By on June 22, 2015

2015 Chevy Silverado 2WD LT Crew Cab

Just a couple of months ago, GM quietly announced their factory 5 year/100k mile powertrain warranty was going to henceforth be downgraded to a 60k mile powertrain warranty because their cars are all fine now and customers don’t care about long-term warranties.

About 48 hours after this was announced, my wife found herself limping along the side of a major road in our 2010 Malibu with 90k miles on the odometer, engine revving, but little transmission of power taking place between the engine and the wheels.

I told her to keep on limping directly to the service center at our local Chevy dealer. My beautiful wife, brilliant in so many ways, bee-lined for the first “service” sign she saw, which happened to be the Ford dealer directly across the street from the Chevy dealer. After parking the car, she was told “wrong brand”, and tried to put the Malibu into reverse – a request the vehicle denied. We therefore had to arrange for GM to embarrassingly tow our still new-looking Malibu from the Ford lot across the street, under our valuable 100k warranty, for the 6-speed GM-Daewoo automatic was well and truly shot for the 2nd time in our 90k miles of ownership (1st rebuild took place at 27k).

2015 Chevy Silverado 2WD LT Crew CabWhen the dealer handed me the keys to the loaner – a 2015 Silverado LT 2WD Crew Cab with 850 miles on the odometer – first impressions weren’t so great. For starters, the massive chrome face on this truck is hideous. This truck needs a facelift, or a bag on it’s head. From all other angles, it is okay, and even conservatively handsome.

I climbed inside (even though I’m 6-foot-4) and things mostly got better. The steering wheel is made of high quality materials and feels perfect in my hands, the seats are wide and comfortable and the fabric nice, storage space everywhere, legibly clean gauges, acres of space both front and back, and even a three across front bench option if I fold up the wide and versatile console. Yet some downsides exist: the lowest-bidder outsourced keyfob is insultingly cheap and clickety-clacks with a hollow thin plastic resonance against the even-cheaper plastic covering the lower steering column while you drive. No one paying more than $15,000 for a car should ever have to put up with that. Also, the graphics on the MyLink interface upon startup look like they were developed by a Chinese iPad knockoff manufacturer (probably were). Bluetooth audio streaming worked wonderfully, but the (must have been) base sound system was muddy and full of too much bass. The overall impression, however, aside from these rather small niggling things, is massive versatility and space, and stout construction. 

2015 Chevy Silverado 2WD LT Crew Cab

Strangely, the Silverado cranked disconcertingly long on cold start ups – about twice as long as warm starts. This may not indicate a problem, but GM can’t afford to give me any reason for quality concerns, given the reason I’m driving this beast in the first place. However, once it kicked over, things became quite likeable. Driving this long, powerful, stout vehicle felt like piloting a road train. The ride had a typical unloaded truck jitter. However, it was immensely quiet.  Steering and brakes were accurate, and the long wheelbase made for a secure sense of tracking, despite being an unloaded truck. The view over the hood was commanding and expansive.

I got into a trucking mood and put this thing to work….hauling a massive credenza from the in-laws, picking up a 10-piece patio furniture set purchased on Craigslist (all of which fit into the bed), hauling ~1000 lbs of top soil for the garden, taking my son to his first t-ball practice, and then the family out to an affordable cheeseburger dinner that night with my wife snuggled up next to me on the bench seat (for about 3 sweet minutes until she had enough). It was pure ‘Merica, and it was pure awesome. 

Transmission shifts were mostly imperceptible, and not once did the transmission break the entire time I had the truck! And as the saying goes, GM sells you an engine and throws in everything else for free. The 5.3 liters of pushrod V8 power gets 355 horses and 383 lb-ft of torque out of regular horse piss 87 octane, ensuring when you stomp on the pedal this massive load of metal moves with unreal authority. I got into it over and over just to hear the combination of the motor’s growl and my kids’ (3 and 5) squealing laughter from the back seat. They loved this truck, and the kid in me really liked it, too. Reported 0-60 times of a little over 6 seconds seem real, and not that long ago, that was muscle car territory. It seems crazy – it is crazy – for such a large, agricultural vehicle to move like that. You see, people, trucks are fun! 

2015 Chevy Silverado 2WD LT Crew CabThanks to (imperceptible) cylinder deactivation, the Silverado frequently fell into 4-cylinder mode while cruising. This certainly contributed to the most mind-blowing thing of all – a recorded 18.5 mpg throughout the 300+ miles I drove the truck through my daily routine of commuting/school runs, hauling/Home Depot runs, and only one short highway jaunt to the airport (~30 miles total). I was astounded that this 239.57 inch (20 foot long!) truck, with this huge interior, 355+hp V8, and haul-everything capabilities was pulling in that kind of mileage. Having your cake and eating it, this is what it’s like. Comparatively, the Malibu does under 25 mpg on the same route – without furniture/dirt hauling, obviously. To a family man & home owner, it doesn’t seem worth saving a little on gas and getting a little better handling that a normal car provides. You really have to love driving through turns to give up on having 2x the motor, more than 2x the capabilities, and a transaction price not all that far off a nicely equipped midsize sedan once you take the gratuitous $10k+ off of a Silverado that your local dealer will likely give you ($40k MSRP on the one I drove). It’s the classic American equation: a lot of Mexican-made metal for the money. 

So give me a 150k transmission warranty and put a bag on it’s head and I’ll take one. Or put this motor and steering wheel into the handsome new F-150, and I’ll take that instead. 

This review was submitted by reader Nicholas Naylor (NN).

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138 Comments on “2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2WD LT Crew Cab Reader Review...”


