By on December 7, 2006

x07ct_sl069.jpgLeft Coast do-gooders? Take a hike. East Coast intellectuals? On your bike. The Chevy Silverado doesn’t give a damn about you and your fancy gas electric cars. GM’s new[ish] pickup is a rolling tribute to the working class people who form the backbone of our country– as defined by the musical stylings of John Cougar Mellencamp. More to the point, a good old Harvard boy named Rick Wagoner says his company’s turnaround depends on the Silverado. So are its flat-bedded shoulders strong enough to support the world’s America’s largest automaker? 

The Silverado's clean-sheet sheetmetal starts with a front grille that forgoes the Dodge Boys’ Schwarzeneggerian schnoz and Ford’s forgettable face for something big, butch and bland. As for the rest of the rig, Chevy avoided radical change by deploying the plus-sized Colorado look. That's no bad thing. Even with badging the size of Texas road kill, the Silverado’s creased sheetmetal gives the truck a restrained toughness that harkens back to previous Bowtie classics. But if industrial-chic rules the day, Ford’s Sub-Zero on wheels wins.

x07ct_sl020.jpgStep inside and it’s obvious that Chevy’s clarion call to working stiffs is nothing more than media manipulation. The Silverado is the most car-like pickup truck ever made. Check out those tiny vents and buttons, the fussy knobs and the cowled binnacle sheltering gently glowing gauges. OK, you can’t blame The General for following the well-established trend towards civilized pickup interiors, or using generic GMT900 bits for both SUV and pickup. Well, actually, you can. While the base model has a functional (yet uninspiring) dashboard with all the right knobs and binnacles, the Buick-like dash in our tester is about as work friendly as union busters at a sweatshop. Why not make one perfectly truckish dashboard and call it a day?

When it comes to high dollar luxury, the leather hides on our $40k tester were unimpressive even by (admittedly low) truck standards. Still, Americans can rejoice in a pair of wide, comfortable buckets (up front) with a trick-folding split bench (out back). The crew-cab’s rear cabin accommodates the Corn-Fed and Yankee Doodle alike; ample seat cushions provide a terrific view over the low-rise Tahoe dashboard onto the road ahead. The BOSE stereo provided surprisingly responsive imaging with A-pillar mounted tweeters, a console-mount subwoofer and welcome goodies like XM radio and an MP3 hookup. 

x07ct_sl077.jpgThe Silverado’s underhood beat box sounds even better. The Corvette-based 5.3L V8 is the right mill for the job, stumping-up (literally) 338 ft.-lbs. of torque at 4400rpm. Want extra camshafts? Put ‘em in the bed; the Silverado puts out 315hp on its way to a buttery-smooth 5500rpm redline. Indeed, there’s enough grunt to tow Milwaukee and sufficient horsepower to, um, pass a Camry on the interstate. Thanks to a lightning-quick axle ratio, the four-speed automatic's quick trigger finger makes the lack of extra gears only mildly disappointing. More alarming, even with Active Fuel Management, the Silverado clocks-up an EPA optimistic 16/20mpg.

Handling is another issue. Push the Silverado hard in a corner and it’ll fight back like an over-eager stuntman at a Boar’s Nest bar fight. Steering feel is decent, with precise turn-in. But the off-road Z71 suspension tuning is hardly an on-road driving enthusiast's best friend. Winding country roads quickly unleash Titanic body roll and endless understeer. No matter. Driving enthusiasts have no business in a pickup truck, and anyone brave or stupid enough to push this rig hard in a corner will find the Silverado’s strong brakes and progressive pedal feel equal to the challenge of slowing the Hell down. 

While the Silverado is library quiet at highway speeds, potholed roads still send shivers down the back half of the chassis. Such dynamically-challenged behavior was once standard fare for a pickup truck; today it’s a sign of an incomplete homework assignment. Even with plenty of time to match the F150’s well-established chassis benchmark, the Silverado is way off the mark. Chevy’s new[ish] rig simply can’t hang with the existing Ford F150’s disturbingly good steering, ride, handling and braking.

x07ct_sl081.jpgThe bed is the business end of any good truck. In this the Silverado doesn't disappoint. Too bad it doesn't impress. Cumbersome tailgates went out of style after Ford boldly took the torsion bar where it’s never been before. Toyota’s Tacoma introduced an all-weather power port for stereos, electric tools and neon Budweiser signage (for the perfect tailgate party). Even if the aftermarket fills in the blanks, Chevy still failed to usher their core-competency to the head of its class. 

What was needed here was a beefy-looking pickup with a work-oriented cabin, all the F150’s dynamic capabilities and strength, Chevy’s kick-ass powerplant and a proper, modern six-speed transmission. (Dodge? What Dodge?) All of which leaves Toyota– the benchmark company for benchmarking– plenty of room for advancement. Judging by the hardware in the upcoming Tundra and the not good enough vibes emanating from the Silverado and its wicked tailpipe, next year shall be one for the history books.

[Brasher Motor Company kindly provided the vehicle reviewed.]
 
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129 Comments on “Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Review...”


  • avatar
    CAndrusiak

    Great review. Don’t any of you guys have cameras? Why do I have to see the same boring publicity photos for all of these vehicles?

  • avatar
    kaisen

    Sajeev- Did you drive a Z71 equipped Crew Cab LTZ?

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Sajeev,

    Fair and balanced. It sounds like Ford is only a Hurricane away from greatness!

    I think Toyota will be here to stay in a way the Titan was not. My question has always been will it be so good as to sway brand loyal Chev, GMC, Ford and Dodge customers?

    By your account, Chevy did not “pooch” the new truck but have left some key pieces off the table. Do you think this is due to the rush to market or have they completely forgotten about matching the competition?

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    CAndrusiak: the pictures I took were junk; my digicam isn’t especially great to start. Maybe when TTAC can afford to buy me an SLR (the camera) we’ll do better. :-)

    kaisen: it was a Z71 4×4 with a 3.73:1 axle. It had some scoot.

    Do you think this is due to the rush to market or have they completely forgotten about matching the competition?

    CSJohnston: Both have relevance, but I’m still thinking GM’s beancounters are killing their product. It isn’t about matching the competition, its about innovating and kicking the competition’s asses.

    This is why the Tahoe and now defunct Trailblazer lack an IRS when the Explorer and Expedition took the plunge. Ford really seems more interested in investing R&D money in trucks and SUVs. But I still don’t like the Mod motors in pickups, GM’s LS-motors seem much better suited for the job.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Well, I will say it’s a decent looker….but sorry, still no match for the sophisticated (nee “forgettable”) look of the Ford. Not boring like the Nissan, or cartoonish like the Dodge and Toyota….just competent.

    Apparently Ford and GM can’t get that 6-speed tranny in enough applications soon enough!

  • avatar
    kaisen

    kaisen: it was a Z71 4×4 with a 3.73:1 axle. It had some scoot.

    So the ‘nicer riding’ F150 you drove was also the FX4 Off-Road package?

    I ask because I drove both trucks almost back-to-back (same day) and came away thinking the non-Z71 GMC I drove exhibited the same ride qualities as the non-FX4 F150 I drove.

    I also thought the GMC was a little quieter and had better steering feel. The all-aluminum LS V8 helped lighten the nose-heavy feel of the significantly heavier iron-block mod-motor in the Ford. Did you find the same?

    Apparently Ford and GM can’t get that 6-speed tranny in enough applications soon enough!

