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The number of new mid-size pickup trucks has dwindled in recent years, leaving many analysts to wonder what might have been.
The speculation will end soon, because a new pair of mid-size trucks is finally nearing showrooms–and in due course, they will offer a high fuel-efficiency diesel engine as an option.
The launch of the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and 2015 GMC Canyon pickups is just a few months away, and General Motors is expecting these small trucks to have a big impact on the market.
Speaking to WardsAuto, Chevy and GMC marketing managers were confident that the new mid-size trucks would win back customers who have switched to other vehicles as the segment has dwindled.
2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71
The previous-generation Colorado and Canyon departed showrooms in 2012, following the discontinuation of the Ford Ranger and Ram Dakota.
That’s left the aging Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma as the only major players.
With fewer choices available, many buyers switched to full-size pickups and crossovers, GM says, but the company believes these customers’ needs haven’t really changed, and can still be best served by a small truck.
GM hopes to lure those customers back with modern designs and more-efficient powertrains.
At launch, base Colorado and Canyon models will come standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, producing 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. An optional 3.6-liter V-6 will be good for 305 hp and 269 lb-ft.
2015 GMC Canyon
Buyers will be able to choose between rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. A six-speed manual transmission will be offered on business-focused Work Truck models with rear-wheel drive; the rest will get a six-speed automatic.
By late 2015, the Colorado at least will also get a diesel engine option. The 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder will make it the smallest diesel truck on the market.
The only diesel alternatives are the full-size 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and upcoming Nissan Titan, or even larger heavy-duty trucks. That should make the Chevy appealing to buyers who don’t need such a large vehicle to meet their needs.
Prototypes that catch fire aren’t exactly good for a company’s image. Honda found that out recently when an NSX mule got smoky on the Nurburgring. And now Ford is working to deduce why one of its experimental pickups went up in flames this past week.
The incident occurred during testing in California’s Death Valley – a logical but very inconvenient place to combust – on what appears to be the next-generation of Ford’s Super Duty pickup. A statement released by Ford on Monday confirmed that the automaker is looking into the issue.
RELATED: Check out photos of the upcoming 2015 Ford Super Duty Pickup
According to an eyewitness photographer who snapped these images, the fire started near the driver’s side wheel-well before engulfing the heavily camouflaged truck body in around three minutes. Both driver and passenger exited the vehicle safely. After burning for 21 minutes, the fire finally subsided – leaving only the frame, engine block, and “blobs of melted aluminum” according to Fox News.
Ford hasn’t confirmed that the next-gen Super Duty trucks will utilize aluminum body panels like the F-150, but this incident seems to indicate the lightweight bodies might make the jump. Let’s hope so.
Every pickup truck commercial has the brand trying to convince us that its model is the biggest, brawniest vehicle on the block. But Ford and Ram appear ready to really throw down the gauntlet and scrap over the towing figures for their heavy-duty models, and it could potentially end up in court.
The issue revolves around what it means to be best in class. Ford claims that its 2015 F-450 (pictured above) has a maxtow rating of 31,200 pounds, compared to 30,000 pounds for the Ram 3500 (right). However, both companies market these heavy haulers as having the top towing in their class. According to Automotive News, Ford is threatening legal action if Ram doesn’t back down.
The situation isn’t as simple as just comparing the numbers, though. First, the two companies calculate their towing capacities differently. Ram adheres to the SAE J2807 rating, while Ford uses its own internal system. Although, as the company introduces new models, they are certified using the SAE standard. “When an all-new F-Series Super Duty is introduced, it also will use SAE J2807,” said Ford to Autoblog in an emailed statement.
The second issue hinges on whether the F-450 and Ram 3500 are even in the same class at all. The “best-in-class” boast hinges on both trucks belonging to the Department of Transportation’s Class 3 rules, stipulating that above a gross vehicle weight rating of 14,000 pounds, a model moves into Class 4. Ford claims that the F-450 has a GVWR of exactly that amount. However, according to Automotive News, the company removes the spare tire, tire jack and center console to reach that number.
Ford is sticking to its guns, though. “The 2015 F-450 pickup is a Class 3 (10,001 lbs. – 14,000 lbs. GVWR) dual rear-wheel, chassis-certified pickup truck,” said the company in a statement emailed to Autoblog.
Although, Ram isn’t changing course either. “Our best-in-class claim of 30,000 pounds of towing capacity for the 2014 Ram 3500 stands firm in the 350/3500 segment. Additionally, unlike our competitors, our new 2015 Ram 3500 will hold the title and weight capacity while adhering to the SAE J2807 towing test criteria,” said Ram in a statement emailed to Autoblog.
The 2015 Ford F-150′s little 2.7 EcoBoost V6 will be able to tow 8,500 pounds with 325 horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque. Official curb weight a 2015 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, one of the larger models, is a slim 4,942 lbs. The current 3.7 base V6 is dropped for a 3.5, but the 3.5 EcoBoost and V8 from 2014 will remain.2015 Ford F-150: This Is It
The 2015 Ford F-150 has been revealed. The weight savings are massive, 2.7 liter EcoBoost engine is …Read more
While specifics on the smaller F-150s hasn’t been stated officiall, Ford’s Communications Manager Mike Levine tells us that a 2WD SuperCrew (full four-door) 2WD truck with the 2.7 EcoBoost engine is more like 4,500 pounds. That makes a single cab even leaner.
Just went we thought modern safety gear and consumer demand for huge cargo capacities would preclude the possibility of lightweight trucks coming back, it looks like Ford has made good on their promise to put their half-ton golden-goose on a diet while boosting capacities.
The aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford F-150 full-size pickup truck seems like a big gamble for the company.
The redesigned version of Ford’s best-selling model promises to be more fuel-efficient, but many analysts have asked about aluminum’s cost, durability, and ease of repair.
Yet a new study claims that buyers are, if nothing else, intrigued.
The study from research firm UBS found that buyers don’t care what material their trucks are made of if performance is comparable–but became more interested in aluminum the more they learned about it, according to The Detroit News.
2015 Ford F-150
Researchers found that 36 percent of buyers surveyed didn’t care what material their truck was made of, as long as it offered the same capability. About 19 percent preferred steel, 17 percent preferred a mix of steel and aluminum, 3 percent preferred aluminum, and 25 percent said they needed more information.
But the results changed significantly once participants received more information on the2015 F-150′s features.
Forty-three percent of participants said the use of aluminum makes it more likely to buy a truck, while 52 percent of pickup owners who intend to buy a new vehicle in the next six months said they’re extremely likely to consider the 2015 F-150.
Riding on a traditional steel frame, the F-150′s aluminum body is expected to cut up to 700 pounds, which should lead to significant fuel-economy gains. Final specifications and fuel-economy ratings haven’t been released, though.
Neither has pricing, although aluminum costs more than steel. UBS estimates this will add about $600 to the cost of each truck.
2015 Ford F-150
Nonetheless, the research firm believes the new F-150 will be quite profitable, claiming pickup buyers are willing to pay an average premium of $3,138 per truck.
That leaves plenty of room for the extra cost of aluminum, although whether buyers will be spooked by potentially higher repair costs remains to be seen. Once the new trucks leave showrooms, body shops will have to retrain and re-equip to work on them.
Buoyed by its success with electric-gasoline hybrid vehicles, Toyota is betting that drivers will embrace hydrogen fuel cells, an even cleaner technology that runs on the energy created by an electrochemical reaction when oxygen in the air combines with hydrogen stored as fuel.
Unlike internal combustion engines which power most vehicles on roads today, a pure hydrogen fuel cell emits no exhaust, only some heat and a trickle of pure water. Fuel cells also boast greater efficiency than the internal combustion process, which expends about two-thirds of the energy in gasoline as heat.
Toyota’s fuel cell car will go on sale before April next year. Despite advantages that are seemingly compelling, the technology has struggled to move beyond its prototypes after several decades of research and development by industry and backing from governments.
For the auto industry in particular, there have been significant hurdles to commercialization including the prohibitive expense of such vehicles. On top of that, fueling stations are almost nonexistent. Doubters also quibble about the green credentials of fuel cells because hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels.
But Satoshi Ogiso, the engineer leading the Toyota project, is confident there’s a market that will grow in significance over time.
Part of Ogiso’s optimism stems from his background. He worked for 20 years on Toyota’s Prius hybrid.
The Prius, which has an electric motor in addition to a regular gasoline engine, was met with extreme skepticism at the start. But it went on to win over the public as a stylish way to limit the environmental damage of motoring. Worldwide sales of Toyota’s hybrids have topped 6 million vehicles since their debut in 1997.
“The environment has become an ever more pressing problem than in 1997,” Ogiso said in an interview at the automaker’s Tokyo office.
“Hydrogen marks an even bigger step than a hybrid. It is our proposal for a totally new kind of car. If you want to experience this new world, if you want to go green, this is it.”
Toyota, which began working on fuel cells in 1992 but won’t disclose how much it has invested, is not the first automaker to produce such a vehicle. Forklifts powered by fuel cells are becoming more common in factories and fuel cell buses have been trialed in some cities. General Motors Co. has also been working on the technology and Honda Motor Co. already sells the FCX Clarity fuel cell sedan in limited numbers and is planning a new fuel cell car, with a more powerful fuel cell stack, next year.
But Toyota’s decision as the world’s top-selling automaker to start commercial production of a fuel cell car is an important boost to the technology’s prospects for wider adoption. Its release will also win the automaker plaudits for corporate responsibility.
“It works to symbolically enhance the automaker’s ecological image,” said Yoshihiro Okumura, auto analyst at Chiba-gin Asset Management.
Toyota’s still-to-be-officially-named vehicle goes on sale in Japan sometime before April 2015, and within a half year after that in the U.S. and Europe.
The four-seater sedan, while sporting an aggressive grille and fluid body curves, looks pretty much like a regular car. Those who have test driven fuel cell vehicles say they have a powerful torque, with quick acceleration, akin to the thrill of driving a sports car. Yet they are quiet like electric cars, purring on the roads with no engine roar.View gallery In this July 14, 2014 photo, a Toyota fuel cell hybrid vehicle is refueled from a mobile hydrogen st …
Ogiso, like many other experts, believes that reliance on gasoline is not sustainable in the long-run particularly with rapid growth in vehicle ownership in developing nations, which could translate into hundreds of millions of additional cars on the roads globally.
Working on the Prius and the fuel cell, he said, was a similar process: Painstakingly tackling the challenge of packaging all the special parts needed for a new type of car.
Like the initial years of the Prius, subsidies and tax breaks are expected to substantially lower the fuel cell price tag in Japan.
Ogiso said at the beginning it cost more than 100 million ($1 million) to build just a test car.
The planned commercial model will sell for about 7 million yen ($70,000). Initially, Toyota had said the car might cost as much as 10 million yen ($100,000). Overseas prices have not yet been announced.
Factoring in subsidies and tax breaks, buyers might be able to get the fuel cell for about 5 million yen ($50,000), said Okumura, the Chiba-gin analyst.
That is still more than double the Prius, which with no frills sells for a little above 2 million yen ($20,000). It no longer gets green subsidies but still is eligible for a 100,000 yen ($1,000) tax break in Japan. Plug-in versions, which sell for nearly 3 million yen ($30,000), get bigger discounts, totaling as much as 420,000 yen ($4,200).View gallery In this July 10, 2014 photo, Toyota Motor Corporation Managing Officer Satoshi Ogiso looks at the im …
Toyota has not given sales projections but says interest in the fuel cell has been strong.
Apart from cost, the other big drawback is lack of hydrogen fueling stations. Only about 30 of them exist throughout Japan so far, although the government is leading a push to get more built in coming months.
Lack of charging stations is also a weakness for electric cars but there are fewer obstacles to establishing and supplying that infrastructure because electricity networks are already in place.
That is one of the reasons why automakers such as Nissan Motor Co. and Tesla Motors are pushing electric vehicles as the most practical way to be a green driver.
“We are a little bit skeptical,” Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said of fuel cells. “Who’s going to build the infrastructure?”
Selling 500 or 1,000 fuel cell vehicles a year might be easy, but getting sales to mass levels, such as 500,000 vehicles or more a year, would be difficult, he said.
Toyota, however, counters that electric cars tend to have limited cruise ranges, relegating them to a niche. Hydrogen fueling takes only three minutes versus several hours to charge an electric vehicle.
The planned fuel cell runs about 700 kilometers (430 miles) on a single hydrogen fueling.
Toru Hatano, auto analyst at IHS Automotive in Tokyo overseeing powertrains, forecasts that only several thousand fuel cell cars will sell per year globally.
“There really isn’t anything good that happens for the consumer by getting a fuel cell,” he said, compared with a hybrid’s savings on gas consumption.
Beyond that, Hatano said hydrogen is now mostly produced from fossil fuels.
“You are using energy to create hydrogen, and then using more energy to pressurize it for storage, and so overall you aren’t saving on energy at all.”
But scientists are working on cleaner ways to make hydrogen, and in theory hydrogen is cheap, plentiful and possibly the next-generation fuel for motorists.
