Chevy Silverado Reviews

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From Edmunds

Redesigned for 2014, the Chevrolet Silverado benefits from weight reduction and a lineup of new, more fuel-efficient engines including a now-competitive V6.

Introduction

Most people buy a full-size pickup truck with the idea that they can drive it every day and use it for heavy lifting and hauling when the need arises. That latter requirement necessitates some muscle. Traditionally, you’d pass on the pickup’s base V6 engine and spring for a substantially stronger but thirstier V8. But lately, automakers have been beefing up their trucks’ V6 engines. Now Chevy has joined the party. As such, one of the best things the redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Silverado has going for it is something the outgoing version lacked: a competitive V6 engine.

Of course, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 still offers V8 power as well, and they’re burly 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter mills that now benefit from direct fuel injection and cylinder deactivation for better power and efficiency. But for those who’d like the big Silverado’s generous passenger and cargo space and whose hauling and towing requirements aren’t as severe, the new 4.3-liter V6 should fit the bill. It makes 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque, and can tow up to 7,200 pounds when properly equipped. Fuel economy ratings are impressive as well, with an estimated 18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.

In addition to the more potent V6 engine, the latest Chevy Silverado benefits from a diet as well. The new regular cab model with the V6 and a 6-foot, 6-inch pickup bed, for example, weighs 250 fewer pounds than its predecessor. Other enhancements include revised suspension tuning for a smoother ride, forward-hinged rear doors on extended cab models (they were awkward, reverse-opening half doors previously) and newly available safety features such as a forward collision alert system, a lane departure warning system and trailer sway control.

Meanwhile, the Silverado’s exterior design doesn’t stray far from tradition. A massive new grille, revised bumpers and more sculpted styling down the side give it a more modern, almost aerodynamic look, but it retains the square-jawed, all-business look of previous Chevy Silverados. Those who regularly haul a lot of people and cargo will be pleased to know that the Silverado 1500 crew cab now offers a 6.5-foot cargo box in addition to the previous 5.75-foot box. Inside, Chevrolet has upgraded the Silverado’s upholstery, dash and door-panel materials and now offers an 8-inch touchscreen display with the brand’s MyLink infotainment interface and smartphone integration.

All told, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is fully competitive with its longtime and similarly well-rounded rivals, the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 as well as the Toyota Tundra. This is especially true now that Chevy offers a V6 engine that promises ample performance along with good fuel economy. As such, your choice of a full-size pickup may come down to feature availability or even styling preference.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is a full-size pickup offered in a variety of cab/cargo-bed configurations in both two- and four-wheel drive. Body styles include regular cab, extended (“Double”) cab and crew cab. Regular cabs can be had with either a 6.5-foot standard bed or an 8-foot bed. Extended cabs come with the 6.5-foot standard bed, while crew cabs can be had with either a 5.75-foot short bed or the 6.5-foot standard bed.

Regular cabs are limited to the base Work Truck and midlevel LT trims. The extended and crew cabs come in LS, LT, LTZ, High Country and off-road-oriented Z71 trims.

The Work trim (or WT) comprises 1WT and 2WT subsets. The 1WT comes with 17-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control, power windows and door locks, a tilt steering wheel, vinyl seating, rubber floor covering, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat and a four-speaker AM/FM sound system with USB and auxiliary inputs. The 2WT adds stainless-steel finish wheels, chrome bumpers and grille, deep-tint glass, power/heated mirrors, keyless entry, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, OnStar telematics and an upgraded MyLink audio system with a 4-inch color display, satellite radio, HD radio, Pandora radio, a CD player and voice control functionality.

Stepping up to the LT adds a chrome grille insert, an “E-Z” lift/lower tailgate, alloy wheels, cloth upholstery (with adjustable lumbar support for the driver), carpeting, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, and six speakers for the audio system.

The LTZ piles on chrome trim, 18-inch alloy wheels, remote starting, power folding mirrors, a power sliding rear window with defroster, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera, a 110-volt power outlet, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated eight-way power driver and passenger front seats, driver-seat memory settings and an 8-inch touchscreen display for the MyLink interface.

In addition to the LTZ features, the High Country includes a unique grille, 20-inch wheels, front and rear parking sensors, cargo box tie-downs, a power sliding rear window, a Bose audio system, 10-way power front seats and ventilated front seats.

