What's New for 2007
Though a fully redesigned Chevrolet Silverado will debut for the 2007 model year, Chevy has decided to keep the old model in production as well. This one's called the "Classic" and has changed only slightly when compared to last year's model. These changes include the deletion of the five-speed manual transmission for the 4.8-liter V8 and the addition of a few features, such as a six-disc CD changer and steering wheel-mounted controls, to the LT package.
Although this generation of the Chevy pickup is at the end of its lifespan and adds "Classic" to its name, it doesn't mean that the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Classic is completely outdated. A hybrid-electric model debuted in 2005, and the Silverado continues to offer a lot of what full-size-pickup buyers want. Highlights of the outgoing Silverado include a selection of Vortec V8s known for their high output and relative fuel efficiency (provided one has a light throttle foot), the OnStar communications system (that can be used to get directions, make reservations or summon medical help if needed) and a wide variety of cabin amenities.
Compared to the newer offerings from Dodge, Ford, Toyota and Nissan, the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado certainly shows its age and is noticeably lacking in regards to interior design and overall refinement. For the dedicated Chevy buyer who wants a truly competitive truck, waiting for the all-new Silverado might not be a bad idea. Those just desiring a good deal on a pickup, however, will perhaps find the Classic, with its inevitable dealer and factory discounts, a good buy.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Classic comes in three body styles: regular cab, extended cab and crew cab. From here, buyers are typically able to choose from one of five trim levels, including Work Truck, LS, 1LT, 2LT and 3LT. As its name implies, the Work Truck offers minimal luxury (the seats are vinyl, for instance), though dual-zone air-conditioning and an AM/FM radio are both standard. The LS trim upgrades the Silverado with cruise control, a CD player and cloth upholstery. The 1LT adds power windows and locks, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and keyless entry. The 2LT adds bucket seats (with power adjustment for the driver), steering wheel-mounted audio controls and automatic climate control. Going with the 3LT nets you leather seating (with heat and 10-way power adjustment for the front seats), Bose audio with a six-disc CD changer and heated, power-folding/adjusting outside mirrors. Major options, depending on trim and body style, include the OnStar communications system, satellite radio, a sunroof, an off-road package (that provides a heavier-duty suspension and skid plates), a DVD entertainment system and a Limited Edition package that offers a performance suspension, 20-inch wheels, a locking differential and towing preparation.
Powertrains and Performance
A quintet of engines is offered for the half-ton Silverado: a 4.3-liter V6 (195 horsepower), a 4.8-liter V8 (285 hp), a 5.3-liter V8 (295 hp), a 5.3-liter high-output V8 (310 hp) and a 6.0-liter V8 (345 hp) that comes as part of the optional Vortec Max Package. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on regular cabs with the V6 engine. Optional on that model and standard on all other Silverados is a four-speed automatic. Maximum towing capacities range from 5,100 pounds for a V6 automatic to 10,400 pounds for trucks with the 6.0-liter V8. All models come in two- or four-wheel drive. A "mild" hybrid powertrain option is available on extended cabs with the 5.3-liter. This hybrid system doesn't provide electric motor propulsion, but saves fuel by utilizing an electric power-steering system and by automatically shutting down the engine at stops (and then seamlessly restarting it when it's time to go). A bonus of the hybrid is that it can also provide on-the-job power through four 120-volt AC outlets.
Antilock brakes are standard on all Silverados and traction control is optional. But several state-of-the-art safety features, such as stability control and side curtain airbags, are not available. In crash testing, the Chevrolet Silverado received a rating of "Marginal" (third lowest out of four rankings) in the IIHS' offset crash test, while NHTSA frontal impact testing yielded four stars (out of five) for the driver and three stars for the front passenger.
Interior Design and Special Features
A clean, simple layout with easy-to-use controls typifies the Silverado's cabin. Materials quality is unimpressive, and build quality, though improved over the years, is still subpar. On the upside, the cabin is roomy, particularly on crew cab models, and comfortable, thanks to plush seats. XM satellite radio is available, as is a DVD entertainment system for those riding in back of crew cab models.
The Chevy Silverado Classic is comfortable enough to be a daily driver, yet it's still powerful enough to use as a dedicated work truck. Acceleration ranges from adequate to vigorous, depending on which V8 you select, and the automatic transmission shifts with authority. The steering feels vague on center, but it's light and precise enough for easy maneuvering at low speeds. The automatic engine shutdown and startup feature work seamlessly in the hybrid truck. Additionally, the hybrid's electric power steering feels at least as good as the traditional setup.
Read our Chevy Silverado Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test