But,underlying the surge in U.S. auto sales is a trend that uncovered in a report this week in which it highlighted the top 10 American-made vehicles.
A noticeable shift in the U.S. auto industry - In its report, which focused on automakers whose vehicles were comprised of at least 75% domestic parts and were built in the U.S., Cars.com notes that just 10 vehicles, total, qualified this year. By comparison, this is down from the 30 vehicles that qualified for ranking in 2011. More and more we’re seeing automakers turn to vendors outside the United States’ borders for cheaper parts in order to cut costs and keep vehicle prices from soaring through the roof.
Of course, not every manufacturer has turned to foreign markets for inexpensive goods. As the American-Made Index demonstrates, there are at least 10 vehicles still left that are built with a minimum of 75% made-in-the-USA parts! One, however continues to stand out among the crowd, taking the top honor as the most “American” vehicle in back-to-back years, and in five of the nine years that has compiled its data.
Do you have a guess to venture as to which vehicle this might be?
However, if you said the Ford F-150 then you’ve hit the bull’s-eye.
Keep these biases in mind Before we dive into what makes the F-150 the most “American” vehicle, we should first tackle two of the primary biases behind the report.
On one hand, its data does help provide insight into which automakers are using U.S.-based parts, which, in turn, could provide clues as to what models consumers are more likely to form an emotional attachment to. In theory, by playing up their patriotic ties the automakers behind the 10 vehicles in the report could improve the marketability of their cars.
Also, we have to take into account that Cars.com’s report doesn’t take emotional attachment, brand history, model history, or feelings of brand patriotism into question when compiling its results. It’s merely focusing on where the parts come from, where it’s manufactured, and how many vehicles sold in the U.S. Period! To that end, there are variables which aren’t fully in play here based on Cars.com’s study.
On the other hand, the third criterion in the American-Made Index (beyond just being manufactured with 75% domestic-made parts and being assembled in the U.S.) focused on total sales. The Ford F-150 has been a staple among the best-selling vehicles for decades, so it’s pretty much a lock to either take the top spot of second place each year based solely on that accord.
Why the F-150 is America’s truck Yet, even with the biases inherent in this report it does indeed shed light on America’s best-selling vehicle, the Ford F-150.
There are a number of reasons Ford’s F-150 continues to sit atop the best-sellers list year in and year out.
Secondly, and tying this in with another survey that was released by Polk just a week ago,Ford ranks the highest of all auto manufacturers when it comes to brand loyalty. Per the Polk study, over a 10-year period 64% of consumers who purchased a Ford were likely to purchase another Ford or Ford-brand vehicle as their next vehicle. By comparison, overall brand loyalty as an average dipped to 51%, representing a somewhat overwhelming number of options now present on the market. What this signifies is that Ford is clearly hitting the mark with consumers when it comes to design, value, new technologies, and fuel-efficiency.
Third, Ford is innovative and the F-150 has been a regular stepping stone to showcase its new innovations. For example, the all-new 2015 F-150 was introduced earlier this year with an aluminum frame which replaces its traditional steel frame. The switch removes about 700 pounds from the final product allowing for better fuel efficiency — but, that’s just the beginning. Shedding 700 pound allows customers the ability to readd options that previously would have been a drag on fuel-efficiency, such as beefing up the payload or tow capacity.
Fourth, the aluminum frame also allows Ford to introduce a number of engine options that require less fuel to power the truck, including a 2.7-liter and 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine and a 5.0-liter V8. These options make its previous 6.2-liter V8 look like a gas-guzzler and give consumers the confidence that they’re buying a fuel-efficient and cutting edge vehicle that’s not going to be obsolete anytime soon.
Finally, there’s a rich and storied history behind the brand and the F-Series. According to Ford, its F-Series had held the top spot as America’s best-selling truck for a ridiculous 37 years and has been America’s top-selling vehicle for the past 32 years. Consistently remaining in the spotlight as America’s top-selling vehicle implies to consumers that it’s a dependable, well-made vehicle — ergo the motto “Built Ford Tough.”
Combined, these factors would appear to indicate that F-150 sales are unlikely to slow anytime soon. As long as Ford remains innovative and continues to procure the majority of its F-150 parts from within the U.S., there’s a good chance it’ll experience a healthy boost in its bottom line from the patriotic connection that many consumers feel toward the brand.
