With the hype surrounding the arrival of the new GM pickups, I knew I needed to sample the offerings, and quickly. Sadly, my first encounter with the twin GMC Sierra left me scratching my head, wondering if I had missed something. In fact, in last year’s comparo test, the Sierra came up far short of our expectations.
My 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 1LT 4X4 packed the same visual punch, both inside and out, but the whole driving experience once more left me cold (if somewhat frustrated). What should have been wasn’t. The ride feels overburdened and heavy, and throttle response lags severely. Despite these important elements, I still love this truck.
What is a Chevrolet Silverado 1500?
The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado is GM’s bestselling pickup nameplate, out-delivering the GMC Sierra. Much rides on the Silverado’s shoulders and GM has gone through great efforts to improve it for the 2014 model year.
This is the 3rd generation of the Silverado, which was born from the long line of C/K Chevy and GMC pickups before it.
2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Price and Specs
The starting price of the 2014 Chevy Silverado range is $26,290. At the other end of the spectrum, a 1500 High Country retails for $53,315. Highly customizable, options can and will bring the price of the Silverado to well over $60,000.
As tested, my 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 1LT crew cab with standard box and 4X4 tipped the price scale at $49,705.
One of three engines can be selected for duty in the Silverado. The range starts off with the 285-horsepower 4.3L V6. Most Chevy pickups will feature the 5.3L V8. It produces 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. If the LTZ trim is selected, a 420-horsepower 6.2L V8 is optional. All of the above come with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
A MAX trailering package and a snowplough prep package are only two available ways to make your Silverado ready for hard labour.
2WD and 4WD are available as well as various suspension and convenience and equipment groups, all in the name of making your truck your own.
Driving the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
If only the driving experience mimicked the new Chevy Silverado’s outer shell and inner core. The two already mentioned elements, ride quality and throttle response, severely mar what should be a great pickup.
Off the line, the 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500’s go-pedal needs to be seriously stabbed for something to happen. Perhaps it’s designed this way with heavy, steel-toe boots in mind, but for every non-working day, the effort required to keep things moving is annoying as is the delay between depressing the throttle and the get-up-and-go. Another negative is the transmission that automatically drops into first, causing a slight jerk, when performing an “American” stop.
Whether in the city or on the highway, the Chevy Silverado’s suspension seems unable to cope with most road imperfections, regardless of speed. The rear semi-elliptical two-stage multi-leaf springs will help the truck float over the small stuff, but it feels as though the moment wheel travel goes beyond 2 inches, the dampers and springs have the urge to decompress immediately, upsetting the insanely quiet cabin.
During our comparo, we’d hoped the loaded test would improve the situation, but such was not the case. For certain, the Silverado’s frame is extremely rigid, giving off the highly desirable impression that it can drive through a brick wall unscathed; however, repeated poorly controlled chassis movements over less than perfect tarmac is unacceptable in 2014. The RAM and the Ford do not suffer.
Despite these two unfortunate elements, the 2014 Chevy Silverado is still quite relevant as a work truck.
The 5.3L V8 is an excellent engine and actually enjoys being pushed hard into the rev range. It really comes alive somewhere north of 3,500 rpm and pulls effortlessly to 6,000 rpm. In these acceleration events, the transmission proved to be a top partner. To go along with the power, the 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 has strong brakes and heavy yet sharp (for a truck) steering.
Inside and Out of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Chevrolet’s pickup has a styling that rocks the truck world. It’s smug, powerful, and confidant that it will never disappoint you. Parked on a lot surrounded by other competitors, the GM trucks seriously stand out.
The front grille, headlights, and mildly boxed fenders all work great. The only negative noteworthy point is the running boards that break the Silverado’s lines and are pretty much useless other than for dirtying pant legs.
Climbing aboard the 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 is worth it. The cabin in my mid-range 1LT was well appointed, nicely finished and very roomy. The dashboard’s design is modern and robust, and perfectly suited for the truck.
The front perches are wide and generally comfortable. The rear bench is huge; four adults could fit back there in a jam. Storage spaces are plenty, perfect for an office away from home.
Comparing the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Having accolades thrown at it before it landed on the auto show floor, it is odd that Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra sales have slowed in the US, whereas Ford’s have remained nearly level and RAM’s have jumped impressively year over year.
It is difficult to pinpoint the exact reason for this, as pickup buyers are the loyal type. My bottom line is that if GM can revise the suspension’s calibration, their trucks should eventually return to positive sales growth numbers.