Hard-Wired for Americans - 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 LT Crew Long-Term Road Test

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 LT Crew Long-Term Road Test

2014 Chevrolet Silverado: Hard-Wired for Americans

May 20, 2014

2014 Chevrolet Silverado

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


  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    "We settled the west in covered wagons, spiritual ancestors of the modern-day truck." 1) Most of North America was settled (in low density) over 13,000 years ago by people who came from Asia. What do you mean by "We"? 2) This comfortable, softly sprung truck, at over 5,000 lbs; can only hold in payload half its own weight, has over 350 horsepower, cushioned and heated seats, air conditioning, and access to your Facebook and Twitter. It is not the spiritual ancestor of the covered wagon, if such a thing exists. As for your big sky place/big sky truck truck paragraph, that kind of romanticizing sounds like a truck commercial. I'd copyright that before someone's marketing team steals it. Regardless, I like that your compared the Silverado to the Colorado. For many of us, the smaller, lighter, cheaper midsize trucks make way more sense. A Tacoma is probably in my future, but I'll definitely be checking out the Colorado and Canyon twins.

  • hybris hybris Posts:

    Even if you have the 6.6ft bed you still have a SUT. If it doesn't have a full size bed (8ft+ bed) and its a half ton or heavier then its not a truck. I know I 'm a broken record here but someone has to speak out on this kind of dribble.

  • bassrockerx bassrockerx Posts:

    dude ... get a trailer you was just 1 more thing from everything not fitting this doesent show off the trucks capabilities just your feeble tetris skills . also you guys should start buying trucks with bed liners this is like the 4th truck you guys have bought without one. (slo i rarely see trucks on lots without them how do you guys always manage to find the single ones without liners?

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    Oh, Hybris, there you go again bothering folks with facts. ;-) Have to agree that for their size, many "trucks" and minivans have very small payloads. I'm not a big truck person because the 4x4 trails I visit are a bit tight for them.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    I keep promising myself I'm not going to comment any more on what a pitifully small bed this truck has, but Edmunds keeps publishing more posts, exalting (they think) the truck's hauling capabilities, which in reality show up its LACK of hauling capabilities. That is too bad, because basically this is a really nice truck. And yes, get a bedliner.

  • spyderpa spyderpa Posts:

    I know many on here bemoan the lack of a full size bed on this truck (and others). For someone like myself, who still wants the truck for the versatility and capability but more frequently hauls people than cargo, the short bed and quad cab arrangement is a great compromise. As the author alluded to, having more options in the mid-size segment is a good thing for truck buyers who don't need the full-size behemoths.

  • hybris hybris Posts:

    @spyderpa If you want to compromise then get the extended cab/ 8ft bed combo you enough room to haul people and a proper bed. If not again as you said a mid size crew cab truck and I would add a trailer as well are a cheaper option and more in line with w

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