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Thursday, May 9, 2013

2014 Chevrolet Silverado


With a more upright, chiseled look inside and out; a strong yet more fuel-efficient lineup of engines; quieter, more refined cabins; and a noteworthy set of safety and infotainment technology, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado sets a new, no-compromises direction for serious work or play. And it’s been a long time coming; GM is refreshing its lineup of full-size pickups for the first time since the 2007 model year.


At first glance, you’re not likely to find the exterior of these trucks particularly revolutionary, but so goes the (very gradual) evolution of the full-size pickup. The new heavy-duty look applied to these trucks carries with it some pros and cons, in our opinion, but from the front, it does erase any complaints that they were formerly the wallflowers in the corral; their wall-of-chrome grille designs and chopped-off snouts—arguably building on the look of the latest Silverado 2500 and 3500 HD models—combine with a heightened stance to keep the tall-and-imposing rivalry going. Inside, GM has resisted the urge to make the interior of its trucks either more complex, or even lower and more carlike. The new instrument panel is upright and simplified, with controls clustered either just to the left of the steering wheel or in a large, upright center-console cluster, and GM has aimed to make all the knobs, buttons, and interfaces easy to read and operate even with work gloves on.

GM has developed a new generation of co-called EcoTec3 V-6 and V-8 engines to power these all-new trucks. The base 4.3-liter V-6 makes 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft, and it's now torquey enough to power crew-cab models or trailer-tow, and we think it has enough power for all but those with the most serious towing and hauling needs. Nevertheless the 5.3-liter V-8 remains the mainstream pick, now up to 355 hp and 383 lb-ft, and the top 6.2-liter V-8 is the way to go for the most power, torque, and capability. All of them have direct injection, cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing—with aluminum blocks and heads—and a six-speed automatic transmission will be fitted to each. There’s even an active exhaust system to fine-tune back pressure and eliminate any pulsation due to the fuel-saving cylinder deactivation that's also standard. EPA ratings are still at large for the V-6, but V-8 models range up to 16 mpg city, 23 highway.

The outgoing generation of GM’s trucks has been lauded from the start for its well-tuned ride and responsive handling, and the new versions promise even more advancements—while also making big gains in quietness and refinement. Front springs are stiffer in the new models, while in back GM uses two-stage leaf springs but adds new spring damping, as well as twin-tube valving to front and rear shocks. All Silverado 1500 models get electric power steering that loads up confidently, and four-wheel disc brakes are standard across the model line, with a Duralife rotor design offering a longer service life.

Three different cargo-bed lengths are offered: 5’8”, 6’6”, and 8’. And for the first time, Crew Cab models will be available with the longest 6’6” cargo box. GM has put a lot of effort into the pickup box design, adding a CornerStep bumper plus hand-grip pockets, both of which make climbing up to access cargo easier. A couple of particularly trick features are that the tailgate is now rotary damped, and LED lamps are tucked under the bed rails.

Vinyl, cloth, and leather seats are all on offer, but in each case they've been upgraded, with higher-class cabin trims used throughout. Ride quality is much quieter, thanks to more sound-isolating materials in the floor and near the firewall. Crew Cab models’ rear doors are larger, for easier entry and exit, and the B-pillar has been moved forward, which helps get feet in more easily. Meanwhile, the rear doors on extended-cab versions now hinge from the front—offering entry and exit ease that’s close to that offered in former Crew Cab models. The front seatbacks are thinner, which adds about two inches of rear legroom and also eases entry and exit.

Safety-wise, the Silverado should provide much better occupant protection than the outgoing model, as the cab structure is all-new, with about two-thirds of it built from high-strength steels. Standard equipment includes StabiliTrak with Trailer Sway Control, plus Hill Start Assist, as well as head-curtain side airbags with rollover protection. An available Lane Departure Warning system keeps the driver alert of lane drifts via a chime or optional Safety Alert Seat—much like what’s offered now on the Cadillac XTS and ATS sedans. Bigger spotter mirrors help with visibility in blind spots, while other safety features on offer include a camera-based Forward Collision Alert system. front and rear park assist, and a rear tailgate camera.

The Chevrolet MyLink system is available on the Silverado, offering connectivity for up to ten devices, natural-language voice recognition, and an eight-inch touch screen. The system allows up to 60 favorites for contacts, destinations, radio stations, or other media. All models now include multiple USB ports plus both 12-volt and 110-volt power outlets, and most models include a 4.2-inch color Driver Information Center.
Strong, efficient base V-6Much-improved refinementNicely weighted steeringNew heavy-duty lookEffective MyLink connectivity

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