By on November 19, 2013

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Exterior, Side, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

I’ve never cared for the phrase “as American as apple pie” as apple pie is far from an American invention. Instead, we should say as “American as the pickup truck.” In 1925 Ford crafted the “Ford Model T Runabout with Pickup Body” and America’s love affair began. The Chevrolet Silverado, and its mechanical twin the GMC Sierra, may not be the best-selling vehicle in America (that award goes to the aging Ford F-150) but the Chevy alone has outsold the Toyota Camry by 55,000 units this year. Toss in the Sierra and there are more GM trucks sold on our shores in a year than all the Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche products put together. The high sales number and high profit margins explain the intense Ford vs Chevy vs RAM rivalry. With a new RAM in 2013 and a light refresh only a year later, GM is firing back with an all-new Silverado and Sierra. Does Chevy’s new half-ton have what it takes to be king of the hill?

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Exterior

Outside, the 2014 Silverado retains Chevy’s classic styling cues with stacked headlamps and plenty of straight lines. Although I didn’t think it possible, the wheel wells have become even more square for 2014.  GM’s trucks have long been the sedate option in the half ton market, but Chevy has decided to inject a more passion for 2014. Up front we get a bolder grille, and following in Ford and Chrysler’s footsteps, there’s the vaguest hint of “big rig” styling in the hood stamping. New projector headlamps and an enormous chrome bumper round out the transformation.

Although the Silverado has grown slightly over the last generation, the difference isn’t huge. One major change for 2014 that does increase the truck’s size is the availability of the standard bed (6′ 6″) and crew cab combination making this combo 10 inches longer than the 2013 crew cab model and just shy of 20-feet. Also increasing in size for 2014 are the enormous square wheel wells. Square wells with round wheels have always looked a little peculiar to my eye. Be sure to sound off in the comment section. Although it’s a GM design cue that’s lived on for years, I think the square wheel wells would look better with a square-themed wheel. The ginormous openings will likely make aftermarket tuners happy since it’s easier to stuff bigger rubber on the Silverado without modification, but it made out tester’s enormous 20-inch wheels look small. Despite the squareness, and my family’s allegiance to the RAM brand, I think the Silverado manages to be the best looking half ton on the market by a hair.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Interior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes
Interior

While the outside impressed me with bold, aggressive styling and impressive fit and finish for a pickup truck, I was honestly disappointed by the interior. I found the Silverado a better place to spend my time than the Ford, but the 2014 RAM is not only more pleasing in style, but also more functional and Chrysler offers an extensive upgrade list including real wood trim and leather door panels. Practical features have long been a selling point and that continues for the Silverado. We get two glove boxes, large door storage pockets and a new center console in 5-passenger models. The wide console sports a whopping five USB ports, two of which are linked to the infotainment system while the others are charge only. There are multiple 12V DC outlets and an optional 120V inverter if you click the right option box. The console storage has been improved for 2014 but I found it to be slightly less useful than Ford or RAM’s stashes due to the cup holder module which “kinda-sorta” covers the front of the console. (Check out the picture above.)

Front seat comfort is easily the best in the half-ton market regardless of trim level. RAM’s front seats suffer from the same ergonomic flaw as many of Chrysler’s latest products: seats you sit on, not in. The Chevy’s seats on the other hand seemed perfectly shaped while the foam ranged from plush in our LTZ tester, to moderately firm in the base models. Likewise the rear seats scored top in the class with soft padding and seat bottom cushions that provided more thigh support than the competition.

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Infotainment

If you’re a regular reader, you will know that I have praised GM’s low and mid-range touchscreen systems as some of the best in the business. Sadly the Silverado does not use that system. Instead, the Silverado joins the Impala and Buick LaCrosse in using a modified version of Cadillac’s CUE. So as not to step directly on their luxury brand’s toes, there are a few changes made to the system for truck duty. The expensive glass capacitive touchscreen (looks like a modern smartphone) is swapped for a resistive unit that isn’t as crisp or as glare reducing. The Chevy and Buick systems also get physical buttons for some system features, a marked improvement over Cadillac’s touchscreen only interface. Aside from these charges, the majority of CUE remains.

Like Ford’s MyFord Touch system, MyLink is sluggish in general and sometimes totally unresponsive. The software also suffers from unintuitive menu layouts and old-school mapping software that doesn’t jive with the system’s high-resolution screen. Like CUE, some multi-touch gestures are supported, but the different touchscreen is less able to decipher your intent leading to some frustrating moments. On the bright side, CUE’s selling points remain. The system’s voice command system features natural language commands and instead of treating the USB ports as separate inputs, the system aggregates them into one large music library allowing you to voice command songs without specifying the device.

Overall this implementation of MyLink ties with Toyota’s Entune system in the Tundra for third, with MyFord Touch coming in second and Chrysler’s uConnect taking the lead. uConnect is far more intuitive, the graphics are more pleasing to the eye and the system is generally more responsive. Thanks to a 2014 software update the RAM now offers OnStar like emergency services as well as app integration in the head unit.  The last thing you should know about MyLink is that it is hard to avoid. Most models of the Silverado on the lot have either the large screen or small screen version with only the most basic trim levels getting a standard radio/CD player unit.

