2008 Silverado 1500 New Car Test Drive
The Chevy Silverado was lavished with product awards when it was totally redesigned for 2007. For 2008, Silverado gets some detail improvements and minor pricing adjustments.
The styling is bold yet still conservative when compared with the latest pickups from Dodge, Nissan, Toyota, and Ford. While the sheet metal was all-new for 2007, the main reason the new Silverado looks bolder is that it's three inches wider in front and an inch wider in the rear than the previous generation, a big difference.
The Silverado is, of course, available in a range of cab styles and bed lengths with a wide variety of engines, drivetrains and suspensions designed to meet every need.
Upgrades for 2008 include revisions to instruments, seats, radio, a new integrated brake controller option, and more reds in the color palette.
We found the LTZ crew cab with the Z85 suspension offers a nice ride, soaking up vibration on gravel desert roads and offer sure-footed handling on winding paved mountain roads. The popular 5.3-liter V8 delivers good power when needed and quiet cruising when not.
The 2008 Chevy Silverado is available in several trim levels: WT, LT1, LT2, and LTZ. Regular cab WT models may be upgraded with an LS package (about $500) and some larger cab models have an LS version about $1,000 above a WT.
The WT ($17,070) is a basic work truck that comes with a driver information center, AM/FM/XM stereo, 40/20/40 split-bench, vinyl-covered front seat, dual glove boxes, two auxiliary power outlets, tire pressure monitoring system, OnStar and a four-speed automatic transmission.
The LT models start with LT1 ($24,150) which adds a cloth-covered front seat with lockable storage under the seat, a CD player and MP3 compatibility, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and outside temperature displays, 17-inch chrome-styled steel wheels and power folding and heated exterior mirrors. The more upscale LT2 ($28,065) comes with premium cloth front bucket seats with six-way power adjustment, dual-zone automatic temperature controls, audio controls mounted on the steering wheel, fog lamps, aluminum wheels, chromed bumper, and a spare tire lock.
The LTZ ($31,260) adds heavy-duty trailering equipment, an automatic locking rear differential, body-colored bumpers, reclining and heated leather front seats with 12-way power, an in-dash six-CD changer with Bose speakers, turn signal indicators in the exterior rearview mirrors and heated windshield washers.
Engines include a 195-hp 4.3-liter V6 engine; a 295-hp 4.8-liter V8; a 315-hp 5.3-liter V8 in gasoline or flexfuel (gasoline and E85 ethanol, about $600 extra and deduct 4-5 mpg) versions; and a 367-hp 6.0-liter V8. Naturally, not all engines are available in all models (for example, and LS crew cab is 4.8-liter only) but they all come with a four-speed automatic.
Extended cab and crew cab models have back seats and windows in the side doors that power down. The crew cab has four front-hinged doors, much like a sport utility vehicle. The extended cab has rear access doors that are hinged at the rear but that open to 170 degrees to provide full access to the rear seating area.
The standard cab can be outfitted with a standard (6-foot, 6-inch) or long (8-foot) beds. The extended cab also offers a short (5-foot, 8-inch) bed, which is the only bed available on the crew cab.
Cab configuration and drive have significant influence on pricing. Larger cabs typically include more standard equipment, and 4WD adds $2,000-$3,000.
Five suspension setups are available: Z83 is the standard suspension and is designed for a smooth ride; Z85 is a little firmer for enhanced handling and towing; Z71 is for off-road driving and includes 18-inch wheels; Z60 is for maximum street performance and includes 20-inch wheels; NHT is for maximum towing capacity and includes high-capacity rear springs as well as all-terrain tires.
Safety features on all Silverado models dual front airbags, anti-lock brakes, tire pressure monitoring system. Options include side-curtain airbags (LT, LTZ only), StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover mitigation technology (extended cab only, standard crew), Autotrac active transfer case, Ultrasonic rear parking assist, OnStar.
Option prices vary by trim level and body style. Among them (LTZ prices shown): a cargo management system for the truck bed ($95), a power sliding sunroof ($795), 20-inch wheels/suspension ($995), a power sliding rear window ($200), rear-seat entertainment system ($1,295), and navigation system ($2,250). On lesser models: locking differential ($395), StabiliTrak electronic stability control ($425), tow packages (about $300-$750).