Drive

Chevy gets back in the game with the 2014 Silverado

2014 Chevy Silverado

• Type. Two- or four-door, 4x2 or 4x4 full-size pickup

• Engines (hp). 4.3-litre V6 (285/305), 5.3-litre V8 (355/383), 6.2-litre V8 (420/460)

• Transmission. Six-speed automatic

• Base price. $26,540 (plus destination)

There are few auto segments more fiercely fought than the pickup truck market, and few as diverse. Buyers range from those who tow massive campers and horse trailers to those who drive them primarily as big cars.

Because of this, automakers are updating their trucks far more frequently than they did in the past.

General Motors has introduced an all-new Chevrolet Silverado for 2014, along with its mechanically identical GMC Sierra twin. This truck had been lagging behind some of its competitors for a while, but it’s now firmly back in the game.

The three available engines are the same size as on the last-generation model — a 4.3-litre V6, a 5.3-litre V8 and a 6.2-litre V8 — but they’re entirely new, and they come with fuel-saving technologies.

One of them is cylinder deactivation, which seamlessly shuts the engine down to four cylinders when full power isn’t needed. That’s becoming relatively common on V8s, but it’s rare to see it on a V6, as here.

On the Double Cab, the rear doors are now hinged at the front instead of the back, making it simple to get into the rear seats. On all models, the doors are now flush with the body, rather than extended into the roof, which helps reduce noise. Overall, this is probably the quietest truck cabin on the market, and the redesigned interior is both handsome and functional.

A lower hip point on the seat makes it easier to get into this big truck. The new suspension and electric power steering have been tuned for responsive handling and a smooth ride, and it’s a good driver.

It also tows well, although competitive trucks produce more torque than Chevrolet, with engines comparable to the Silverado’s 5.3-litre V8.

Chevy hasn’t leapfrogged over the competition with this truck, but the considerable improvements warrant serious consideration for those in the market.

Market position

The Chevrolet Silverado comes in three cab configurations (Regular, Double and Crew) and in a range of trim lines to suit various needs and budgets. As with Ford and Ram, heavy-duty models are also available.

Points

  • This is the first year for the High Country, a top-line luxury trim model that roughly corresponds to GMC’s Sierra Denali
  • A new bumper step and corresponding hand-hold is a simple but effective method of accessing the truck bed.
  • Changes include new styling, projector headlamps, more differentiation between the trims, and a new available 6-foot-6 bed on the Crew Cab.

Interesting features

An available MyLink infotainment system, high-wear cloth upholstery, forward-collision and lane-departure warning with vibrating seat alert, park assist, and power sunroof.

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