The Ford F-150 has been the best-selling truck in the United States for the past 37 years, and the best-selling vehicle outright for the past 32. That’s quite a legacy, and thus, it’s no surprise that Ford worked super-duper-extra hard on creating the all-new, aluminum-bodied 2015 F-150 that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year.
But that’s only a small part of the story. Of course, the new F-150 has to be able to withstand whatever a pickup buyer might throw at it – and truck buyers arguably demand the most from their vehicles. So in an effort to convey just what the new F-150 had to go through before being given the final go-ahead, Ford has released a series of videos, showing how its new halo truck was indeed torture tested.
During an event at the company’s headquarters in Dearborn, MI this week, we were able to see all of the ways that Ford endurance tests, not just the new F-150, but all of its vehicles. From examining things like light exposure to interior materials and paint finishes, to making sure that corrosion absolutely does not happen when steel components come in contact with aluminum panels in the new truck. The goal: ensure that the new F-150 is nothing short of “Built Ford Tough.”
These tests involved things like shaking and twisting the Used Ford F150 truck in seven different ways (at the same time) for a simulated 225,000 miles, driving the pickup over seriously rough roads, giving it corrosion baths with acid sprays, towing uphill and downhill in 120-degree weather, thermally shocking the engine, and much, much more. Have a look at all 10 tests in the videos below, and scroll down a little further for a press release that explains what’s going on in each scenario.
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Chevrolet Chevy Silverado 1500 Review for Louisville KY, Clarksville, Seymour, Jeffersonville and Salem Indiana IN
- Finalist: 2014 Best Full Size Truck for the Money
- Quiet, refined powertrain choices
- Comfortable ride quality
- Useful tailgate step and grab handle
- Large pillars interfere with outward visibility
- Fully redesigned
The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ranks 1 out of 10 Full Size Pickup Trucks. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, as well as reliability and safety data.
Reviewers praise the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 for its comfortable ride, well-designed interior and range of refined and powerful engine choices, which they say make it a strong contender in the full-size pickup truck segment.
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 comes standard with a V6 engine that reviewers say provides ample power for towing light trailers and day-to-day driving. For those with greater towing and hauling demands, most recommend stepping up to one of the optional V8s, which improve the Silverado’s acceleration and make it better-suited to hauling and towing heavier loads. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and while reviewers say it has no inherent flaws, most wish that Chevrolet gave this redesigned truck an eight-speed transmission, which they think would improve acceleration and fuel economy. The Silverado achieves up to an EPA-estimated 18/24 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. Test drivers report that the Silverado has one of the most comfortable rides in the segment, and that it delivers refined handling. They think that its steering is precise and well-weighted and its brakes are strong.
Reviewers say that the Silverado’s interior is highly functional, with an abundance of storage cubbies and multiple USB ports for charging electronics. They think the cabin is constructed with visually-pleasing materials that are hard in the base trim, but note that upper trims feature higher quality materials and more soft-touch surfaces. Testers say the Silverado’s front seats are comfortable and supportive and its back seats offer plenty of space. Features like the integrated corner step in the rear bumper and rail-mounted grab handle are useful for climbing into the bed, and available lights mounted under the bed rails make it easier to see cargo in the dark. Reviewers note that Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system is easy to use, with straightforward menus and redundant switchgear for climate and audio adjustments. The base trim comes standard with a four-speaker stereo and dual USB ports. Major options include MyLink with Bluetooth and an 8-inch touch screen, a backup camera, a Bose stereo system, navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, lane departure warning and forward collision warning.
- “It’s neat that GM is watching the market when it comes to new transmissions and light-duty diesel offerings, but it’d be great if the company actually stepped forward and once again led the entire segment in terms of innovation. That said, the 2014 Silverado is a solid foundation to build on as time and technology march on. Here’s hoping GM does just that — but before another seven years fly by.” – Automobile Magazine
- “In a changing large-truck market, the Silverado has evolved like a rock; it’s a geological commodity meticulously polished by time. In focusing on the fundamentals, Chevrolet passed on the latest trends but delivered a pragmatic truck that gets the core attributes right.” – Car and Driver
- “A wide range of body styles, an overhauled interior and a lineup of powerful and fuel-efficient engines make the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado a solid pick in the full-size pickup class.” – Edmunds
- “This Silverado catches up, powered by three new engines, new technology, and an interior that could go inside a Cadillac Escalade. It doesn’t matter which English a Silverado owner speaks: It’s a great truck in any language.” –Motor Trend
- “The new Silverado will certainly help convince longtime fans to hang around, but it may not be enough to keep wandering eyes from strolling toward a Ram 1500. Now we just have to wait and see what Ford has in store for the upcoming F-150.” – Autoblog
With a unique rear suspension design and an optional air suspension, reviewers say the Ram 1500 delivers the best ride quality in the segment. Additionally, reviewers think the 1500′s eight-speed automatic transmission is a model of smoothness and refinement. The Ram 1500 comes with the segment’s only diesel engine option, which reviewers report is powerful and refined.