  • avatar
    danio3834

    “the 6-speed GM-Daewoo automatic was well and truly shot for the 2nd time in our 90k miles of ownership”

    It’s a GM-Ford design. (Of couse the Daewoo plant that builds some of them is part of GM).

    The Ford version is the 6F35.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      And if he has the Malibu V6, the transmission was assembled in Warren, MI.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Fun fact: 60V6 and the 4T45 were offered through MY10 to fleet only.

        “The 3.5 L V6 was offered as an upgrade for special-order fleet vehicles, to replace the Ecotec engine, and generally was not available for retail customers.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Malibu

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Right, but you could get the High Feature 3.6L V6 in the Malibu though. Crazy GM with two V6s of similar displacement in the same car.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That’s how RenCen rolls.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I miss the days when they had more six cylinder engines then they knew what to do with.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            @bball: That must have been the early 80s.

            60V6
            Chevy 3.8 V6
            Chevy 4.3 V6
            Buick 3.8 V6 and its smaller/larger variants
            Oldsmobile 4.3 diesel V6
            Chevy 292 straight six

            Did I miss any?

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            Circa 2005 GM had the following:
            3.5L OHV V6 (final derivative of the Citation 2.8)
            3.8L 3800 V6
            4.3L truck V6
            4.2L Atlas I6
            2.8 and 3.6L DOHC V6
            3.5 and 3.9L OHV V6

            Go back a few years for the “shortstar” V6 and the 54-degree Opel V6.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      ’10-’12 Fusions and ’09-’12 Escapes have had transmissions problems as well, I guess it is consistent if the chevy counterparts are running into trouble too.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        The six speed auto in the Fusion of those years is a hateful sluggish little gear box anyway. If I owned it I could only hope it would grenade on me.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Yes the 6F35 is not exactly the smartest transmission ever. However, it statistically has be very reliable. Both the 6F50 and 6F55 shift much better than the 6F35. I have zero complaints with the 6F55 in my wife’s MkT.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            One look at the ford fusion forums makes me think that it is less than “very reliable,” although the complaints seem to center around the 2010 model year.

            “Consumer Reports’ Annual Automotive Reliability Survey shows exceptionally high problem rates with the 6F35 automatic transmission in 2009-2010 Escapes, Mariners, and Tributes and 2010 Fusions and Milans. Owners of these vehicles reported transmission maladies at a rate three times or more higher than the average for all vehicles in the survey.”

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Danio has talked about seeing the data and that the transmission is reliable. Early units needed to be reprogrammed and they aren’t the smoothest gearbox. The three biggest issues; valve body, transmission range sensor, and transmission programming, can be solved inexpensively if buying second hand.

            If someone was buying a 2010-12 Fusion, I wouldn’t expect the transmission to grenade.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I recall hearing about one particular valve bore wearing out prematurely due to poor materials. Now, yes that is a less than catastrophic issue, but if it happens and you take the car to any old transmission shop, who’s to say they won’t insist on a full ‘rebuild?’ When you have to insert a bunch of caveats like that, that’s enough evidence for me to say that no, it’s not a very reliable transmission, at least not in those years.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Well, anything with the programming should be fixed by now, and the other stuff isn’t common. I wasn’t placing caveats. I was just talking about the most known issues. That doesn’t mean that they are likely to happen. Google any transmission, and you will hear about issues.

        • 0 avatar
          pragmatic

          But the Fusion could be had with a MT (yes not with the V6) avoiding this problem totally.

    • 0 avatar
      NN

      Author here. It’s the 4cyl/6speed (6T40) combo in the 2010 Malibu, made in Boryeong, Korea https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_6T40_transmission. I remember the Korean origin label on the window when we bought the car…it may very well be GM/Ford design assembled by GMDaewoo

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    “We therefore had to arrange for GM to embarrassingly tow our still new-looking Malibu from the Ford lot across the street, under our valuable 100k warranty, for the 6-speed GM-Daewoo automatic was well and truly shot for the 2nd time in our 90k miles of ownership (1st rebuild took place at 27k).”

    The tales of woe I hear from family members, friends & others with even newer GM vehicles, whether Chevy, Cadillac, Buick or GMC.

    GM should be re-named Guangdong Motors.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Yes GM gives you the engine and throws in the rest for free. I often find myself fantasizing about GMs powertrains but not the rest of the vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      You mean like a 3800 powered 95 Town Car Cartier?

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Atlas I 6 powered 2004 Jaguar XJ por favor.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Was the Jag 4.2 especially bad? I hadn’t heard anything bad about the 04+ XJ’s other than typical electrical, suspension, and build quality issues like leaky sunroofs and trunks.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          LS swap make more sense on your X350. I’m not sure if the Atlas would fit (wouldn’t it be too tall?)

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Real Jags have inline 6 engines that are smoother than Sean Connery as James Bond.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Post-nikasil 4.0 I6 VDP (or XJR, or Final 200) FTW!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Yeah but most of those have cars rougher than Steven Seagal as Hamlet. X300 in MY95-97 stand out as a maybe.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I was under the impression the 4.0 lived through MY03 at end of the old style. My Jag timelines are off in my head, because they looked so similar.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Bad Corey! The Nikasil infected 4.0 was not an I6, but a V8. Go to your room and think about what you’ve done.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            OMG!

            In fairness to me, they made both a 4.0 V8 and a 4.0 I6, in cars which looked 98% similar. What other company uses the same displacement for engines of different cylinder count? I can’t think of ANY.

            I’m in my room now, considering 4.0 I6 Mark IX’s.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Hmmmmmmmmmm *strokes invisible beard*. I suppose that’s a good point. You can come out only if you turn into an Abilify cloud and follow Bball some more.

