Trucks are a big deal in the U.S. Last year alone, 15 percent of the more than 17 million vehicles sold were some sort of truck. Case in point is the Chevrolet Silverado. So far in 2017, Chevrolet has sold 212,425 Silverado trucks. So what is it about the Silverado that makes it one of Chevrolet popular models?
A key reason might be the large number of configurations on offer. The Silverado offers five bed and cab configurations, eight trims, three engines, and two drivetrain choices. That’s before you start looking at the long list of options. Our test truck is a prime example of what you might find a dealer - an LTZ crew cab with the short bed (5-foot).
We’re not kidding on the long options list. Our truck features over $11,000 in options including a 6.2L V8 engine, 20-inch chrome wheels, power-assist steps, heated and ventilated seats; Bose sound system, navigation, max trailering package, and chrome mirrors.
GM updated the exteriors of their half-ton trucks last year with revised front ends. I’m not so keen on the new front end as it doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the truck’s design. At least the chrome grille seen here looks slightly better than the one you get if you order the Z71 package which has a body-colored center and different inner. Otherwise, the Silverado looks much the same as the one we drove back in 2014 with a boxy, muscular shape.
The LTZ is the middle ground in the Silverado lineup between blue-collar LT and luxurious High Country trims, and that puts it in a tough spot. You can see this in the interior as GM tries to straddle the middle and ultimately fails. The faux leather upholstery isn’t nice to sit on due to a waxy feel. The trim pieces may look nice at first glance, but look closer and you can easily tell they are plastic. I would be willing to give this a pass, but not when said truck is a hair over $60,000.
General Motors does earn some points back when it comes to their half-ton’s interior layout. With large buttons and knobs placed in logical places, GM knows keep keeping it simple earns big points from truck buyers. The same is true for Chevrolet’s Intellilink infotainment system with an easy to navigate menu system, legible graphics, and redundant controls for common controls.
As mentioned, our Silverado came with the big 6.2L V8 with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. It comes hooked up to an eight-speed automatic and four-wheel drive. Two-wheel drive comes standard.
The 6.2L V8 engine is the biggest ace up the Silverado’s sleeve. Not only does it provide some impressive towing numbers - 11,700 with the max trailering package, but it also moves this truck like it was something smaller. 0-60 mph is said to take around six seconds which is quite impressive. Plus, it makes the right noises when you step on the accelerator.
Fuel economy for the 6.2L V8 is the same as the 5.3L V8 when equipped similarly (eight-speed automatic and 4WD) - 15 City/20 Highway/17 Combined. We saw an average of 16.2 mpg for our short test period in mostly city driving.
The only downside to the 6.2L V8? You can only get it on the LTZ and High Country trims. It would be nice if Chevrolet made it optional on lower LT trim.
We’ve considered General Motors’ half-tons to run a close second to the Ram 1500 in terms of ride quality. Despite sticking with leaf-springs in the rear, GM somehow tuned the suspension to provide a compliant ride over any surface. It needs to be noted that the Max Trailering package does ride somewhat firmer due to a new suspension package which brings heavy-duty springs and revised shock tuning.
We now need to talk about price. As we mentioned, the as-tested price of our Silverado 1500 LTZ tester came in at $60,020 mostly due to the large amount of options equipped. If I were buying an LTZ, I would skip the power assist steps, 20-inch chrome wheels, Siren Red paint, and max trailering package. to help bring the price to around $55,500 or so. It is still an expensive proposition, but it becomes slightly easier to swallow.
Disclaimer: Chevrolet Provided the Silverado, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
Model: Silverado 1500
Trim: LTZ Crew Cab
Engine: 6.2L VVT DI with Active Fuel Management V8
Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic
Horsepower @ RPM: 420 @ 5600
Torque @ RPM: 460 @ 4100
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 15/20/17
Curb Weight: 5,299 lbs*
Location of Manufacture: Silao, GJ, Mexico
Base Price: $47,175
As Tested Price: $60,020 (Includes $1,195.00 Destination Charge)
*Curb weight of a base Silverado 4WD crew cab.
6.2L V8 w/Eight-Speed Automatic - $2,695.00
Power and Articulating Assist Steps - $1,695.00
20-Inch Chrome Wheels - $1,495.00
Enhanced Driver Package - $945.00
Max Trailering Package - $925.00
LTZ Plus Package - $770.00
Heated & Ventilated Front Seats - $650.00
Leather Appointed Buckets with Center Console - $510.00
8-inch MyLink with Navigation - $495.00
Siren Red Tintcoat- $495.00
Spray-On Bedliner - $495.00
Chrome Trailering Mirrors with Power Folding - $295.00
Cargo Box with LED Lighting - $125.00
Moveable Upper Tie Dows - $60.00