2014 5.3L V-8 EcoTec3 AFM VVT DI (L83) for Chevrolet Silverado aDrivetrain

Instead of aping and releasing a new model with old engines, GM packs in three brand-new engines for 2014. Dubbed the EcoTec3 engine family, the Silverado comes standard with a 4.3L V6, an optional 5.3L V8 and soon there will be a 6.2L V8. All three engines share design elements, push rods and direct-injection. The 4.3L V6 is exclusive to GM’s trucks, not shared with cars and crossovers like Ford and Chrysler, the reason is obvious when you look at the power numbers. At 285 HP and 305 lb-ft of torque, the large V6 produced less power but considerably more torque than Ford’s 3.7 or or RAM’s 3.6. Thanks to variable valve timing and the direct-injection sauce, the V6 Silverado manages 18/24 MPG (City/Highway) without any special fuel economy trim parts added. While it doesn’t beat the RAM SFE’s 25 MPG highway number, it beats everything else.

Our tester had GM’s volume engine option, the 355 HP and 383 lb-ft 5.3L V8. In addition to the same variable valve timing and direct-injection systems the V6 gets, both V8 engines feature cylinder deactivation to improve highway MPGs. The 5.3L engine cranks out less power and twist than RAM’s 5.7L HEMI, but is competitive against Ford’s 5.0L V8. Those interested in V8 bragging rights will want to jump up to the 6.2L V8 which produces a class leading 420 ponies and 440 lb-ft of torque.

Regardless of the engine you choose, a GM 6-speed automatic will be sending power to the ground. The rumor mill is alive and well that an 8-speed automatic is in the works but GM has no official line on that. That puts GM on par with the 6-speed F-150 and two cogs behind the 2014 RAM 1500. You’ll find the usual part-time four-wheel drive systems and an off-road package in the Silverado but you won’t find the 2014 half-ton game changer under any Silverado’s hood: a small diesel. If your interest is piqued, come back for our review of the 2014 RAM 1500 diesel in a few weeks.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Towing and Payload

Trucks are all about hauling and towing and GM came to this fight to win. While most pickup trucks advertise high payloads yet only deliver those payload numbers in very specific model/trim combinations, the Silverado boasts large numbers across the board. Ranging from 1,875 to 2,100 pounds, the Silverado easily bests the RAM’s 1,340-1,620 pound payload range (now that the RAM 1500 “Heavy Duty” has been axed) and likewise is more impressive than the F-150′s 1,510-2,090 range. (The F-150 is available in a heavy-duty frame model which uses F-250 frame and suspension parts and F-150 sheet metal, I don’t consider that a half-ton truck.) The big thing to know about the Silverado’s payload numbers however is how simple the payload chart is and how little it varies from one model to the next unlike Ford’s payload chart that is pages long.

When it comes to towing, Toyota would like us all to know that they are the only one with a SAE certification when it comes to towing. Does that matter? Probably not. With the 4.3L six-banger the Silverado is good for 5,900-7,200lbs of conventional trailering, 1,100 more than Ford’s base V6 but lower than the RAM V6 thanks to their new ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic. 5.3L models jump to 6,800-11,400, ahead of the RAM and Ford and if serious towing is your bag, the 6.2L V8 can haul a 12,000lb trailer. Of course anything over 10,000lbs is probably academic for half-ton owners, since most states require you to have a commercial license to haul that kind of weight. When it comes to towing capacity, the Silverado V8s are king, but how about towing feel? That’s a different story.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. DykesDrive

With my 7,500lbs trailer attached, the Silverado and the RAM’s towing abilities are defined by their transmission. With two fewer gears to choose from, the Silverado felt less capable despite the stouter numbers on paper. It’s all about the feel, especially when hill climbing. The Silverado’s V6 may put out more torque than Chrysler’s 3.6L car engine, but as Archimedes said “give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” ZF’s 8-speed automatic seemed to always have the right gear for every situation with the V6. Things get even better in RAM-land when you hitch the sheep up to Chrysler’s more powerful 5.7L HEMI. And that’s before we even talk about RAM’s new 3.0L diesel engine with 420 lb-ft of twist mated to the same transmission. This places the Silverd0, yet again, second in the class behind the RAM but ahead of the Ford.

The RAM beats the Silverado when it comes to ride quality as well.  Whether the RAM is loaded or empty, equipped with the standard coil springs or the optional air suspension, the ride is both softer and more composed than the Chevy. The RAM’s ability to load-level with that optional suspension puts even more daylight between the RAM and the GM pickups. I have to temper that with the reality that the RAM can’t tow or haul as much as the Silverado. Shoppers will need to decide if payload and towing limits are more important than ride quality since needs will vary. Likely due to the F-150′s age, the Ford feels more disconnected than the Silverado both on and off the road.
2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Gauges-001

Although a 16.8 MPG average might sound bad to Camcord shoppers, that’s not a bad number for a V8 pickup truck on a daily commute cycle with 120 miles of weekend trailer towing. GMç 6-speed transmission has a fairly tall 6th gear and the Ecotec3 family of V8 engines has an aggressive cylinder deactivation program. Combined they allow the Silverado with the 5.3L V8 to get 23 highway MPGs in 2WD trim and 22 MPG in 4WD trim according to the EPA. On a level highway with the cruise control set to 68 I had no troubles averaging 26-27 MPG when the ending was in 4-cylinder mode. Despite the RAM’s 8-speed transmission, the Silverado delivers superior EPA and real world MPG numbers while sipping on regular gasoline (RAM recommends mid-grade in HEMI models.)

Our Silverado Z71 LTZ 4WD tester rang in at $50,475 thanks to a bevy of options from park assist to a heated steering wheel and 20-inch chrome wheels. However you configure your Silverado, the 2014 model will be asking a $1,500 premium over the 2013 model thanks to a late price hike from the general. Although there are still plenty of cash on the hood offers, many dealers are complaining that the price tags are scaring away potential shoppers. This means the MSRP for our Silverado was between $1,500 and $2,500 higher than competitive Ford or RAM trucks with the difference widening slightly when you adjust for feature content. When you factor in GM’s deeper discounts the difference becomes negligible but the crazy logic remains the same.

