What's New for 2007
The 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is all-new, from the tires to the roof. Key improvements in cabin trim, build quality, safety features and towing capacity make the Silverado the odds-on favorite in the full-size-pickup class.
For years, the Chevrolet Silverado has taken countless and well-deserved shots from the automotive press for its bland cabin that featured cheap materials and mediocre build quality. Yes, Chevy's pickup was a great workhorse with impressive all-around performance, but the cabin's abundance of hard plastics, spotty assembly and lack of personality did nothing to score votes from our editorial staff.
The 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 receives a full redesign that addresses nearly all of the previous truck's faults. (Be aware that Chevy is continuing to sell the old Silverado in 2007 as well; it's called the "Classic.") Even just a casual glance around the new Silverado's cabin reveals much-improved materials and build quality, with uniform grain patterns and tight panel gaps. The interior of the LTZ trim in particular, with its lustrous wood and metallic accents, has a luxurious ambience that would do a Cadillac proud.
On the outside, Chevy's half-ton pickup truck features updated styling. A large grille, wider and taller than previous models, and a prominent gold bow tie are flanked by premium-look, reflector-optics headlamps. The power dome hood rises from the front end, alluding to the workhorse power plant beneath it, and the more aggressively sloped windshield conveys improved fuel economy due to enhanced aerodynamics.
Underneath, the truck has a redesigned front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering for better steering feel, handling and ride quality. A strengthened frame contributes to impressive towing capacity. And the Chevrolet Silverado's engine lineup, already a strong point, gets even stronger this year as output is up nearly across the board. Safety has also been addressed via the adoption of stability control, side-curtain airbags and rear park assist.
Although Chevy nailed all the biggies, there are a few small demerits. One is that the new Silverado uses a four-speed automatic transmission instead of the superb six-speed unit seen in the GMC Yukon Denali and Cadillac Escalade. For the most part, the four-speed works fine, but occasionally, it can leave the engine flat-footed as it takes a beat or two to downshift to supply a burst of power. The other minor quibbles are a turning radius that's a few feet larger than rivals such as the F-150 and Titan, and overly hard door armrests.
Overall, however, we're quite impressed with the all-new Chevy Silverado 1500. It should prove to be a smart choice for a full-size pickup. Shoppers in this segment should be aware, though, that along with the new Silverado, this year also brings the completely redesigned Toyota Tundra, which, like the Chevy, is extremely well-rounded and ready for hard work. So in the half-ton pickup truck segment, we're talking about a two-horse race in which the versatile, comfortable and well-built Silverado is worth betting on.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is a full-size pickup truck. There are three body styles available: standard cab, extended cab and crew cab. Standard cabs can be had with either a standard or long bed. Extended cabs can have a short, standard or long bed. In the interest of maneuverability, crew cabs come only with the short bed.
Regular cabs can be had in base Work or midlevel LT trims, while the extended and crew cabs can also be had in plush LTZ form. The Work trim comes with the basics, including air-conditioning (extended and crew cab versions), a trip computer, OnStar telematics, vinyl seating, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat and a tilt steering wheel. The LT trim actually consists of two subsets, 1LT and 2LT. The 1LT adds deep-tinted windows, chrome grille trim, alloy wheels, a CD player, cruise control, full power accessories, cloth seating, keyless entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Opting for the 2LT nets you dual-zone automatic climate control (in extended and crew cabs), front bucket seats and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. The top-shelf LTZ has all of the previous equipment plus rain-sensing wipers (with heated washer fluid), a Bose audio system with six-disc CD changer, keyless entry/start, leather seating, an exclusive dash design with wood/metallic accents, 12-way power and heated front seats, rear audio controls and Homelink universal remote.
Notable available options include the Z71 Off-Road Package (skid plates, off-road suspension and locking rear differential), the Safety Package (power-adjustable pedals, side-curtain airbags and park assist), the Texas Edition (5.3-liter V8, 20-inch alloy wheels, heavy-duty trailering package, locking rear differential, special emblems), upgraded audio systems with XM satellite radio, a navigation system, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a sunroof, a power sliding rear window, a cargo management system that features tracks with sliding hooks, rear park assist and an "EZ Lift" tailgate that requires only about half the effort (compared to the standard tailgate) to open and close.
Powertrains and Performance
Work trucks come equipped with a 4.3-liter V6 (195 horsepower, 260 pound-feet of torque). A 4.8-liter V8 (295 hp, 305 lb-ft) powers the 1LT trucks (except the long-box versions). A 5.3-liter V8 (315 hp, 338 lb-ft) comes standard on 2LT and LTZ pickups, with a FlexFuel version optional. Optional on all Chevy Silverados but the Work truck is the "Vortec Max" 6.0-liter V8 that makes 367 hp and 375 lb-ft. All V8s except the 4.8 feature Active Fuel Management that shuts down four cylinders under light-load conditions (such as highway cruising) to promote greater fuel economy. With the optional Max trailering package, tow capacity is 10,500 pounds.
A four-speed automatic with a tow/haul mode is standard on all Silverado pickups, with a heavy-duty version fitted to the 6.0-liter V8. Buyers have a choice of either rear- or four-wheel drive. The Work trim with 4WD has a traditional floor-mounted selector for the transfer case. All other 4WD trims have Autotrac, which features an automatic setting that shifts into 4WD when wheel slippage is detected.
Antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum) are standard on the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, with an all-disc version optional. A stability control system with roll-mitigating technology is standard on crew cabs and optional on extended cabs. Side curtain airbags are optional across the board.
Interior Design and Special Features
The fit and finish of the new truck's cabin is vastly improved over the previous Silverado. Tight build quality, an attractive two-tone scheme and comfortable seating front and rear combine with sound ergonomics to make the interior enjoyable on long road trips. A one-touch signal lane-change feature, plenty of storage cubbies, three power points (including one in the console box) and well-placed cupholders add to the user-friendly environment. Silverado LTZ trims feature a unique dash and door panel treatment with lustrous wood grain and metallic accents.
Equipped with the burly 6.0-liter V8, the Chevrolet Silverado delivers swift acceleration, with a 7.9-second 0-60-mph run and a quarter-mile time of 16 seconds flat. The four-speed transmission is sometimes caught flat-footed, taking a beat or two to downshift and provide a surge of power. Steering feel is much improved over the previous Silverado thanks to a new rack-and-pinion design. There's no longer a massive dead spot on-center and the power assist feels about right for a truck. On long trips, the Chevy Silverado's supple suspension swallows bumps (even with the heavy-duty towing option) while still allowing confident, no-slop handling with a minimum of body sway through the turns. The cabin is impressively quiet, as we recorded a lower sound reading at 70 mph in a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado crew cab than we did in an Audi A6 luxury sedan.