            The timeline of Jaguar XJ motors 1980-1996 sold stateside was:

            XJ Series III: 3.6 DOHC Inline 6 (AJ6)
            XJ XJ40: 4.0 DOHC Inline 6 (AJ6)
            XJ X300: 4.0 DOHC Inline 6 (AJ16)

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaguar_AJ6_engine

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            See what I really want is a 2008-9 XJ (last of the classically styled ones) after Ford worked out most of the major kinks.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Agree, in XJ Super V8 Portfolio guise, because that’s the best car name ever.

            http://www.jbcarpages.com/jaguar/xj/2009/pictures/large/picture4.php

            http://www.jbcarpages.com/jaguar/xj/2009/pictures/large/picture9.php

            Mmmm.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            You guys and your silly limey-mobiles.

            http://indianapolis.craigslist.org/cto/5077091023.html

            Buy that and then you can sit around debating “Lincoln vs cadillac” and the benefits of velour interiors with your ‘goombas’ at the corner spot in Brooklyn

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            In 1991, I think I’d of went with the newly revised and much more modern Town Car, with full-width rear tail lamps. The Brougham by then was a bit baroque and old-timey, and not in a tasteful way. And every other FWD offering from Cadillac was a non-compete.

            So in 1991, there’s no debate there.

            Also $5000 I think is a bit high for 99k miles on that, looks like it needs some body work. I do prefer the 90-92 flush headlamps and slightly revised rear light spears though.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Fricking sweet but I’d need to have it on the rack first to ensure the body and lines underneath are not shot. B/D body likes to rot in northern climates.

          • 0 avatar
            Maymar

            Corey, this is going back a bit, but until Ford brought the Modular motors into the F-150, you could get either a 4.9L I6 or a 4.9L V8 (which they branded as a 5.0 to avoid confusion, even if it was something like 4945cc).

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Thanks, good Ford info there. Glad they branded them separately, unlike Jag!

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      I wonder if a LS motor will fit in a first generation Range Rover…

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “GM sells you an engine and throws in everything else for free.”

    This used to be true, I’m not so sure now outside of the LS motor series.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Oh you mean GM sells vehicles other than Silverado/Sierra, Tahoe/Yukon/Suburban/Escalade, Corvette, and Camaro?

      Personally I hadn’t noticed.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        None really worth buying, apparently.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Not to be a total internet car guy stereotype wanting what isn’t available, but a 6.0L Caprice PPV with a normal interior is just about exactly what I want to buy.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Oh another GM trait, You aren’t allowed to have the best candy.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            GM is the house on Halloween that has great candy, but instead, they give you those orange and black wrapped candies that taste like molasses, Soylent Green, and child abuse. You see the Reese’s and Milky Way, but no, you get the candy that has no name.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ew I always threw away the orange and blacks.

            Also, my parents use separate buckets. Candy vs. nicer chocolate. Your level of costumery determines which sort you get. At the judgment of my father, one may also get zero pieces of candy, with only a finger tap against bag/bucket to indicate ghost-giving.

            Also helps with flavor, as chocolate things ruin non-chocolate things when stored together for very long.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            My mom always had full size candy bars stored somewhere for the neighbor kids. I would do the same, but the candy bars would not make it to Halloween.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          You can get one, just with .2 of extra displacement, a slightly smaller wheelbase, and a CAFE-adjusted price.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I like the SS a lot, but the shorter wheelbase stings and it’s set up more as carving sports sedan compared to the Caprice.

            A 6.0L version of the Chinese Park Avenue would have been perfect for me.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            True on the tuning as a sport sedan, but I honestly can’t imagine why the longer wheelbase was necessary. My SWB G8 has acres of rear seat legroom even with the front seats all the way back.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I’m sure I’d be happy with a Commodore Calais (I’d probably be fine with the SS even though sport sedans aren’t really my thing), but if a bigger rear seat and trunk are on offer with a LWB version, why not?

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        Yeah they have the top rated sedan from CR called the Impala!

    • 0 avatar
      st1100boy

      My wife’s recently sold off 2010 GMC Terrain didn’t even include a good engine. Weak and troublesome covers it.

      That 2.4 Ecotec started using oil at the 80k mile mark, then it ate the timing chain, tensioner, cam phasers and assorted other pieces at 105k (that was $1900). Literally the next week we got a letter from GM saying if the car was burning oil to bring it in to be looked at. Not a recall, but sort of one.

      That letter got us a new set of pistons and rings, plus another new timing chain & tensioner. Only cost us $100, but we were done with the car by that point.

      Soon afterward we sold the Terrain to somebody very happy to get a car with a rebuilt engine and she got a ’15 Explorer with the 3.5 and only gave up about 3 mpg (25 vs. 22 mpg). The extra space and power makes it a good trade in my book.

      • 0 avatar
        zoomzoom91

        @st1100boy

        I keep hearing anecdotally of more problems with the 2.4s, mostly in the Equinox/Terrain. They sound similar to the issues with the 3.6s.

        How do you like the Explorer, other than decent fuel economy (4wd or front?), space, and power? It’s on our shopping list to replace a poorly-aging Acadia. We owned a 3rd gen Exp. (2002) and liked it, other than some quality issues….but nothing close to the problems with the GMC.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Do Ford’s V8 motors offer similar cylinder deactivation?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      No. No DI or cylinder deactivation. They have thrown their cash at V6s for the most part.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      No I imagine it’s a little more complex for the DOHC setup, not impossible as seen by Honda, but for whatever reason, it’s not as cost effective or durable or w/e.

