KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
The Ford F150 is the bestselling pickup truck (and vehicle, for that matter) in the country, but when you combine the sales of the Chevrolet Silverado with the nearly-identical GMC Sierra, it's a different story. The General Motors pickups outsell the Ford handily and also outsell all the import-label pickup trucks combined. This means GM has a lot riding on its all-new Chevrolet Silverado, because this truck will be its standard-bearer for years to come. With that in mind, GM engineers and designers have made a veritable shipload of changes to the pickup, including an improved chassis, more precise steering and a quieter, more upscale interior offering two completely different looks. Meanwhile, the Silverado offers segment-leading fuel economy thanks to the new line of Active Fuel Management-equipped V8 engines. And for those with an ecological bent, a Flex-Fuel E85-capable engine is also available.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you want to tailor your pickup truck to your exact requirements, the Chevrolet Silverado enables you to do just that with a wide variety of configurations, bed lengths and trim levels. The Silverado's V8 engine lineup offers Active Fuel Management technology and Flex-Fuel E85 capability.
You May Not Like This Car If...
The only quibble we have with the Silverado is the baffling array of choices buyers havemultiple trim levels, cab sizes, bed lengths and even instrument panels. Plus the Silverado Classic (the previous design) further muddies the waters for potential buyers.
What's Significant About This Car?
The Silverado has been completely re-designed and re-engineered for the 2007 model year. While the old model was a bestseller, the new one is better than the previous version.
Because it rides on the new GM full-size truck platform, the Chevrolet Silverado offers a markedly better ride-and-handling combination than its predecessor. The new platform includes a fully boxed frame (for more chassis stiffness), coil-over-shock front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering, and the result is a surprisingly maneuverable and comfortable vehicle. Our lengthy test drive took us over rough, washboard gravel roads, yet the Silverado's cabin remained quiet and composed. We found it hard to choose between the "pure pickup" interior and the "luxury-inspired" interior, because both were handsome and functional. While the available 4.3-liter V6 could probably get most jobs done, the Silverado can also be equipped with a variety of V8 engines, most with 5.3-liter displacement. For those who'd like to tow their houses behind their trucks a 6.0-liter 367-horsepower aluminum block V8 is available as well. Power delivery with each V8 engine we tested was more than ample, and we were impressed with the smooth delivery of power through the electronically-controlled Hydra-Matic automatic transmission. Chevrolet has made its StabiliTrak electronic stability control system standard on crew cab models, and it is available on extended cab models as an option.
In a welcome bow to those who work hard to earn their keepand who live in frigid climesthe Silverado has knobs, switches and door handles that can be easily operated while wearing gloves.
Active Fuel Management
The Active Fuel Management system available in four different V8s cuts the operation of four cylinders when they are unneeded and enhances fuel economy.
Because the Silverado was part of an extensive reworking of both full-size pickups and full-size SUVs, it features two distinct interiors. The WT and LT trim levels feature the "pure pickup" interior that features larger controls and a double glovebox, while the LTZ trim level features the same "luxury-inspired" interior that is also used in Chevrolet's LTZ-trim full-size sport utilities, Tahoe and Suburban. Both instrument panels are mounted lower and farther forward for an increased feeling of spaciousness and visibility. And both interior designs are attractive but, as you might guess, the up-level LTZ will be a hit with the suburban set, while others might favor the more functional traditional truck treatment. One area that everyone will agree on is the back-seat area in the crew cab models, which offers significantly improved room and comfort. The stadium-style rear seat has a 60/40-split design and folding center armrest. It can be easily folded up with one hand to provide an uninterrupted load floor. Cloth seats are standard on WT and LT models; leather seating is available on LT models along with a six-way, power-adjustable driver's seat. A lockable storage bin is built into a new 40/20/40-split bench front seat. The bin can accommodate a laptop computer and features a 12-volt power outlet.
