Read the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado's introduction to our long-term fleet.
See all of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado's long-term updates.
What We Bought
Chevy sells more of these trucks than anything else in its lineup, and the Silverado was fully redesigned for 2014. Adding one to our test fleet was a no-brainer. Figuring out which one was a little more complicated.
Chevrolet offers almost 1,000 versions of the Silverado, so we did our best to build a truck with the most popular features available. The end result was a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 LT Crew with a 5-foot, 8-inch bed and two-wheel drive.
Under the hood was GM's all-new 5.3-liter V8 rated at 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. It was hooked to a standard six-speed automatic transmission. The Z71 package added a locking rear differential, off-road suspension and tow package. We also added $3,950 in optional equipment for items we considered worthwhile: 8-inch touchscreen, rearview camera, leather seats, navigation, trailer-brake controller and a 3.42 rear axle ratio.
After negotiations, manufacturer discounts and customer loyalty cash we paid $39,342 for our Silverado. Here's how it fared during its year of service with us.
- "We encountered a couple of steep sections that were peppered with stretches of those alternating dug-out frame-twist holes, deep ones.... Too bad I didn't have a camera outside to record the limit of the 4x2 Silverado's capability, because I found it." — Dan Edmunds
- "In the space of 10 days I found myself needing to tow three cars on one-way trips from Point A to various Points B.... None of these tow jobs was a challenge for our Silverado 1500 pickup." — Dan Edmunds
- "I need to add a paragraph about the Silverado transmission's Tow/Haul mode. It's really, really well sorted. Of course it holds on to gears a bit longer for every upshift, but as you slow, even if you simply coast, it pulls off some pretty slick rev-matched downshifts to take some load off the brakes. And on longer downhill grades, it activates a grade braking mode that, combined with the truck's barnlike aerodynamics, manages to hold the speed pretty constant. I kept an eye on the trans temps with the multifunction display, but it never exceeded 196 degrees F on even the longest uphill grades, even in 96 degrees F weather." — Kurt Niebuhr
- "When all was said and done the big truck had netted 19.6 mpg.... I consider this result a success, considering the truck is facing an uphill aerodynamic battle at these real-world freeway velocities." — Jason Kavanagh
- "Obviously anytime you're into the throttle for acceleration, it's in V8 mode. But much of the time during steady-state highway cruising, even at elevated speeds, it deactivates cylinders to save fuel." — Mike Monticello
- "Even with our truck's Z71 suspension calibration, it rides nicely whether the bed is empty or full. That's huge if you're just commuting to work in your truck. Money no object, I'd be more than happy to drive around in a Silverado just because." — Erin Riches
- "As a daily driver, it's downright enjoyable. Not everyone has the luxury of owning two vehicles, so if you need a truck for both work duty and everyday driving, the 2014 Silverado has the ride quality to accommodate both." — Travis Langness
- "The rear-seat bottoms support themselves near the hinge when they're in the down position. There's no support strut or bracket in sight. As a result, the area under the seat cushions is wide open for flat objects up to about 3 inches thick from door to door." — Dan Edmunds
- "There's an old saying: If you own a pickup truck, you're never lonely. Or something like that. Owning a truck makes you everyone's best friend. You're the guy who helps them move. The guy who hauls their old couch. The guy who hauls their load of mulch." — Scott Oldham
- "It has fantastic seats. They don't look like much at first glance and they don't feel like much initially, but the front buckets proved very comfortable for the long haul. They have a good range of adjustment, firm but not punishing cushions and perfectly placed padded armrests." — Ed Hellwig
- "The Silverado is much more than a cargo hauler. The front doors have several pockets and cupholders. And so do the rear doors. If you include the slots that are only big enough for 12-ounce cans of soda, there are 11 cupholders. This has to be the most useful interior in our fleet." — Travis Langness
Audio and Technology
- "Folks that tow need to know that back-up cameras aren't universally suited to this activity.... GM's products are among those that have this part right." — Dan Edmunds
- "The base stereo is good for talk radio, podcasts or even low-volume music, but it leaves you wanting more when you select your favorite album and turn it up to 11." — Travis Langness
- "Our rep input the type of service we requested and informed us the total charge would ring in at $299 and some change. It's been some time since I've taken a math course, but I deduced that the estimate was more than the zero dollars I expected." — Cameron Rogers
- "Oh sure, a burning Silverado would make for a fantastic blog photo, but this time we decided to err on the side of responsibility. As it turns out, our Silverado was just fine." — Kurt Niebuhr
- "Full-size trucks like our Silverado are hot sellers and only sit on the lot for a few days, said the CarMax sales representative: 'maybe a week at most.'" — Phil Reed
- "Smooth roads are generally fine. It's when you're bouncing down any kind of bumpy road where the level of finesse required by the column shifter can result in the aforementioned column shifter death spiral." — Jason Kavanagh
Maintenance & Repairs
The owner's manual outlines routine service at 7,500-mile intervals. Its onboard monitor ensured we stuck to the plan. All 2014 Silverados carry a free maintenance plan good for two years or 24,000 miles. No charge at 7,500. Not at 15,000. Not at 22,500. That's mostly true. We paid for the first oil change after taking it to a dealership that didn't handle GM warranty work. Our oversight could not be held against the truck.
Five recalls were announced during our test. The airbag malfunction did not apply to our vehicle. However, our truck was subject to repairs for the exhaust overheating recall (#14008), BCM communication error (#13257), transmission oil cooler line (#14121) and active fuel management recalibration (#13330).
Fuel Economy and Resale Value
Observed Fuel Economy:
The EPA estimates fuel economy for the Silverado at 19 mpg combined (16 city/23 highway). Our test concluded just shy of 25,000 miles, during which time we averaged 17 mpg. The best single tank covered 469 miles and averaged 23 mpg.
Resale and Depreciation:
We purchased our Silverado for $39,342. One year and 24,825 miles later, its private-party value was $32,624 according to Edmunds' TMV® Calculator. When CarMax offered $30,000 we took it. Even at this price the Chevy depreciated just 24 percent. This was a strong showing.
Pros: Good balance of everyday comfort and truck functionality, very quiet interior, plenty of interior storage space, excellent front seats, strong reliability, free maintenance plan, low depreciation.
Cons: Didn't deliver advertised combined fuel mileage, small side mirrors limit visibility, rubber aero flaps hang too low under front bumper for mild off-roading.
Bottom Line: A well-rounded full-size truck that delivered all the capability we needed along with exceptional reliability. Comfortable enough to use as a daily driver, the latest Silverado can also tow a load with ease, tackle rocky back roads and haul all kinds of cargo.
|Total Body Repair Costs:||None|
|Total Routine Maintenance Costs:||None (over 12 months)|
|Additional Maintenance Costs:||None|
|Warranty Repairs:||Reflash for exhaust overheating recall, reflash for BCM communication error, transmission oil cooler line fitment, recalibration for active fuel management system recall.|
|Scheduled Dealer Visits:||3|
|Unscheduled Dealer Visits:||None|
|Days Out of Service:||None|
|Breakdowns Stranding Driver:||None|
|Best Fuel Economy:||23.1 mpg|
|Worst Fuel Economy:||12.5 mpg|
|Average Fuel Economy:||17.4 mpg|
|True Market Value at service end:||$32,624 (private-party sale)|
|What it Sold for:||$30,000|
|Depreciation:||$9,342 (24% of paid price)|
|Final Odometer Reading:||24,825 miles|
Edmunds purchased this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.