    I think the 6 speeds are over-rated and mostly un-neccessary when backing a wide powerband (torque). That said, GM is saying they will ramp up 6 speed availability in the 2008 half-tons. The 6 speeds are currently only available in the 6.2L (403hp/417lb-ft) high-end GMT900 offerings or the 2500-3500 heavy duty pickups.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Kaisen: I last drove a 4×4 Lincoln Mark LT. That might not compare well in suspension tuning, but my point is that a flimsy chassis hurts ride quality, handling, etc.

    Doesn’t matter if they make a “Z71 SS” package, its still on a mediocre chassis. The foundation is paramount.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Sajeev,

    I agree, Ford and Lincoln sell their large SUV’s based on refinement (IRS and fold-flat 3rd row) and not horsepower or grunt. However, I would still likely take a GMC Denali over an Expedition Limited, it just looks cooler!

    I am under the impression that the proposed Hurricane engine (Ford, this better be more than a proposal at this point, the F150 is bringing a knife to a gunfight right now), while based on the modular 5.4 has been bored out for more displacement.

    That should address the torque issue.

    I have not driven the new GM trucks yet. I will get a chance with a Denali next month, but I agree on the innovation front. GM has to pick some leadership points. The Z06 is one, trucks should rightly be another.

  • avatar
    philipwitak

    i hope your initial remarks are simply one writer’s attempt to attract attention and create interest in the content they lead.

    if not, your cavalier attitude towards the environmental concerns that those ‘left-coasters’ and ‘intellectuals in the east’ evidently represent, is inappropriate and unappreciated.

    despite the fact that gm is counting on the success of this vehicle, the use of large trucks – primarily for passenger transport – iconically symbolizes much of what troubles our domestic auto industry and the environmental degradation tormenting our planet and the people who populate it.

    gm could do much better. it should. and so should those considering a silverado purchase.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    I think the 6 speeds are over-rated and mostly un-neccessary when backing a wide powerband (torque). That said, GM is saying they will ramp up 6 speed availability in the 2008 half-tons. The 6 speeds are currently only available in the 6.2L (403hp/417lb-ft) high-end GMT900 offerings or the 2500-3500 heavy duty pickups.

    I used to think that, but then I towed with a 6-speed Lincoln Navigator and 5-speed Tundra. The RPM jump when downshifting on the highway is much less shocking with a close ratio gearbox, not to mention helps keep the motor in its powerband without running out of steam. (I get that a lot when four speeds downshift 2 gears)

    Of course there’s no excuse for a wussy, rev happy powerband in a truck, but extra gears always come in handy.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    I guess I am too old to get it. While it seems America has decide that Truck must be spelled with a capital “T”, old fogeys born in the 50′s still remember when they were only tools, not fashion statements. Don’t get me wrong- I like the new style- they spoil the hell out of my sorry ass- but to speak of handling and truck makes me think of the old standby of “military” and “intelligence”. Like I said. I don’t get it. But I remember 25 cent gas and actual Beatles concerts, so maybe that is the point- I’m not supposed to. How depressing.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    The F-150 is a chassis benchmark?

    Oof…. how sad.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    if not, your cavalier attitude towards the environmental concerns that those ‘left-coasters’ and ‘intellectuals in the east’ evidently represent, is inappropriate and unappreciated.

    Its good to have environmental concerns, but I don’t want to hear complaints about trucks being bad for society/environment when they cater to a diverse range of people who like them and have every right to be proud of their purchase.

    FWIW, Texans sometimes have a cavalier attitude. Goes with the territory. My apologies to coast dwellers who took offense to the intro. :)

  • avatar
    ash78

    philipwitack
    if not, your cavalier attitude towards the environmental concerns that those ‘left-coasters’ and ‘intellectuals in the east’ evidently represent, is inappropriate and unappreciated.

    I can’t speak for Sajeev, but I took that as a simple nod to the fact that GM has overtly stated that this is a “heartland working man’s truck” as a brazen counter to all the media hype attempting to kill the idea of the truck. I see it as simply winnowing your true market, not really meant to offend those who don’t need trucks. You’ll find plenty of SUV and truck-haters around here, but the most important idea is “is it right for its market?” This vehicle probably is.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Thanks ash, you said it better than I did!

  • avatar
    rodster205

    I have owned two Full Chevs, a 71 & 72. I was in diapers when they were made. Hated the exploding 73-87 style. Still do. Loved the 88-06 style, but still have yet to own one. Will one day for beater duty.

    I loved the S-10 so much I bought two of them (97 long new, 98 ext cab used several years later).

    The Colorado is just boxy-gone-bad ugly, I will never own one. Looks like the new Silverdodo is the same way. Nice headlights but there is just something wrong with the fender bulges.

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    Is it new[ish] or a clean-sheet redesign?

    You state both in adjacent paragraphs.

    New[ish] is a pejorative term and doesn’t bode well for the report that follows. [Note: I do think that the review was quite fair].

    And while GM may have rushed the truck to market, they shouldn’t have had to. I was helping prepare quotes for the T-900 HVAC system back in 2001. Maybe that’s another GM problem.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Is it new[ish] or a clean-sheet redesign? You state both in adjacent paragraphs.

    jazbo: good point. The clean sheet redesign referred to all new sheetmetal, but yeah, that doesn’t sound right now that you mention it.

    I have owned two Full Chevs, a 71 & 72. I was in diapers when they were made. Hated the exploding 73-87 style. Still do. Loved the 88-06 style, but still have yet to own one. Will one day for beater duty.

    Most everyone likes the 88-06 bodystyle. From what I gather, they are the longest lasting trucks out there (I see plenty of two-tone 1988-ish models still running) and they hold their value better than Ford on the beater market.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    A word about photographing cars.

    As I have learned, there is a real, serious art to taking photos of cars. The lighting has to be right, the car has to be clean, the angle has to be right — it really is its own skill set.

    Much more difficult than you would think.

    Besides, it’s a dirt-hauler. It is not like it has a good angle.

  • avatar
    nweaver

    I'd like to place a TTAC review request: Review the stripper pickups. An F150 and a GMT900 with NO options. You know, the kind you can get for less than $20k, with a V6 or V8, and just abuse the S@#)($* out of em doing work-type stuff.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    “Driving enthusiasts have no business in a pickup truck” unless you are towing your track car on a tailer with such haul it all appliance.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    nweaver: I don’t think the kind folks at Brasher Motors want me treating their inventory like a real truck, but I see your point. We’ll work on your request. :-)

  • avatar
    ash78

    Sajeev Mehta:
    Thanks ash, you said it better than I did!

    Haha…hardly. Near-simulpost. Great review.

  • avatar
    kaisen

    Just a note:

    Only the LTZ tested (and pictured) has the Tahoe dash, but all other trim levels, from strippo work truck to loaded LT have a different, more truck-like dash.

    Whether that would change Sajeevs button criticizm, I’m not sure.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Jonny,

    As a guy in the ad biz, if you want to make your car car shot look its best then there’s hours of prep, even if you’re going “au naturel” with your lighting. Photoshop can only do so much and then you’re just adding the hours onto the back end.

    My guess is no one has that kind of time.

    I love ya for your dogged defense of the Mustang but what do we have to do to get you to like trucks!

    Come on, there’s a little redneck in all of us!

  • avatar
    kaisen

    There was a little redneck in Pam Anderson, but now they’re getting divorced

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Only the LTZ tested (and pictured) has the Tahoe dash, but all other trim levels, from strippo work truck to loaded LT have a different, more truck-like dash. Whether that would change Sajeevs button criticizm, I’m not sure.

    kaisen, I saw the other dash on Brasher’s lot, it was more to my liking. Big rotary knobs for HVAC, Great Wall of China massiveness…all good stuff, but it looked dull compared to the F150s dash.

