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    Deep Dive: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    December 13, 2012

    It has been close to seven years since General Motors introduced a new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra truck. It that time, GM has been to hell and back with bankruptcy, The bankruptcy brought with it delays to key products, most notably the trucks and SUVs. The competition during that time has moved the full-size truck yardstick by a mile with Ford's engine lineup in the F-Series and Ram introducing a wealth of fuel economy tricks and clever storage places.

    GM has dropped the curtain on the new Silverado and Sierra today at an event in Detroit, bringing some much needed updates and changes to the trucks. Is it enough?

    GM decided to go the safe and conservative route with the exterior design of the new trucks. Both models feature a number of enhancements to reduce drag and wind noise, flared-out front and rear fenders, front-hinged rear doors on the extended-cab models, and the choice of either a five-foot, eight-inch bed or a six-foot, six-inch bed.

    The front ends of the two models are very much differentiated from the previous models. The Silverado's front end features a similar grille treatment as the current HD model and vertical headlights. Projector headlights are standard on the Silverado LTZ. The Sierra's front end takes some cues from the All-Terrain Concept with a large, square grille surround and unique set of headlights that on higher-end models feature LEDs.

    Stepping inside, GM has made some drastic changes. Gone is the two dash layout from the current models and in its place is a very worktruck dash with a touchscreen infotainment featuring GM's MyLink/Intellilink. The dash features soft-touch or leather materials and real aluminum trim throughout. Its a nice place sit when compared to the current models, though I do wonder if the new Denali and 'High Country' (Silverado Luxury model) will have a different dash layout.

    The engine lineup will include a choice of either a 4.3L V6, 5.3L V8, and 6.2L V8 wearing the EcoTec moniker. All three engines will feature direct-injection, variable cam timing, and cylinder deactivation. GM didn't reveal any performance and fuel economy figures. The sole transmission will be a six-speed automatic. We're hearing an eight-speed will coming sometime later.

    Underneath the skin, the suspension is made up of coil springs and struts in front with leaf springs in the rear. Steering comes in the form an electric power system. Other changes include new Duralife brakes which promise longer life and Auto Grade Braking which uses the engine and transmission to slow down the truck on a grade.

    The new Silverado and Sierra brings GM to the point where the current F-Series and Ram pickups are. But there isn't that one killer feature that puts it ahead of the competition. Maybe they're hiding that feature that will revealed at a later time.

    2014 Chevrolet Silverado Gallery

    2014 GMC Sierra Gallery

    2014 Chevrolet Silverado Video

    2014 GMC Sierra Video

    2014 GMC Sierra and 2014 Chevrolet Silverado Release Video

    Authors Note: Cheers & Gears wants to thank General Motors for inviting us to check out the new Silverado and Sierra.

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    i saw this "The engine lineup will include a choice of either a 4.3L V6, 5.3L V8, and 6.2L V6 all wearing the EcoTec moniker. All of the engines will come with direct-injection, variable cam timing, and cylinder deactivation." and i said, to noone,... "uhhh, what?" lol

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    i saw this "The engine lineup will include a choice of either a 4.3L V6, 5.3L V8, and 6.2L V6 all wearing the EcoTec moniker. All of the engines will come with direct-injection, variable cam timing, and cylinder deactivation." and i said, to noone,... "uhhh, what?" lol

    Ooops... I fixed it.

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    I am kind of disappointed with the comments that the new trucks didn't go far enough. Significanttly updated frame, all new sheetmetal, all new engines, all new interior. The six speed is the only significant carryover item and that will be remedied in due time. I'd consider it all new - especially in light of how Honda defines all-new these days. Design wise, what were you expecting? There's nothing remotely similar between the GMT900s and these - save for maybe the greenhouse Dim the lights on both, and the silhouettes might be similar, but to me they're not even close. Gone are the slab sides of the 900s, replaced by much more chiseled body lines and crisper detailing. There's a ton of GM truck heritage present if you look hard enough.

