Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Edmunds Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test-drivers. Enjoy.
Like most pickup truck owners, we didn't purchase our 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 ZL1 LT with the specific intention of taking it to the track. Still, it's our protocol. From Porsche to pickup, every car we buy gets its initial shakedown at the track.
So, while the Silverado's slalom numbers are more of a morbid curiosity than strict science, the performance of its new Gen V, 5.3-liter small-block V8 is certainly relevant. This new motor produces 355 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and a respectable 383 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. Power is routed to the rear wheels only (saving us initial cash on purchase and fuel economy in the long run) via a six-speed automatic transmission.
We've tested this engine before in the 2014 GMC Sierra 1500, but that truck rode on heavy 20-inch wheels, had a fancy GMC interior and 4WD. No surprise then that it weighed a full 600 pounds more than our long-term Chevy. Surely, then, our truck can beat that GMC's 8.0-second jog to 60 mph and average 133-foot stopping distance from 60 mph. But by how much? And how much could simple weight reduction improve the handling of a 5,000-pound pickup? We took it to the track to find out.
Driver: Mike Monticello
Price: $41,551 (MSRP)
Drive Type: Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed automatic
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated, direct-injected V8, gasoline with cylinder deactivation
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 5,328/325
Redline (rpm): 5,800
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 355 @ 5,600
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 383 @ 4,100
Brake Type (front): 13.2-inch ventilated discs with two-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): 13.6-inch solid discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent double wishbone, coil springs, monotube shocks, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Solid axle, leaf springs, monotube shocks
Tire Size (front): P265/55R18 112T M+S
Tire Size (rear): P265/55R18 112T M+S
Tire Brand: Goodyear
Tire Model: Wrangler SR-A
Tire Type: Low-rolling-resistance all-season
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 5,206
0-30 (sec): 2.6 (3.0 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 4.5 (5.0 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 6.8 (7.2 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 6.5 (6.8 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 10.2 (10.7 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 15.0 @ 92.9 ( 15.3 @ 92.7 w/ TC on)
30-0 (ft): 32
60-0 (ft): 128
Slalom (mph): 55.4 w/ ESC on)
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.75 (0.73 w/ ESC on)
RPM @ 70: 1,750
Acceleration: This thing came alive once traction control was switched off. Left to its own devices, it would pull a fairly long burnout off the line. Too much spin, in fact. Best run was achieved with some brake/throttle overlap, and then a little less than full throttle initially to keep the spin from getting out of control. Extremely lazy upshifts. Manual shifting is via a rocker switch on the steering column lever. Holds gears to 6,800-rpm rev limiter. Blips the throttle on manual downshifts.
Braking: Firm pedal feel, reasonable amount of pedal travel. Pretty serious amount of nosedive, but the truck stops straight without any fuss. Comical amount of rocking on the suspension once it comes to a stop. First stop was shortest at 128 feet. Fourth stop (of five) was longest at 135 feet.
Skid pad: Not much in the way of steering feel, but it doesn't matter too much because the ESC system intrudes most of the way around. Throttle adjustments would have more effect if not for the ESC intervening so much. Turning traction control off helped, letting us get a bit more aggressive with throttle changes to alter the truck's attitude and curb understeer somewhat.
Slalom: Slow, feedback-less steering plus lots of body roll. The slalom is not really this truck's thing, as it doesn't like to change direction all that much. Turning traction control off made slalom exit a bit more fun, but ESC still cut in the same amount everywhere else.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.