    That’s why I mentioned it might have been smarter to make one perfect dash for this rig. Maybe some like an SUV dash in their trucks, but I’m not one of them.

  • avatar
    kkop

    “The crew-cab’s rear cabin accommodates the Corn-Fed and Yankee Doodle alike; ample seat cushions provide a terrific view over the low-rise Tahoe dashboard onto the road ahead”

    Did you actually sit in the back seat?

    I really like the looks of this truck, inside and out. But the rear seat has about the same legroom as the competition’s King/Extended cabs, pretty pathetic for a new design like this. The only crew that could be comfortable in this cab would have to be shorter than 5’5″.

    GM’s not alone in having a giant Crew Cab truck with cramped rear seat: Dodge’s Ram suffers the same fate.

  • avatar
    kaisen

    Toyota’s new Crew Cab is HUGE HUGE HUGE
    Way bigger than GM or Ford or Nissan
    Bigger than 1/2 ton Dodge and equal to Dodge’s Mega-Cab

    The new Tundra Crew Max back seat is the belated answer to your testosterone-filled high school dreams.

    I thought the GM and Ford crew back seats were comfortable enough, and I’m 6’2″.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    kkop: I’m 5’10″ and I fit fine in the back. Its no Dodge Ram Megacab, but I’m willing to sacrifice the space for sleeker, less pregnant look.

    I am under the impression that the proposed Hurricane engine (Ford, this better be more than a proposal at this point, the F150 is bringing a knife to a gunfight right now), while based on the modular 5.4 has been bored out for more displacement.

    CSJohnston: this month’s M/T says that the 2007 Boss Mustang will have a hurricane 5.0L. So maybe there will be a larger 4.6L and 5.4L for next year.

    While you can bore these blocks a bit more, they really need GM-sized bore spacing to make real displacement. I’m hoping a new block is part of the equation.

    But I still can’t stop thinking that pushrods are the only way to go with a truck. Maybe the Hurricane will change my mind.

  • avatar
    kkop

    Comparing Crew Cabs to Mega Cabs: very helpful…

  • avatar
    kaisen

    Comparing Crew Cabs to Mega Cabs: very helpful…

    How is it NOT helpful!?
    A crew cab is defined as four conventionally-opening doors. Some are bigger or smaller than others.
    Dodge has two flavors: the half-ton which is bigger than a reverse-opening rear-door extended-cab but smaller than a ‘normal’ crew, and then their huge mega-cab (2500-3500 only).

    Toyota’s is about that big. The biggest of the 1/2 tons.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    It really depends on which length bed comes with the mega cabs. I prefer a long bed with a crew cab, just to make parking a little easier.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    kaisen,

    :)))

    I think that’s all I can really say!

    CJ

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Sajeev,

    While Ford is in dire dollar straits rights now, I can’t believe they’ll let the F-150 solider on at a huge horsepower and torque disadvantage.

    I remember hearing tell of a 6.0L Hurricane rated at 350+ but that was back in 2004/05 and I was likely only half paying attention.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    CSJohnston: remember that Ford originally canned the Hurricane program, the dumbest move a truck maker could make. They brought it back post “Way Forward”, so we shall see what’s it made of.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    CS,

    I drove the top of the line King Ranchified F-150 and found it miserable. The second worst car I’ve driven since “signing” on with TTAC. So, if that’s a benchmark… no thank you.

    I don’t like dirt-haulers because I don’t haul dirt, they are more lifestyle statements than anything else and one of my goals in life is to never tow anything.

    As for the worst car I’ve driven? It’s sitting outside right now.

    Stay tuned.

  • avatar
    Gottleib

    The Truth about Cars, I repeat Cars and not Trucks. What is wrong with you, this review and some of the others here belong on the The Truth about Trucks website.

    This is the whole issue with the industry now isn’t it? We want cars that are as big as trucks. The SUVs people buy today are about the size of a 1935 Packard 7 passenger sedan and probably drive alot the same too, although with power steering and an automatic transmission.

    I read this column often and usually by the time I am half way through the comments I am disgusted and depressed. Trucks are reviewed like cars—cars are reviewed as if they were racing cars with all kinds of comments regarding their handling, acceleration in turns and the ability to shift manual and auto-manual transmissions quickly and easily without loosing any precious horsepower and torque. Comfort is often measured by the quality of the stereo and how many electronic features are present in the car/truck.

    Where are the reviews that actually comment on the ergonomics of the drivers seat and what the body feels like after sitting there for six hours. It think the only car reviewed here lately that even came close to being rated comfortable was the Lincoln Town Car.

    I think there needs to be more cars like the Lincoln Town Car. Comfort and decent handling for its occupants. And with three across seating that provides a sense of space instead of the feeling that one is strapped into a jet fighter.

    If a car with the comfort of a Town Car and economy of the Civic were produced I bet there would be a lot of people in the market for cars again.

    Thanks for letting me rant, I just had to say it.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    You’re welcome. :-)

    If a car with the comfort of a Town Car and economy of the Civic were produced I bet there would be a lot of people in the market for cars again.

    Well, unless you’ve found a way around the laws of physics, it ain’t gonna happen.

    Nothing rides like a 4200lb Town Car.

    Nothing gets fuel economy like 2700lb Civic.

  • avatar
    SonicSteve

    The Hurricane Motor has been re-christened as BOSS and will be showing up on the F150 in ’08 and trickle down to the other cars in the following years

    The 5.0L Boss motor mentioned in Motor Trend is a crate motor which is essentially a re-issue of the 1970 Boss 302 Windsor-based small block and is not a production piece.

    From what I have read, the new Boss will likely be a SOHC design between 5.8 and 6.4 litres

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Sajeev,
    It doesn’t seem fair to criticize the dashboard for being too carlike, when buyers do have the option of getting the traditional pickup dash with larger buttons. It’s like testing a car without the optional sunroof and complaining that the view above is limited.

    This vehicle is unique in giving owners a choice. Further in that vein, GM has promised a 6-speed transmission in the near future.

    I am surprised the ride/handling falls short of the F-150, but trust your views, as they tend to be spot on. There will be some very interesting comparos in early 07, although my expectation is that the Ram will be the one losing the most sales. Once you get past the hemi and megacab features, there isn’t much to recommend it.

    Jonny,
    We are drooling with anticipation. Are you working on the obscure analogies required to review a car here, or the recaps of drunken encounters required for Jalopnik?
    ;–)

  • avatar

    I don’t understand something about this site: a tendency to have people review vehicles they are predisposed to dislike. The above comments about “dirt haulers”, plus the counterpoint article about the GT500 (the original made it pretty clear that it’s a raw beast)…why? I fail to grasp the point, but I hope my question gets to a few people before Robert edits it out.

    I’m not saying have fanbois review vehicles, but someone that dislikes trucks before even getting handed the keys is a pathetic choice for a reviewer: he/she wouldn’t be a potential buyer.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Zanary,
    While I always have a quibble with reviews at the edges, my experience of TTAC has been that they are consistently fair. Sajeev’s main critisicms are that the tranny is only 4 speeds and that the interior and ride/handling is a step below the F-150. He’s comparing to like vehicles in the class, not Porsches.

    Could it be you’re so used to all the rosy reviews that C/D, R&T, MT etc. produce so they can acquire ad dollars?

