Vital Stats

Engine:
5.3L V8
Power:
355 HP / 383 LB-FT
Transmission:
6-Speed Auto
Drivetrain:
Four-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
5,345 LBS
Seating:
2+3
MPG:
16 City / 22 HWY
The Fullsize Pickup, Refined



No one's underestimating the importance of the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado. While General Motors continues to shovel the current generation off dealer lots at an impressive pace, it would be too kind to simply say the old mule has started to show its age. The GMT900 platform that's rolling along under the 2013 model has been underpinning fullsize GM trucks since 2007, and while the Silverado has stayed competitive through most of the intervening six years, the past two haven't been kind to the machine.

Ford just won't quit sharpening its F-150 in one way or another, throwing interior and driveline updates at the stalwart pickup with the fevered pace of a company possessed. Like the Silverado, the F-150 is no fresh piece of hardware, but fuel-efficient and powerful engine options and a well-sorted interior put the truck consistently ahead of the now aged Chevrolet. And then there's the Ram 1500. Chrysler let loose with both barrels with the 2013 update, tearing into the fullsize market with a beautiful cabin, excellent tech and plenty of clever engineering.

Chevy engineers stood back and watched this happen, biting their tongues and whittling away all the while on the next-generation 2014 Silverado. There are only a handful of carryover parts from old machine to new, and the result is a pickup that offers more power, efficiency and refinement than the previous generation while holding the pricing line. This is, without a doubt, the best Silverado ever built, but does that make it the best pickup?
2014 Chevrolet Silverado side view2014 Chevrolet Silverado front view2014 Chevrolet Silverado rear view

Park it beside its forebear and the changes immediately present themselves as substantial.

When the new Silverado first bowed at this year's Detroit Auto Show, the truck faced a chorus of moans. Critics said the design simply wasn't revolutionary enough to carry the machine forward, but park it beside its forebear and the changes immediately present themselves as substantial. The half-ton pickup now wears the bold, vertical face of its heavy duty predecessors, complete with an all-aluminum hood boasting a set of twin power domes that stretch from cowl to grille. As a result, the Silverado looks considerably less pokey than the previous truck from head-on. Throw in those handsome projector headlamps and the black two-tier grille of our Z71 tester and the new model looks both clean and modern without turning its back on the nameplate's history.

The 2014 Silverado is now 0.4 inches wider than before, and that small nudge in track helps give the machine a more planted look. Designers took advantage of the added width by slathering the sides with massive, exaggerated fender swells. The squared-off wheel arches of the previous generation have stuck around, but the look makes sense paired with this more angular design. The inset doors help give the truck a more modern, clean appearance from the side, while smaller Z71 badges show Chevy is capable of demonstrating some restraint when it comes time to apply stickers.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado headlight2014 Chevrolet Silverado wheel2014 Chevrolet Silverado taillight2014 Chevrolet Silverado rear bumper

The tailgate now features a torsion spring that cuts the effort of closing it by half.

While base models ride on attractive 18-inch polished aluminum wheels, our tester came saddled with hefty 20-inch chrome rollers. The Z71 trim affords buyers Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tires, no matter the wheel size. The rubber lands more on the civilized side of the all-terrain spectrum, but makes sense for a truck that will likely spend the majority of its time on paved surfaces or light gravel roads.

Move to the rear and the Silverado shows off a massive Bowtie badge as well as a standard corner step bumper in LTZ guise. The bumper offers a foothold for climbing into the bed, and engineers reworked both rear stake pockets to accommodate a gloved hand for an easier, more secure way to get to cargo. More importantly, the tailgate now features a torsion spring that cuts the effort of closing it by half. Opening the tailgate is as simple as unlatching the lock and letting it drop. The spring gently lets the whole contraption down and into the open position without any help. We owe whoever came up with that one many, many beers. The design is brilliant.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado grille2014 Chevrolet Silverado badge

The Silverado still finds itself half a step behind the Ram 1500 in both material selection and fit and finish.

But it's indoors where the 2014 Silverado really differentiates itself from its ancestors. Here, designers finally gave the truck some much-needed attention. The dash is both more attractive and better thought out than before thanks to a simple-to-use center stack. Buttons and dials have been kept to a minimum, and those present are easy to locate and read at a glance. All of the controls have been moved higher up on the dash than before, and those that are set low are still within arm's reach without having to lean forward or take your eyes from the road. We love the big piano key toggles for traction control, cargo lighting, lane departure and the like.