At the end of a week, I was sorry to see the Silverado go but I was also sad GM didn’t delay the Silverado for a year. With the 2013 RAM meeting press and sales success, I think there was a missed opportunity to put the Silverado on hold, toss in a new transmission and an optional self leveling coil spring rear suspension. Doing so would have made the Silverado more competitive in this high volume, high profit segment. Still, the Silverado has a great deal going for it. With the highest payload and towing capacities in the market combined with the best real world fuel economy numbers there are some good reasons to put the Silverado at the top of your list. For the rest of us, the RAM’s better road manners, snazzier feature list, top-notch infotainment system and excellent 8-speed automatic will seal the deal.

 

General Motors provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review

Specifications as tested

0-30: 3.13 Seconds

0-60: 8.17 Seconds

 1/4 Mile: 16.5 Seconds @ 87.5 MPH

Average Observed Fuel Economy: 16.8 MPG over 784 Miles

Cabin noise at 50 MPH: 67 dB

 

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91 Comments on “Review: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (With Video)...”


  • avatar

    [insert screed about how unnecessarily large these trucks are here]

    There, now that that’s that’s over…

    GM is YET AGAIN underperforming the market, just as they’ve done my whole life. Ram debuts in 1994, featured in “Twister,” we don’t get a meaningful redesign until 1999 when the Silverado replaced the C/K line. They had a light-duty diesel ready to produce, then shelved it at the last minute. They soldiered on with the ancient 4.3L V6 for a decade too long, and watched Ford eat their lunch with EcoBoost and Ram change the game with the Coil Spring rears.

    Driving the previous gen Silverado and Ram 1500 v6 recently, I’d have a Ram any day of the week over a Silverado (and the dead-stick F150). If/when Ford comes out with this ALCOA-wonder F150, GM will again be a distant third.

    They don’t innovate, and only their reputation for powertrain reliability is keeping them afloat. Per Usual.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Their innovating, but not in a way beneficial to truck users.
      AFM is the biggest bs on the market, if someone is buying a V8 they wanna a gotderned V8 not a 4 cycl.
      And then they remove ground clearence, I mean seriously, is it competing with the Prius?
      Thin sheet metal
      Waste of money LCD screens, no option for traditional radio
      Electric power steering
      Outrageous starting price, I mean seriously what reason is there for a basic single cab v8 to start above 18k?

      At least they didn’t pull a ford and put POS OHC engines in the trucks

      /end broken record rant.

      • 0 avatar
        BigOlds

        My 09 Silverado has made me very happy. I haven’t any brand allegiances. I haul lots of stuff as a very accomplished DIYer, but I also need to use my truck for my daily commute, so I appreciate AFM. I can’t say how much it saves me, but I routinely haul 2,000lbs (overweight, I know) and when it needs to be in 8cyl mode, it is. When I am rolling down the interstate to work it will stay in 4cyl mode just fine.

        My biggest complaint about the new Silverados is how little they changed the looks. One would think that an all new model would be seen as an opportunity to wow people with new styling.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “They don’t innovate, and only their reputation for powertrain reliability is keeping them afloat. Per Usual.”

      I don’t necessarily disagree but when you spend 30-40 large -of your own money- on a truck do you really want to play guinea pig for an automaker’s innovation? Trucks should be dead on reliable and suited to the task at hand, its only now with truck sedans replacing the role of traditional cars that any real changes have been introduced into truck lines (i.e. high end interiors, giant chrome wheels, turbo engines and the like).

    • 0 avatar
      mjz

      As usual, great review by Alex, always look forward to reading them. Comprehensive and informative. I think GM made a major blunder by not being more progressive with the design of these all new trucks. It is really hard to tell them from the 2013 models. I was at last years NAIAS (Detroit show) and people were walking right PAST the 2014 model GM trucks on the floor. I think the RAM is the best looking truck in this segment, including the front end. The Chevy looks like a brick on wheels with some chrome trim, and the wheel arches, in addition to being square, are way too big, with too much “dead” space. As a former Chevy S-10 owner (which I loved), this review made me want to go out and buy a new RAM. Lol.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    I wonder if Uncle Pete is ever going to repaint that GP60. Did you have to snag a truck straight off the auto rack to get around the TTAC embargo?

  • avatar
    Onus

    Random question. Is there a button to switch the speedometer from USCU to Metric? I know gms of old used to have that but they seem to prefer printing both units on the gauge now a days.

    I loathe the wheels wells, and the front looks toyish at certain angles.

    I have a hard time spotting these new trucks from the old. I have seen a few already but, i can’t tell new from old until i drive by and see the horrible wheel wells.

    Also they could move the rear plate bolts up 2-3mm so you see the bottom. In my state we have text there that will be obscured with the recessed thing they have going on. Also, get rid of that random rubber plug on the right side. What the heck is that for? They have had it since the early 2000′s.

    It’s always the little stuff that bugs me with gm products.

    When the aluminum f150 hits the used market I’m buying one. My biggest problem is rust and if doesn’t rust I’ll keep it fixed for 20+ years.

  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    First- I think this sentence:

    “The high sales number and high profit margins explain the intense Dodge vs Chevy vs RAM rivalry.”

    Was supposed to read:

    “The high sales number and high profit margins explain the intense Ford vs Chevy vs RAM rivalry.”