  • avatar
    1984

    Zanary,

    Sajeev is one of the more objective reviewers. I did not see anything wrong with the review. Lieberman however… do not put him a truck and expect anything more than hatred for “dirt haulers”. For some reason he absolutely hates all of them, I think it’s because he owns a MX-5.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Zanary,

    Before Farago deletes you, I don’t like SUVs either. But if we were holding a “Car of the Year” thingy, my vote would go to the MB GL450.

    It totally blew me away. Expecting to hate it, wound up falling in love.

    So there you go.

    Also, there are a whole host of other car-related sites out there that feature bland writers without opinions or convictions who happily swallow the PR line. Might I suggest [CENSORED]?

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    1984,

    I own a WRX Sport Wagon.

    Which hauls plenty.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    It doesn’t seem fair to criticize the dashboard for being too carlike, when buyers do have the option of getting the traditional pickup dash with larger buttons. It’s like testing a car without the optional sunroof and complaining that the view above is limited.

    SherbornSean: you can get most everything with the “other” dash, but if you want 12-way adjustable heated leather bucket seats and a big console you have to get the LTZ and its Tahoe dash. I like trucks with luxury features, but I also like the inherent truck-goodness of a truck-specific interior.

    More importantly, finding a fully loaded Silverado 2LT isn’t very likely, I bet it will be special order only…the LTZ will be on the lot instead.

    I am surprised the ride/handling falls short of the F-150, but trust your views, as they tend to be spot on.

    Here’s why I said what I did: I noticed the rear was wiggly and had less composure than the F150.

    From what I’ve gathered on the internet, the F150 has a better rear frame (through the frame crossmembers) and a better rear suspension design (outboard mounted shocks for leverage on the axle, like a car) and neither seem to be on the Chevy. Too bad I didn’t look for myself when testing the vehicle.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    I can’t even imagine anything less composed than the F-150.

    I remember hitting two bumps in a row at about 20mpg and I was convinced it was going to rattle apart.

    Felt like I was driving a truck. Oh wait…

  • avatar
    1984

    Lieberman,

    WRX… Yeah that’s it.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    I remember hitting two bumps in a row at about 20mpg and I was convinced it was going to rattle apart.

    Yup, there’s no choice when you have a vehicle made out of three different parts. The cab, bed, and frame all move independent of each other. Some do it way more (Tundra) than others.

    Unless you want to be stuck with one body configuration (Ridgeline) that’s what you get.

  • avatar
    nweaver

    Sanjeev (and others)

    I think any review of a pickup truck really needs to include how well it drives with a 1/2 ton of stuff in the bed. I’m sure the local dealer has some big but clean things (eg, a crated up engine or two) that they could toss in the back of the bed.

    And I think trucks, more than cars, its important to review the stripper model separately.

    On an accord, the difference between “No options, I4″ and “100% loaded, might as well have an ‘acura’ badge” is $11k.

    The difference between the stripped F150 and a loaded one is $22k. You can buy two stripped F150s for the price of a loaded king ranch.

  • avatar
    1984

    I remember hitting two bumps in a row at about 20mpg and I was convinced it was going to rattle apart.

    Result of a heavy duty live axle. The more payload the truck is configured for the harder the ride. It’s just the nature of the beast.

    If it was softer, any kind of weight in the bed would make the back end squat and make it hard to steer.

  • avatar
    kaisen

    Too bad it doesn’t impress. Cumbersome tailgates went out of style after Ford boldly took the torsion bar where it’s never been before.

    Too bad you didn’t test a Silverado/Sierra with the EZ Lift tailgate package ($95). The one I drove did have it, so I had to double check.

    http://www.chevrolet.com/pop/silverado/2007/ez_lift_en.jsp

    “The available, lockable EZ Lift tailgate(1) takes only about 16 lbs. of effort to operate. This is roughly a 40 percent reduction in the force required to lift the tailgate compared to the previous-generation Silverado. “

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    kaisen: glad you caught that. Mine didn’t have it (surprising at this price) but Ford makes it standard across the board. Big difference.

    Don’t be surprised if the next Tundra has a liftgate assist as standard equipment too.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    The 5.0L Boss motor mentioned in Motor Trend is a crate motor which is essentially a re-issue of the 1970 Boss 302 Windsor-based small block and is not a production piece.

    M/T has a picture of a 2007 BOSS Mustang and says it will have a Hurricane engine making 425-ish horsepower. They go further to say that the de-tuned Hurricane will power the regular GT model in 2008.

    Since this is a truck program and Mustangs are known to inherent their handiwork, expect the de-tuned Hurricane in the 2007 F150 before the 2008 Mustang.

  • avatar
    kaisen

    From what I’ve gathered on the internet, the F150 has a better rear frame (through the frame crossmembers)…

    The GMT900 Silverado/Sierra has two through-the-frame crossmembers in the rear frame: one just ahead of the rear axle and one just behind.

    … and a better rear suspension design (outboard mounted shocks for leverage on the axle, like a car) …

    Yep, exactly the same as GM

    … and neither seem to be on the Chevy. Too bad I didn’t look for myself when testing the vehicle.

    Yes, too bad.

    GM claims the all-new GMT900 frame is 230% torsionally stiffer than the last generation. The front section is hydroformed and it is fully boxed all the way to the spare tire carrier (just behind the rear axle). The 4×4 models lose the funky torsion-bar suspension in exchange for true short/long arm coilovers with rack and pinion steering.

    Of course, this does not mean it is better or worse, it just isn’t much different. Your subjective opinion of ride, handling, and ‘wiggling’ could be valid despite the similarities. Not exactly what I found to be true, but then we drove different trim levels over different roads.

  • avatar
    willjames2000

    Are you sure you drove a new 2007 Silverado? I did, and came away very impressed. The handling was very good for a f/s truck, and rough road driving was very stable, at least as good and probably better than the f150, imho.

    I drove the LT and thought the dash and interior treatment very nice, especially the two glove boxes AND loads of storage under the middle seat cushion and in the fold-down armrest of the very comfortable split bench seat.

    And if the tailgate assist option is just $95 and includes a tailgate lock, that’s hardly “a big difference”. Besides, only women and non-truck buyers would care about it anyhow.

    Like other posters, I suggest that TTAC reviewers stick to writing about types of vehicles they like, not those they don’t understand.

  • avatar
    kaisen

    Another comparison of the new Silverado/Sierra and F150 should include that the GMs have Stabilitrak standard on Crew models, where no stability management is available on F-series, and available side head-curtain airbags on the GMs; again, no side airbags available on F-series.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    Fair article, touches on some good points.

    Why not make one perfectly truckish dashboard and call it a day?

    Hmmm, kind of like Ford with their F150, and how Toyota did with their new Tundra.

    I have no problem with choice, but I just doubt that the Tahoe interior will be a very popular choice. The fact that it it’s the same interior as several other GM models isn’t exactly an encouraging thought.

  • avatar
    rodster205

    I agree that all the press needs to do more base model reviews. …(bracing for laughter)….

    When I was looking at Commanders the ONLY reviews or comparisons I could find were for Limited HEMI 4x4s that stickered for well over 40K. SURPRISE! They are terrible for that price. But what about at $28K? How do they compare to others at that price? Couldn’t find any reviews. Luckily I was able to rent one, and found out that a base one was not bad for a mid-SUV. The level of standard options (thanks to the 44K HEMIs) for only 28K is incredible.

  • avatar
    dean

    For god’s sake people, if the writers only review vehicles they like then Farago might as well pack up his tent and automatically forward everyone to Edmunds.

    I like getting contrary opinions.

