Auto123.com - Helping you drive happy

2014 Chevrolet Silverado Z71 4x4 Review

All-new Silverado turns in small-truck mileage, luxury car-noise levels By ,

The latest model participating in the battle for American pickup supremacy comes with numerous promises including fantastic mileage and the most refined Chevrolet Silverado driving experience, ever. For model-year 2014, designers, planners, and engineers put in the overtime on this rig and the result of their work recently landed at dealer lots across the continent.

What is a Chevrolet Silverado?
The new Chevrolet Silverado is the most recent iteration of one of the most popular trucks on the road. With selection, a solid reputation, and droves of fiercely loyal owners, Chevrolet has a strong sales leader with the Silverado.

Machines like this are a seriously big deal in northern locales and popping the hood on the latest bit of Chevy truck engineering instantly gathered a crowd at my local coffee shop hangout.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado Price and Specs
Other than a handful of parts, the new Silverado engine lineup is all new. At writing, shoppers could specify a 4.3L V6, or one of two V8s, with either 5.3L or 6.2L of displacement. All of these engine options use cylinder deactivation, direct injection, variable-valve timing, and plenty more to turn in more power using less fuel. They all come teamed to a 6-speed automatic.

My tester got the 5.3L, which sends 355 horsepower (up from last year’s 315) to the ground through a four-wheel-drive system bolted away under some skid plates thanks to the Z71 off-road package. Beefed up shocks, tow hooks, and aggressive tires were fitted too. A dial lets drivers choose between various 4x4 modes, and the rear diff locks automatically if the ground beneath gets sloppy.

Towing capacity, depending on the model and selected hardware, tops out at 12,000 lbs.

Starting price for the new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado is $32,245; however, my Z71 trimmed pickup starts in the $40k range.

Driving the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado Z71
The driving experience stood out the most when visiting the open highway with the Chevy Silverado, as well as my local off-road trail system.

The suspension’s heavy-duty shocks turn in a bit of a jiggle-y, busy ride on the off-road rough stuff -- though it largely feels pure tough, the way a truck should. Drivers visiting rough terrain in the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado should expect to feel well backed-up with a vehicle that feels like it belongs there. Though the truck’s size and massive hood make it difficult to place on tight trails, the four-wheel drive system and auto-locking rear-differential mean traction never proved an issue -- even through trail segments that made your writer grimace.

On smooth highways, the beefy suspension is a bit stiff, but comfortable overall. Most notable on the highway were the noise levels. After some 12 hours worth of driving at speed, I left the Silverado impressed with the lack of outside noise allowed into the cabin thanks, in no small part, to an exhaustive aerodynamic assault on offending sounds. Even at higher speeds, I could have a conversation without raising my voice. A good number of high-dollar luxury sedans I’ve recently visited were noisier at similar speeds.

With voice commanded systems, a fantastic forward view, above-average headlamp performance and numerous automatic or self-activating features in the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado, you’re well set up for a confident and laid-back road trip experience that’s conducive to relaxation and socializing.

I returned the tester after 1,800 kilometres having achieved an overall, measured-by-hand average consumption of 13.2L/100km. For where and how I drive, that’s just about small-truck mileage in a big truck with a big V8.

Inside and Out of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado
On board, much of the switchgear and controls are familiar, too. It’s mostly new and fresh, but those familiar with the interior of an older Silverado will feel right at home. The new cabin’s layout is more dynamic, detailed and daring than the outgoing model, though the hard plastic lining the entire thing will let soft-touch buffs down, slightly.

I loved the abundance of clever, well-thought-out storage compartments and cubbies all around the front seats in the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado. Ditto for the presence of no fewer than three 12-Volt outlets, four USB power points, and one household outlet just inches from my fingertips. On one jaunt with some pals, four cell phones, one MP3 player, and my camera battery pack were all plugged in for recharging.

Complaints included the somewhat-cheesy application of a slivery spray-paint like finish on some interior panels, and the massive hood, long body, and relatively lazy turning circle eating away at my ability to look like I know how to park a big truck.

Comparing the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado
Ultimately, the new Silverado (with Z71 package) should appeal strongly to pickup shoppers who frequently visit off-road situations, but who also enjoy a comfortable and quiet highway and around-town experience. With good fuel consumption figures (which will get better after engine break-in is complete), the high-efficiency V8 should also connect strongly with shoppers who aren’t interested in the added cost of running a diesel or turbocharged gas engine in comparable models from Dodge and Ford, respectively.

Road Tests and Reviews

Consumers
2014 Chevrolet Silverado
Review this Vehicle
Styling
Accessories
Space and Access
Comfort
Performance
Driving Dynamics
Safety
General Appreciation
Name
Email
Comment
Password
Forgot your password? Click here
Cancel

Review Highlights

    2014 Chevrolet Silverado
    chevrolet silverado 2014
    2014 Chevrolet Silverado
    Review this Vehicle
    Styling
    Accessories
    Space and Access
    Comfort
    Performance
    Driving Dynamics
    Safety
    General Appreciation
    Name
    Email
    Comment
    Password
    Forgot your password? Click here
    Cancel