In the world of full-size pickups, there’s no such thing as a bad truck.
From a consumer standpoint, the new products on the market are all outstanding in terms of capability, durability, comfort, technology, safety and yes, even fuel economy.
While manufacturers promote unique features in an effort to gain an edge over their competitors, buying a truck today in large part comes down to brand loyalty.
And the Chevrolet Silverado certainly has brand loyalty by the truckload.
This week I had the chance to test drive the 2009 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab, equipped with four-wheel drive.
When my delivery guy pulled up in the parking lot and handed me the keys, I told him my first apartment was smaller than the cab.
He thought that was funny.
I was serious.
I couldn’t believe how much room there is inside this truck. Not only is there ample room for six people, you can still fit a buggy of groceries inside.
Like most of its competitors, the Silverado 1500 is available in a number of configurations (regular cab, extended cab and crew cab) with three bed lengths, rear- or four-wheel drive, four trim levels and a long, long list of engine options.
For the ‘09 model year, Chevy is even offering a Silverado Hybrid model that delivers a 25-percent improvement in overall fuel economy while still providing 6,100 pounds of towing capability.
Whatever your needs, rest assured there is a Silverado that will both meet and exceed them.
For the 2009 model, a six-speed automatic transmission is now available on a number of the models. I absolutely love this transmission and if I were buying a truck, I would insist on the six-speed. It not only enhances fuel economy, it is incredibly smooth shifting.
Adding to the new for ‘09 list is a more powerful E85-capable 6.2-liter V-8 engine for crew cab models, new 18- and 20-inch chrome-clad wheels, OnStar with Turn-by-Turn navigation and Destination Download feature, Bluetooth phone connectivity, XM Satellite Radio with the new NavTraffic feature and a rearview camera system for extended and crew cab models.
Silverado buyers also have the option of two interior designs.
The WT, LS and LT trim levels feature the pure pickup interior. It’s nice with ergonomically designed controls that are easy to find and use — but not too flashy.
On the other hand, the LTZ trim level features the same luxury-inspired interior currently available on Chevrolet’s full-size sport utility vehicles. In addition to upscale trim throughout the cabin, LTZ models include a larger center console offering 20.1 liters of undivided storage, heated 10-way power seats, Bose audio system, rain-sensing automatic wipers, rear-seat audio system and a larger glove box.
On crew cab models, I especially like the stadium-style 60/40-split rear seat with the folding center armrest. Either side (or both) can be folded flat for easy load secure cargo space. Again, any consumer would be impressed with the rear seat comfort — which is something you would expect to find in a pickup.
For those in the market for a full-size pickup, the 2009 Silverado is definitely worthy of a test drive.
Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.
and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. Comments may be sent to Neal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE NUTS AND BOLTS
2009 Chevrolet Silverado
2-6 seat full-size pickup
Rear- or four-wheel drive
WT, LS, LT and LTZ
4.3-L V6 (195 hp/260 T)
(regular unleaded gasoline, 15/20 mpg 2WD, 14/18 4WD)
4.8-L V8 (295 hp/305 T)
(regular unleaded gasoline, 14/19 mpg 2WD, 14/18 4WD)
5.3-L FF V8 (320 hp/340 T)
(E85 and/or regular unleaded gasoline, 14/20 mpg 2WD, 14/19 4WD)
5.3-L V8 (315 hp/338 T)
(Regular unleaded gasoline, 14/20 mpg 2WD, 14/19 4WD)
SUSPENSION: Independent coil-over shock, monotube shocks (front); solid axle with semi-elliptic, variable-rate, two-stage multileaf springs, splayed shocks (monotube shocks available) (rear).
FUEL TANK: 26 or 34 gallons
TIRES: 17-, 18-, 20-, or 22-inch
COMPETITION: Ford F-Series, Dodge Ram, Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan.