I just finished my seven-day test drive of the all-new 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 2WD LT Crewcab with the Z71 off-road package. I can report that Chevy executives and bean counters can now exhale as this is Chevy’s greatest full-size pickup truck. The all-new Chevy Silverado is new from the hood to the hitch but with the same prices as last year’s models. It is engineered to be stronger, smarter and more capable than ever before. A beautiful form follows a great powertrain as the V8 fuel economy is best in class with best available towing ratings of any light-duty pickup. It even comes with standard scheduled maintenance for two years or 24,000 miles. Among the hundreds of improvements, large and small are: a trio of all-new EcoTec3 engines-a V6 and two V8’s that provide class-leading V8 fuel economy and towing capability without the coast and complexity of turbocharging, a quieter and more comfortable cabin using high-strength steel that makes the frames and cabs stronger and lighter, yet can take the pounding of towing, hauling and off-road operation year after year, a refined new interior featuring ample storage, multiple power and USB connections and available high-wear cloth for bench or bucket seats and features connectivity tailored to the needs of today’s savvy truck customers such as MyLink which provides powerful connectivity for work or family with simple, intuitive controls. New revised steering, suspension and brakes for improved ride and handling are the result of the strategic use of aluminum alloys to reduce the weight of engines, front suspension components and hoods and other parts, plus ingenious solutions for managing cargo in the bed. The all-new Chevy Silverado has it all in spades.
EcoTec3 engines that power the all-new 2014 Silverado 1500 include a 4.3 liter SAE-certified at 285hp and 305lb.ft.of torque, a 5.3 liter V8 certified at 355hp and 383lb.ft. of torque and a 6.2 liter V8 that will be available later in the model year. All three EcoTec3 engines feature direct fuel injection, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and continuously variable valve timing, a combination not found in competitive trucks. The engines also use compact overhead-valve design and weight-saving components such as aluminum blocks and cylinder heads to reduce mass, give great low-end torque, and additional energy savings. All three provide the proven power, torque and dependability of a large-displacement engine, seamlessly switching to four-cylinder mode to save fuel during light-load driving. The 5.3 liter V8 has EPA-estimated fuel economy of up to 23mpg highway (2WD models) the best of any V8 pickup, better than Ford’s EcoBoost V6. Silverados equipped with the 4.3 liter V6 will have towing ratings up to 7,200 pounds, the highest for any base V6 in the segment. Silverados equipped with the 5.3 liter V8 and the max towing package has a towing rating of up to 11,500 pounds, which is more than any light-duty pickup currently on the market.
All engines are mated to GM’s Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shifting on the column shifter enabling me to hold each gear as need in any situation. The proven 6L80 pulls strong and the gear changes are imperceptible and seamless.
Silverado’s exterior design blends strong Chevy truck heritage with a refined, modern look. The new design is more muscular, more functional and more aerodynamic. A twin-port grille with the Chevy Bowtie prominent, stacked headlamp clusters, a Z71 badge, a full-width chrome bumper with foglamps at the sides, dual tow hooks and a spoiler down below including the dual power dome aluminum hood create a strong presence, which is carried through in sculpted body sides and fender flares. In the rear are giant wraparound lamp clusters, a step-up rear bumper, locking liftgate and a corner step up with rubber pad.
The all-new Silverado design is about much more than just good looks, however. The new front end is engineered to improved sealing for more efficient cooling, while the roof and tailgate spoiler were shaped in the wind tunnel to smooth airflow over the truck for reduced drag. New inlaid doors, which fit into recesses in the bodyside, reduce wind noise for a quieter cab.
The all-new interiors reflect the same focus on form and function. The upright instrument panel, six-gauge instrument cluster and multiple storage options are tailored specifically to the needs of truck customers, whether for work or for pleasure. Controls are functional, logically placed and easy to operate with work gloves on. Rear doors on crew cabs are larger for easier entry and exit. The new cab is stronger, with nearly two-thirds of the structure made from high-strength steel for a confident feel and improved safety. Similarly, the main rails and key cross members of the updated frame are high-strength steel with major elements hydroformed for reduced mass and improved strength. New shear-style body mounts tune out both up-and-down and side-to-side movements for a quieter, more comfortable ride. Double cab and crew cab models have a set of hydraulic body mounts to further isolate the cabs. Combined with numerous other acoustic and NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) enhancements, the intended result is a solid, refined feel with no loss in traditional truck capability. When driving the all-new Silverado it feels the same as if I am driving a full-size sedan, and this why:
The chassis of the 2014 Silverado includes a number of customer-focused updates. A revised front and rear suspension and wider wheels provide a more comfortable ride and more confident handling. Up front is an independent coil-over setup utilizing premium Rancho monotube gas-filled shocks, A-arms and a stabilizer bar. The rear features a solid axle with semi-elliptic variable-rate, 2-stage multi-leaf springs and premium Rancho monotube gas-filled shocks for a very smooth ride and the ability to load the cargo box and cabin with no loss of ride height. The new electric power-assisted, rack & pinion steering system improves steering feel and reduces fuel consumption. Two strut braces on the sides of the engine bay adds stiffness and quicker reaction to my steering inputs.
Quickly and safely slowing the massive all-new Chevy Silverado 1500 Z71 crewcab down from speed are giant four-wheel power-assisted steel disc brakes with standard ABS. Up front are 13 inch vented Duralife rotors clamped with big dual-piston calipers. The rear features 13.6 inch vented Duralife rotors clamped with big single-piston calipers. Duralife rotors improve brake feel and potentially double the rotor life. The brakes felt very linear, as I pushed the pedal, the brakes bit harder and were very fluid. My all-new Silverado 1500 Z71 rode on giant 18X8.5 inch machined aluminum alloy wheels wrapped with 265/65R18 inch Goodyear All-Terrain tires for a smooth, quiet with excellent grip.
Standard equipment in my Silverado 1500 LT Z71 test model included deep-tinted glass, wheelhouse liners front/rear, power heated/power remote sideview mirrors, front foglamps, spare tire lock, bed rail protectors, front 40/20/40 bench seat with pull-down center console with 3-cupholders and giant storage box, remote keyless entry, power windows with front express up/down, color-keyed carpeting, A/C, lighted dual vanity mirrors, self-dimming rearview mirror, dual map lights, variable speed wipers/washers, cruise control, bright accent sill plates, driver info/color display, tilting leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio/Bluetooth controls, Chevy MyLink audio system, 4.2 inch color display, single-slot CD/MP3 player, HD-AM-FM-Sirius Satellite radio with 6-speakers, and USB ports. The LT package includes a power sliding rear window, rear seat reading lamps, rear cargo box lights, map pockets behind each front seatback, universal home remote, Rear Park assist and power adjustable pedals, grab handles above each door, at each B-pillar and on the passenger-side A-pillar. The All-Star Edition came with 18.5 inch wheels, power seat adjuster for the driver, dual-zone A/C, tilt-telescopic leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote vehicle start, rear vision camera, rear window defroster, 5.3 liter V8, 6 inch chrome assist steps, driver/front passenger heated seats, trailer brake controller, moveable upper tie-downs (4), LED cargo box lighting, 7,000 pound GVW rating and a 3.42 rear axle rating.
The all-new 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 LT features smart solutions for cargo management because the box is made of roll-formed steel for increased strength and reduced mass, compared with the stamped beds used by the major manufacturers. The Silverado’s CornerStep bumper, combined with handholds built into the new box rail protectors, makes it easier to access the box. The bed is also available with new upper tie-down hooks, under-rail light-emitting diode lighting and an EZ lift and lower tailgate. For the first time, Silverado 1500 crewcabs will be available with a longer 6ft.6inch box, in addition to the previous 5ft.8inch box, enabling customers to carry more cargo while still being able to park in many garages.
The all-new Silverado will be available with segment-exclusive safety features such as Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning with an Active Safety Seat, and Front/Rear Park Assist. StabiliTrak with Trailer Sway Control and Hill Start Assist are standard on all Silverados. Standard safety systems in the all-new 2014 Silverado LT Z71 include driver/front passenger airbags, front/side-impact outboard front/rear side head curtain airbags, airbag sensing system for the passenger, StabiliTrak stability control with trailer sway control & hill-start assist, tire pressure monitoring system, daytime running lamps, six-3-point safety belts with front pretensioners/load limiters, six-months of OnStar collision alert and turn-by-turn navigation.
The all-new 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 LT Z71 2WD Crewcab is more refined than ever with the latest in performance with fuel economy, refined handling and confidence, comfort, interior space with all of the latest technologies, safety and cargo management systems and innovations that make the new full-size pickup from Chevrolet one of the best on the market.
COPYRIGHT: 2013: HARVEY SCHWARTZ