The Extra Mile: 2014 Chevy Silverado AWD
Entry price: $25,575
Price as tested: $52,475
This week, we're behind the wheel of Chevy's all-new 2014 Silverado, finished in High Country crew cab dress and featuring a 6.2-liter, 420 horsepower V8 under the hood. Surprisingly, our four-door crew cab delivers 20-mph highway thanks to Chevy's cylinder deactivation and fuel management systems, which allow this "Beauty and the Beat" dynamo to run on the highways in less than 8-cylinder mode.
Chevy's done a great job in its re-design, albeit still adhering to legendary Chevy Truck exterior looks while doubling up on the new interior. Chevy designers call it a "new from hood to trailer hitch" design. Our tester, meanwhile, arrived in top tier "High County" dress, which is similar to GMC Denali.
The High Country package features a chrome grille with chrome bars, body colored bumpers, chrome side trim, useful corner step rear bumper and unique 20-inch chrome wheels. Also standard is an exclusive "High Country" saddle brown interior with special logos and stitching. The heated /cooled seats also enhance the full-size crew cab's spacious interior. Overall, General Motors receives high grades for producing a beautiful, shiny new truck with and outstanding cabin.
Of course, not all Chevy Sivlerados cost $54,000. The entry 2WD short box with a 4.3 V6 starts at $25,575 and delivers 18 and 24 EPA numbers. It utilizes an eco-friendly a six-speed automatic transmission and churns out 285 horsepower. The 4x4 model starts at $30,610.
With a towing capacity of 9,500 lbs., our High Country was a pleasure to drive during our weeklong test. With 420 horses available at the tap of the right foot, it was clear from the moment we hit the highway that not only did Chevy's new pickup deliver a comfortable ride, it also has lots of acceleration ability thanks to the performance bred "LS" engine under the hood.
Other notable standard features on the amenity laden High Country include EZ lift and lower tailgate, projector headlamps, bed rail protectors, recovery bumper hooks, four tie downs, trailer equipment package, daytime running lamps and leather appointed power bucket seats. Additionally, you won't pay more for a 60/40 folding rear seat, remote start, all the powers including sliding rear window, dual zone air, tilt and telescopic, rear vision safety camera, park assist, Bose stereo system, eight-inch touch display, USB and Bluetooth.
Safety and security are top notch. Years ago, truck manufacturers were allowed to build their trucks with less government restrictions when it came to safety. Fast forward to 2014 where trucks nowadays are just as popular as carsâ¦and the manufacturers respond with top flight safety equipment. In addition to the inherent safety from a curb weight of over 2.5-tons, Silverado earned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration top rating of Five Stars in frontal and side crash perfection for all passengers and driver. Included are all the air bags, Stabilitrak-stability control and four wheel ABS disc brakes with Duralife rotors to name a few. Underneath, the new Chevy has recalibrated its steering system with electric assist and all 2WD and AWD suspension components are lighter weight and stronger to offer sturdy yet comfortable results.
The 6.2-liter V8 is a $1,995 option on High Country, replacing the standard 5.3 V8. However, Test Drive highly recommends driving with the 5.3 first, as it delivers an impressive 355 horses and then boasts 16 city and 23 highway EPA average. These EPA numbers are tops for all full size pickups, and even beats some of the competitor's V6 offerings. (It's the engine I would choose if buying one.)
Important numbers include a wheelbase of 143.5 inches, 5,370 lb. curb weight, 14 city and 20 highway EPA, 8.9-inch ground clearance and a 26 gallon fuel tank.
In summary, most all pickups do double duty these days, so look for manufacturers to continue the evolution of roomy, good looking workhorses that can also provide comfort for a family of five. Be it towing a camper to taking the family to the mall, the new Silverado delivers surprisingly good fuel mileage.
Chevy's new Silverado is a great vehicle and holds fast to its legacy "like a rock" better than ever.
Likes: Beautiful design, great fuel mileage, roomy, driver friendly.
Dislikes: Expensive options, tough to parallel park, not much else.
(Greg Zyla is a syndicated auto columnist)