    That said, I would at least expect some objectivity. So perhaps Jonny should stay away from dirt haulers. Then again, if JL ever gives a favourable review to a truck then you know it’s a good’un.

  • avatar

    Sherborn:

    Try not assuming things about me.

    I read a great many reviews constantly, write a fair share, and only comment on things that seem odd because they do, indeed, seem odd. I don’t assume Dan Neil, David E. Davis, or Patrick Bedard sees anything through the same eyes I do…so I both pursue opinions and drive everything I can to formulate my own.

  • avatar
    maxo

    willjames: Repeating what has already been said, even if Sajeev hates trucks comparing the (handling of the Silverado) with the (handling of the F150) is a valid comparison. Your argument here is wrong.

    Of course I could be wrong if you are trying to tell us that since Sajeev hates trucks he doesn’t understand that the worse handling truck is actually the more desirable one. Is that how you pick out trucks?

    By the way, my take is that the Chevy looks better than the F150. The F150 kind of has a bloated pregnant female look while the Chevy has a taut muscular look that appeals more to my midwestern repressed homosexuality.

  • avatar
    durailer

    The interior looks horrid.

    Tell me, does the regular cab come with bench seats, and if so, do they delete the center stack and provide a real truck dash?

  • avatar
    NoneMoreBlack

    Re: dean

    I wholeheartedly agree. If I’m interested in a vehicle, it’s pretty easy for me to read press releases (read: large automag reviews) or drop by a dealership and see what’s good about it. I read reviews to convince me that my preconceived notions are wrong, and to point out criticisms I might not have come up with on my own. Everyone knows a truck hauls and pulls, a 911 is fast, and a Civic is economical. TTAC is one of the few places that tells you what they don’t do well, in rarely uncertain terms.

    P.S.: I don’t really understand criticizing the counterpoint on the GT500. Multiple perspectives on a product are incredibly important. Even two cannot possibly capture the entire range of consumer preferences, but two are certainly better than one. This is the magic that makes Top Gear’s plain vehicle reviews above par; after they hoon it around a track, they often engage in a dialogue on their opinion of the subject of the review.

    Certainly, most of the issues raised by RF in the counterpoint were at least mentioned in the original review, but by shifting the emphasis the entire flavor of the article is altered. In being able to take a step back and self-audit, we are enriched.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    I want to get beers with Maxo.

  • avatar
    finger

    You call the F150, Tundra and Silverado 1500 trucks? They are LIGHT duty versions of Expedition, Sequoia and Tahoe. When you move up to 2500 and 3500 models with diesels, you can compare trucks.

  • avatar
    Jim H

    “You call the F150, Tundra and Silverado 1500 trucks? They are LIGHT duty versions of Expedition, Sequoia and Tahoe. When you move up to 2500 and 3500 models with diesels, you can compare trucks. ”

    Please explain these statements…I’ve got hundreds of sites, dictionaries, and encyclopedias saying these are trucks. Either you are making some gross exaggeration to make an unknown point…or you are just wrong.

  • avatar

    “Certainly, most of the issues raised by RF in the counterpoint were at least mentioned in the original review, but by shifting the emphasis the entire flavor of the article is altered. In being able to take a step back and self-audit, we are enriched.”

    Enriched? A fair amount of space and bandwidth was used instead of the equally accurate “I don’t get this car”, which would have sufficed…that was the main thrust I got from his review. Similarly, I’d find any review of a pickup from someone predisposed to hate trucks to be a redundancy. “It’s too big, too heavy, handles like a house and makes me yearn for my 356 like never before” may entertain some, but the points that matter to pickup owners/buyers will be largely missed due to lack of appreciation.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Zanary,

    Unless, like me, you are under the impression that pickup owners are buying pickups for reasons other than publicly stated…

  • avatar
    finger

    OK. Truck is a rather broad definition. The “trucks”in this review are light duty. They are more apt to be driven to malls rather than job sites.

  • avatar
    Jim H

    What’s that mean, Jonny?

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Why is Hollywood buying Priusi en masse, Jim?

    They are trying to say something.

  • avatar

    From Automotive News:

    Conventional wisdom says owners of full-sized pickups built by the Detroit 3 are fiercely loyal. A man buys a Chevy or Ford or Dodge because his dad and grandpa did. Supposedly, nothing can break the cycle.

    Poppycock.

    Data from the Power Information Network shows that about half the owners of domestic full-sized pickups change brands to a rival truck at trade-in time.

    What’s more, the conquests are happening at an increasing rate.

    This isn’t Chevy owners moving to GMC. This is Chevy owners leaving for Ford, Dodge or even Toyota or Nissan.

    Dodge and Ford each have had more than 50 percent leakage to other brands this year, according to Power data. About 45 percent of buyers trading in Chevrolet and GMC full-sized pickups have shifted to other full-sized trucks.

    Granted, the number of domestic-truck owners leaving for a Nissan Titan or the current undersized Tundra is tiny – a slender 2 or 3 percent this year. But defections to Japanese brands has climbed from where it was two years ago – and that’s with little in the way of Asian alternatives. Imagine what will happen when the macho Tundra arrives and Toyota’s marketing muscle swings into action.

    If Toyota conquests just 1 in 10 domestic-truck owners who already are defecting, that’s 100,000 additional sales every year. That would account for an entire shift at Toyota’s new Tundra plant in San Antonio.

  • avatar

    Jonny Lieberman:

    Why is Hollywood buying Priusi en masse, Jim?

    They are trying to say something.

    In a word, publicity. They’ll forget hybrids and glom onto the next “cause” as soon as another one comes along that gets them a lot of press.

    If they really were serious about saving oil and protecting the environment and all that other stuff they give lip service to, they’d be flying on cramped airliners with the rest of us instead of taking private jets on jaunts and using mass transit instead of gas-guzzling limos.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Frank,

    So some peoples’ purchases are completely suspect, while others’ are pure?

    I think more people buy vehicles for what said vehicle says about the owner, than for the vehicle.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    Jim H, let’s not feed the trolls now.

    And Robert brings up an interesting point from Autonews:

    Granted, the number of domestic-truck owners leaving for a Nissan Titan or the current undersized Tundra is tiny – a slender 2 or 3 percent this year. But defections to Japanese brands has climbed from where it was two years ago – and that’s with little in the way of Asian alternatives. Imagine what will happen when the macho Tundra arrives and Toyota’s marketing muscle swings into action.

    If Toyota conquests just 1 in 10 domestic-truck owners who already are defecting, that’s 100,000 additional sales every year. That would account for an entire shift at Toyota’s new Tundra plant in San Antonio.

    Indeed, because the truck market is so big, even a small number of conquest buyers will lead to a significant amount of sales. And even a small number of buyers lost to the domestic makers is still substantial amounts of profit gone to Toyota.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    “I think more people buy vehicles for what said vehicle says about the owner, than for the vehicle”

    Jonny, you do realize you drive a hatchback, right?
    ;–)

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Sherborn,

    It is now being referred to as a 4-door shooting-brake.

  • avatar
    Jim H

    Johnson:

    I never saw Jonny Lieberman as a troll…and still don’t. I was sincere in the question and the way it was worded. Most folks I know that buy a truck is because they need them for hauling things…specifically, horse trailers, bedfulls of hay, grain, feed, etc. and occasionally to pull flatbeds of hay or building equipment.

    There are a few, such as my sister (who obviously doesn’t have penis envy or a size problem!) who own trucks for other reasons, but that’s their choice. How so many on this site can justify their “need” for a vette, porche, BMW, Mercedes, etc. but then criticize others for a difference in personal tastes is just infantile (yes…I just degraded them from juvenille to infantile…dramatic license!).