      Personally the lack of cylinder deactivation makes the 5.0 the only shiny spot in Fords engine choices. I will take the extra fuel cost over the increase in moving parts and decrease in overall reliability any day. Ask someone that’s had trouble with GMs AFM, those make major Mercedes engine repair costs look reasonable. At the end of the day the increase in fuel cost (if any, it’s still easy to claim AFM doesn’t help MPGs) is nominal.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Ford’s internal test have shown that cylinder deactivation in normal use doesn’t not have benefits that outweigh the negatives. They have however equipped their engines with cylinder deactivation starting in the early 2000’s but it is part of the fail safe cooling algorithm. If the cylinder head temp sensor sees too high of a temp it will alternate the cylinders in use making the engine “air cooled”, and reduce power output. If that fails to keep the temps under control the engine will eventually shut down before temps get to the point where damage could occur.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      28-Cars-Later – cylinder deactivation is a relatively simple process with cam in block pushrod engines that is why both GM SBC’s and FCA Hemi’s have it. Ford and pretty much everyone else runs overhead cam engines. Cylinder deactivation can be done but gets extremely complex.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Thanks Lou.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          Don’t understand the hate on AFM. With it, I get 30 mpg out of my C7. That is pretty amazing. Yet, somehow DeadWeight will still find fault somehow…oh, and longer crank time is probably due to DI setup…I experience a longer crank time as well….the colder it is the longer the crank…

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Yay! Ur-Turn’s back!

    I enjoyed this review, very funny.

    “henceforth be downgraded to a 60k mile powertrain warranty because their cars are all fine now and customers don’t care about long-term warranties. About 48 hours after this was announced, my wife found herself limping along the side of a major road in our 2010 Malibu with 90k miles on the odometer…”

    Pure gold.

    Full size trucks are ridiculously fast now (maybe even dangerously so considering their mass and the meager talent/attention span of so many drivers) and that can be quite amusing. But I still find them tiresome to drive. They still steer like a road train, park like a road train, the total costs of ownership far exceed a sedan, and all this would personally grow tiring for me. And 2WD trucks don’t cut it anywhere there is any snow at all, so factor in 4WD and its attendant costs.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      All the half ton trucks are peddling EPS now, it’s no where near as fun to drive, but you certainly can’t say it’s any more tiresome or any worse than a Camry to steer around.

      Parkings only difficult for those without any skills at doing so, I’ve been able to throw a FS in a tightish spot first try since I was 18. If it’s real close just throw it in reverse and it’s almost impossible to not get a perfect positioning into a spot.
      I certainly wouldn’t say they far exceed the cost of any sedan, most of the Midsize sedans are averaging about 24-26 in the real world, if a FS truck is averaging 16-18, it’s really not going to make a whole lot of difference. Especially if it’s the difference between being stuck in a god awful Malibu or being able to sit comfortably in a roomy classic American style cab.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Your mileage may vary in urban environments. Both parking spots at my apartment and many spots near local businesses are physically smaller than typical full-size trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        “You certainly can’t say it’s any more tiresome or any worse than a Camry to steer around.”

        I’ve driven both so yes I can say that.

        “Parkings only difficult for those without any skills at doing so”

        Cute, but I’ve had to abandon entire parking garages because the full size simply could not turn into a space regardless of skill. If your stops are Home Depot, the mall, the grocery store you’ll be fine.

        26 vs 16mpg equals $1300/yr at 15K/yr and $3.5/gal which is nothing to sneeze at the cost difference extends well beyond fuel consumption.

        And I’m not built like a linebacker, Larry Bird, or the Wall-E blubber sack people so I fit in a midsize sedan just fine.

        You probably shouldn’t be so sensitive. I said trucks don’t work for me, I didn’t say others couldn’t enjoy them.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        That’s why crew cab trucks are today’s replacements for the full size cars of yesteryear. Check the specs: the width, length, and wheelbase of a crew cab is similar to the big sedans of the late ’60s-early ’70s, though the crew cab long bed measurements are approaching the Cadillac model 75 limo of the ’70s.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          Plus crew cabs are nice and tall!

          Generations of Americans have striven, profited and looked about for a vehicle suitable to their hard-won station. When did they ever say:

          “I want a little crampy car that hurts to enter and rides like a go-kart!” ?

          Posh pickups are today’s Packards, since CAFE has taken away all other options.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Of course it is worse than even a bad car. Simply something so much bigger is more work. They don’t steer as well, the ride is jittery, I have never met a truck seat my back didn’t hate, and on and on. Maybe if you live out West in the wide open spaces and plus size parking lots it wouldn’t make a difference, but driving something like this around is a LOT of work here in the old cities of the East coast. And I used to drive motor coaches for a living, so I have no particular problem with driving something very large in traffic! I can parallel park a bus, parking a pickup is no challenge but that doesn’t mean I want to do it on a regular basis. Even with the highest incentives, this is going to cost a minimum of $10K+ more than a decent Accord or Camry, and especially in town, the fuel economy gulf will be vast.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        I suppose it ties into the lack of skills, but my company fleet has a number (50ish, I believe) of new Silverados (pretty much identical to the vehicle in question, but with 4WD), and in the past month, we’ve had to take four or five to the body shop with damage on the passenger side (literally 3 had it in the exact same spot, between the cab and rear wheel).

        For that matter, there’s several full-sized trucks that park in my condo garage – every single one has to inch past the speaker box on the ramp down because of how wide they are.

