Chevrolet Silverado

2016 Chevrolet Silverado

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is the smoothest-riding, most carlike of the full-size, light-duty pickups, and it boasts a wide range of configurations, powertrains and trim.

The current-generation Silverado was introduced as a 2014 model, which brought better fuel economy, nicer interiors, and the latest technology. 2015 and 2016 models brought minor updates, highlighted by slightly revised styling for 2016.

2016 Silverado 1500 models have one headlight on each side in place of the pair of stacked headlights on 2014-2015 models. The 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 also gets distinctive new grille designs for each trim level, a more sculpted hood, new LED parking lights, and new headlights (HIDs with LED signature on WT, LS, LT; LEDs with LED signature on LTZ and High Country).

An 8-speed automatic transmission is available for more models than previously, including the 2016 Silverado High Country and LTZ with the 5.3-liter engine. Chevrolet MyLink offers improved performance plus Apple CarPlay capability for 2016, with 8-inch touchscreens on upper models, 7-inch touchscreens standard. New features available on 2016 Silverado 1500 models include a remote locking tailgate, power-articulating assist steps, Android Auto capability, wireless phone charging, high-beam assist, and Lane Keep Assist.

Silverado 1500 competes with Ram 1500, Ford F-150, Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan, and GMC Sierra 1500. Silverado and Sierra differ mainly in appearance and trim. Silverado looks sportier and more adventurous, Sierra looks classier and more conservative.

With their large engines and steel bodies and structure, the GM pickups are more traditional than the Ford F-150, built with extensive use of aluminum and small, turbo engines.

The Silverado boasts a refined, comfortable interior, boatloads of technology, and the aforementioned smooth ride. Its boxy styling complements that of the 2500 HD versions.

Three engines, called EcoTec3, are available: The 4.3-liter V6 is rated at 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque and comes with a 6-speed automatic. The 5.3-liter V8 is rated 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, with a 6-speed automatic standard and an 8-speed automatic on upper models. The 6.2-liter V8 is rated 420 hp, 460 lb-ft of torque, and comes with the 8-speed. Though traditional in size, these engines are all-aluminum, with the latest in direct injection and variable valve timing.

The 8-speed features a wider ratio spread than that of the 6-speed: The 8-speed has a numerically higher first gear to help when starting off with a trailer or a heavy load, and it has a numerically lower rear axle ratios, which reduce engine rpm at highway speeds. EPA-estimated fuel economy doesnt improve, but being able to go lower and higher, with more choices in between, is theoretically better in the real world.

Best fuel economy is the 4.3-liter V6 with an EPA-rated 18/24 mpg City/Highway. The 5.3-liter V8 is rated 16/23 mpg with the 6-speed automatic, 16/22 with the 8 speed. The 6.2-liter rates 15/21 mpg.

A Silverado 1500 with the 6.2-liter offers up to 12,000 pounds of towing capacity, though wed recommend a Silverado 2500 for trailers anywhere close to that weight.

Trailer sway control, an integrated trailer brake controller, hill start assist, and, of course, rearview cameras make towing trailers easier. Stabilitrak electronic stability control and an automatic locking rear differential improve handling stability when driving an empty truck in the rain.

Silverado floors seem lower than those of most of the other trucks, so getting in and out of a Silverado often seems easier and lifting heavy sacks of feed into the bed is easier.


2014 Chevrolet Silverado

The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado is the next generation of Chevrolets best-selling vehicle. Although some things look and sound familiar, like the three engines that are all-new despite being the same size as their predecessors, virtually everything has evolved to the next level or been replaced.

Substantial bodywork and a larger grille for cooling match a more imposing facade with better aerodynamic properties, while the frame underneath the 2014 Silverado has been stiffened despite a 30-pound weight loss. By most measures, the 2014 Silverado is lighter than the 2013 model, but it hauls and tows more than before.

The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado comes with a roomier cabin with more luxury and safety features in a stylish new design. Theres more room up front, and 2014 Silverado Crew Cabs offer more space in back than previously. The driver gets excellent instrumentation and MyLink telematics.

Silverado base price is $23,590, according to Chevrolet, but thats almost a meaningless number because anything you buy will cost more.

The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado High Country model is the fanciest Silverado to date. The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado High Country is directed at Ford F-150 King Ranch, Ram Longhorn, Toyota and Tundra 1794.

For the first time, the mid-size cab choice comes with a center side pillar and four conventionally opening doors. This generally improves rollover crash performance, makes a quieter, less squeak-prone interior and is easier to load in tight quarters. Chevrolet has dropped the Extended Cab moniker and calls this the Double Cab, the name Toyota has used on its four-door pickups for more than a decade.

The three new engines are dubbed EcoTec3 because of three shared features: direct injection, active fuel management and variable cam timing. Often reserved for the thirstiest or most expensive engines on some trucks, these come standard on every 2014 Silverado.

The new 4.3-liter V6 is standard on every cab/bed combo. At 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque it rates just 30 less (of each) than last years 5.3-liter V8 and out-grunts most competitor base V6s.

The new 5.3-liter V8 is rated at 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. Thats right in line with Fords 5-liter V8, and 2014 Silverado Crew Cabs with the 5.3-liter V8 match or better competitors for top payload and towing ratings. Figures for the 6.2-liter V8 had not been released at press time but were expected to bring at least 420 hp and 435 lb-ft of torque.

All Silverados come with a 6-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD).

Suspension and braking systems are updates on current designs; external dimensions havent changed but the track (width between left and right wheels) has increased aiding both stability and aesthetics. The 2014 Silverado uses electric power steering.

The new Silverado drives like a more refined version of the last one, even though it will tow more, go quicker or get better mileage. A very quiet cabin means happier passengers and less fatigue for owner/operators, with the Double Cab likely to show the most improvement.

The only thing we see lacking in the new Silverado is that elusive intangible that grabs people. Chasing power and fuel economy Chevrolet used different technologies than Fords EcoBoost (though GMs direct-injection turbocharged car engines preceded EcoBoost by years). And the new Silverado doesnt offer the flashy 8-speed automatic or optional air suspension of the Ram. But trucks are made for people and to tow and carry things, and if the numbers are accurate the Silverado is a player.


 

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