2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Custom Sport Quick Spin
A Spot Of Luxury Camping To Reminds Us How Good Trucks Have Become
Power355 HP / 383 LB-FT
Curb Weight5,360 LBS
MPG15 City / 21 HWY
As Tested Price$57,405
- The cabin is big and inviting, and everything in it is big and inviting. The materials are nice enough to look and feel swanky but not so lavish that you're afraid to get them dirty. The seats are sized for adult male bears but they don't swallow you up. The sunroof is big enough to be an observatory.
- It's also quiet. The only time it gets mildly unruly is when you call for power and the engine has to downshift a few gears, otherwise you don't hear the exhaust unless you roll down the window.
- It looks like it was designed with a T-square. I quite like it, the body-colored bumpers toning things down, the 20-inch wheels doing a much better job of filling those ample arches than the standard 17-inchers.
- The truck is built for people who take their work and all their gadgets with them. The front console has three USB ports, two 12-volt cigarette lighter ports, and a three-prong 110-volt outlet. The giant cubby at the base of the console has an insert to hold a clipboard or a small tablet. The abyss under the center armrest has one more 12V cigarette lighter, two more USB ports, an SD card reader, and another specialized holder for something the size of a small tablet. There's a WiFi hotspot so the streaming never has to stop. The Chevrolet navigation was trouble-free as usual, and you can input destinations on a QWERTY touchscreen keyboard. Every nav system should be so solid.
- The Silverado has some of the best feature implementations we've encountered in any vehicle. The lane departure warning and park assist systems don't vibrate the steering wheel, they vibrate the seat. The left, right, and middle of the seat bottom will pulse as necessary, an intuitive, peripheral way to deliver a message that doesn't interrupt your primary focus.
- The rear-view camera is no longer offset, it's centered. The image and the screen clarity, even at night, were so good that I could hitch up the Airstream trailer I was pulling without any help. The headlight knob always resets to Auto; if you turn the headlights off, when you shut down the truck and restart the lights are on Auto again. It's an instant cure for when valets and everyone else who gets behind the wheel change the headlight setting, which you'd might not realize until your headlights don't come on at night or you have a dead battery the next day.
- We got this to haul a 22-foot Airstream trailer with a listed base weight of 3,634 pounds, which the 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 and six-speed gearbox did easily. The 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque aren't eye-popping numbers (you can get an optional 6.2-liter V8 with 420 hp and 460 lb-ft mated to an eight-speed transmission), but 300 lb-ft is available from 2,000 rpm. It humped us over the numerous grades in the 164-mile stretch between home and our desert camp-out spot, including a steep, winding, seven-mile run out of Borrego Springs, with zero issues.
- The Z71 package upgrades the suspension with better shocks, a front stabilizer bar, and better bump stops for big hits. We spent a couple of afternoons pounding over washboard desert trails, the kind that would once make an empty pickup bed waggle at a different rhythm than the cab and generally go all bouncy castle. None of that here, the much stiffer chassis and details like inset doors tamping down such theatrics.
- The Max Trailering package swaps out for a 9.76-inch rear axle, heavy-duty springs, and different shock tuning, so the ride is stiffer than without it, but we thought it plenty plush for daily driving. The ceaseless expansion joints in LA freeways will make any really stiff or unsorted suspension see-saw, but the Silverado smoothed it all out, only getting momentarily floaty if you hit a sharp bump at high speed.
- And besides, the Max Trailering package means the truck you see here can tow almost 11,000 pounds. That's more than adequate for most people's needs, and it meant we had no trouble hooking up an Airstream and getting out of town for a few days. Big American pickup, is there anything you can't do?
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