        It can be done, but it is actually exhausting in an urban environment, keeping tabs on the extra metal.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Maymar – my wife has caused similar damage to my truck twice but she has the attention span of a gold fish but then again she’s done similar stuff to her first minivan.

          I personally have never (knock on wood)caused body damage to my truck in an urban environment.

          I’ve taken minor damage out in the bush but that is to be expected.

          • 0 avatar
            Maymar

            Like I said, it’s hardly impossible (as much as my neighbours struggle with the underground garage, another guy gets a tow truck down there), but I can’t see it being worth the hassle every day if you don’t actively need the capabilities.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Maymar – I personally don’t see many hassles with my F150 other than repairing it when my wife thinks she can drive it. To me the size and occasional awkwardness associated with a full sized pickup is an extremely minor inconvenience.

            I cannot see any vehicle as flexible as a FS pickup other than maybe a mid sized pickup but in my mind being smaller also has issues and trade offs.

            I rarely pull anything but I do carry gear, family and friends. I can pack my 12 ft aluminum boat over the box with gear underneath. I can easily carry dirt bikes, and other assorted large or awkwardly shaped objects. A trip to the dump with smelly stuff means nothing. Do the same with a van or SUV. Takes a long time to ditch the odour. I can do all of that and still pack 5 other people besides me in the cab.

            A truck works for me and as far as I’m concerned has the least amount of compromises(for me).

            Sales indicate that millions feel the same as I.

    • 0 avatar
      Carilloskis

      You meant that trucks are quick not “fast” right most trucks have electronically limited top speeds HD trucks typically are limited to 100mph and Raptors like mine are limited to 100 as well. As far as trucks being tiresome to dive it depends on the trim level of the truck having Driven my Raptor with Luxury pkg and a base level silvarado work truck on the same route I know that the raptor is much more comfortable to drive. Driving a VW Jetta TDI in base trim was very tiring as well. The Steering on these newer trucks is very snappy and responsive sure it will not win in an autocross but on the freeway or highways they handle really well. I have never had an issue parking any of the trucks I have driven either. The costs are really the only downside of owning a truck over a sedan.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        I meant the number preceding meters-per-second-squared is big. In which case we both mean “acceleration”, not “quick” or “fast”. The 100 mph limiter is no comfort, the thought of a typical driver running those rigs at those speeds is a terrifying thought.

        You’re right that the “tiresome” label depends on the trim and where you travel/park. The Silverado extended cab with 8 foot bed had the turning radius of an ocean liner and was hell in tighter quarters a midsize sedan would breeze through. The F150 four door cab with short box was significantly better.

        I actually quite like that truck despite its tiresome flaws and a 2.7 or 3.5 Ecoboost F150 in that body configuration would be tempting if I could forget how decent sedans handle and could justify the cost.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Sadly (for me), neither Ram nor Chevy makes an extended-cab/8′ bed config anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            You can sure fit a lot of stuff in the bed of those and the backseat wasn’t too bad in a pinch.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            And as my avatar suggests, I grew up in the back of two SuperCabs–first a ’77 F-250 (though with the inward-facing jump seats rather than the bench), then a ’98 F-250 light duty (also became my first car, so I love the jellybean Fords more than most people).

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      30-mile fetch – – –

      I must say that I can’t disagree with you more, — on almost everything you said:

      1) Full-sized trucks are fast when empty as a consequence of their added power to do all the hauling and towing people want out of them, and that’s a good thing. They can keep up nicely in modern traffic that is swamped with these pathetic buzzing little mosquitos, — ops, I meant lovable, eco-friendly, sporty sedans. And if the driver is inattentive and runs into a telephone pole, he has a better chance at survival.

      2) I not only do not find them “tiresome” to drive but actually prefer driving any of my pickups as opposed to any sedan. Considering their added safety, better visibility, and comfort nowadays, —and the great deterioration of American roads and highways, I would rather take my 1996 Dodge Ram 2WD from Chicago to LA than ANY sedan.

      3) “They steer like a road train and park like a road train” ??? What decade are you living in? Most now have rack-and-pinion steering with IFS (even when 4WD). No they don’t corner like a Ferrari, but they can corner and maneuver unlike any truck in the 1970’s or 1980’s, and can beat the tar out of most little eco-sedans on twisty roads because of HP alone. (I had a first-hand encounter with this when driving my BMW Z4 3.0si over 70 miles in upstate Wisconsin, at elevated speeds, which was way beyond what sedans could handle,— only to discover a Ford Raptor tailing me about 100-feet back — AND I could not shake him.)

      4) “The total costs of ownership far exceed a sedan.” This is utter nonsense. I had a 1974 Dodge D100 that lasted for 22 years and 225,000 miles, and was the cheapest to maintain and repair over the long term, and that includes comparison to an Oldsmobile Delta 88, Rambler Classic, Ford Torino. In this era, I live in constant fear of what my BMW 325i will cost now that the extended Warranty is over. Is its 30/20 gas milage worth $150 for an oil and a filter change, as opposed to $50 for the Dodge Ram? Hell, no. And obviously many Americans agree: in 2013, of the top five selling vehicles, 3 were pickup trucks and two were sedans (Camry and Accord.) This year, expect SUV/CUV offerings to be up there as well. People are getting tired of sitting down low and having to crawl into and out of a cramped little automobile with poor visibility just to get milk from the local grocery store.

      See link, showing the top 50, with “Platz” meaning “place” or “rank”:
      http://www.auto-motor-und-sport.de/bilder/neuzulassungen-2013-top-50-usa-die-bestseller-auf-dem-us-markt-9152674.html?fotoshow_item=47#fotoshow_item=49

      5) “..all this would personally grow tiring for me”. Fine. Your choice, but it certainly does not conform to American preferences, as listed above.

