Model Tested: 2017 Chevy Silverado 1500 AWD LTZ Crew Cab
Engine: 6.2-liter V-8 Ecotec3
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
EPA Ratings: 15/city, 20/highway, 17/combined
Base Price: $47,175
As Tested: $60,020
Overview: The full-size 2017 Chevy Silverado holds its own in a power and styling battle not only with traditional rivals — Ford’s venerable F-150 and Ram 1500 — but the Toyota Tundra and Nissan’s hot new Titan as well. The Silverado boasts a segment-best 12,500-pound crew-cab towing capability — more than the Tundra — and a bevy of new safety features challenging the aluminum-bodied F-150. Unlike the Titan and the Ram, the Silverado doesn’t offer a diesel engine, but three muscular gasoline powerplant options help keep the price down without sacrificing capability or power. However, Chevy’s midsize Colorado can haul almost as much cargo and features a diesel option.
Walkaround: Evolutionary styling upgrades retain the Silverado’s tastefully conservative but imposing look that features square lines, high shoulders and a dual-dome hood. The redesigned chrome grille is attractive, while upper-trim models sport more brightwork. Crew-cab models have large rear doors, and slots molded into the rear bumper corners make stepping up to grab something from the bed easier — a great idea from the discontinued Avalanche. Our top-of-the-line LTZ also sported 20-inch chrome wheels, automatic fold-away running boards and a spray-in bedliner.
Interior: The roomy Silverado interior is comfortable and nicely trimmed, with lots of soft-touch materials. Large knobs facilitate easy control of basic functions, while options on our LTZ included power everything, leather seating, heated leather steering wheel, adjustable pedals and more. Technology featured Bose audio, Apple Car Play, two USB ports, 110-volt outlet, Bluetooth and backup camera — all controlled from an 8-inch color touchscreen.
Behind the Wheel: Despite the boxy design, there’s a distinct lack of wind and road noise. The suspension maximizes comfort, minimizing bad roads, while driving more like a large car than a truck — but is somewhat bouncy at times. Steering is perfectly weighted for great handling, precise cornering and easy negotiation of tight parking spots. Four-wheel disc brakes stop the Silverado with authority. The 420-horse, 6.2-liter V8 delivers plenty of power, while GM’s excellent 8-speed automatic offers smooth shifting.
Bottom Line: It’s been several years since I’d driven a Chevy truck. The Silverado is much improved, smooth, comfortable and quiet, with an interior seemingly more upscale and comfortable than either the Tundra or Titan. Overall, I was pretty impressed.