    Second- I generally enjoy your articles but I feel its important to point something out about this one, and I’m not one to pick at an author. Commenters, sure. The amount of RAM fanboi-ism in this article is disgusting… and I’ll drive anything “big three” that suits my needs/senses best.

    Say what you will about how much “better” the RAM trucks are but you (the author) kind of explained where this article was going to go when you exclaimed “…and my family’s allegiance to the RAM brand…”

    I find it difficult to write a purely subjective review of a vehicle when you spell out your bias pretty much from the beginning and then completely elaborating on that bias throughout the article.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Kinda hard not to have an allegiance to a certain truck brand, its not like he’s reviewing brands of sugar.

      • 0 avatar
        CoastieLenn

        That’s true, too. I just don’t see why a published peice on a self proclaimed “Truth About Cars” forum is so obviously biased. Everyone knows that the commenting crowd will take their allegience nut-swinging and inject it anywhere they can so let that air out how much better “brand X” is than this truck. The Ford Fusion article is a perfect recent example. For the author to do it in this measureable of a fashion just rubs me the wrong way.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Your right, an it would be wrong to allow exceptions, but PUs are pretty much the last bastion of Americana that promotes such a strong level of fierce differentiation, if that makes sense.

          Edit: or rugged individualism if you will.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          What makes you think he’s biased? Because he already owns or is related to someone who owns the product?

          I don’t see anything he said as being misrepresented. I’ve driven the Ram, Silverado and F-150 and can confirm the Ram does ride and handle the best, and the 8 speed is a superior transmission, so I’m not sure what you’re upset about.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m curious what criteria do you use in order to determine is the Chrysler 8-speed superior is the GM 6-speed?

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            The same that Alex mentioned. It has more gear ratios that enable the engine to be in it’s optimum RPM range under a broader spectrum of load/speed conditions. Basically, it uses the engine’s power more effectively when it’s needed.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Ah now I understand.

          • 0 avatar
            DC Bruce

            Not that I approve of the fact that they deliberately overload pickups in their test, don’t use weight distributing hitches and apparently have no idea how to properly set up trailer brakes, but the “fast lane trucks” guys do have an interesting angle in that they drive pickups pulling heavy (10,000 lb.) trailers up the grade to the 11,000+ ft. high Eisenhower tunnel across the continental divide on I-70 in Colorado. One of their tests features the Silverado with the optional 6.2 liter V-8 engine. Even in tow/haul mode, the automatic transmission hunts between gears and shifts into a higher gear at about 3200 rpm under full-throttle, full load conditions . . . until the vehicle’s speed falls and rpms fall to about 2800 rpm, at which point, the transmission downshifts and the vehicle speeds up until rpms hit about 3200, when it shifts up . . . and the truck begins losing speed. Given that this engine’s power peak is at something over 4,000 rpm, this transmission is leaving a lot of the engine’s power “by the wayside” even, as the driver is asking for more of it.
            So, yeah, transmissions make a difference. I assume — but don’t know — that the driver in the test could have locked out the higher gear and maintained his desired speed (60 mph), but the point of the test was to let the truck do what it was going to do, on its own.

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      Thanks for letting me know about the typo.

      As to the RAM heavy review, the two trucks are the new boys on the stage so it made the most sense to compare them with one another a touch more than the older Ford. The reason I say that my family is a RAM family is that I’m sure as unbiased as I always try to be there is going to be some mental bias as I am human. I always disclose if I own a model or brand in a review because I feel it is important that readers know where I am coming from rather than hiding it like some do.

      The RAM excels I the areas I mentioned: ride, transmission, towing dynamics and interior goodies. The Silverado has the highest payload and towing numbers with the best fuel economy but the 6 speed transmission is truly outclassed by the ZF 8-speed. Unless you have a commercial drivers license, your towing limit is 10,000 lbs which all three trucks will tow but the RAM will be the more willing partner. Then there is the Cadillac CUE based infotainment system… I don’t think a second place finish is a bad thing either with the selling points GM has on the truck. I would also mention that it have yet to see any review place the Silverado first I the areas I’m talking about.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “The high sales number and high profit margins explain the intense Dodge vs Chevy vs RAM rivalry”

    Alex was this a typo? I think you may have intended Ford vs Chevy vs RAM as RAM is Dodge trucks under a different brand name (which I believe was created in case Chrysler/Dodge was liquidated in the bailout, but this is my theory).

  • avatar
    RightYouAreKen

    “The F-150 is available in a heavy-duty frame model which uses F-250 frame and suspension parts and F-150 sheet metal, I don’t consider that a half-ton truck”

    While this was true in the early 200s, this isn’t true anymore. The F-150 with the heavy duty payload package upgrades the axles from 6 lug to 7 (F250 has 8 lug axles) and heavier duty springs/shocks, but does not use the F250 frame.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Nvm
      I didn’t realize they still offered an HD 150 in any form.

      • 0 avatar
        CoastieLenn

        All of the F250′s and above that we have here (4 of them) are all 8 lug. 2 gas SRW, 2 diesel DRW.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Pedantic and trivial fact: I have seen several F-250 & F-350′s with 7-lug wheels off of the E-Series vans. Very strange, indeed. There was even a truck at our local highway department (F-350 V10) with three 7-lugs and one 8-lug rim! Changing a spare must be a b*tch.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Right You Are, Ken!

      The 2004-current F-150 HD also has a thicker (like, .05″ thicker) version of the standard F-150′s fully-boxed frame; a true F-250 has the Super Duty’s C-channel frame.

