The upscale version of Chevrolet’s 2014 Silverado has the creature comforts of a luxury car without sacrificing its truck capabilities.
By TOM STRONGMAN
The Silverado, and its corporate sibling, the GMC Sierra, are all new. During my week with a Silverado crew cab LTZ from GM’s press fleet I took it on a long weekend road trip with my wife and dog. It wasn’t all that long ago that driving 200 miles in an empty truck was only passably comfortable, but the Silverado crew cab is as comfy as an SUV and often just as expensive.
The LTZ was equipped with a heated steering wheel, lane departure warning, heated and cooled seats, navigation, 20-inch chrome wheels, a rear vision camera and a Bose audio system with satellite radio. The sticker price was $50,475.
Based on my time with the Silverado, the 2015 Yukon and Suburban SUVs that go on sale in the first quarter of next year should be excellent vehicles because they share many components with the truck.
The Silverado is available in regular cab, double cab or crew cab configurations. Three engines are offered: a 4.3-liter, 285-horsepower V-6; a 5.3-liter, 355-horsepower V-8; and a 6.2-liter, 420-horsepower V-8. All are equipped with direct fuel injection, variable valve timing and active fuel management that deactivates cylinders under light load to save fuel.
The test truck was equipped with the 5.3-liter V-8. This engine is brawny and smooth with enough torque to pull a trailer weighing 11,800 pounds. When conditions permit, the engine shuts down four cylinders to save fuel. The switch from V-8 to four-cylinder operation was barely perceptible. Fuel economy is rated at 16 miles per gallon in the city and 22 on the highway. I averaged 21 mpg on my trip.
Truck users expect function, and the Silverado’s cabin has large knobs and buttons, a dual glove box, five USB ports, a 110-volt outlet, four 12-volt outlets and an SD card slot. IntelliLink includes Bluetooth phone connectivity and voice control.
The seats were comfortable for several hours behind the wheel. A large center console is a great place for storing gear. The instrument panel has six gauges and an eight-inch touch screen. The touch screen is not as user-friendly as more traditional controls. I found the navigation system to be frustrating because it always required a street address even when I just wanted to know how to get to a town. Google maps on my phone were much faster and easier.
The rear seat splits and folds for carrying luggage so it doesn’t have to be out in the weather in the bed – unless you have back-seat passengers.
The four-door crew cab’s 5-foot 8-inch bed has adjustable tie downs. A 6-foot 6-inch bed also is available.
Three years or 36,000 miles, with a five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Chevy offers free scheduled maintenance for two years or 24,000 miles.
The base price of the test truck was $43,650. Options included lane departure warning, park assist, collision alert, power adjustable pedals, Bose stereo, 20-inch chrome wheels, MyLink audio system and navigation, heated and cooled leather seats, trailer brake controller and movable tie downs in the pickup box. The sticker price was $50,475.
Tom Strongman’s e-mail is email@example.com