      6) “And 2WD trucks don’t cut it anywhere there is any snow at all, so factor in 4WD and its attendant costs.” More nonsense. If that is your experience, then you simply have not equipped your 2WD truck properly for winter driver, including winter tires and weight-loading the back; or you do not have a manual transmission and limited slip differential; or you haven’t been taught how to drive in slippery conditions. My current 1996 Dodge Ram and 2010 Nissan Frontier are both 2WD, and I have lived in rust belt/snow belt areas like you wouldn’t believe, and have NEVER had any problems getting stuck or sliding
      unexpectedly. I look upon this recent surge of 4WD pickup’s as overkill, unless you haul/tow a lot in winter, or live up some snow-burried mountainside that never gets plowed.

      ===============================

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Feel better now?

        I’ll follow your bullet points.

        1. If the driver is inattentive and runs into something other than a telephone pole, he/she has a greater chance of killing someone. I suppose that’s a plus for the driver. Survival of the fittest and all.
        2. I’m glad you don’t find them tiresome. I do. So what? Why is that upsetting to you?
        3. Lots of issues here. I’m not comparing it to a Ferrari. 99.9% of trucks are not Ford Raptors. Horsepower is independent of cornering ability and therefore irrelevant to my comment about handling. If you have to go to the extreme and bring up Ferraris, $50K Raptors and $15K econoboxes to prove your point, it may not be as valid as you think it is.
        4. You are bringing up your ownership of a 1974 pickup, a Delta 88 and a Torino and you’re asking me what decade I live in? And–surprise!–an aging BMW costs more to maintain than an Accord and gets lackluster mileage! Who knew? Your example is a damning indictment of BMW ownership, not of sedans as a whole.
        5. Yes, it is my choice. My opinion regarding my needs and preferences. Not intended to substitute your needs and preferences. So, again, why is your underwear in a wad over it?
        6. I’ll concede this point, but only as far as admitting that a RWD truck can be equipped to survive winter conditions. A 4WD truck or FWD sedan with snows will still outperform it all other things being equal. But this did stick out at me: “…or you do not have a manual transmission…”. You mean like nearly every full size truck that leaves the dealership?

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      “ridiculously fast” more internet exaggeration. I guess if you remember old metal dashboard I6 trucks then yes, but not really. Let’s forget freak hot rods like Raptors and the such, and look at normal V8 trucks. Gearing and or aero limits these things to about 110 mph, they don’t like to go around corners at that speed and god for bid it’s off camber or rough. So yea as long as you on a freeway they are fast, but secondary roads then maybe not so much. Of course they can haul a dozen round bails and still do 80 mph, just don’t expect a smooth landing if a deer runs out on the road.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Acceleration, not top speed. Given the emphasis in the article about the truck’s acceleration I thought this would be self-explanatory.

        This top-heavy 5500lb chunk of steel being limited to 110 mph doesn’t quite comfort me.

        • 0 avatar
          Fred

          You specifically said “ridiculously fast” so it was you that changed the emphasis from acceleration to fast, and I was just pointing that out.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            And the universe thanks you for your efforts, I’m sure.

            Do you also troll all the online forums at Motortrend and Car and Driver et al. to correct their use of the words “fast” “quick” and “rapid” when they haven’t clarified to your satisfaction that they are referring to acceleration?

            You’ve got a big important job to do, man, what are you hanging around here for? Snap to it!

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Fred – every vehicle has its place. Pickups are common in my part of the world because there isn’t much else that can live as long when used on gravel roads.
        I’d be willing to bet that most would have a hard time keeping up to me in my F150 with 10 ply Grabber AT2’s in the back country unless you happen to be a Rally racer or are insane.

        • 0 avatar
          Fred

          I have no problem with pickup trucks in general. I’ve had 3 myself. It’s just that some folks are prone to exaggerating how great they are. Great for hauling and towing, beyond that it’s a compromise.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Fred – everything is a compromise. The key is to buy what causes the least amount of compromise. For me that happens to be a full sized pickup and for my wife a Sienna. I’ve owned both full sized and small trucks. I even has a Safari van for 2 years and no pickup.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      2WD trucks work fine in the snow if you have chains (or, presumably, snow tires) – or at very least my old Toyota did. It was useless in snow without traction devices, but just fine with them on the rears.

      (I also don’t find my F250 tiresome to drive, but that might just be me. It’s big, but surprisingly nimble for something that huge.

      Not, of course, in any objective sense or compared to an actual small car, but for its size.)

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Sigivald – I always make sure I have good tires on my vehicles. Most of the time I get around just fine in 4×2. I will stick to 4×2 even in the backcountry. I run into trouble then 4×4 becomes my escape plan. I find that if the roads are so bad that I need 4×4 then it is time to question why I’m out there in the first place.

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    I think it’s kind of amazing how much better the Sierra looks than the silverado… The 2500 series even more so. Did they not bother to show photos of those things around before finalizing design? Unfortunately the interiors on both are atrocious…

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      Sierra 2500 is absolutely beautiful. A decked-out 2500HD Sierra Denali Crew Cab is on my shortlist of next vehicles. Might be a while though, I prefer to buy near the end of the model run because GM.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Interesting write up and does a good job of portraying both the typical stereotypes of pickups and the reasons why they are as popular as they are.