      The model was only called F-250 Light-Duty from 1997-99, after that it was the “7700 package” (for the GVWR) until 2004; the GVWR is now 8200 lbs., but they just call it “Heavy-Duty Payload Package”.

      We owned a ’98 F-250 LD SuperCab as our “nice pickup” from 2001-2011; it always seemed to me like the best of both worlds–a little extra muscle for towing hay racks, but still rode (more or less) like a normal F-150. Plus it had those really neat 7-lug rims. 1997-03 7-lugs were the best, after that Ford went to boring-looking steelies. The 2011+ aluminum seven-lugs are a major improvement.

      It’s always seemed strange to me how Ford promoted their fully-boxed-frame F-150 as being stronger than everyone else’s, but every other truck from a Super Duty up to a semi-truck uses a C-channel for flexibility.

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      I had no idea that this was still an option, I have a 96 heavy half ton with a class 4 hitch in the bumper c6 transmission and the straight six, if that won’t tow it, I’m not touching it with a half ton.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    To my eye the RAM is the best looking truck on the market currently.

    This Silverado looks like it wants to be Ironhide so bad…

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      As a GM guy, ram is also the best looking to me. But in all honesty, I wouldn’t buy a half ton today, they’re much too car like, to buy a half ton today you may as well buy a Camry. 3/4 tons are becoming the new half tons, they lack the BS that has consumed half tons and look a lot better as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Right, because a Camry can hold 5 people in high comfort (6 people in moderate comfort), pull a 7,500 lb. boat, and hold 55 cubic feet of luggage while still maintaining 20 mpg on the highway.

      • 0 avatar
        Dubbed

        How many actual buyers of trucks today share your sentiment of, “I do miss the old days when trucks use to beat up on the trip to the store”. “Or I don’t like that truck because it doesn’t tire me out after a 40 minute drive, the steering should at least wear my arms out alittle”.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          You dont have to go back into time to find good trucks, GMT800s are comfy as hell, even w/o this bs.
          And if hydro assist steering wears your arms out then I guess the gas pedal wears out your leg?

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            No, because the muscles of the leg are significantly stronger than the muscles of the arm. They’re meant to be always moving–your legs go to sleep on a plane or a car much more easily and frequently than your arms. And what about when you’re outside on a cold day? You might be wearing three or maybe even four layers on your torso (shirt, sweater, jacket, coat) but only a thick pair of pants on your legs.

            EDIT: And I should add: almost any pickup from the late 90′s early 2000′s is best for daily use–old enough that it doesn’t have sensitive electronics to break down, but new and comfortable enough to keep you from feeling fatigued at the end of the day. GMT800′s fall squarely (no pun intended) into that category.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I used to ride in a 2000 Chevy 2500HD 4×4 with the 6.0L engine. It was a USDA truck, regular cab, long bed. Rode rough (owing to its HD roots), and it could really get up and move with that 6.0. We’d ride 3 across in the cab, decent enough for shorter trips, but spending 45 minutes in it was not that great. The A/C went out on it and that was not so great, after a sweltering day in the corn fields blasting frigid A/C was a real treat.

            A different group got a GMT900 extended cab long bed 1500, that thing rode like a freakin Caddy even driving across a rutted field. Very car like, but it missed some of the utilitarian macho factor of the older rig.

  • avatar
    suckbangblow

    This article reminds me of the slow downward spiral of the american truck. Its kind of a contradiction that they are growing in size each year yet at the same time they are becoming more and more like CUVs and priced like a luxury car. I dont think there are many people out there who would buy any 50000 vehicle and use it as a truck is intended to be used. Maybe if you are in the business of moving houses you might find a modern day truck useful for one of its intended purposes. But for what i classify as a real truck activity such as being on a farm, contractor work, construction they are pricing themselves out of the market.

    • 0 avatar
      Halftruth

      I totally agree, Suck. Give me a truck that is a stripper with a stick that I can move loads of shit with. No carpet, no power this and that..
      Just a straight-ahead real truck I dont care about getting dirty and dented.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      My friends and I will put $50K trucks to work and they get banged around for sure. We’re self-employed in various trades and trucks are a must, not to mention a tax write-off. We’ll spend sun-up to sun-down in them, and we want basic amenities and some amount of luxury. And crew cabs take the place of the traditional sedan, Family Truckster or even the luxo barge. No need for any of them. Although, with rebates, that $50K truck is more like $38K. And what the hell, we love their great looks and sporty nature for the great outdoors.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      No-one’s forcing anyone to buy the lamentable $45K+ luxury crew cab models. For barely more than $30K, you can get a brand-new regular cab-long bed truck with a V8 and 4×4 with essentially no bells and whistles, perfect for getting dirty, throwing stuff in the bed, getting bumpers dented, etc.

      The reason people don’t? $5,000 will net you a 20-year-old 4×4 V8 pickup that’s in “good enough” condition for the type of work you’d need it for.

      • 0 avatar
        suckbangblow

        I agree and for that $5000 you are getting something from a different era in terms of trucks. It will be interesting to see how current trucks hold up ten or twenty years from now. . One of the great things about older trucks is they are simpler to work on durable and are worth working on due to high resale value. IMHO trucks and SUVS have been ruined by soccer moms and rich preppy morons who want to have the biggest truck on the road. Ever since the SUV explosion of the late 90′s it’s been a race to turn a truck into a car.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    I was at my city’s new vehicle auto show this past weekend and was just turned off by the full size trucks….I think mainly due to their gigantic sizes and acres of chrome. Not to mention insane sticker shock. If I have $50k to spend on a vehicle with 4 doors, I’m going to a European dealership. And I’m a truck guy. I’ve driven full size trucks my whole life until 2009. The last Chevy truck that did anything for me was the 2002 model.

  • avatar
    izzy

    Square wheel well is indeed odd

  • avatar
    Fordson

    I did not think it was possible to compare powertrains of the Big 3 American pickups without even mentioning the Ecoboost V6 that Ford sells in such numbers, much less involving it in the comparisons, but the author has managed to.

    Congratulations, or something…

    I agree with him on the styling…Chevy has apparently farmed that out to LEGO.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      What is it about the ecoboost that deserves mention? It’s highway fuel economy is basically matched by the Chevy V-8 with cylinder deactivation. Pulling a maximum load, it’s actually a bit thirstier than the V-8s. Even worse, the ecoboost models of the F-150 have 26 gallon fuel tanks, which don’t take you far if you’re getting 10 mpg towing a heavy trailer.

      It’s true that the Ecoboost has a fatter torque curve at lower rpms than the V-8s, but proper transmission design and programming can compensate for that.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        Ford’s turbo motor was only limited to the 26 gallon tank for MY11. Since then they come with the same 36 gallon tank as the V8s.

        Putting the small tank in the tow trim was an indefensibly idiotic decision on Ford’s part but GM is in no position to throw stones since they put the small tank in every trim.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Nice luxury car-like db’s. From near luxury of Buick and now Chevy gets noise control.

  • avatar
    dts187

    I was recently in the market for a new pickup. I had no brand preference but going in I had a bad taste in my mouth towards Dodge due to a lemon 98 Dakota I owned.

    I knew exactly what I wanted: Regular cab, 6′ bed, 4×4, V8, as little chrome as possible

    I test drove a F150 STX, Ram 1500 Express, ’14 Silverado 1WT, and I threw in a Tacoma and Frontier into the mix for comparison.

    In my mind the Ram won hands down. It had the best looking/feeling interior. The 5.7 puts you back in your seat faster than Chris Hansen during a Dateline NBC special. The coil spring rear gives it a definite advantage in handling even if it gives up a bit of utility. I liked the exterior look quite a bit as well. The best price I was given on a Ram Express was a touch over $27k out the door.

    I put the Ford in 2nd place. The 5.0 is a very willing engine and the truck drove pretty well. I dig the look of the F150. It was a solid truck all around. Best price was $28.5k without TTL.

    I really expected to like the Chevy. Newest model, interesting body lines, and pictures of the interior looked great. The test drive was disappointing. The interior looks great. But it all felt a step below the Ram quality-wise. The engine seemed willing but the gearing let it down. Handling was the worst of the big 3 in my book. Best price quote was $31k without TTL.

    I liked the Tacoma and Frontier despite the center console shifter (For whatever reason I feel a truck should be manual or column shifted auto). But the pricing was just ridiculous. For a thousand or so more you can get into a full size with a V8 that gets nearly the same fuel economy.

    So obviously I picked up a ’13 Ram 1500 Express. It’s comfortable on long drives, hauls/tows everything I need it to, looks pretty good, and the 5.7 makes it very efficient at converting tires into smoke. The 18mpg I average in mixed driving makes it even better.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Thanks for adding your notes. I this further corroborates Alex’s preference for the Ram as more than just “bias”.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      dts187, I will be in the market for a new 2015 or 2016, fullsize, halfton truck when I trade my 2011 Tundra 5.7 for a new one. My preference is a 4dr 4×4 Tundra 5.7 but I am worried that the EPA and CAFE mandates at that time may cause that magnificent Tundra 5.7-liter V8 to disappear.

      Since I have owned both a 1988 Silverado 350 and a 2006 F150 5.4 simultaneously, both bought new, prior to buying the 2011 Tundra 5.7, I am disappointed that GM still hasn’t come up to the sophistication of the Tundra 5.7 and that Ford is betting their fortunes on the Ecoboost V6.

      Maybe I expected too much from America’s best-selling vehicles. Pushrods in a modern half-ton? A passenger-class Ecoboost in a truck? Geez, Louise, who are they trying to fool here?

      As someone else already wrote, the 3/4-ton is the new 1/2-ton. There’s a reason for that!

      To me a real truck has to have at least a V8, the bigger the better. I’m not interested in fuel economy, mpgs, or doing the greenweenie thing. To me the 4dr 4×4 truck is the most versatile vehicle on the planet. How did we as a truck-driving species survive this long without them?

      GM trucks have evolved since my 1988 Silverado but it still is the same sh!t different day wrapped in slightly tweaked sheet metal.

      I’m holding out a lot of hope for the Ford Atlas concept with a huge V8 for 2015 and beyond. But if all else fails, I would have to put my money on an F-250 with the biggest gasoline engine I can buy. I would love to have another V-10 but that seems highly unlikely in this day and age.

      • 0 avatar
        Onus

        The v10 hasn’t been available in the 3/4 and 1 ton fords since 2011. It can still be had if you want a chassis cab.

        The only gas engine to be had is the 6.2l v8.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Onus, Thanks, I knew that but I was wishing.

          I had a used 1999 F250 V10 I picked up from a GI leaving for overseas.

          It was so much in demand that I did not get to keep it very long before someone offered me a lot more money than what I had paid for it.

          I let it go because I needed the money more at that time.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Around Y2K, full-size trucks grew a little in cab space for comfort and length of the frontal area for aerodynamics, but haven’t changed much since. Bigger wheels since Y2K means they’re a bit taller, but overall width has remained about the same since the 60s and 70s.