Reviewers say the Ford F-150′s range of cab configurations and trim levels give it a wide appeal to many truck shoppers. Additionally, they like the F-150’s optional turbocharged V6, which they think delivers plenty of power and helps the F-150 earn good fuel economy estimates.
Compare the Silverado 1500, Ram 1500 and F-150 »Details: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado comes in three cab configurations: Regular Cab, which seats three, and Double and Crew Cabs, which seat up to six. A six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard and four-wheel drive is optional. There are three engine choices: a 4.3-liter V6, a 5.3-liter V8 and a 6.2-liter V8. The Silverado comes in four basic trims: WT, LT, LTZ and Crew Cab-only High Country. A Z71 off-road package is offered with the LT and LTZ trims. The Silverado 1500 is fully redesigned for 2014.Chevrolet Chevy Silverado 1500 Review for Louisville KY, Clarksville, Seymour, Jeffersonville and Salem Indiana IN
Chevrolet’s 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 for Louisville Kentucky KY,Corydon, Salem, Clarksville and Seymour Indiana IN
Chevrolet’s 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 for Louisville Kentucky KY, Corydon, Salem, Clarksville and Seymour Indiana IN
For the full-size-truck faithful, Chevy’s entry V-8 is a 5.3-liter unitmaking 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. Its performance is unimpeachable, yet a stronger 6.2-liter V-8 will join the lineup later this year, likely with well over 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft. All three engines pair with a six-speed automatic transmission that times shifts well and executes them gracefully. And whether V-6 or V-8, all of the engines are capable of a seamless transition to V-4 operation during low-load cruising.
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The engines may be new, but it’s the subtle refinements to the chassis that make the strongest impression. The Silverado possesses uncanny refinement for a vehicle that’s capable of hauling about a ton of dirt or towing up to 11,500 pounds of construction equipment. Body-on-frame trucks lack the three-dimensional rigidity of unibody cars and crossovers and the Silverado makes strides to quench the shudders that often plague pickups. Lift the hood and you’ll see braced corners in the engine compartment.
The cab uses more high-strength steel and is mounted to the frame with new shear body mounts that limit fore and aft movement. As a result, what were quaking reverberations are now quivering jitters. On Texas’s lumpy but unbroken pavement, the Silverado delivered a compliant ride with no head toss to speak of. Chevy’s truck is also as quiet as a Lexus SUV thanks to acoustic-laminated glass, triple-sealed doors, and lined front wheel wells.
As with any full-size truck, Silverado variants span the gamut from vinyl-floored work trucks to luxury-SUV alternatives. On top of ventilated leather seats and a heated steering wheel, buyers can add safety technologies like forward collision warning, lane departure monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert that warn the driver with audible alarms and a vibrating seat. Chevrolet has also launched a new High Country model to challenge Ford’s King Ranch and Ram’s Laramie Longhorn. It features a saddle-brown leather interior, unique 20-inch wheels, its own grille, and high-end equipment. As for that aforementioned Texas Edition: It’s a set of badges paired with optional equipment that’s available on other trims.
We’re more partial to the functional add-ons like the integrated trailer-brake controller, factory spray-in bed liner, and the back-up camera that make towing and hauling that much easier. New options include a damped tailgate, upper tie-down hooks, and LED lighting under the bed rails that illuminates your cargo even if you’re using a tonneau cover.
Priced to Move
The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado doesn’t have any glaring flaws. Its engines are strong, its chassis is stout, and its cabin is whisper quiet. But we have some doubts that it will be enough to convince folks to pass over Ford’s well-marketed EcoBoost engine or the Ram 1500’s comfortable coil-spring suspension. Chevrolet might have some doubts itself. On top of unchanged base prices from last year, Chevrolet will offer 2014 Silverado buyers free scheduled maintenance for two years or 24,000 miles. In true Texas spirit, we have to call that as we see it: That’s a sales incentive on a brand-new truck.
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