The Z71 trim, which is added atop the LT or LTZ, features off-road-oriented hardware such as special shock absorbers, a heavy-duty air cleaner, hill descent control, underbody shields, recovery hooks and a few unique exterior and interior styling tweaks.

Many of the features on the upper trim levels are offered on the lower ones as options while other available features (depending on the trim level and configuration) include towing packages, various axle ratios, a power sunroof, side steps, parking sensors, a navigation system and a rear-seat entertainment system with a Blu-Ray player. Notably, the Max Trailering package features an integrated trailer-brake controller, heavier-duty suspension calibration and a higher-capacity radiator.

Another key option group is the Driver Alert package that features lane departure warning, forward collision alert, safety alert seat and front and rear parking sensors. There are also the All Star Edition, Texas Edition and Custom Sport Edition, whose highlights (depending on the package) include 20-inch wheels, one of the available towing groups, remote starting, a power driver seat, a rearview camera and, of course, unique badging.

Powertrains and Performance

Standard on all but the LTZ trims is a 4.3-liter V6 with 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque. As with all other Silverado engines, it comes matched to a six-speed automatic transmission and either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 20 mpg combined (18 city/24 highway) for two-wheel drive. With 4WD, they drop to 19/17/22. Maximum towing capacity, when properly equipped and depending on body style, can range up to a generous 7,600 pounds.

The 5.3-liter V8, which is standard on the LTZ trims and optional on other Silverados, makes 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. Properly equipped, trucks with this engine can tow up to 11,500 pounds. With rear-wheel drive, the EPA says Silverados with the 5.3-liter V8 will achieve 19 mpg combined (16 city/23 highway). With 4WD they rate 18 combined. In Edmunds testing, a Silverado 1500 LT Z71 Crew Cab 2WD with the 5.3 sprinted from zero to 60 in just 6.8 seconds.

Optional on the LTZ and High Country trims is a 6.2-liter V8 that makes 420 hp and 460 lb-ft. Its fuel mileage estimates are 17 mpg combined (14 city/20 highway) while its maximum towing capacity stands at 12,000 pounds when properly equipped.

Safety

Standard safety features include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear-seat side airbags, and side curtain airbags. Also standard is OnStar, which includes services such as automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and stolen vehicle assistance.

Options include a rearview camera, front and rear park assist and a suite of driver aids that include lane departure warning and forward collision alert.

In government crash tests, the 2014 Silverado earned a top five-star rating, with five stars awarded for both total frontal-impact safety and total side-impact safety. During Edmunds’ braking test, a Silverado Crew Cab 2WD came to a stop from 60 mph in 128 feet, a good performance for this type of vehicle.

Interior Design and Special Features

With this redesign, all-new cab structures bring improved structural stiffness and crashworthiness to the 2014 model. Chevy also improved the cabin quality on lower trims, where materials and build quality are both notably better. There are also more bins and cubbies than before and LTZ trims have up to five USB ports to keep all your devices charged and happy. The MyLink system features an 8-inch touchscreen, straightforward menus and effective voice command interface, although sometimes the system can be slow to respond to inputs.

With a choice of bench or buckets (depending on trim level) up front, as well as available heating, ventilation and adjustable lumbar support, the Silverado’s thickly padded seats promise plenty of long-trip comfort. Although the cab’s basic dimensions are unchanged from last year, there is a smidge more rear legroom than before, and front occupants have more fore/aft seat adjustment range.

Gone are the awkward reverse-opening rear doors of the previous extended cab; the newly minted double cab has traditional forward-hinged doors. The new cabin also rides on improved body mounts for reduced noise and vibration, while clambering into the bed is made easier by clever steps and handholds built into each rear corner.

Driving Impressions

The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado’s new V6 provides ample thrust and is light-years ahead of the old V6 not only in terms of power and performance but refinement as well. Another indication of this engine’s all-around legitimacy is that it is available in all trim levels rather than relegated only to work truck variants, as was the case with the old V6.

As you’d expect, the 5.3-liter V8 delivers solid thrust with good manners, though there’s still a bit of vibration during hard acceleration. More seamless than ever, however, is the fuel-saving cylinder deactivation system, which swaps between V8 and V4 modes with complete transparency.