That's not to say everything's rosy indoors. The Silverado still finds itself half a step behind the Ram 1500 in both material selection and fit and finish. Where the Ram interior feels substantial no matter where our fingers land, the Silverado comes up short with a cheap-feeling, rubbery dash and arm rest covers. Add in a few unsightly gaps between bits of plastic trim and a slow, unresponsive MyLink screen, and it would seem there are still some specters of the old truck floating around inside.

But the driver gets a more substantial steering wheel with new redundant controls, and the redesigned gauge cluster is both good-looking and easy to read. The big, clear TFT screen mounted between the tachometer and the speedometer delivers a spate of vehicle information, from fuel economy and trip readings to the status of the engine's cylinder deactivation.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado interior2014 Chevrolet Silverado front seats2014 Chevrolet Silverado rear seats2014 Chevrolet Silverado folded rear seats

Rest assured: It won't be long before we see a new transmission snugged into the Silverado.

Speaking of cylinder deactivation, GM threw every efficiency trick in the book at the new EcoTec3 engine family. In addition to active fuel management, which can drop from V8 to V4 power to save fuel, the engine now boasts a direct-injection fuel system and variable valve timing for the first time. As a result, this is the smartest 5.3-liter V8 to ever find its way under the hood of a Silverado. With 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, the engine delivers 40 more horsepower and 48 more pound-feet while returning 16 miles per gallon city and 22 mpg highway. That's an increase of 1 mpg in both categories over the comparable 2013 model.

Strangely, that new lump is bolted to the company's old six-speed automatic transmission. While the gearbox still performs as admirably as ever, we can't help but think GM missed some efficiency here by opting to go without an eight-speed gearbox. Why stick with the old slushbox? Engineers had to choose where to put their cash for the new generation, and they chose to spend it on nearly every other aspect of the chassis, cab and driveline instead. Rest assured: It won't be long before we see a new transmission snugged into the Silverado.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado engine

This is the quietest truck on the road, hands down.

On the road, the 2014 model is a few millennia ahead of its predecessor. The cabin is phenomenally quiet thanks to a cornucopia of tricks. The frame is both lighter and stiffer than before. Crew and Double Cab models boast both sheer and hydraulic body mounts to banish solid axle freeway hop. Acoustic fender liners keep tire noise at bay while triple door seals make wind noise an unpleasant memory from this truck's past. Throw in spray-in sound deadening along the firewall and transmission tunnel, and this is the quietest truck on the road, hands down. There are luxury SUVs with worse noise, vibration and harshness characteristics.

Unladen, the 5.3-liter V8 delivers excellent power, hustling the truck to 60 miles per hour quicker than should be feasible. Shifts from that old six-speed are solid and well sorted, but the Silverado offers a more pleasant surprise in the brake system. While the 2014 model technically uses the same size stoppers as before, the entire system has been recalibrated. As a result, the pedal feels more confident with positive bite and excellent response. Considering the previous generation had all the stopping prowess of a hog on ice, the change is more than welcome. The rotors now use GM's Duralife coating, which helps keep rust at bay and significantly increases rotor life in the process.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado gauges2014 Chevrolet Silverado drive mode controls2014 Chevrolet Silverado instrument panel2014 Chevrolet Silverado power outlets

Depending on configuration, the 2014 Silverado will be able to tow up to 11,500 pounds safely.

GM has also done an excellent job of implementing an electronic power steering system on the 2014 Silverado. The wheel is perfectly weighted, and while it isn't the most communicative tiller on the planet, it's a step up and over the over-assisted hardware found on the Ram 1500.

Throw 5,000 pounds worth of empty horse trailer behind the Silverado and you'll never know it's there. Chevrolet says that depending on configuration, the 2014 Silverado will be able to tow up to 11,500 pounds safely, and engineers worked to make the truck more stable while doing so (for the record, as optioned, our tester could only tow a maximum of 9,600 pounds). While the marginally wider track is part of that recipe, so are new wheels and higher specification tires with stiffer sidewalls to reduce squirm and wander under a load. Of course, a number on a page hardly tells the whole story. Like most tow ratings, the closer you get to the ceiling, the harder the truck has to work. We put 8,600 pounds of trailer and skid steer behind the new Silverado, and while the truck could confidently pull the load about, we'd think twice about knocking on that 11,500 number's door.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado rear 3/4 view

Chevy managed to hold the line on pricing for the truck, which means every MSRP is a carryover from 2013.

