Click on the photo above to view high-res shots of the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado Last year, we had the opportunity to spend some time in the 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe and were rather pleased with that vehicle's vastly improved interior and driving dynamics. With the Silverado now riding on a similar-yet-different version of the GMT900 platform, will the same traits win us over, or has the General's mainstream pickup truck gone too soft? To find out, we recently spent some time in the decked-out LTZ trim level of Chevy's half-ton hauler. %Gallery-3326% The 2007 Silverado represents the first major update to GM's trucks since 1999, and one could argue that it's the most thorough revamp since the 1988 introduction of the GMT400 architecture. Fully-boxed frame rails are fabricated through a hydroforming process and joined together with more crossmembers (two of them being of the tubular variety) than the outgoing version to provide a platform that is significantly stiffer in torsion and bending. Up front, the coil-over springs and forged lower aluminum control arms are shared with the Silverado's SUV brethren, as is the rack-and pinion steering configuration, but in the rear a properly truck-like leaf spring configuration is utilized to locate the solid rear axle. As major as the structural changes may be, most eyes will be drawn first to the exterior styling. Here, the laid-back windshield of the Tahoe is carried over, but little else. Breaking with a long-held GM tradition, the Silverado now carries sheetmetal that is almost totally unique, with vertically-stacked headlamp elements, heavily flared front fenders, and the largest Bowtie badge that we've ever seen on a Chevrolet. We were a bit slow to warm up to the new styling at first (as is the case with just about any truck redesign), but it's starting to grow on us. We'll reserve final judgment on the shape of the new sheetmetal, but what isn't subject to debate is the fit and finish. The stiffer chassis means less relative movement between body panels during extreme use, and GM has seized the opportunity to tighten up the panel gaps. Nearly every exterior component shows remarkable attention to detail, and the result is a truck that's assembled like a fine piece of furniture. The new box is deeper than that of its predecessor, but not so much that reaching into it from alongside the truck is problematic. We also appreciated the load-assist torsion bars in the tailgate, which make closure a one-handed operation. The large exterior mirrors are welcome in a pickup truck, but unfortunately, the generally rectangular shape is broken up by a cut-off lower inside corner. That's the portion of the mirror that provides the best view into a truck's blind spot, and in its absence, it's much too easy to lose sight of a car that's hanging back a half car length in the next lane. The front bumper didn't hang as perilously low as that on the Tahoe, but prospective Rod Hall wannabes should still take a …
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|MPG||16 City / 20 Hwy|
|Transmission||4-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||315 @ 5200 rpm|
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