The six-speed automatic provides smooth and timely gearchanges in normal driving. But despite the pull of the Silverado’s huskier new engines, we’ve noticed that there’s still too big a gap between the transmission’s gear ratios when towing. There are rumors of an upcoming eight-speed transmission — it would be a welcome addition. That said, we’ve towed a trailer with an 8,600-pound load with a Silverado equipped with the 5.3-liter V8 and the Max Trailering package and there was plenty of reserve grunt.

Overall ride and handling dynamics are noticeably improved over the old truck. The 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 feels robust structurally, yet most versions are compliant and comfortable over broken pavement, though the stiffer ride on trucks with the Max Trailering package can grow tiresome. The Silverado is also very quiet, with road and wind noise both minimal even at freeway speeds.

The Chevy isn’t exactly agile around turns and there’s plenty of body lean if you push it harder, as you’d likely expect. But in normal driving it feels confident enough and the steering is well-weighted. Off-road, the Silverado shudders less when bouncing around on rocky trails, exhibiting better composure than ever before.

From Edmunds:

As with its rivals, the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is available with a wide variety of body styles, powertrains and trim levels. Thanks to this flexibility, the half-ton Silverado pickup is just as adept at serving as the weekday family car as it is at transporting home-improvement supplies or towing a boat on the weekends. And if one wants something sporty, there are always the SS versions that come complete with a rumbling V8, bucket seats and flashy wheels.

Older versions of the Silverado 1500 pickup have been praised for their strong work ethic but soundly criticized for their bland, often overly plastic-endowed cabins. The latest version, however, exhibits greatly improved fit and finish. Where there was once an abundance of lackluster design, hard plastic and uneven panel gaps there are now richly grained upholstery, softer materials and precise fitments. Of course, there are other more recently redesigned choices in the full-size pickup truck market, but the half-ton Chevrolet Silverado remains a solid pick no matter what it’s used for.

Current Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The Chevrolet Silverado half-ton pickup truck is available in three body styles (regular-, extended- and crew cab) and trim levels ranging from no-frills “Work Truck” to plush LTZ. The most popular trim is the midlevel LT, which provides most features people want as standard, including air-conditioning, full power accessories and a CD player. Notable options include a variety of towing packages, the Z71 Off-Road Package and a navigation system.

Powertrain choices encompass everything from a frugal 4.3-liter 195-horsepower V6 to a muscular 6.2-liter V8 with 403 hp. Most Chevy Silverados, however, will be fitted with either a 295-hp 4.8-liter V8 or a 315-hp 5.3-liter V8. A four-speed automatic transmission with a tow and haul mode is standard on Silverado pickups with the base V6 and 4.8-liter V8. Silverados with the 5.3-liter or 6.2-liter V8 have a six-speed automatic. All V8s run on E85 as well as gasoline. As expected, one may choose either rear- or four-wheel drive.

Calling cards of the Silverado include strong performance, a refined and quiet ride (even with the heavy-duty towing package) and a comfortable cabin that’s admittedly looking a little old compared to newer competitors. A few other downsides we’ve noted in reviews include minor interior ergonomic issues, an unimpressive base V6 and the hesitant response of the four-speed automatic transmission while downshifting. GM’s excellent six-speed automatic, however, is hard to fault with its smooth, on-point performance.

Used Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Models
Although Chevrolet has produced a pickup truck since 1918, the truck never received a formal name until 1999 at which point it was dubbed the Silverado. (“Silverado” was formerly the name of a trim level that dated back to the 1970s.)

The present-generation Silverado debuted for 2007 and is largely the same as the current Silverado, with the exception of the 6.2-liter V8 and six-speed automatic transmission that were both introduced for 2009. That six-speed was optional that year for the 5.3- and 6.2-liter V8s, but became standard for 2010.

The previous Silverado 1500 was produced from 1999-2006. Underneath the handsome styling, a family of new V8s debuted, ranging in size from 4.8 to 6.0 liters. They offered output running from 255 hp with the smallest 4.8-liter to 345 hp from the high-output 6.0-liter V8 in the Silverado SS. A base V6 was also available, but as expected, most Chevy Silverados came fitted with one of the V8s. (Buyers looking at the heavy-duty series Silverado 2500HD and 3500 of this generation could also get a 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 or an 8.1-liter gasoline V8.) A unique four-wheel-steering option (called QuadraSteer), came on line about midway through this generation and cut the truck’s turning circle down to 37.4 feet — around 10 feet less than a typical full-size pickup. Unfortunately, QuadraSteer was discontinued for ’06, as buyers were put off by the high cost of this option.