    I’ve had to commute in a truck when my car was in the shop and I hated it. But if I’m a passenger, I love it. I can see everything (I carry a digital camera about 95% of the time for those rare photo opportunities), it’s comfortable (the angle of sitting is much different…although my left leg occasionally goes to sleep in the truck, Ford F250 diesal), and I know that I can either buy groceries, a 1/2 cord of wood, or 10 bales of hay on the way home. Heck…if the wood is dry and I have the flatbed…I can get all 3!

    No other vehicles (non-trucks) could match that.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    I wasn’t referring to Jonny, but let’s move on.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Jonny,
    “four door shooting brake” — hilarious! You should copyright that while you can. Automakers are desperate to call efficiently packaged vehicles anything other than minivan, hatchback or station wagon.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    To quote George Carlin, those are the kinds of thoughts that kept me out of the really good schools.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Of course, this does not mean it is better or worse, it just isn’t much different. Your subjective opinion of ride, handling, and ‘wiggling’ could be valid despite the similarities. Not exactly what I found to be true, but then we drove different trim levels over different roads.

    Thanks for the knowledge. It would be nice if Chevy promoted their frame/suspension improvements, but then again it wouldn’t have changed my driving impression. Maybe one of these days I’ll have the resources for back to back comparos, but that isn’t in the cards right now.

  • avatar
    Luther

    A man buys a Chevy or Ford or Dodge because his dad and grandpa did. Supposedly, nothing can break the cycle.

    The Internet/Search Engine has/will. Before the Internet man had limited info besides dad and gandpa input.

  • avatar
    kaisen

    Tell me, does the regular cab come with bench seats, and if so, do they delete the center stack and provide a real truck dash?

    durailer, no one answered so allow me. Yes, three-across seating and a traditional truck dash is standard in all but the (reviewed and pictured) top LTZ version.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Westlake Village, California – Vehicle brand origin – domestic or import – continues to be a top reason new-vehicle buyers to avoid certain large truck models, according to a study released by J.D. Power and Associates.

    The study, which examines the reasons consumers fail to consider particular models when shopping for a new vehicle, finds that 48 per cent of domestic-brand truck buyers avoid import models, because they specifically do not want an import-branded truck. Conversely, 33 per cent of import buyers report the same with regard to domestic large pickups. Of the domestic brand buyers, 33 per cent reported they avoided import trucks primarily because they did not like the look or design, while 20 per cent believed the pickup was not “rugged enough”.

    Not saying it won’t happen (Toyota’s product planners are much smarter than I) but if the above is true and if Mr. Farago’s 50% of truck buyers switch brands stat is true, does it not stand to reason that the imports are fighting an uphill battle in the truck segment?

    Will brand switching merely continue across the Ford/GM/Dodge lines or will the imports horn in?

    Toyota has spent an awful lot of money lately showing how rugged and tough they are. Do they see similar barriers ahead?

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    finger says

    “You call the F150, Tundra and Silverado 1500 trucks? They are LIGHT duty versions of Expedition, Sequoia and Tahoe. When you move up to 2500 and 3500 models with diesels, you can compare trucks. ”

    Hah 2500 and 3500′s are whimpy trucks for sissies. I figger that these are good maybe cute little vehicles for teenage girls. A Caterpillar 797B can carry 380 tons – now that’s a decent truck.

  • avatar
    kaisen

    … does it not stand to reason that the imports are fighting an uphill battle in the truck segment?

    Maybe, but clearly a worthwhile battle.

    As AN (quoted by RF) pointed out, even Ford and GM’s table scraps are worth tens of thousands of units, and millions of dollars.

  • avatar
    vexner

    The Dodge Ram can be had in the 1500 series with a regular, cab, crew cab or mega cab…contrary to what the poster said earlier.

    Also, based on the ratio of number of vehicles sold and the number of said vehicles still on the road, the Dodge Ram is the longest lasting full sized pickup. Chevy make this claim, (Chebby just says, oh in 1994 we have the most models still on the road…no wonder GM is in trouble, they don’t understand percentages) but it’s not true. Chevy sells more trucks, therefore it is only natural that more Chevy trucks are still on the road…but as a percentage of trucks sold to trucks still on the road, the Ram wins.

    And the Ram has had a 5 speed auto for years…Chevy is just now moving away from a (good) 4 speed.

    Why is it that Chevy, Ford and people not associated with any of the BIG 3 trucks think Dodge Ram buyers are any less loyal…that’s totally rediculous!

    http://www.dodge.com/ram_1500/interior_mega_cab.html

    http://www.dodge.com/ram_truck/index.html

  • avatar
    vexner

    Also, the Ram 1500 Quad Cab beats the Chevy Extended cab in almost every measurement…as well as the Mega Cab Ram beats the crew cab Chevy.

    Interior Ram Pickup 1500 Silverado 1500 Classic Silverado 1500
    Front Headroom 40.8 in. 41 in. 41.5 in. Chevy wins…
    Rear Headroom 40 in. 38.4 in. 39.3 in. Ram wins…
    Front Shoulder Room 67 in. 65.2 in. 65.2 in. Ram wins…
    Rear Shoulder Room 66.7 in. 66.3 in. 65.3 in. Ram wins…
    Front Hip Room 64.9 in. 61.4 in. 62.5 in. Ram wins…
    Rear Hip Room 64.6 in. 61.4 in. 61.9 in. Ram wins…
    Front Leg Room 41 in. 41.3 in. 41.3 in. Chevy wins, by .3″
    Rear Leg Room 36.7 in. 33.7 in. 34.3 in. Ram wins…

  • avatar
    vexner

    Do your research kaisen…

    kaisen: December 7th, 2006 at 2:45 pm
    Comparing Crew Cabs to Mega Cabs: very helpful…

    How is it NOT helpful!?
    A crew cab is defined as four conventionally-opening doors. Some are bigger or smaller than others.
    Dodge has two flavors: the half-ton which is bigger than a reverse-opening rear-door extended-cab but smaller than a ‘normal’ crew, and then their huge mega-cab (2500-3500 only).

  • avatar
    vexner

    And for the Ram Mega Cab vs, the Chevy Crew Cab…

    Interior Ram Pickup 1500 Silverado 1500
    Front Headroom 40.8 in. 41.5 in. Chevy wins by .7″…
    Rear Headroom 40.5 in. 40.6 in.Chevy wins by.1″…
    Front Shoulder Room 67 in. 65.2 in. Ram wins by 1.8″…
    Rear Shoulder Room 66.5 in. 65.2 in. Ram wins by 1.3″…
    Front Hip Room 64.9 in. 62.5 in. Ram wins by 2.4″…
    Rear Hip Room 64.4 in. 65.5 in. Chevy wins by 1.1″…
    Front Leg Room 41 in. 41.3 in.
    Chevy wins by.3″…
    Rear Leg Room 44.2 in. 38.7 in.
    Ram wins by a whopping 5.5″…

  • avatar
    Wolven

    Nice review Sajeev. And contrary to the wounded pride of the ignorantly self-righteous, your opening comments WERE appropriate AND appreciated… :)

    As for the pickup itself… all I can say is, it’s ugly. I own a 90 Chevy 1/2 ton sport model and have been pretty happy with it over the years. I think it is one of the better looking pickups ever made, which definately influenced my buying decision. Unfortunately, lately it seems like the “Big 3″ are absolutely determined to make their vehicles as ugly as possible… Did they outsource their design studios or something?

  • avatar
    Jim H

    Rear Headroom 40.5 in. 40.6 in.Chevy wins by.1″…
    Front Leg Room 41 in. 41.3 in. Chevy wins by.3″…

    So it’s no longer a game of inches…but tenth of inches! Awesome!

    If we only saw everything this way.

    “Your gasoline was 2.499? Sucker! Mine was 2.489!”
    “Your bread cost $1.39? I win! Mine was only $1.38!”

    I mean, it’s good to compare…but the word “win” is a bit excessive there! :)

  • avatar
    noley

    Good review, but why make the effort on a truck? No matter how they are dressed up they are utility vehicles, so what’s the big deal? It’s a pick-up truck. Boring! What’s next, a review of a Ford E-350 passenger van or maybe the ideal vehicle for the airport parking shuttle?

    And spare us the working class hero stuff. The guys who spend 40 large on a truck own the contracting business and don’t pound a lot of nails. The guys who work for him drive 7-year old trucks, if they have one at all. And at least half the people who buy these bloated vehicles use them about once a month to haul ten 2 x 4s home from Home Depot. The rest of the time they are commuters.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Noley,

    Trucks boring? Two minutes for Liebermaning! :)

    Utility is only half the equation. Recreation is the other. If you need to hit Home Depot (or the recycling centre) once a month but you also like to: hunt, fish, camp, snowmobile, RV, ATV, ride, etc. A truck sure helps and lots of people do the above, maybe not in your backyard but they do in mine.

    Nobody accuses a Jeep of being boring even though its name derives from General Purpose.

    As for who drives $40K trucks? Lots of people, especially on lease terms. Most new trucks sold privately are at least mid-grade trim and up. Most are crew cabs and most are upfitted with aftermarket parts to add appearance (and yes, a little utility). If you can’t afford your dream truck new, there are several 04-06 trucks coming back off lease that will fill the bill for $5-10K less. We won’t even get into $50K diesel-equipped trucks that sell like hotcakes.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Around here, new pickups have little in them but bloated egos and chrome wheels.

    The people who are actually carrying stuff have old beat up trucks.

    But who am i to complain when someone drives by me in a chrome laden mc mansion on wheels?

  • avatar

    “Unless, like me, you are under the impression that pickup owners are buying pickups for reasons other than publicly stated…”

    Fair enough, I tend to be shameless in ridiculing 4x4s without scratches/dirt on them, and dont get me started on what I think of any dufus sporting the inevitable H2 with a brush guard, extra lights…and 22-inch DUBS and speed-rated street tires.

    However, that kind of assumption makes it fair to pigeionhole hybrid owners as more trendy than green, Camry/Accord owners as “appliance” fans rather than car enthusiasts, and anyone in a Camaro as a mulletted mall janitor.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    What’s next, a review of a Ford E-350 passenger van or maybe the ideal vehicle for the airport parking shuttle?

    Vans are cool. Granted nobody puts funkalicious paint jobs, slotted mag wheels, white letter radials and shag carpeting on them anymore…but I think a few van road tests are long overdue. :-)

  • avatar
    yournamehere

    i think we will see downsizing across all brands in the next gen of trucks. Ranger and S10 sized trucks with diesel engines will be the norm. Only the ppl the NEED a truck will get big trucks.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    I remember when I was at Skip Barber I asked all the instructors what they drove.

    Answer? Pickup trucks.

    Reason? “Chicks dig ‘em.”

    And so it goes…

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Also, based on the ratio of number of vehicles sold and the number of said vehicles still on the road, the Dodge Ram is the longest lasting full sized pickup.

    All three have some obscure fact to make that claim. Dodge’s claim to fame appears to be a small but loyal group of buyers.

    Problem is, I don’t see a whole lot of older Dodges on the road. The 94-01 bodystyle is hard to find at most Houston worksites or on the roads. While I see plenty of 1980s Chevys, I haven’t seen an old school Dodge in months. Maybe years.

  • avatar
    Jim H

    Come on Johny…you really base every buyer of a truck off of your experiences at Skip Barber?

    Criminy…that’s just sad.

    So if I say that everyone person I’ve ever talked to who had above 300 hp was also dangerously close to mentally unstable…we can accept that as a fact?

    Stereotypes are NOT truth. As a contributer here, you really need to rethink…scratch that…just begin to think.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    As AN (quoted by RF) pointed out, even Ford and GM’s table scraps are worth tens of thousands of units, and millions of dollars

    Very important point, that people either don’t care about, or don’t understand. Let’s assume a worst-case scenario where Toyota makes about $6000 profit per Tundra (current estimates peg full size truck profits to be over $10,000 per truck whether it’s a Chevy, Dodge, or Toyota). Now lets roughly assume with the new Tundra, in the first year, Toyota will increase sales by about 100,000 units. Doing the math, that equates to a $600 million increase in profits from just those 100,000 units. A more realistic scenario would be an average of about $10,000 in profits per Tundra, which would mean an extra 1 Billion dollars added annually to Toyota’s profits.

    I hope the bean counters at GM, Ford, and Chrysler are paying attention here, because these are pretty scary numbers.

    Vans are cool. Granted nobody puts funkalicious paint jobs, slotted mag wheels, white letter radials and shag carpeting on them anymore…but I think a few van road tests are long overdue. :-)

    Not as overdue as actual top-to-bottom redesigns of those vans. Ford and GM make quite a bit of money selling lots of those vans which are still based on ancient platforms and have 1980′s comfort and convenience.

  • avatar
    Lesley Wimbush

    I was on the Canadian launch for the Silverado/Sierra. We drove them loaded, unloaded in all configurations, up twisty mountain roads and on highways. I thought they handled well, in particular the steering is greatly improved. The frame is entirely new, it’s not just a re-sheeting.
    We also had opportunity to tow 9,800 lbs worth of trailer & John Deere backhoe, no probs since the max. towing capacity is 10,400 lbs.
    Competitors trucks were available for comparison testing on the slalom. To me, the closest rival for handling was the F150, Titan after that (steering not that great though) and the Ram the worst, heavy leaden plowing through the turns.
    As for driving enthusiasts having no business in pickup trucks, lol, I counter that with many lapping miles (including mosport) on my dakota. It ain’t no Audi, but it’s sure as shit a more engaging ride than the Lexus LS 460L I drove at COTY. 

  • avatar
    noley

    CSJohnston (12/8 at 10:48 am)

    Trucks boring? Two minutes for Liebermaning! :)
    Well yes, except when you need to haul something and then they are simply useful

    people also like to: hunt, fish, camp, snowmobile, RV, ATV, ride, etc. A truck sure helps and lots of people do the above.
    I live in NH and people do all that stuff. That’s still utility. And some of them drive $40K trucks. No accounting for taste. But I sure see a lot of trucks that clearly never see a dirt road or haul anything other than some lard butt to the office.

    Nobody accuses a Jeep of being boring even though its name derives from General Purpose.
    A Wrangler isn’t boring. The rest are.

    If you can’t afford your dream truck new
    A good truck shouldn’t cost more than the gear it carries.
    My idea of a dream truck is maybe $4K worth of battered 4WD that I don’t need to wash or have to lock and that can get me to some of my good fly-fishing spots, a good kayaking river, and to my favorite ski hills in winter.

    jerseydevil: (December 8th, 2006 at 11:11 am)
    Around here, new pickups have little in them but bloated egos and chrome wheels. The people who are actually carrying stuff have old beat up trucks.

    Right on!

