Consumer Reports ranks Chevy Silverado as top pickup

09/17/2013 12:42 PM

09/17/2013 11:14 PM

General Motors Co.’s redesigned Chevrolet Silverado has received the highest rating from Consumer Reports among all pickups, edging out Chrysler’s Ram 1500.

The victory marks Chevrolet’s second top-rating from Consumer Reports in the past two months after the magazine gave the Impala the highest marks among all sedans, the first time in at least 20 years that a U.S. automaker has outscored all Japanese and European competitors in that segment.

“Consumer Reports has always been perceived as having a Japanese import bias so any time a Big Three automaker gets praise from Consumer Reports – as GM has quite a bit lately – it’s significant,” Michelle Krebs, an analyst with Edmunds.com, a website that tracks auto sales, said. “It’s validating the fact the Big Three have turned things around in terms of product.”

GM is bringing out 18 new or refreshed vehicles in the U.S. this year, among the largest waves of product introductions in the company’s history, that will transform the automaker’s lineup into one of the newest in the industry from one of the oldest. The 2014 Silverado began arriving in showrooms earlier this year.

“For years the Silverado has scored well in our tests, and the redesigned 2014 model is the best yet,” the magazine wrote in the November issue hitting stands Oct. 5 and going online today. “Handling is more carlike than in most trucks, the cabin is very quiet, and it provides impressive towing and payload capabilities.”

The Silverado scored 81, beating the Ram “in several areas important to many pickup owners,” such as has having a significantly larger bed, better fuel efficiency and more payload and towing capacity, Consumer Reports said.

The updated Ram 1500 received a score of 78 and received praise from the magazine as well.

“If you use your truck more for day-to-day driving, the Ram is a nicer place to spend your time” than the Silverado, the magazine wrote. “It rides better and has more comfortable seats, a nicer rear seat, and a slightly friendlier control layout.”

Silverado trails only Ford Motor Co.’s F-Series pickup line in U.S. sales. The F-150 is built at Ford’s Claycomo assembly plant here.

Deliveries of the Chevy truck rose 25 percent this year through August to 328,269, while the Ford trucks rose 22 percent to 499,050. Ford is introducing a redesigned F-150 next year.

The previous Silverado was a top pick of Consumer Reports, according to the magazine’s website.

The new version has a lower step-in height for easy entrance and access to the truck bed. The interior includes stitching details, the Chevy MyLink touchscreen infotainment system and luxurious options, such as a heated steering wheel.

“That’s pretty impressive, considering that GM hasn’t had the most glowing reviews in the past from Consumer Reports,” Dave Sullivan, an analyst with AutoPacific Inc., said of the Silverado.

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