Consumers more interested in function than flash should be happy with a half-ton Silverado from this era. The truck offered plenty of performance and work capacity, but was hampered by a dated cabin design fraught with cheap materials and below average fit and finish.

The previous generation of Chevrolet Silverado pickups ran from 1988-’98, and were simply known by their number nomenclature ? 1500 (half-ton), 2500 (3/4-ton) and 3500 (1-ton). Standard cab and extended cab body styles were offered, as was a crew cab, though the latter was actually from the previous 1981-’87 generation. Although six-cylinder and diesel V8s were offered, chances are strong that most Chevy trucks from these years will have either a 5.0- or 5.7-liter V8 mated to a four-speed automatic. In keeping with tradition, one could choose either rear-wheel drive (indicated by a “C”, e.g. “C1500″) or four-wheel drive (indicated by a “K”). Trim levels for these C/K1500 trucks include the base Cheyenne, midlevel Scottsdale and top-line Silverado. Strengths of these trucks include strong, durable powertrains, while weaknesses center on sketchy build quality and materials within the cabin.

 

From KBB:

In the world of half-ton pickups, the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado rules supreme. Granted, the Ford F-150 pickup can lay claim to being the best-selling pickup in America but, if you combine the sales of the Silverado with its identical cousin, the GMC Sierra, GM walks away with the best-selling title, no questions asked. Today’s Chevrolet must contend with more than just Ford and Ram, however, because Toyota and Nissan are now selling half-ton pickups as well. To keep its big rig competitive and its customers happy, Chevrolet constantly improves the 2012 Silverado pickup line, giving it one of the most fuel-efficient V8s in the segment, not to mention the only hybrid pickup truck available. But, truck buyers care less about a 1- or 2-mpg increase in fuel economy than they do power, hauling ability and comfort. Here, too, the 2012 Silverado half-ton pickup delivers, with a max tow rating of 10,700 pounds when equipped with the 6.2-liter V8 and the Max Tow Package.

You’ll Like This Car If…

With its numerous possible configurations, the 2012 Chevy Silverado half-ton pickup will please all but the chronically indecisive. From cab configurations to bed lengths to trim and option packages, the Silverado is the half-ton jack of all trades, including models that can run on E85.

You May Not Like This Car If…

Short of its conservative styling, there isn’t much to quibble with when looking at the 2012 Chevy Silverado pickup. Those who need the towing power of a diesel engine will have to look to the Silverado HD 2500 or 3500 pickup trucks.

What’s New for 2012

For 2012, Chevrolet gives the Silverado full-size pickup a refreshed front end, available heated/cooling seats for the LTZ, and a new White Diamond Edition. Also new is an available navigation radio with built-in hard drive that eliminates the need for map data stored on DVDs.

Driving ItDriving Impressions

Thanks to its rigid frame, coil-over-shock front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering, and advanced construction techniques, the full-size 2012 Chevrolet Silverado pickup offers decidedly better ride and handling characteristics than Silverados past. A stiff chassis means a stronger platform for towing and the Silverado’s fully boxed frame delivers strength in spades. As for power, the Silverado pickup offers a few options. The 4.3-liter V6 is a good choice for those hauling only light loads in the bed and not towing. For bigger jobs, the 5.3-liter V8 is an excellent choice combining power and fuel economy in an affordable package. The big dog in the Silverado’s kennel is a 403-horsepower 6.2-liter aluminum block V8. Power delivery with each V8 engine is more than ample, and the electronically controlled 6-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission delivers it smoothly and without hesitation.

Favorite Features

Big Knobs
In a welcome bow to those who work hard to earn their keep – and who live in frigid climes – the 2012 Silverado pickup has knobs, switches and door handles that can be easily operated while wearing gloves.

Active Fuel Management
The Active Fuel Management system available in four different V8s cuts the operation of four cylinders when they are unneeded and enhances fuel economy.

