2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 LT Crew Cab 4x2 (5.3L V8 FFV 4x4 6-speed Automatic 5.8 ft. Bed)
Driven On 1/17/2014
We've always admired the performance of the Chevrolet Silverado, though usually not its interior. That's changed. Now this truck is quiet, spacious, comfortable, nice to look at and easy to use. And the new EcoTec3 5.3-liter V8 offers even more power and better fuel economy than before. Our truck was hampered by a busy ride, possibly due to the optional Z71 suspension.
PerformanceThe 5.3-liter direct-injected V8 is stout, and benefits greatly from an effective 6-speed automatic with lots of tricks up its sleeves. Braking and steering are solid, but the long wheelbase of the Crew Cab adds a certain ponderousness to cornering.
The optional 5.3-liter direct-injected V8 is 355-hp strong. Our truck moves out smartly with the zero-cost 3.42 axle ratio option. It achieves 60 mph from a standing start in 6.8 seconds.
The brake pedal was reassuringly firm with good response in normal use, but effort isn't high. Panic stops were accompanied by noticeable dive. Our truck needed 128 feet to stop from 60 mph.
Good feel, with a ratio that's neither too slow nor too quick. Just right. Requires less hand-over-hand than Ford's F-150. Still, the long wheelbase of the Crew Cab makes us stop short of calling it nimble.
Good grip from the tires, and not too much body lean. The stiff rear suspension doesn't handle midcorner bumps well. The long wheelbase demands a patient driving style through corners.
The six-speed automatic shifts smoothly and confidently. New downhill "Grade Braking" downshift logic is excellent. Automatic switch between V8 and fuel-saving V4 mode is imperceptible.
Our 5.3-liter Crew Cab 4x2 with the optional 3.42 axle can tow 9,800 pounds. It could have been 11,400 pounds had we bought the Max Trailering package. The transmission's tow/haul mode works well.
Our 4x2 has the Z71 off-road package, which offers decent fire road performance through Rancho shocks and a limited-slip differential. The rubber aero flaps hang too low under the front bumper.
ComfortNice seats and a quiet cabin attempt to offset a ride that isn't particulary settled or composed. The latter quality isn't exactly rare in an unladed pickup, but we expected a better response to Ram's significant gains in the area.
Seats have nicely-shaped padding that stays comfortable for extended periods. Generous range of adjustment, too. We did bottom out once when we hit a particularly large bump, though.
Impacts aren't sharp, but the ride is busy and peppered with shudders that ripple through the cabin. There's a bounce to the front end, too. The Z71 off-road suspension feels pretty trucky.
The new Silverado is significantly quieter than last year's model. The lack of road, wind and engine noise put it at the top of the class here. New door shape and sealing design deserve big credit.
InteriorGreatly improved over prior years, the 2014 Silverado's crew cab offers plenty of room and easy access to both rows. The instrument panel, central touchscreen and the array of buttons and knobs are now quite attractive, well-labeled and easy to use.
A telescopic wheel is now available. The instrument panel includes a handy new configurable screen. The MyLink touchscreen system is vastly improved. New buttons and knobs are generously-sized and intuitive.
With the Crew Cab's center doorpost 2 inches forward from last year and wider-opening rear doors, rear seat access has been improved. Everyone but the driver gets a grab handle, which is a tad unfortunate.
Rear legroom has been vastly improved, although other makes still offer a smidge more. Still, plenty comfy back there. Front leg- and headroom as generous as ever.
Reasonably good out the front and sides. The side mirrors aren't terribly large. There would be more glass area if not for the large hinge. Built-in convex mirror bubble is nice, but small.
Rear seat bottoms fold up easily, revealing a flat in-cab load floor. Generous door pockets and center console storage. Bed has moveable tie-downs and under-the-rail LED cargo lights are optional.
ValueThe all-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado is a strong value. Pricing is competitive and the coolest options can be had without breaking the bank. Apparent build quality is up, and fuel economy is quite good. The powertrain warranty is about as good as it gets, too.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Dashboard and door trim much improved. Seat upholstery and carpet also upgraded to competitive levels. Assembly quality is right on the money.
The Silverado now has a damped tailgate and integrated bumper step. Z71 standard equipment is comprehensive. Optional All-Star package comes with lots of essential goodies.
Prices are a bit higher than last year but are still competitive, especially in the popular Crew Cab configurations. Our well-equipped Z71 cost $40,945, of which $5,000 was options.
The revised 2014 5.3-liter V8 makes more power and drinks less gas than before. Rated here at 19 mpg Combined (16 City/23 Highway), it got 20.0 mpg on our mixed-driving test loop, despite the optional 3.42 axle.
The powertrain is covered for 5 years/100,000 miles, which is excellent. The bumper-to-bumper warranty is a rather ordinary 3 years/36,000 miles.
Scheduled maintenance (oil changes and tire rotations) is included for the first 2 years/24,000 miles. 24-hour roadside assistance lasts for 5 years/100,000 miles.
Fun To DriveTrucks like this aren't so much about fun as they are effortlessness. The ability to get the job done when necessary, yet with a minimum of fuss to the owner in daily life. The new Silverado has this handled.
The long wheelbase and sometimes-bouncy ride can be tiresome in the wrong circumstances, but mostly this truck is a quiet cruiser that's built to haul or tow items over long distances with ease.
Wide-body styling with shrink-wrapped haunches gives off a tough vibe that this truck can largely back up. But such is the way with most new volume-selling pickups; outsiders are unlikely to notice.
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