    Fun fact: Ford's been running the same bodystyle since 2004 - save for the more obnoxious grille added in '09. Furthermore, the Super Duties bodystyle dates back to 1999. It's not hurting sales one bit. Stylewise, GM went further with these trucks than Ford did with the F-series and Dodge did with the Ram (02-07 vs 08-up). It's not the sheetmetal that sells; it's the capabilities that matter and GM seldom screws up in that regard.

    I'm quite curious about the 4.3 V6. Obviously everyone shuddered when they saw that displacement, but it's seeing its first major update since 1995. I'd be very surprised it it had less than 300hp after inheriting all the enhancements from the new V8s. I expect at least one engine to best the 18/24 fuel economy rating on my Colorado.

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    Well Z, I'd say that the criticism largely rests on the styling. As you correctly point out, capability is far more important (with trucks especially). However, these new trucks aren't much of a departure from the 900s visually - and the 900s weren't exactly beauty queens. Also, the front hinged rear doors on extended cabs are a backward step in functionality. Then add in the oddball styling of the dash, and you get an overall impression of "meh" - no matter how good the dirty bits might be.

    I'm a longtime GM truck guy, and I find myself disappointed so far.

    Edited by Camino LS6
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    Z no one is complaining about engine and structural rigidity, capability. What matters is 1. Style and 2. Innovative features. GM has not gone far enough in both of them.

    I love the GMT900s. But given GM had almost 3 years post-bankruptcy sans lipstick updates like Ford does on the F150, GM should have performed some solid efforts. The truck lacks those.

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    Guest Hyperv6

    Posted

    The new improvement deserve a more date wrapper, GM had enough time and money to move the bar higher.

    As it is now there is no where near the visiual ex comment this truck should be generating.

    The mechanical are important but advancing styling has always sealed the deal with truck.

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    On first impressions of the pictures, I like it...definitely evolutionary from the current model, with some echoes of past models...I like the base grille, reminds of some '80s grilles.

    The greenhouse on the extended cab reminds me a lot of the previous generation Ram.

    Not sure about the interior yet...those pods around the vents on the sides seem overwrought. I think I like the current dash designs more...

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    Also, the front hinged rear doors on extended cabs are a backward step in functionality

    This is the one thing I'm POd about. Structural rigidity be damned, loading large things or people into the back of an extended cab is about to become more of a PITA. In fact, now that the entire industry has moved in this direction, in 5-10 years I could see the gradual phasing out of hte extended cab altogether, and that's kind of sad.

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    I'm slightly underwhelmed, too. Maybe that's due to the fact I pretty much knew exactly what these trucks were going to look like before they rolled out.

    But maybe it's due to the fact that, in all honesty, it looks like GM applied Chevrolet and GMC styling cues to a current-generation Ram pickup truck. The forward facing doors on the extended cab models, the way the center stack appears that it has been tucked underneath the upper dashboard, the door frames that GM bragged on this morning during the live reveal ... the Ram was already there in 2009. Don't get me wrong, it's good to benchmark your competition, but this? This is just copying your benchmark and not going leaps above it. This is one major reason why GM wound up in hot water not too long ago.

    You can call me pessimistic, but I think these trucks are going to be a sore disappointment for GM in the future, like the Malibu is now. If GM is looking for a truck to topple the F-150, this certainly isn't it.

    Edited by black-knight
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    I really am disappointed design wise with these two. I think the evolution seems minimal on first look, the headlights on the Sierra seem overdone (my own personal issue with everyone flocking to LED accents) and there's too much chrome surrounding everything on the Chevy grille. Also, from initial pictures, I'd say adding mylink to the current "uplevel" interior would have been a better design than what's in there now...

    On that note, I think the GMC is still quite handsome overall...

    As far as the mechanical bits go, I'm looking forward to the rest of the details...hope they really hit the nail on the head in that department.

    Edited by PONTIAC06
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    Here's something else I'm curious about: the base model trucks. I haven't heard anything about the grilles being chrome on the lesser model Silverados and Sierras. Imagine these trucks with just grey plastic plastered up front instead ... ugghhhhhh.