    And beds will hold more volume only from higher sides. I know they’re tougher to reach over, but bed contents are more secure when no one can see them.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Thank you for pointing this out and being the voice of reason!
      Compare a GMT400 Chevy extended cab short bed, all the way from 1988, with a brand-new 2014 Double Cab 6.5′ bed or Crew Cab 5.5′ bed. The wheelbase has grown only 2 inches; the only appreciable increase in length has been in the front overhang. Now, it has grown slightly wider (80 inches vs. 72), but most of this was done going from the 400 to 800 models (72 to 78 in.)

      Ford and Toyota are the worst about bedsides, Chevy hasn’t grown appreciably since ’88. But part of that is how high the suspension sits in the back: once you load them up to max payload, they ride much lower. And I’ve always thought the “purest” use of a pickup is for hauling (in the bed), not towing (with the hitch). Any Suburban or Expedition can tow, even a FWD crossover like the explorer can pull pretty good. But only a true pickup truck can carry 2000 lbs. of cargo within its own physical space.

      Well, okay, a van can too, but there’s something to be said for having separation between the people and the cargo.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    If GM has learned anything in their truck design, I give them a solid “thumbs-up” solely for finally getting rid of the “Jay Leno” chins on the front bumper corners. Although that was done last year or so, that one change makes the GM trucks a winner in my book!

    As far as giant wheel well openings go, I owned a 1976 ¾ ton Chevy pickup with the larger wheels and tires and the wheel wells were too large back then!

    For the record, I’d NEVER buy a Dodge truck over a Ford or GM.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      You mean those “square” chrome pieces on the outgoing models? Those had to be the ugliest thing on the GMT900s, even uglier than the square wheel wells everyone seems so fond of maligning.

      I always felt the GMT900′s were the ugliest pickups, but my distaste was tempered when I found the the bowtie-on-a-chrome-bar was intended to be vaguely reminiscent of the 1969-70 C/K-Series grille (think of replacing the “C H E V R O L E T” letters with the bowtie). And of course, the 1967-72 Chevy C/K Series are almost unanimously considered the most attractive pickup trucks of all time, even among Ford fans such as myself. Of those, I’d say the 71-72 grille is slightly more appealing than the 69-70, but à chacun son goût.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        “And of course, the 1967-72 Chevy C/K Series are almost unanimously considered the most attractive pickup trucks of all time…”

        Drzhivago, I couldn’t agree more! +1,000,000!

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          That’s why people make an effort to rescue them and restore them, which is good because hey, why not drive a classy old pickup truck around?

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          I would also say the concurrent F-Series (5th gen, 1967-72) are some of Ford’s most attractive offerings as well. Personally, I’ve always preferred the 6th gen (1973-79), since that’s what I grew up with and the ’75 SuperCab was indescribably awesome. Inward-facing jump seats? In a pickup? Yes please!

          Dodge’s D-Series in the late 60′s wasn’t as attractive, IMO, but you can still form a sort of “Holy Trinity” of the late 60′s-early 70′s if you include the 1969-75 International Harvester pickups in the running.

        • 0 avatar
          old5.0

          Really? As far as Chevy/GMC goes, I always found the first couple years of the Rounded Line generation (73-74) to be more attractive. The 67-72 GM trucks never did anything for me.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Probably because the 67-72′s are rather overdone in many vintage/restomod auto shows. But here in the Midwest, literally everyone and his dog has owned or does own a 73-87 Chevy pickup. So they’ve become nothing more than a faceless appliance. Meanwhile, 67-72′s are fairly uncommon.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    I like how the Ram looks, inside out. I’d prefer a truck to ride half-way decent. Everything I would do is in capacity for the Ram. So it would be a sure bet.

    But….

    What truck is going to last 20 years / 200k miles with little issues? Which one is easier to work on myself? That be my decider.

    Which raises me to ask a question. How come No car reviewers, even you guys, never pop the hood. Look at the components, where they’re located, what it takes to change out a starter, alternator, etc? This was my #1 decider into why I bought a V6 Mustang a few years ago. I rarely let anybody else ever work on my vehicles. Murlilee use to kind of do this when he reviewed a car and I really appreciated that. Sure this stuff might not matter on the latest $29k Mercedes, but when you’re reviewing full size American trucks, this should be included.

    Not be insulting, but do you guys even know what you’d be looking at? Do you really even know anything about cars?

    I don’t give a shit about the crappy computer in the dash; I’m getting the base radio. But I want to know what it takes to replace a water pump.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Not saying that it’s not good to know, but when was the last time anyone needed to change an alternator or a starter? Cars have come a long way in 30 years. It’s been years since I’ve seen any car on the side of the road, steam pouring out the open hood or otherwise incapacitated.

      EDIT: After rereading your comment more thoroughly, I will still agree with you. I enjoy the slightly-restrained macho look of the Rams (since both GM and Ford seem to be insulting truck buyers slightly by implying that having a vertical wall of chrome in the front is more important than anything else), I’ve heard great things about their ride quality, and I greatly anticipate the new 3.0 EcoDiesel V6 easily achieving over 25 MPG, but I could never buy one in good conscience with all the minor recalls and little fixes that should have been done at the factory, before the vehicle was sold.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Can you please tell us what rear axle ratios you tested on the GM and RAM trucks?

    And could you try to include this information in future truck reviews? It makes a big difference.

  • avatar
    andyinatl

    You know this world’s end is near when the following statement is applied to a truck “RAM is not only more pleasing in style, but also more functional and Chrysler offers an extensive upgrade list including real wood trim and leather door panels.”

