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

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


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

July 31, 2013

With houses in disrepair, racecars that need towing and an affinity for flat-box shopping and yard sales, there's nothing like having a pickup truck. And when it comes to pickup trucks, nobody does it like America.

Among the Big Three, more than a million new pickup trucks roll into new owners' hands every year, so when one of them releases a new model, it's a huge deal. This year, GM has done just that with the 2014 Chevy Silverado. The styling may be familiar, but this truck is all new from top to bottom.

Think Chevy had a high bar to clear with the C7 Corvette? That was nothing compared to redoing its most popular model. To see how well it pulled off the new truck, we just bought a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 LT Crew for our long-term test fleet.

What We Bought
There are roughly 950 variations of the 2014 Chevy Silverado, so picking the right one was difficult. First, we wanted a crew cab with the short 5-foot, 8-inch bed. This makes the most sense both for our test fleet and for the types of trucks people are shopping for these days. Next up was the drivetrain. We've had 4WD trucks before and with our SoCal lifestyle they only saw a touch of snow, some mud and a whole lotta dirt. With 2WD, we could do dirt, still do the towing we need and save some money off the bottom line. Done.

Finally, we didn't want to wait. We wanted to get this truck into the fleet ASAP, which means our only engine choices were the new direct-injected Gen 5 5.3-liter small-block V8 or the 285-horsepower 4.3-liter V6. A 6.2-liter V8 will make an appearance later, but we weren't going to wait that long. Besides, we've already ordered something with that same engine .

The 5.3-liter is an $895 no-brainer option that makes 355 hp and 383 pound-feet of torque. Through the standard six-speed automatic, this is good for a combined EPA rating of 18 mpg and 16 city/22 highway.

From there we picked the LT Z71 trim level that includes an automatic locking rear differential, off-road suspension, hill descent control, trailering package, OnStar for six months, Chevy MyLink with a 4.2-inch screen, Bluetooth, bench seat with underseat storage and remote entry. The price at that point was $36,750. Then there were the options.

We added the All Star Edition package for $1,830. This package offers bright-machined (not chromed!) 18-inch wheels, dual-zone climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, MyLink with 8-inch color touchscreen, rear window defroster, remote start and (a big one for our tight Los Angeles parking situation) a rearview camera.

On top of that we added leather seats for $1,095, navigation for $795, an integrated trailer-brake controller for $230 and then the no-cost 3.42 rear end.

Including the $995 destination fee and minus the $750 "All-Star Edition Discount" this truck carries a sticker price of $40,945.

Supplemental to that sticker price, our 2014 Chevrolet Silverado carries another sticker that shows $606.95 worth of dealer-installed upgrades like $169 door-edge protect, $189 wheel locks, $99.95 worth of nitrogen in the tires and a $149 exhaust tip. Needless to say, we didn't pay $41,551.95 for this truck.

We took advantage of $750 worth of customer loyalty cash and then we got another few hundred off through negotiation. For a brand-new truck that's in short supply, there were limits to how well we could do. When the dust settled, we got this 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 Z71 LT Crew for $39,342. Nitrogen included.

Why We Bought It
In a year that will see an all-new Corvette, a new Toyota Corolla, a hybrid Ferrari and more, it's the 2014 Chevy Silverado that is the most significant.

Trucks need to be able to work incredibly hard, and in 2013 they need to be fuel-efficient, technologically advanced and comfortable, too.

Chevy has a lot riding on this truck, as do the 400,000-plus people who will buy one this year. As one of those early adopters, we have high hopes. How will this new Silverado hold up over 20,000 miles of city life, racetracks, fire roads and house renovations? Follow along on our Long-Term Road Test page to find out.

Current Odometer: 721
Best Fuel Economy: 14.2
Worst Fuel Economy: 12.5
Average Fuel Economy (over the life of the vehicle): 13.6

Edmunds purchased this vehicle for the purpose of evaluation.


  • mrhp mrhp Posts:

    "Square wheel arches over round wheels. Why?" I have heard this similar sentiment mentioned in a couple publications and I just don't understand where it's coming from. Chevrolet and GMC trucks have had squared wheel arches since 1973. It's not a new addition to the styling. Did it just take everyone this long to notice? Again... 1973.

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    $100 for nitrogen in the tires? Wow, that is a whole new low for worthless dealer add-on's. I know you guys weren't a fan of the sterring on the current F-150, but I would love to see a LT test of the EcoBoost engine and whether it really delivers any fuel economy benefits in real use (I suspect it won't).