  • avatar
    Johnson

    As for driving enthusiasts having no business in pickup trucks, lol, I counter that with many lapping miles (including mosport) on my dakota. It ain’t no Audi, but it’s sure as shit a more engaging ride than the Lexus LS 460L I drove at COTY.

    Comparing a Dakota with an LS460?

    Excuse me while I go review the latest Yugo with a Porsche 991 Turbo.

  • avatar
    Joeypilot

    The easy lift gate is available. The following is from the Chevrolet web site:

    The available, lockable EZ Lift tailgate(1) takes only about 16 lbs. of effort to operate. This is roughly a 40 percent reduction in the force required to lift the tailgate compared to the previous-generation Silverado. This makes for easy and quick access to tools and cargo in the pickup bed. And, as with all Silverado models, this tailgate can be easily removed when needed.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Jim,

    Um… I am not basing ALL truck buyers on the pro-racing dudes from Skip Barber.

    I was just stating that I found it interesting that dudes who race around tracks all day drive big trucks for the ladies.

    Oh, and they all need to haul their sprint cars around, too.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    people also like to: hunt, fish, camp, snowmobile, RV, ATV, ride, etc. A truck sure helps and lots of people do the above.
    I live in NH and people do all that stuff. That’s still utility. And some of them drive $40K trucks. No accounting for taste. But I sure see a lot of trucks that clearly never see a dirt road or haul anything other than some lard butt to the office.

    Perhaps, but if “a vehicle has to be used as intended” is your basis for buying one, then we should all be driving 4-cylider sedans or wagons. By the way, “use it as intended” would kill 90% of the sports and performance car industry too.

    As for recreational utility, no arguement there. However, if someone buys a nice truck to haul around his (or her) nice recreational equipment (have you costed a decent snowmobile these days?) then more power to them.

    On another note, the truck industry is hot right now with performance mods. Whether its chipping a Cummins diesel for more horsepower or putting a six-inch lift kit on mudder tires, this is big business these days (on par with the car tuner market). Does this make truck buyers performance guys now?

    It’s something else to be blown off the road by a ten foot high F-350 going 100 mph! At least he went by me as opposed to over!

  • avatar
    finger

    “Not as overdue as actual top-to-bottom redesigns of those vans. Ford and GM make quite a bit of money selling lots of those vans which are still based on ancient platforms and have 1980’s comfort and convenience. ”

    Not true. While the Ford E series is an old platform, the GM vans are not. They are actually built on 2006 Silverado chassis. When you say 1980′s comfort and convenience, are you referring to 4 wheel disc brakes, StabiliTrak system, anti lock brakes or Vortec engines?

  • avatar

    “It’s something else to be blown off the road by a ten foot high F-350 going 100 mph! At least he went by me as opposed to over!”

    Just be thankful he didn’t have to turn a corner or stop suddenly.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Frank,

    We don’t have corners on the prairie and you can see forever!

    CJ

  • avatar
    Johnson

    If that’s the case, then my criticism of the GM vans is voided. The complaints about the Ford E Series remain.

  • avatar
    vexner

    Sajeev Mehta said:

    “All three have some obscure fact to make that claim.”

    OK, if you consider this an obsecure R.L.Polk statistic…

    “*Based on R. L. Polk & Co. Vehicles in Operation registration statistics 1986-2005. †Durability based on longevity.”

    Link:http://www.dodge.com/ram_truck/index.html

    “Dodge’s claim to fame appears to be a small but loyal group of buyers.”

    Small? I understand large and small can be subjective, kinda like those AOL inches, but the Ram is the 3rd best selling pickup and has been consistantly in the top 5 selling vehicles overall for quite a few years…I think it currently ranks 4th. If you consider selling 400K+/- small, so be it.

    Loyal? I suspect so, just like Ford and Chevy truck buyers…this will be the hardest conquest for Toyota.

    “Problem is, I don’t see a whole lot of older Dodges on the road. The 94-01 bodystyle is hard to find at most Houston worksites or on the roads. While I see plenty of 1980s Chevys, I haven’t seen an old school Dodge in months. Maybe years.”

    I still see quite a number of the first gen Big Rig styled Rams around here in Alabama…even some with Texas plates…nope, don’t see many of the gen before…could be that they usually sold around 80K units per year, ya think?

  • avatar
    vexner

    Sajeev Mehta said:All three have some obscure fact to make that claim.

    Ok, if you consider this obsecure…

    *Based on R. L. Polk & Co. Vehicles in Operation registration statistics 1986-2005. †Durability based on longevity.

    http://www.dodge.com/ram_truck/index.html

  • avatar
    vexner

    Sajeev Mehta said:Dodge’s claim to fame appears to be a small but loyal group of buyers.

    I understand “small” just as “large” can be considered subjective term, but somehow I have a hard time understanding how the 3rd best selling pickup in the US and a vehicle that has for quite a few years now been ranked consistently in the top 5 of all vehicles sold in the US…sometimes ranked as high as the 3rd best selling vehicle overall…being called small. Yep, the Ram sells about half what Ford and Chevy sell, but a vehicle that sells around 400K to 500K per year small?

    Loyal, I guess so, just as are Ford and Chevy pickup buyers. This loyality will be Toyota’s challenge as all these pickups are good with the degrees of good and bad that seperate each being negligable…so that it probably boils down to brand loyality as the number 1 reason why a person purchases a given full size pickup.

  • avatar
    NamDuong

    Geez, this thing is bland.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Yep, the Ram sells about half what Ford and Chevy sell, but a vehicle that sells around 400K to 500K per year small?

    vexner: yes its more correct to say “small relative to its peers.” The Dodge has been a distant third in sales for years. And its been in last place for many years until the Tundra/Titan came out.

  • avatar
    jerry weber

    I think the entire pickup debate will be framed by the fuel situation. At $2.00 a gallon all pickup trucks sell out at $2.50 close to where we are now many pickups will be sold but some will defect for better fuel numbers (these are the people who don’t need to haul but like a truck). At $3.00 a gallon ala last spring, we see all pickups dive as only the people who need to haul for a living buy the things. If you can with certainty pick the fuel costs, I can project the sales.

  • avatar
    finger

    2007 Silverado- Motor Trend Truck of the Year. OK?

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Who-hoo???

  • avatar
    finger

    Deal with it. The new Silverado is top dog. Or is Motor Trend not a reliable source?

  • avatar

    I could have told you MT would be naming the Silverado their TOTY as soon as I saw the multipage glossy advertising insert for the Silverado (that was clearly labeled as an advertising insert specifically for Motor Trend) shrink-wrapped with a recent edition of MT. Chevy paid big bucks for it and in return they got an award. It’s as simple as that.

  • avatar
    finger

    Can you say “conspiracy theory”? Mr. Williams, are you an X files fan? Area 51?

  • avatar
    finger

    This is our truck.

    · Best In Class Fuel Economy…22 mpg highway

    · Best In Class Quiet

    · Best In Class Towing

    · Best In Class Payload

    · Guaranteed Quality with the Best Coverage in America

    5 years/100,000 miles powertrain warranty, roadside assistance

    and courtesy transportation.

  • avatar

    No, this is YOUR truck.

    And as far as a conspiracy theory or anything else along those lines is concerned, if you worked for a Ford or Toyota dealership you’d have far worse things to say about the Silverado than anyone here has.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Deal with it. The new Silverado is top dog. Or is Motor Trend not a reliable source?

    Well…the Honda Ridgeline won this “coveted” award last year, hailed as the thinking person’s truck.

    Whatever relevance the Truck of the Year award possessed went out the door in 2006.


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