If you've hung around this long, you're probably wondering exactly how much jumping on this ride will cost you. Chevy managed to hold the line on pricing for the truck, which means every MSRP is a carryover from 2013. Our fully kitted Crew Cab, four-wheel-drive LTZ Z71 tester pegged the meter at $50,910 including a $995 delivery fee. We likely don't need to tell you that the bottom line is well into three-quarter-ton territory. Back off of nonsense options like the $1,395 20-inch wheels, $700 step bars, $995 power sunroof and other goodies, and the price falls off with a quickness. A no-option LTZ Z71, complete with leather seats and all the trimmings can be had for $43,165, plus destination.

That's still a sizable stack of pennies, but it's a good bit more reasonable. Step down from LTZ guise, and the truck gets more affordable still.

GM has done a damn impressive job with the 2014 Silverado, building the truck back into the contender it once was. The remarkably refined driving dynamics and quiet cabin are enough to earn it a special place in our hearts, and the stout aesthetics, refined V8 engine and sharpened interior all help put the truck ahead of the F-150 once again. But the Ram 1500 still offers buyers better in-cabin tech, clever fuel-saving tricks, the class's best interior as well as the option of a small-displacement diesel engine. The new Silverado will certainly help convince longtime fans to hang around, but it may not be enough to keep wandering eyes from strolling toward a Ram 1500. Now we just have to wait and see what Ford has in store for the upcoming F-150.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 241 Comments
      4gasem
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm a Ford truck guy, and have owned 3 different Fords and I ordered a new RAM. I checked the tech, and I loved it. lol Oh and I own two other GM vehicles so I'm not a hater... I like all brands for different reasons. I'm not so ignorant to think one brand is better than the other. They all have their strong points IMO.
      Stomp and steer
      • 1 Year Ago
      It all comes down to brand loyalty. All three are great trucks. You can't lose.....
        Joe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Stomp and steer
        Yeah I've been a Chevy fan all my life, Corvetee Camaro, Silverado etc.. I would never be caught dead in a Ram or F150.. Once you become loyal to a truck you're not even going to so much as glance at the other offerings. I don't own a truck and never did but I'm just adding to your argument there with loyalty.
          jtav2002
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joe
          Not everyone has brand loyalty. I think it's a little dumb myself. Certainly if you just happen to like a specific vehicle better thats fine, but to buy one brand just because of the emblem on the front or NOT buy another (i.e. "not caught dead") brand just because of the name that's stupid.
          micha423
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joe
          @Joe, If I'm understanding you clearly...what you're really admitting to, is your lack of ability to make an informed purchase decision regarding the second largest expense that someone makes in their lifetime next to home ownership???? I don't know about you, but if I'm in the market for a full-sized, light duty truck that ranges from $23K - $50K, I'd like to know that I'm buying the best truck for the money....
      Kendall Riley
      • 1 Year Ago
      Eh. Iz ok. I wish it was more red than chrome but it ain't bad!
      ldowning24
      • 1 Year Ago
      Honestly, if they had just left the excessive faux chrome off the headlights, I think this would be one of the most tasteful designs in the segment. But my word...that eyeliner...
      dukeisduke
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm not crazy about the dash, and how the center stack and the vents on the end stick out of it. Just weird. I also don't like the trend of shoving part of the engine behind the firewall and under the dash (everyone does this now), making some items a nightmare to work on.
        Zach Bowman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @dukeisduke
        It's a nightmare to work on, but makes sense. Putting as much of the engine behind the front axle as possible has a huge impact on the vehicle's driving dynamics.
          erjhe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Zach Bowman
          I believe it's less about relocating the engine and more because with the added rake of the windshield, the leading edge of the windshield has to extend over the engine. Trying to trail the top back further would just cut into the head room.
      traction_control
      • 1 Year Ago
      The front end reminds me of GM’s 1973-1987model Rounded-Line C/K-Series pickups, particularly after the 1981 model facelift that gave a more square-ish and pointed front end. The only thing this new 2014 pickup is missing from the 73-87 styling book is the "waterfall flare" that ran down both sides and across the tailgate. GM should bring that waterfall flare styling detail back – it gave the pickup some curves and was eye catching.
      paqza
      • 1 Year Ago
      No diesel, no deal.
      Mazdaspeed6
