2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 HD
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Story and photos by Jim Kerr

The Heavy Duty truck market is hot. Chevy’s latest entry into this
market is the 2003 Crewcab 1500 HD series truck. With new front end
styling, common to the other 2003 Chevy full size pickups, the HD
designation on the door is the only clue to this truck’s 8,600 lb. gross
vehicle weight rating. Another visual clue to the truck’s uniqueness are
the slightly flared pickup box fenders, used for the Quadrasteer rear

With a $6,935 price tag, Quadrasteer, the four-wheel steering system, is
a pricey but phenomenal option. Optional only on Chevy’s crewcab 1500 short
box model, Quadrasteer is designed for trailer towing. It is also great
around town. It enables this full-sized crew cab truck to be parallel
parked as easily as a small sedan. At slow speeds, the rear wheels can
turn up to 12 degrees on the opposite direction of the front ones to
make tight corners a breeze.

2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 HD

2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 HD
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At higher speeds, above 40 kph, the computer controlled steering changes
so the rear wheels now turn the same direction as the front. This is
fantastic for trailer towing, because the steering inputs of the rear
axle cause the trailer to follow quicker, eliminating most of the sway
found during lane changes with conventional trailer towing. A switch on
the dash enables the system to operate in two-wheel steer mode, but I am
not sure why one would want to. For those who tow trailers, Quadrasteer
is one of the best options available.

Power to haul loads comes from a 6.0 litre Vortec V8 engine. Electronic
throttle control, sometimes called drive by wire, keeps acceleration
smooth. The engine has lots of torque and the automatic four-wheel drive
system was appreciated on slippery roads, as were the ABS brakes.
Acceleration doesn’t feel fast, but the speedometer climbs faster than

On the road, you can tell this is a heavy duty truck. Ride is firm, with
bumps and cracks transmitted through the higher capacity tires and
springs into the passenger compartment. Part of the QuadraSteer option
is an electronically adjustable ride control. A button on the dash
enables the driver to select from two different ride levels. On light
duty trucks, I noticed the difference. On this truck, it only feels like
firm and firmer. I suspect a few hundred pounds weight in the box would
smooth out the ride considerably.

Inside, the top of the line LT trim package on this 1500 HD Silverado
provides all the comforts of any luxury car. Heated, six way power
bucket seats with memory, leather seats and trim, power windows, mirrors
and locks, and the ON-Star communications system are a few of the luxury
features. Dual-zone automatic climate control and a driver’s information
and trip computer are also part of the package. Steering wheel controls
take a little while to get used too, because they seem to operate many
features of the vehicle, including the excellent-sounding audio system,
climate control, trip computer, OnStar, and OnStar Personal Calling.

2003 Chevrolet Silverado
Click image to enlarge (Photo: General Motors)

OnStar Personal Calling is a new feature that allows drivers to use the
OnStar system like a vehicle mounted cell phone. Blocks of time can be
purchased and there are no long distance charges or roaming charges
anywhere in the U.S. or Canada. Another neat option is the electric
Camper mirrors. Place the mirror selector switch in the middle position
and the mirror control now extends the mirrors electrically. The mirrors
were vibration free and easy to use even in the extended position.

The rear seat entertainment system was a big hit with my family, making
the rear seat the place to be. With a fold-down screen and separate rear
seat controls, DVD movies and video games kept them amused for many

2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 HD emblem
Priced at $57,210, this pickup truck isn’t cheap, but then it had almost
every possible option GM offers. The truck is powerful, nimble, quiet,
and comfortable. It’s a luxury vehicle capable of transporting a family
and trailer in style.

Technical Data:

2003 Chevrolet Silverado CrewCab 1500 Heavy Duty with Quadrasteer
Base price/tested price $47,615/$57,210
Type 6-passenger, 4-door Crewcab full-size pickup, longitudinal front engine/part-time 4 wheel drive
Engine 6.0 litre V8
Horsepower 300 @ 4400 rpm
Torque 360 lb.ft. @ 4000 rpm
Transmission 4 speed automatic; electric shift automatic transfer case
GVWR (Max) 3901 kg. (8600 lb.)
Wheelbase 3886 mm (153.0 in.)
Length 6027 mm (237.3 in.)
Width 2151 mm (84.7 in.)
Height 1956 mm (77.0 in.)
Cargo Capacity 1611 L (56.9 cu.ft.) – Short Box
Fuel consumption HD trucks not rated by Transport Canada
Warranty 3 yrs/60,000 km
Powertrain warranty 5 yrs/100,000 km
Special Features/Options: Quadrasteer, Rear seat entertainment system,
Leather interior trim, 6-way power bucket seats, On-Star system, rear
window defogger, trailering package

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