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3/4 Front Glamour 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Expert's Rating

5.0Excellent

MPG 17 City / 23 Highway
, Automotive Editor -
Chevy loyalists will love the new Silverado -- and it just might lure Ford and RAM owners into the bow tie fold.

Introduction

Full-size trucks don't change with the wind, so when an all-new example hits the streets, it's a pretty big deal. Under pressure from newer competition from Ford and Ram, the Chevrolet Silverado was due for a tires-up makeover, and gets it for 2014.

For decades, automakers concentrated on how to make their trucks haul and tow more than the other guy's. How much gas it took to accomplish those ends was not a chief concern, as evidenced by the EPA ratings on the outgoing model. Not only is efficiency now getting more attention, it's the chief accomplishment of the new Silverado.

All engines benefit from new fuel-saving technology: direct injection, variable valve time and cylinder deactivation. The base 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V6 produces 285 horsepower, up from 195 last year. The massive boost means the V6 will have greater relevance in the lineup, appealing to customers who want a certain level of capability, but don't quite need a V8. In fact, it's available in all models except the line-topping LTZ. That's a departure from the past, when only the most basic examples carried a V6.

The 5.3-liter V8, also dubbed EcoTec3, is standard on the LTZ and available everywhere else. Horsepower comes in at 355, and mileage reaches 23 mpg on the highway, the best of any V8 pickup -- and even better than some V6s. A 6.2-liter version is expected to join the roster later in the year. All engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the four-speed unit previously used on some models. In keeping with the "efficiency" theme, the redesigned body makes greater use of aluminum and high-strength steel to keep weight down.

Speaking of the outside, the Silverado doesn't look radically different than its predecessors. There are a few new touches, like full-width bumpers and sculpted fenders, but nothing that violates Chevy tradition. The interior, however, takes a dramatic leap forward with an octagonal center stack with an 8-inch touchscreen, sleek new door panels, and plusher seating. Underneath all that, there's a revised steering system with electric assist, and suspension refinements aimed at providing a smoother ride and more responsive handling.

Given all these advancements, folks who already love Chevy trucks will think the new Silverado fell from heaven. Those not married to a particular brand will be impressed by its efficiency and new sophistication, enough for some of them to join the club.

Which Style To Buy?

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Starting price
$32,209
Shopper Popularity
11%

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Work Truck 1WT

Recommended for: Buyers looking for a modern-day workhorse.
The WT (Work Truck) version of the Silverado has come a long way in terms of comfort and convenience. All WT models now carry air conditioning, power windows and locks, cruise control, a tire-pressure monitor, and a six-speaker AM/FM audio system with two USB ports, memory card reader and color display. The standard power team is the new EcoTec3 V6 and six-speed automatic transmission -- the 5.3-liter V8 optional.
Because it's still intended for blue-collar duty, the WT features vinyl seating and a rubberized floor covering. Outside, the bumpers, grille and door handles are matte black instead of the chrome found on other models.
2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Starting price
$34,202
Shopper Popularity
4%

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Work Truck 2WT

Recommended for: Buyers who want a work truck that also plays well.

The 2WT is a workhorse that's also fit for weekend duty. Outside, chromed bumpers and grille surround provide a civilized touch, and the sideview mirrors (still black) feature power and heat. The 2WT also adds keyless entry, OnStar, Chevrolet MyLink with a 4.2-inch color display, and a sound system with CD, MP3, Bluetooth, HD radio and SiriusXM satellite radio.

Given this level of equipment, 2WT Silverado also serves as an economical alternative for buyers who need a truck for personal use or who simply want the durability of vinyl seats and a rubber-matted floor.

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