  • reminder reminder Posts:

    I find it amazing how technology & in this case, vehicle tech continues to be improved upon. Break-through designs keep customers interested in the "Next Big Thing". That being said, it is incredible how expensive vehicles have become. Trucks in particular seem outrageously expensive. I love bigger, faster, stronger as much as anyone, but $40k for a light duty truck is scary to me especially if owning a truck isn't a necessity. If you work in agriculture or the trades, the truck is a needed tool. To go buy groceries? Not so much.

  • joe_scuba joe_scuba Posts:

    Just another import.

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    Can Edmunds please buy a couple less cars and spend the money on a website, or at least a comment system, that works? Why can comments be viewed on every story EXCEPT intro's like this one?

  • edriver2 edriver2 Posts:

    So let me get this right. You ordered a Silverado that on paper is barely inline with the current F-150 that debuted quite a while ago, and then there is a new F-150 coming out that will be akin to stomping on a bag of kittens...

  • gslippy gslippy Posts:

    Good choice of options. It's worth noting that your price is very close to the average transaction price of a pickup truck today (which I find staggering). Autoblog's 2014 GMC Sierra test truck wouldn't start due to a faulty security immobilizer - how amusing. I hope you have better luck.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    Blank post access comments due to no Comments button. Are you reading this, Edmunds?

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    "Just another import." @joe_scuba Don't tell that to our buddy rope2, he might spontaneously combust.

  • darthbimmer darthbimmer Posts:

    I'm looking forward to 12 months of complaints about how fullsize pickup trucks are poor choices for people living in a big-city metro area because they're tough to do u-turns on city streets, parallel park, navigate through tight parking lots, and fit into parking garages.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    "Just another import." Don't tell rope2, he might stroke out.

  • unionbuster unionbuster Posts:

    That dashboard still looks horrible.

  • $99.95 for nitrogen?! Costco provides that for 'free'!

  • hybris hybris Posts:

    ONCE AGAIN!... Edmunds fails very very hard to buy a "Truck" instead of a truck they get a what amounts to a SUV with a open cargo compartment. I understand that you guys want a full size cab because it has the most features and is the easiest to live with for most of your editors, I have no problem with that at all.////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////I do have the problem of you guys skimping out and not getting at least a 3/4 or 1 ton that has a full size 8ft bed. Is it big? Yes but that's because of the cab and trim level you guys demand. Is it a pain to park? Maybe to a unskilled driver it is but other wise NO!//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////A lot of you are going to wonder why I am angry and I will tell why its because as a "Truck guy" I don't want to see trucks of this type passed off as heavy duty haulers for the everyman because they are not, when the bed is as short or shorter then the average American its too small and no running around with the tail gate down is barbaric and should be unnecessary.///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////In closing I say again Edmunds editors you guys don't seem to be able to grasp what makes a truck a truck. So I will tell you what it is from the POV of a "Truck Guy". A truck is a all purpose vehicle with only 2 weak points compared to other vehicles fuel mileage and size of the vehicle, it is the Boy scout of vehicles it is always prepared even if you only use its abilities once in a great while. To be all purpose a truck must have a 8ft bed or greater, 4 wheel drive, and a limited slip differential, Proper tires with generous sidewall, and the largest gas or diesel motor available from a given manufacturer. //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////Removing these means either compensating more in other areas to fill the weakness (Ex 2wd means tire choice is paramount and even more so with no LSD) or having to live with the lack of ability in the vehicle.//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////My last statement is your comment on "This makes the most sense both for our test fleet and for the types of trucks people are shopping for these days" is weak at best as most people buying truck are better served by other vehicles and you as journalists are only feeding this nonsense.------------------------------------------------------------------------------~Hybris~

  • rohitgupta rohitgupta Posts:

    Good car

  • charleso charleso Posts:

    I always loved most things about my Chevy Silverados I owned. One thing that bothered me, and I still see, is one of the headlights would always fail. Drive anywhere and you will notice GM trucks with one headlight out. It must be a systemic problem that I hope they have fixed. My last truck was a Ford F250 that I pulled a 25-foot trailer from my home in upstate New York to my mom's home in Chico, California. That truck didn't give me an ounce of trouble. My previously-owned Chevrolets would always have something break. It would be an annoyingly small problem, like my seat belt broke the first week I owned my Silverado; or, the windshield wiper motor would stop working. Fortunately, I always traded while still under the warranty. I love the Chevrolet Silverado but I have to admit the Ford truck has surpassed it in my book.

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