through for hands-free phone calls and messaging. There is also OnStar support for the WT trim; however, if you opt for an older 1500 WT, you may not have as much access to the infotainment suite as you would with buying a newer WT.

Available Packages

One of the Silverado 1500’s most feature-expansive trims is the LT, wherein you get the most versatility, customization, and package options without spending quite as much as the LTZ or High Country trims. But what about the entry-level WT? Well, if you’re shopping on a budget, the WT has a few packages available, mostly centered around utilitarian features; these include the Work Truck Value Package, the Work Truck Convenience Package, and the Work Truck Safety Package.

Features like deep-tinted glass, a rear window defogger, hitch guidance, cruise control, and the Trailering Package (with a trailer hitch and seven- and four-pin connectors) all come in the Work Truck Value Package. The Work Convenience Convenience Package comes with everything from the Work Truck Value Package except for the Trailering Package. The Safety Package includes a tailgate power lock and release with the EZ Lift, a front and rear parking sensor, Rear Cross-Traffic Braking, Rear Pedestrian Alert, chrome front and rear bumpers, perimeter lighting, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, painted mirror caps, and a 120-volt power outlet.

The Silverado 1500 WT is available in seven colors and with two optional wheel designs if you’re buying it brand new; you can also get a number of other add-ons, including the Multi-Flex tailgate and the embedded tailgate lights. Adding the Multi-Flex tailgate gives the WT a ton of extra value with its six different tailgate functions. Whether you feel it’s worth the several-hundred-dollar investment depends on what you’re using your truck for, but a lot of haulers find it indispensable.

A red 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 RST is shown driving in a city.

Is the WT Trim the Right Silverado 1500 Outfit for Me?

If you’re buying a full-size pickup on a budget, then getting an entry-level Chevy Silverado 1500 WT is a great way to go. If you’re buying new, you get many more options to play with than if you bought used, including the ability to outfit your WT with packages and features like the Multi-Flex tailgate, if that’s something you’re interested in.