      • 1 Year Ago
      why does the rear look the same as the previous? Cadillac has the exact same issue.
      Gene Markel
      • 1 Year Ago
      To my knowledge the 4.3, 5.3 and 6.2 are the first direct injected overhead valve engines of this large displacement. A way to improve MPG.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        • 1 Year Ago
        [blocked]
        krusshall
        • 1 Year Ago
        How much time did you waste writing this? I wasted a minute reading it and responding to it.
        Zach Bowman
        • 1 Year Ago
        You bring up some good points, but saying there's nothing substantially different with this truck is incorrect. It rides on an all-new frame, uses a completely redesigned cab with substantially more high-strength steel and features the new all-aluminum engine family. The 4.3-liter V6 is a great engine, and now that it features cylinder deactivation, I wouldn't be surprised to see it return impressive fuel economy once the numbers are confirmed. Like it or not, these "antiques with electronics added" but out significantly more power and offer better fuel economy. Give it a year model or two and GM will shove a transmission with a higher gear count into this truck and FE will jump again. Like it or not, GM routinely out sells the F-series with the Sierra/Silverado combination, and that doesn't look to change with this new generation. Z
          Zach Bowman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Zach Bowman
          krusshall is correct. I should have said F-150. Last year GM sold 369,686 half-ton Silverado and Sierra pickups to Ford's 343,186 F-150 models. Ford typically gets the nod because GM splits its efforts between GMC and Chevrolet, but a 26,500 unit split is nothing to sneeze at.
          krusshall
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Zach Bowman
          Maybe so but it still doesn't change reality. http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2013/02/who-sold-the-most-half-tons-in-2012.html
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Zach Bowman
          [blocked]
          krusshall
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Zach Bowman
          Zach's intention is correct but the word he used is wrong. GM sells more half-ton Silverados/Sierras than half-ton F150's. Ford does not specifically break out F150 sales, they report F-series sales which includes Super Duty's and above.
          Jeremy
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Zach Bowman
          I agree with everything you had to say , except that Sierra/Silverado combo out sells F-150 . The combination of the two bring the sales number closer to F-150, but everything I have seen it doesn't surpass F-150 sales.
        • 1 Year Ago
        [blocked]
        montoym
        • 1 Year Ago
        quote from Laser: - "There is nothing substantially different with this truck - it is a joke - for decades, Chevrolet has always had a small door on the back of four door pickups. This issue plagues the division in its SUV"s where the mid-sized and full-sized models were not easy to get into in the backseat. Suddenly after over two decades, Chevrolet figures out they have a problem and then crows about its solution. This problem did not plague Ford or Dodge/Ram ever" - Ever huh. So, do you not recall the Ram Quad Cabs then? They were lampooned so much for having tiny rear doors that Dodge eventually offered the MegaCab and gave the rear seat occupants legroom that trumped a Rolls Royce. The Quad Cab though, was definitely sub par. With the new version, they removed the MegaCab option (at least on the non-HD trucks) and went with a decent sized Crew Cab instead, which is what they should have done all along.
        Jason
        • 1 Year Ago
        Well that was one of the most mis-informed and ignorant rants ever posted here. Shame that this garbage might take away from more intelligent remarks on the board.
      William Weisberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      The new Silverado is stillborn before it even hits the showroom floor. A six speed automatic transmission in 2013! Now there is a state-of-the-art gear box if there ever was one. GM is once again heading back down the road to bankuptcy, except this time the taxpayer should not bail out GM.
        krusshall
        • 1 Year Ago
        @William Weisberg
        They could put a 5-speed with the V6 if they wanted to match up well with the 2014 Tundra.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @William Weisberg
        [blocked]
        Brian D
        • 1 Year Ago
        @William Weisberg
        More gears is lame in trucks. An 8 speed means the truck is always shifting trying to find the right gear. I feel the same about cars. BTW, The efficiency gains going from 6 gears to 8 gears is minimal compared to going from 4 gears to 6 gears. Another BTW, Ford and GM are co-designing a 9 speed transmission for trucks. I would expect to see Ford and GM both switch to 9 speeds at the same time.
      MeanMrMustard
      • 1 Year Ago
      I almost feel bad for Chevy. The current F-150 still kicks this Silverado's tailgate and with the new F-150, it won't even be a contest!
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