    Dealers tend to hand out keys to econobox’s as loaners. They must be used to breakdowns and are hoping to upsell to pickups………….. maybe that is why GM truck sales are up so much.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      It’s not the consumers fault the Govt and automakers refuse to allow/make anything half as interesting and fun to drive as a FS truck. This is what happens when the only other choices are being cramped or being lulled to sleep. More power to the OP, hope he buys a fullsize truck.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Please avoid future arrangement of photo with little lines of text next door. That’s awful.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Mind blowing gas mileage, come on let’s not exaggerate. My 1999 5.3l Silverado routinely get’s 19mpg. My experience with reliability has been terrible. After 170,000 miles my power train is still okay, it’s all the ancillary equipment that fails. And it’s not like my previous 1989 Cheyenne was much better.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    What’s the deal with trucks and an oil pressure gauge? Is there something inherently different about trucks that mean they need a full gauge instead of just the idiot light that cars get? I mean, how common really is an engine dying because of a slow degradation in oil pressure? (I know it’s not unheard of, but it’s sure a lot less common that it used to be, to the extent that many modern engines pretty much cannot be rebuilt.)

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I appreciate any gauge that is not an idiot light (or switch – meaning it has a needle but it only moves within a narrow range unless all hell breaks loose). Personally I’d love all my cars to have the “flight deck” gauges of a full loaded early 1970s Imperial.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        You didn’t need to buy an Imperial to get full gauges, Chrysler put them in all but the lowest priced models. A mid-’60s Coronet had oil pressure, temperature, fuel level, and ammeter gauges, but a friend’s ’68 Monaco had the oil pressure gauge missing. The gauge was there but the needle was replaced with a light – it was optional by then. Curiously, the car did have an ammeter gauge. That was probably optional too, but the original owner was more interested in his battery condition for some reason.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Get an OBD-based monitor (Garmin has one that integrates with their GPS units via Bluetooth, or any number of ones exist that use a cheap tablet or phone running Android the same way), and you can see most of that stuff in realtime, configurably.

        (Exactly which depends on the vehicle’s sensors and OBD system; I think my old F250 might not do oil pressure, but it does voltage, intake temperature, and a few other things not present on the console.)

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      AFAIK, only Chevy/GMC still has a real oil pressure gauge that moves when you stomp the gas (at least, they did with the GMT900s). All the others are idiot gauges that will only move when you significantly lose pressure. I can’t speak for the electric and engine temp gauges.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Most gauges in most cars now are actually switches. Manufacturers found that the fluctuations in parameters like oil pressure, coolant temp, and voltage distressed consumers. For instance, they’d see the temp needle slightly above the normal range (but nowhere near the red) and complain the car was “overheating.”

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      Usually a truck thing, probably to round out a ‘gauge’ thing. Both my Nissan pickup and the Trooper had them; none of our cars or crossovers have.

      Perhaps under heavy loads the gauge is useful?

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        I’d say it’s definitely useful, but if I were pulling near my vehicle’s maximum GVWR for any extended period of time, I’d just as soon splurge on one of those multi-gauge digital-dash things that monitors more systems than you can shake a stick at. “Why yes, I’m glad I know the gap in my spark plugs is holding steady…” “Watch that tire wobble frequency, Ensign, she’s getting into dangerous territory!”

  • avatar
    Rday

    Friend of mine just bought a new GMC Sierra. Had major problems with drive line vibration and left it with the dealer for several weeks. Took it to a heavy duty shop and they fixed it. I like the looks of the new trucks but can’t afford to pay to keep them running. Will prefer to keep my HOnda or Toyota since they never give me any problems. Amazes me that so many people still buy that Detroit crap. I guess most people never learn so therefore history repeats itself.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      So, how is it back there in the 80s? Miami Vice still kickin it? Radical, dude. I prefer Magnum PI myself. Rock on.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        A quote from the comment section of a TTAC article a few days ago by Michael Karesh, creator of the online car reliability website TrueDelta:

        “As much as I wish the situation were more complex, only Honda and Toyota consistently produce cars that remain reliable for well over six years.”

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Easy.

      If you want a truck with an 8′ bed, you need a Big 3 truck (unless you want to special order it, because while they MAKE a Tundra with a long bed, they don’t do so in any quantity – as far as I can tell there isn’t a single one in Portland, where I live*).

      Or if you want over 2,100 pounds payload or 10,500 towing; that is, in practice, if you want a Class 2 or 3 truck, you need a domestic.

      (And Honda, of course, doesn’t make a truck anymore.)

      (* Which is why I drive an F250; when I replaced my old Toyota light truck, I would have loved a Tundra.

      But I had used-truck money, and you can’t get a used long-bed Tundra for love nor money; hen’s teeth got nothin’ on that.)

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    “I got into a trucking mood and put this thing to work….hauling a massive credenza from the in-laws, picking up a 10-piece patio furniture set purchased on Craigslist (all of which fit into the bed), hauling ~1000 lbs of top soil for the garden, taking my son to his first t-ball practice, and then the family out to an affordable cheeseburger dinner that night with my wife snuggled up next to me on the bench seat (for about 3 sweet minutes until she had enough). It was pure ‘Merica, and it was pure awesome. ”

    This review as a whole does a perfect job of summing up why people love trucks so much. Hell, it makes me want to buy one all over again. It just doesn’t seem right cruising around country roads in Indiana in a 100% Japanese assembled 4Runner. Last time I was camping up in Michigan, 75% of the fellow campers were families with children and new crew-cab pickup trucks pulling decent sized campers.

