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Truck Titans

Chevy’s Silverado for 2014 delivers power and solid good looks.

In the battle of the better pickup truck, Chevrolet has raised the bar with the new Silverado 1500 for 2014. This truck has it all: rugged good looks; new engines with more horsepower; revised steering, suspension and brakes; and more robust towing capability.

Silverado

The Silverado 1500 LTZ can tow up to 12,000 pounds and does it with solid good looks. Luxury options add to interior comfort. ©Chevrolet photo

We tested the Silverado LTZ Z71. This four-wheel drive crew cab model had $5,430 worth of added options that boosted safety. Forward collision alerts vibrate the driver’s seat when vehicles become too close for comfort. A standard rearview camera shows what’s behind you on the eight-inch dashboard screen. Two-thirds of the body is made from high-strength steel.

Safety is important to be sure, but most truck buyers want a vehicle that will work, and this full-size pickup has some serious towing chops. It can pull between five and six tons.

The Silverado offers three engine types (ours was the EcoTech 3 middle size 5.3-liter V-8) and various cab and cargo bed sizes. Everyone can find a combination/configuration to fit his or her tastes. These newly efficient engines continue to reduce fuel consumption while producing more horsepower and torque than previous models. More power is generated when E85 fuel is used, although its faster burn reduces mileage.

The upgraded front and rear suspensions provide a smooth highway ride and our Z71 used Rancho® monotube shocks for off-road balance and control. Steering and handling were responsive, and auto grade braking helped to slow downhill speed.

Exterior good looks include square fender flares, new headlights, and monochromatic sculpted sides.

Luxury options included audio upgrades, power sunroof, navigation, heated/cooled leather front seats. Interior controls are easy to reach, gauges readable, and technology gets its due with MyLink for customized features and numerous mobile device plug-ins.

Likes: Power, inside looks/space, comfort, quiet
Dislikes: More options needed
Bottom Line: Improvements make it more competitive in truck market.

Tom Crosby is a contributor based in Charlotte, N.C.

Jan/Feb 2014 Issue


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