It might look a lot like the old Silverado, but the 2014 Chevy Silverado is an all-new design from head to toe. Although its engine options appear unchanged in terms of displacement and cylinder count, each has direct fuel injection, variable valve timing, and cylinder deactivation, which shuts off surplus cylinders under light throttle...
Chevrolet has been building pickup trucks since 1931, but the Silverado moniker was first applied to a Chevy truck in 1973. Initially a mere trim level, the Silverado name grew in popularity over the decades until it became the official title of Chevrolet's full-size pickup range in 1999. The outgoing Silverado was built from 2007 through 2013 with few revisions, but the all-new 2014 Silverado 1500 is the first to use GM's latest full-size truck platform. The new 2014 Silverado does without the eight-speed transmissions, turbocharged six-cylinder engines, and suspension tricks of its competitors but delivers fuel-economy improvements over its predecessor.
It shares no sheetmetal with the outgoing truck, but there's no mistaking the new 2014 Silverado for anything other than a Silverado. Certain cues, including the split grille, the stacked headlamps, and the domed hood, are all Silverado traditions that live on in the new truck. If anything, the new look is slightly more aggressive, thanks to a taller front clip and a larger split grille. Regular and crew cabs remain available, and the extended cab has been replaced with a new four-door double cab.
The most impressive change lies inside the truck. Interior design has never been a Silverado forte, but the new truck finally offers a modern cabin that, on LTZ and High Country models especially, does not feel cheap. Instrument and door panels are trimmed in soft-touch plastics and faux leather. A full-color LCD screen within the gauge panel serves up all sorts of performance information, while an eight-inch touchscreen in the center stack boasts Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment suite. Up to five USB inputs/charging ports are available, as is a 115-volt power outlet. Predictably, lower-grade WT and LT models do without some of these bells and whistles, along with some of the soft-touch interior trim.
Beneath the surface, the 2014 Silverado is more evolutionary than revolutionary. Engineers worked to whittle weight from the vehicle, while improving its ride quality and isolating noise from the cabin. All engine choices, including a base 4.3-liter V-6, a 5.3-liter V-8, and a 6.2-liter V-8, boast direct fuel injection and cylinder deactivation in order to deliver both power and fuel-economy gains. Although a six-speed automatic is the only transmission option, it allows a two-wheel-drive Silverado with the 4.3-liter to be rated at 18/24 mpg city/highway, and the 5.3-liter V-8 is rated at 16/23 mpg city/highway.
GM expects most buyers to go with the 5.3-liter V-8, but that's selling the updated 4.3-liter V-6 short. No longer is the Silverado's entry-level engine a thirsty and anemic boat anchor. In fact, this engine may be a perfect fit for buyers who tow and haul only on occasion. We found the powertrain to offer adequate power unladen and even enough grunt to tow a large camper. Spec a V-6 Silverado properly, and it can be rated to tow up to 7200 pounds.
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