When using this truck for work, it functions like a dream. When on a multi-state road trim it's a little rough. The lower trims don't have many features (of which I added what I wanted) and it rides like a truck. It's a much smoother ride than my last truck, but it's still not a smooth "Cadillac" ride that people seem to be expecting from a truck these days. The back seats of the extended cab are a little too tight for a full-sized adult, and it has a larger than average blind spot. I did some work (below) to up it's low combined fuel economy as well. Overall, this truck does great when used for the purpose it was built for, work. It also makes a good fishing / hunting truck, with it's capable 4WD.
I bought this truck at it's one year old mark, specifically for a work truck. I run all through Colorado in this truck, hauling parts for utility work including pipe, sand and gravel. I never expected it to be a comfortable ride, I just need a truck with a long life and a strong powertrain. The seats are comfortable, but the ride is stiff unless the truck is loaded down more than 500 lbs in the bed. Smooth as silk after that. I've been through muddy jeep trails in the mountains with it, and it's done fine. I've been up and down the mountains with more than 1000 lbs of material and been fine. It rips stumps from the ground with ease. However, it is rough if you decide to take 4 adults three states away for a fishing trip. The back seats are too small for people with legs, and if you move up (I'm 6'3") then you're both mildly uncomfortable. But if it's just me +1, than it's a good ride for a pickup truck.
I've added a spray in bed liner, this is a must for any truck in my opinion. It also has a saddle box (the toolbox most pickups have across the bed) for tool storage. The truck was a little rough on gas when I bought it, so I did a few things for that: I added a cold air intake system, I changed out the exhaust from the muffler back, and I added a "chip" to the truck. These brought my city mileage up from 15 to 17 MPG. It bumped my highway up one when going 75 MPH; but when going 55 MPH, I have seen 26 MPG to be reasonably expected. I even managed a two mile trip of 40 MPG at 45 MPH. I also changed out the stereo system for one with Bluetooth calling and iPod connectivity. The speakers were average, but I replaced them and added a 10" sub under the rear seat at the same time. It's not that the system is bad, it's that I spend way too much time in there.
I also have plans for side steps for the truck, as it sits kind of high and shorter people tend to slide on my seat (and this will eventually ruin the cloth cover) as they get in and out. I will also be adding the "camper" side mirrors. The truck has a huge blind spot on either side of the cab. I have the standard mirrors currently, with "bug-eye" mirrors stuck to the corners. I test-drove a truck with the bigger mirrors and find them to be more useful for me. They do block some of your front corner view, however.
I follow GM's recommended service schedule and use fully synthetic oils in everything. I do all my own work, because I'm just cheap like that. Oil changes are relatively simple if you have a strap wrench for the filter, as it's partly covered. Transmission services, however, are a different story. You have to actually remove part of the exhaust system to get the transmission filter out. GM "thought" of this and supposedly made the exhaust removal easier; but any mechanic will tell you that getting exhaust bolts off (even ones only 50,000 miles old) is almost impossible to do without breaking one. I've drilled out two bolts so far to replace them. I'm seriously considering paying someone else to do it next time, because it was that big of a pain in the backside.
Interesting note, like most GM truck owners, my transmission cooler lines began to leak around 80k miles. I decided to fix this myself. This was also a difficult service that required removing the exhaust for my big hands to reach the little retainer clips. Dealer quoted me $200, I paid $50 for parts and $20 for a tool to get the darn clips out, and it took me 5 evenings.
I love this truck overall. It's a hard working truck, and has happily taken any work I've thrown at it. I treat it like a 3/4 ton and it still looks brand new as far as engine / transmission are concerned. There's no oil leaks and no signs of problems. The body is dinged up pretty good, but no rust has shown on it as of yet. I fully expect this truck to last past the 200,000 mile mark before something becomes un-repairable, and I hope to make 300k. I also love the amount of storage in the cab. They took this away in 2010 I believe, but I have a center console with storage under the arm and the seat underneath that also holds a ton of stuff. There's two glove boxes (that hasn't changed through 2013) and there's an aftermarket part to add more storage under the rear bench as well.
As for handling, I can whip around a corner and accelerate pretty well for a truck, I'd say above average. 0-60 mph in 6.5 and Quarter Mile in 15 was my unofficial times. Again, it's a truck.
I'll start of with the blind spots on the truck. They're huge. You could lose a small car (i.e. Eagle Summit) back there if you're not careful. The camper mirrors would be a big help here. I also wish they'd mark that the mirrors are heated, because I didn't figure this out for three years. The back seat is cramped for an adult. It'd fit a child just fine, or a shorter person, but there's no way a 6'3" man will fit back there. The fuel economy left much to be desired in the city, as the AFM never gets a chance to do much good. I also find the Silverado difficult to do repairs on myself, so I'd imagine that garages will charge more hours for work as well. The Silverado rides a little rough for my wife, but I drive tractor-trailers and top-kicks on occasion, so it's nothing to me.
For the few that care, the turning radius is wider than my old truck as well, and the internet claims that it's wider than the previous generation of Silverado by a foot if I remember correctly. I have to three-point turn when in any residential street, and there is no such thing as a U-Turn for me unless I have more than three lanes to work with.
My specific truck Specs:
2007 Silverado 1500 LT-II Extended Cab (4Dr)
4 Wheel Drive (with "Auto 4WD" and shift on the fly functions)
"Mid-size" bed (or the 5 & 3/4 foot bed. The actual size is 78.7 inches)
143.5 inch Wheelbase
Suspension front is coil over and rears are leaf springs
Disc Brakes on the front, drum rears
Standard Power Rack steering
5.3 V8 Gas OHV Distributorless Naturally Aspirated SFI Electronic FI MFI (Upgrades detailed above)
317 hp @ 5200 RPM (with upgrades)
341 lb-ft @ 4400 RPM (with upgrades)"
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