    Between the versatility, the power, the comfortable accomodations, and the palatable fuel economy, this makes a very strong argument for a family vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Agree
      Current FS pickup truck fuel econ really isn’t much of an issue with $2.50 gas unless you’re putting on serious miles.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      As others have said on this site, the crew cab short bed light duty full size pickup is North America’s new family sedan, and there’s something to that. I far prefer cars, but even I look at these rigs and think about it.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Comfort & safety. As thus it hath ever been.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          Verily so. I also like shiny things. Big trucks have a lot of acreage with which to shine.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I went as far as test driving a crew cab Tundra 5.7 last year, when I originally came there to look at 4Runners and Tacomas. The Tundra was definitely a battleship to park, but aside from that it was just a sublime cruiser, sitting far above and away from traffic. Super roomy, I felt like I was a little kid sitting in the driver’s seat of my dad’s car, everything is just comically oversized, but not necessarily in a bad way. I liked it. The interior quality and finish was rather lacking, however. Seems that the domestics do a nicer job in this regard.

            The Tundra does have the awesome lowering rear glass as an option, just like my 4Runner, which I love.

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            A full size crew-cab truck is the automotive jack of all trades.

            My personal theory is this:

            Cars are more expensive (proportionately) than pretty much ever. For someone who needs the use of truck utility and doesn’t want to buy used there are basically two options.

            1. Buy two very basic vehicles. A base V6 regular cab 2WD vinyl seat crank window pickup and a very basic Camry/Accord/Fusion/etc. Neither of which (to most people) are very nice. A dearth of luxury. Sure, the car saves a bit of fuel over the truck, but maintenance/registration/etc for two vehicles adds up and probably costs more than what marginal amount of fuel is saved.

            2. Buy one vehicle. A loaded crew cab V8 4×4 pickup. Has luxury features, plenty of power, nice interior, leather, etc. A nice, comfy place to spend time. Uses a little more gas, but not too much.

            It seems the majority of people pick choice 2.

  • avatar
    LectroByte

    Two transmissions in under 100K? Glad you have the warranty, and hope you don’t have too much out of pocket $$$.

    But I’m reminded that if I wanted a Malibu-class vehicle, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and Ford (in roughly that order) would be on the short list. If I wanted a fullsized pickup, Ford, Dodge, Toyota in roughly that order.

    • 0 avatar
      NN

      Not a dime out of pocket…all costs 100% covered by dealer/GM and loaners given to me (obviously) on both occasions. So it’s rather ironic that overall cost of ownership on the Malibu is still ridiculously low. We replaced original tires at 70k and front brake pads around 50k…that’s it, nothing else other than oil changes. Plus, since it was GM in 2010, we paid about 75% of sticker when purchased new. So the car is paid off and financially to-date it has been pretty good…now the gamble is whether 3rd transmission is the charm…

      • 0 avatar
        zoomzoom91

        You’re really…I guess “lucky” is the word.

        We had a variety of issues with our Acadia before the warranty expired, all covered by the dealer or GM. And then the engine threw a rod just over 100K…..yep, out of warranty.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “the (must have been) base sound system was muddy and full of too much bass”

    Almost certainly that would be greatly ameliorated by going to Ye Local Car Audio Place and having the base paper-cone craptank speakers replaced with ones costing a mere $75 a piece, tops.

    I’d say there’s no excuse for shipping such things in vehicles that cost mostly north of $30k, but pretty much every non-luxury marque does that unless you upgrade or they’re targeting The Youths.

    At least it’s a cheap and quick fix; did the same (for the front speakers; for reasons of my load the rear ones are usually obstructed by gear) in my F250 when I got it used.

    Replace the stock paper cones with decent two-ways and you really improve sound quality; the stock amps are usually perfectly decent in terms of fidelity, because you have to *try* to make a bad amplifier these days.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Yep. Audiophile is expensive but the difference between muddy crap and pretty good is just a few hundred bucks aftermarket. Buying the speakers that don’t suck a million copies per year and installing them on the line with the door skins already off, the cost delta is probably a tenth of that.

      I get that most people don’t care about sound quality and the manufacturers would rather the few that do pay extra to upgrade but with the absurd options bundling taking that $50 speaker upgrade from the manufacturer almost invariably includes leather, bigger wheels without sidewalls, a sunroof I can’t sit upright in the car with, and a $7-10,000 price hike.

      YLCAP it is.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      This is really useful to hear, I’ve always wondered if it was the speakers or the amp. With the integrated nature of nearly all new car head units now, it’s nice to know a simple speaker upgrade helps.

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        It’s going to depend on the setup, though. My ’15 Sonata has the second-level sound system, so it’s got plenty of clean oomph and a sub, but they acquired that oomph by delegating everything under what sounds like 1khz to the sub. Stereo imaging is totally lost in the lower mids and down low, so it sounds fantastic when you first sit in the car and then you start going, “Hmm, what’s missing here?”

        Replacing the speakers probably won’t fix that, in my case, since the crossovers are probably tuned to cut off the low stuff to avoid busting the speakers.

        I mean, I can’t complain about the quality in a $20k car, and I can’t fault Hyundai for adding thump at the expense of imaging from a business perspective, but I have to say that despite my predilection for booming dance music I’d take the nothing-under-150hz Harman/Kardon in my old Saab 9-5 over the mirror-shaking monaural bass in the Hyundai in a New York minute. If nothing else, it’s easy to fix a lack of bass; I’m afraid that the only real way to upgrade the audio in my Sonata is to get a Genesis with the Lexicon… ;)

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Note that Fiat/Chrysler or FCA or whatever they are calling themselves these days has also reduced the power train warranty to 5/60 on there 2016 vehicles which means Ford, GM and FCA will be on an even keel. What is weird is that some fleet GM’s for 2016 are still listed as having the 5/100 like the Impala/Impala Limited, the Malibu and Cruse fleet and trucks.

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