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      Talk about mind bending…

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      What’s interesting is how most of the comparisons seem to be between the Chevy and RAM, with not a lot said about the market leading Ford (let alone the bottom-selling Toyota Tundra).

      Of course, for anyone that’s shopped an F-150 (or priced a Tundra) lately, it’s kind of understandable. The F-150 is getting rather long in the tooth and it will be very interesting to see how many of the innovative Atlas concept features they actually incorporate in the next generation truck model when it debuts for 2015.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        I believe you answered your own question there, along with someone else elsewhere in the comment section. The Chevy was more readily compared with the Ram because of its refresh within the past two years or so (8-speed transmission comes to mind).

        Also, the Tundra ain’t bottom-selling. But it’s no surprise you’ve forgotten the completely forgettable Nissan Titan.

        Personally, I can’t wait for the 2015 model. I know it won’t be completely like the Atlas concept (thank God; that thing looked hideous and showcased almost everything wrong with modern pickups), there’s speculation of a diesel model and even a possible return of the 2016 Super Duty to the same look. I hope that happens; I think Ford isn’t making as much profit as they could if they followed GM and Ram’s example and shared doors, beds and interior parts with the half-ton model.

        • 0 avatar
          rudiger

          You’re right, I didn’t even know that Nissan was still making the Titan. From what I can gather, the only upcoming change is the addition of a 5.0L diesel V8 for 2015.

          Otherwise, for those pining for a traditional, old-school, low-tech pickup truck, seems like Nissan might be the way to go (if you can find one since they don’t seem to sell a lot of them, that is).

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            I haven’t seen a Titan commercial for at least 5 years. And the 5.0 Cummins V8 is only the first of what promises to be a complete overhaul for 2015. It seems to be the best kept secret in the auto industry; there have been absolutely no spy photos except for a current-gen mule testing the Cummins. We have absolutely no idea what it’s going to look like.

  • avatar
    Dave W

    Does any one else think the radio advertising for this truck is a bit odd?

    They feature picking up kids at school, or driving cross country to see your new grandchild. You know, the things that CARS work really well for.

    If they want me to own a truck again tell me about the truck stuff it does. As it is I’m currently running a landscaping business out of a station wagon with a trailer because the current trucks are too big and expensive to run without enough interior space to protect tools and plants.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I am surprised that the interior did not receive much higher praise. I rode in a friend’s LTZ and I thought the interior was brilliant. Soft touch materials, nice colors TONS of storage space. The back seat could seat three NBA Players in comfort.

    Even though the RAM 1500 is winning accolades and fans, I still think that this is better. There is a certain percentage of the population who will not buy a RAM because it is a Chrysler, a camp I find myself teetering into. Truck owners typically buy new and keep for decades, and Chrysler doesn’t exactly have the best standing in reliability. I am sure the HEMI and ZF Transmission are perfectly fine, but I think you can safely kiss the Ram’s electric systems goodbye.

  • avatar
    anti121hero

    This truck is HIDEOUS. just absolutely ridiculous in its size and details.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I take it you’ve read very few, if any, of the comments here. Especially DenverMike’s and my own response to him (not to be a shameless self-promoter). The size of modern pickup trucks is much, much more perceived than actual thanks to the current trend of in-your-face chrome grilles, but once inside, they drive like a much smaller vehicle.

  • avatar
    cartoon

    Trucks aren’t what they used to be because the truck-buying public has changed so dramatically. It’s hard to please everyone when the target ranges from tradesmen, to weekend project/mulch schleppers, to a family do-all vehicle, to an in-your-face fashion/power statement. Used to be that they really only had to please the first of these–men who needed a truck to do their work.
    These diverse demographics mean, to me, that truck manufacturers have the single toughest assignment in the transportation world. And they all do a darn good job of trying to please everyone. Everyone will quibble about something on each differing truck.
    I’m the weekend truck guy. I have an F-150, 5.0 V-8, 4×4, 3.73 locking axle, regular cab short-bed, no chrome truck. It is fantastic for what I do with it.
    Had I bought a similar set up Chevy, Ram or Toyota they would have been fantastic too.
    Trucks have come a long way and satisfy a lot of different folks…

  • avatar
    cartoon

    To “ajla”. Yes.

  • avatar
    Nick

    ‘The 4.3L V6 i…At 285 HP and 305 lb-ft of torque, the large V6′

    Geez, they really waived a magic wand over the Vortec V6…last time I checked it was producing 195hp.

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    “When it comes to towing, Toyota would like us all to know that they are the only one with a SAE certification when it comes to towing. Does that matter? Probably not”

    It matters because the new SAE standards, which were written by Toyota, GM, Ford, and Chrysler together, are meant to give customers a realistic standard by which tow ratings are measured. The fact that Toyota is the only one going by the new ratings, while the others are freely going by their own made up numbers is more telling than anything.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    The F-150 is NOT the best selling vehicle in America.

    Ford likes to boast about having the best selling truck…the F-Series….but you cannot go to ANY Ford dealer and buy the Ford F-Series.

    It’s a completely false claim. And when you have 7+ vehicles under the “F-Series” label…it’s not hard to make highly deceptive claims.

    As for people who won’t drive the Dodge Ram? You are stuck in the past.

    It is an absolutely fantastic truck. The Hemi is efficient, very powerful, the truck rides extremely well, the styling has yet to be touched by GM or Ford and the prices are great. I love mine.

    Total package, the Ram is the best truck on the market. That is a fact nobody, even the Ford fan boys, can argue with.


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