Vehicle DetailsInterior

Like everything about the 2012 Silverado half-ton pickup, the interior choices are multifaceted. If you go with the WT (Work Truck), LS or LT trim, you get an interior and instrument panel that is pure Chevrolet truck: Simple and straightforward. Opt for the top-of-the-line LTZ trim, however, and your Silverado 1500 pickup becomes a bit more plush, with a highly refined instrument panel complete with wood inlays, soft-touch surfaces and additional ambient lighting. To make the cab feel more spacious, Chevy engineers mount the instrument panel low and far forward and, on Silverado Crew Cab pickups, the rear-seat area is made almost as welcoming as on some full-size SUVs. Up front, the big 40/20/40 split-bench seat features a lockable storage bin with a built-in 12-volt outlet. The bin is large enough to accommodate a laptop computer. Incorporating stadium-style seats allows the rear-seat passengers a better view forward, and when only partially occupied, the seats feature a 60/40-split design allowing them to be laid flat.

Exterior

For those who find some full-size trucks to be overstyled and almost cartoonish, the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado half-ton pickup is a welcome dose of classic American styling. With clean lines, muscular fender flares and enough chrome to be cool without going overboard, the Chevy Silverado pickup is as comfortable arriving at the work site as it is departing for a night on the town. Chevy was able to create such tight gaps between the Silverado’s body panels, thanks to the big pickup’s fully boxed frame that makes the Silverado extremely rigid and immune to excessive body flex. The truck team at Chevy also went to great lengths to integrate the pickup box while simultaneously increasing its height. In a nod to better passenger comfort, the Extended Cab Silverado pickup features large rear-access doors capable of opening a full 170 degrees, with windows that fully lower into the doors.

Notable Standard Equipment

The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado WT pickup includes a 4-speed automatic transmission, tire-pressure-monitoring system, anti-lock brakes (ABS), air conditioning and two auxiliary power outlets. The 1LT adds cruise control, compass and temperature-display rearview mirror, power windows, door locks and mirrors, remote keyless entry and CD/MP3 player audio system. The LTZ adds 10-way power heated front bucket seats, leather seating, power-folding power-adjustable heated mirrors, Bose audio with MP3-compatible 6-disc CD changer and auxiliary input jack, and a remote-start system. The StabiliTrak electronic stability-control system is standard on all 2012 Chevy Silverado 1500 models.

Notable Optional Equipment

Depending on trim, the Silverado can also be optioned in several ways. It offers five suspension systems, each tailored to suit specific driving requirements. They include Z83 for a solid, smooth ride, Z85 for enhanced handling and trailer towing, Z71 for enhanced off-road capability, Z60 for street performance with 20-inch wheels and NHT for maximum towing capacity. A choice of 2- and 4-wheel-drive models, various cabs and bed lengths and a variety of axle ratios are also offered.

Under the Hood

While we expect the 4.3-liter V6 and 4.8-liter V8 to be more than adequate in work-truck applications, we recommend the 5.3-liter V8 engines, some with cast-iron blocks and some with aluminum, but all with Active Fuel Management and variable valve timing. And for those who want more power (or towing capacity), the 6.2-liter V8 is tops in its class, offering significantly more power and torque (pulling force) with very little penalty in fuel economy.

4.3-liter V6
195 horsepower @ 4,600 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 2,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20 (2WD), 14/18 (4WD)

4.8-liter V8 Flex-Fuel
302 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
305 lb-ft of torque @ 4,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19 (2WD), 10/14 (2WD, E85), 13/18 (4WD), 10/13 (4WD, E85)

5.3-liter V8 Flex-Fuel
315 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
326 horsepower @ 5,300 rpm (E85)
335 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
348 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm (E85)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 (gasoline), 11/16 (2WD, E85), 15/22 (XFE), 11/13 (XFE, E85), 15/21 (4WD), 11/16 (4WD, E85)

6.2-liter V8 Flex-Fuel
403 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
417 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 (2WD), 9/13 (2WD, E85), 12/18 (4WD), 9/13 (4WD, E85)

Pricing Notes

The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado half-ton pickup has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $23,000 for a base 2-wheel-drive Regular Cab, a somewhat Spartan work truck. The LT Regular Cab with substantial equipment starts closer to $30,000, while the top-of-the-line, 4-wheel-drive LTZ Crew Cab with all the options can run as high as $50,000. Before heading to your local Chevy dealership, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. Taken in the context of the current market, the 2012 Silverado half-ton pickup offers good resale value within its segment, higher than the projected residual values for the Ram 1500, Nissan Titan and on par with the Ford F-150, but still below that of the Toyota Tundra.