Completely redesigned for the 2014 model year, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup is stronger, smarter and more capable than ever.
The interior is absolutely phenomenal, specifically tailored to the needs of a truck owner and loaded with technology.
Featuring MyLink with a 4.2- or 8-inch color touch screen on the center console for easy access to radio and navigation functions, the system includes Bluetooth for phone streaming, two USB ports, SD card slot and voice recognition.
Under the hood, Silverado buyers have their choice of three all-new EcoTec3 engines — a 4.3-liter V-6 (285 horsepower/305 lbs.-ft. torque); a 5.3-liter V-8 (355 horsepower/383 lbs.-ft. torque); and this year Chevy will roll out a 6.2-liter V-8 powerplant 420 horsepower/450 lbs.-ft. torque).
The engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and require regular unleaded gasoline or E85.
All three engines feature direct fuel injection, GM’s Active Fuel Management system (that allow operation on fewer cylinders when power is not needed to save fuel) and continuously variable valve timing.
While power has been increased to provide more torque for hauling and towing, fuel economy has been increased.
The 5.3-liter V-8 has an EPA fuel economy rating of 23 mpg highway (for rear-wheel drive models). Trucks equipped with the V-6 engine can tow up to 7,200 pounds — the highest rating for any V-6 powered pickup in the industry. The 5.3-liter V-8, equipped with the max towing package, can tow up to 11,500 pounds.
The new Silverado is available in regular cab, crew cab and a new double cab body style, with buyers having the option of a 5-feet, 8-inch, a 6-feet, 6-inch or 8-feet bed length.
As always, buyers have the choice of rear- or four-wheel drive configurations.
When it comes to trim levels, the 2014 Silverado is available in seven levels. Two work trucks will be available (1WT and 2WT), while the Silverado LT and LTZ models provide additional features such as an 8-inch color touch radio and trailering package on the LT and the 5.3 V-8, leather seats and dual-zone climate control on the LTZ. Z71 models add off-road capabability and this fall Chevrolet will roll out the Silverado High Country trim level, giving Chevy its first entry into the premium pickup segment.
During my one-week test drive, I am extremely impressed with the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500.
From a styling point of view, Chevy designers were spot on in creating a sharp looking pickup that is stronger, more functional, more powerful, more fuel efficient and extremely comfortable.
And I almost forgot, all 2014 Silverado 1500 buyers receive a standard scheduled maintenance program for two years or 24,000 miles.
And even better news is that crew cab models have a base price starting at $32,710 — the same price as the 2013 models.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m very impressed with the new Silverado.
For those in the market for a light-duty, full-size pickup, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado is an absolute must for the test drive list.
Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.