Many innovative improvements were made to this truck to keep up with the consumer demands…
The folks over a GM felt it was time to raise the bar and with this latest incarnation of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado.
And indeed it took a major step forward by anybody’s estimation. Competition is fierce in the half-ton pickup market and with heavy concentration on fuel consumption, it’s tough to find a balance between fuel economy and a strong capable truck.
But the Silverado designers achieved that balance and were recognized very publicly for that achievement. The awards presentation at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit saw GM haul away top honours for the Corvette Stingray and Silverado pickup, which were named North American Car and Truck of the year.
You can’t just beef up a suspension and still expect a smooth ride, but Chev did…
The Silverado utilizes finely-tuned shock absorbers that respond to small vibrations and tackle the big bounces with ease. I admit I had my doubts. Driving the Silverado over a pothole-laden road did change the dynamics of this truck on how it handled but the shocks adjusted themselves perfectly.
The frame mounts at the back of the cab are hydraulic and this helps to control any vibration. The rear axle size has been increased to handle the larger torque output from the engine. Speaking of engines the Silverado offers three engine choices. The first is a 4.3L V6 with a 285 horsepower and 305 foot pounds of torque. An all-aluminum 5.3L V8 with 355 horsepower and a 6.2L EcoTec V8 that produces 420 horsepower and 450 foot pounds of torque. This engine also has active noise cancellation, very similar to good quality headphones!
The transmission is a six-speed electronically controlled automatic with two overdrive gears. It has an estimated combined fuel economy of 13/8.7 L/100 km. Although my real world numbers were not that close, the transmission undoubtedly helped push a tank of gas a little farther than I expected. Properly equipped, this Silverado can tow up to 5216 kg (11,500 lb) which is impressive for a ½ ton pickup.
The redesigned interior offers more leg room and is easily accessed through the larger doors. Stain resistant cloth seats or optional leather seats are very comfortable. The glove box is a two-piece design and the centre console has plenty of room for files and junk to go missing for years!
The steering wheel controls and other knobs on the dash are within reachable distance from the driver and larger enough that they can be used while wearing work gloves.
My tester was equipped with Mylink system that basically controls everything. The voice recognition is easy to use and can respond to normal speech patterns. Bluetooth capabilities allow easy pairing of any smart phone with very little effort and accessing your music is a breeze.
The rear bumper has steps built into it on both corners of the truck, making the job of climbing in the back an easy task. The tailgate features EZ-lift hardware that makes lowering the tailgate a one handed job. An available LED lights mounted under the box rails lights up the cargo area and makes every nook and cranny visible. Many innovative improvements were made to this truck to keep up with the consumer demands and the result will help spur Canadian sales.