"Pure pickup"that's how GM designers describe the exterior of the new Silverado. With the widest track in the segment, the Silverado is substantial but it eschews the bulbous but juvenile muscularity of some of its competitors. Instead, it looks tailored and subdued front to rear. Highlights include narrow gaps between body panels, enabled by the new version's significantly stiffer frame that limits body flex. The new horizontal grille is divided by a thick bright metal bar that flanks a bold Chevrolet "bow tie" symbol. Designers also took special pains to integrate the pickup box while at the same time making it taller. Efforts were also made to limit the typically big gaps between tires and fenders in order to give the truck a more refined appearance without sacrificing utility. Standard wheels are 17 inches in diameter, while 18- and 20-inch wheels are also available. Entry to the rear seat/storage area of extended cab models is eased with new rear access doors that open 170 degrees, and power-operated rear side windows lower completely into the access doors.
Notable Standard Equipment
The Silverado comes in four trim levelsWT (work truck), 1LT, 2LT and LTZand that means the vehicle can be configured to meet what's envisioned for it from strictly commercial use to luxurious personal use. The base WT trim level includes a four-speed automatic transmission, tire pressure monitoring system, power rack-and-pinion steering, anti-lock brakes (ABS), air conditioning, tinted glass, full instrumentation and two auxiliary power outlets. The 1LT adds cruise control, compass and temperature-display rearview mirror, power windows, door locks and mirrors, remote keyless entry and CD/MP3 player audio system. Opting for the 2LT level nets you the 5.3L V8 engine with Active Fuel Management, automatic dual-zone air conditioning, six-way power front bucket seats, 17-inch custom aluminum wheels and steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls. The high-luxe LTZ brings with it niceties like 12-way power heated front bucket seats, leather-appointed seats front and rear, premium instrument panel, power-folding power-adjustable heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, MP3-compatible six-disc CD changer with auxiliary input jack and Bose premium speaker system, rear audio system controls, remote starting system and heated washer fluid system.
Notable Optional Equipment
The multiple trim levels should allow you to fine-tune your choice based on the equipment level you want, but the Silverado can also be optioned in several ways. It offers a dazzling array of five suspension systems, each tailored to suit specific driving requirements. They include Z83 for a solid, smooth ride, Z85 for enhanced handling and trailer towing, Z71 for enhanced off-road capability, Z60 for street performance with 20-inch wheels and NHT for maximum towing capacity. The StabiliTrak electronic stability control system is standard on crew cab models and available on select extended cab models. A choice of two- and four-wheel-drive models, various cabs and bed lengths and a variety of axle ratios are also offered.
Under the Hood
While we expect the 4.3-liter V6 and 4.8-liter V8 to be more than adequate in work truck applications, we recommend the 5.3-liter V8 engines, some with cast iron blocks and some with aluminum. And for those with a thirst for power (and towing capacity) the 6.0-liter with Active Fuel Management and variable valve timing is a gem. It offers significantly more power and torque (pulling force) with very little penalty in fuel economy.
195 horsepower @ 4600 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/21 (2WD), 16/19 (4WD)
295 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
305 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/20 (2WD), 15/19 (4WD)
5.3-liter V8 Flex Fuel
315 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
338 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/16 (2WD, E85) 16/21 (2WD, Gas), 12/15 (4WD, E85), 16/20 (4WD, Gas)
315 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
338 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 (2WD), 16/20 (4WD)
367 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
375 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/19 (2WD), 15/19 (4WD)
The Chevrolet Silverado has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $18,760 for a base, and somewhat spartan, work truck. The LT trim level with substantial equipment, and in Regular Cab form, starts at $24,410. The top-of-the-line LTZ model, new for 2007, has an MSRP starting at $32,105, and well-equipped LTZs could top $35,000. Since the 2007 Silverado is all-new, it is in demand and selling very close to suggested price. We advise that you check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see the typical price consumers are paying now. As the segment sales leader, the Silverado offers very good resale value, higher than the projected residual values for the Dodge Ram, Ford F150 and Nissan Titan and similar to that of the Toyota Tundra.