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    Here's something else I'm curious about: the base model trucks. I haven't heard anything about the grilles being chrome on the lesser model Silverados and Sierras. Imagine these trucks with just grey plastic plastered up front instead ... ugghhhhhh.

    Yeah...I can see now that my local Chevy store will have a line of white ones w/ black and gray front trim...

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    I am pleased with the bold, yet conservative, professional look of both trucks. There is a distinct lack of bull$h!. You get real, honest functionality here. GM has, in the past, put form over function in some of their truck designs, this is nicely more balanced in the direction of function. While still retaining GM's unique ownership of offering the most customizable, cleanest body in the business.

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    Another thing: GM really turned me off this morning when they mentioned how the interior won praise in "design clinics." Be still my crawling skin.

    Are the new full size SUVs coming for '14 also? Will be interesting to see how they look..wonder if they have their own faces like the current generation...

    I'd say it's pretty likely.

    Here's something else I'm curious about: the base model trucks. I haven't heard anything about the grilles being chrome on the lesser model Silverados and Sierras. Imagine these trucks with just grey plastic plastered up front instead ... ugghhhhhh.

    Yeah...I can see now that my local Chevy store will have a line of white ones w/ black and gray front trim...

    Remember the backlash agaisnt the plasticky schnoz on the GMT-900 work trucks a few years ago? Yeah.

    Edited by black-knight
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    Also, the front hinged rear doors on extended cabs are a backward step in functionality

    This is the one thing I'm POd about. Structural rigidity be damned, loading large things or people into the back of an extended cab is about to become more of a PITA. In fact, now that the entire industry has moved in this direction, in 5-10 years I could see the gradual phasing out of hte extended cab altogether, and that's kind of sad.

    It's very sad. It means that my choices are down to one: a regular cab with 8' bed.

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    Most likely these were the top trims that were shown, so when you see the base model it will look pretty cheap. You know that gray plastic will be all over the front end.

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    So, I've been trying to wrap my head around this all night. The best way I can describe how I feel goes as follows. I feel like this is akin to the latest Camry redesign. Toyota says its improved in every way, though they really only make minor improvements here and there. Toyota tries to go with a design that seems more modern and edgy, yet it seems to be trying too hard while still mostly looking the same. A new entertainment system could, perhaps, be its further foot forward. At the same time, some would say to not fix what isn't broken. While not broken, I think its safe to say the competition is advancing at a higher rate. This, to me, is the new Silverado.

    Granted, there are probably many people out there who probably prefer Chevy to keep their beloved Silverado free of all the new-fangled sissy-boy advancements that Ford and Chrysler are trying. It is, after all, a vehicle that is designed to be used for hauling/towing/etc. Though, how many people simply use it to parade around in as their show of how masculine they are (or desire to be)? It doesn't seem the F-series has slowed down any since adding the Ecoboost engine, either.

    This is somewhat based on assumptions, though. Until GM releases figures for its "new" power train line-up, who's to say they didn't make the right choice? I guess we'll find out eventually.

    One last thing, I noticed they have abandoned the level of body differentiation that the current models have between them. I was hoping we would see more unique identities between the Silverado and Sierra. Maybe I was being unreasonable...

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    One last thing, I noticed they have abandoned the level of body differentiation that the current models have between them. I was hoping we would see more unique identities between the Silverado and Sierra. Maybe I was being unreasonable...

    Nope...I noticed this too...the last gens had different flares, tail lights, etc. These appear to have gone to basically just fascia differences...sad...

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    i saw this "The engine lineup will include a choice of either a 4.3L V6, 5.3L V8, and 6.2L V6 all wearing the EcoTec moniker. All of the engines will come with direct-injection, variable cam timing, and cylinder deactivation." and i said, to noone,... "uhhh, what?" lol

    WOW a 6.2L v6, that is one freakin big V6. :P

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