2014 Chevrolet Silverado: Hard-Wired for Americans
May 20, 2014
A sofa, a loveseat (it's in there, but you can't see it), an old desk and chair in the second row, drawers under the seats. This is what trucks are built to do, and it's no surprise that it all fit in our 2014 Chevrolet Silverado. If ours was the 6.6-foot bed model, we probably could've secured the sofa against a closed tailgate (ratchet straps mitigate that minor compromise).
Sure, most people who live in sub/urban density will rarely use more than 30 percent of a full-size truck's ability. Sure, you can always rent a truck on the handful of occasions you need to do big work. You can always get a minivan which can handle most trips to Home Depot.
But that misses the point. Americans are hard-wired for trucks. We settled the west in covered wagons, spiritual ancestors of the modern-day truck. We're wired to build big things, in big spaces that require big tools, big materials and big breakfasts. Or we used to be anyway. Increasingly, we build computer chips, credit schemes and social networking Web sites.
If I lived in Texas or Colorado, with big roads and parking spaces, and even if I built nothing larger than a bonsai garden, I'd drive a full-size truck (or a Suburban, more likely). Those big sky spaces call for a big sky truck. My competitive bull-riding career would also require it.
But as I live in suburbia, the upcoming Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon would be a better call for my life. A Colorado crew cab only gives up 0.3 inches of maximum bed length to the Silverado crew cab, but the Colorado is 15 inches shorter in overall length and nearly 6 inches narrower (these from GM's preliminary Colorado specs). The Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier prove that even with stagnant designs, a midsize truck is just the right size for many buyers.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor