Review by Mark Stevenson, photos by Mark Stevenson and courtesy General Motors
2014 Chevrolet Silverado (and sheep). Click image to enlarge
Considering the recent growth in the light-duty truck segment, Chevrolet is bringing in new product at just the right time. The new Silverado (and sibling GMC Sierra) use the same formula as every other new truck: improve power, capability, and fuel economy but don’t fix what isn’t broken.
Later this year, the Silverado will be hitting dealer lots with its massive chrome grille (which this writer likens to a Transformer’s face, straight from the Michael Bay rendition), a redesigned cab and interior, three brand new engines, and GM’s new MyLink infotainment system that can direct you to Dildo, Newfoundland without snickering at the thought.
During our two days spent with the new Silverado we cruised, towed, trail blazed, went down a slippery slope (physically and figuratively), and avoided local wildlife, namely rabbits, sheep, and the young offspring of Homo erectus Newfoundlandus. We also ate cod tongues and drank Screech while a middle-aged man played an electric accordion.
But, down to the nitty gritty of trucks. After spending numerous hours behind the wheel of Chevy’s offering, I walked away impressed, but not particularly blown away. Here’s why.
During our testing, the engine of choice was the 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 cranking out 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. That’s on par with Ford’s 5.0L Coyote V8 (360 hp, 380 lb-ft) but much more powerful than the Ram 1500’s 4.7L V8 (310 hp, 330 lb-ft) that is in its final year of production this year, being replaced by the new 3.0L turbo EcoDiesel. Power delivery is smooth and effortless with the new Silverado, feeling almost Rolls Royce-ish. Don’t laugh, this engine combined with the six-speed transmission is incredibly refined. There is no jerking between gears and no slap on the back when you put the pedal to the floor. Instead, you are wafted away with very linear torque.
Six-speed transmissions are the go-to choice for the entry V8s no matter what brand you choose. Fuel economy ratings are all fairly similar, too, with the Silverado returning 13.3 L/100 km city, 9.0 L/100 km highway on the Transport Canada measure.
But, enough with the numbers.