By on January 11, 2018

It seems like yesterday, but it was six months ago when I took delivery of my 2017 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Crew Cab Long Bed with the much-desired Max Tow package. I’d taken a pretty major hit at a local skatepark just two days prior; although I had to play down the extent of the injury so I didn’t get booted off a big European car test, now that everything’s done I can mention that I’d broken six ribs and fractured my right arm.

I also want to mention that the beds in Switzerland tend to be the consistency of slabbed granite and that cobblestone roads can make you vomit if you have enough blood floating around in your mouth already.

Oh well. Half a year later, I’m about 90 percent rehabilitated and the Silverado has gone everywhere from South Carolina to Detroit and back again, performing a broad range of trucky jobs and doing a variety of trucky things. I’d like to tell you that it’s been 100 percent trouble-free, but that has not been the case.


Let’s start with all the good stuff. Ever since my first encounter with the 6.2-liter Silverado crew cab in February of last year, I’ve thought that it was a genuine spiritual successor to the early-Seventies Chevrolet Kingswood big block— right down to the bland look of suburban menace conveyed by the overly busy grille. You can argue that this role would be more properly filled by a “six-two” Suburban Premier, and I would agree. But we don’t have one of those in showrooms yet, and it may never come.

For now, the Silverado is close enough. It has absolutely zero social cred or upscale desirability, but it hauls everything out there including its own ass and it lacks only the most recherche of luxury features. At Danger Girl’s explicit request, we chose one in Work Truck White without sunroof, power running boards, rear entertainment systems, or lane-keeping computers. It does, however, have full-feature front seats, the upgrade sound system with navigation, and the Max Tow package that adds a locking rear differential, a bigger rear axle, trailer-brake controller, a transmission cooler, and the elephant-ear mirrors that visually distinguish a working truck from a white-collar one.

I know that the Max Tow 6.2 will effortlessly pull a 9,000-pound enclosed trailer with a BMW E34 inside and a full weekend’s worth of racing spares, because that’s what we did with the press vehicle we had back in February. Our truck has had an easier life, pulling nothing more demanding than Marilyn, our MX-5 Cup Car, on an open trailer.

In that configuration, it returns an easy 15-16 miles per gallon on the freeway, even with several hundred pounds’ worth of spare wheels, tools, and 90cc motorcycle in the bed, plus four occupants in the cab. About 1,200 of the total 10,150 miles on the odometer have been spent towing something, with another 500 or so spent with 500 pounds or more in the six-and-a-half-foot “long” bed.

The choice of the so-called longbed turned out to be absolutely essential. When you’re pulling to a race, that extra foot and a half gives you room for four extra wheels or two large toolboxes or four Hunsaker quick-fill fuel jugs. Truth be told, if they’d offered the eight-foot bed in a half-ton crew cab I would have taken that, because the Silverado can’t quite carry our full load-out for an endurance race.

The bed has also been profoundly useful for bicycles. I’ve used the truck to go to a variety of skateparks and BMX race tracks, often with four people in the cab and four or five bikes in the bed. You couldn’t do that with a Suburban because the bikes don’t neatly pack and stack inside the Burb’s relatively short “trunk.” Of course, I have a hitch rack for just that purpose because I owned a series of Land Rovers over the years that couldn’t take both bikes and cargo. All things considered, however, it’s better to have them in the bed than hanging off the end of it.

The 6.2 requires 93 octane to achieve maximum power and efficiency, so that’s generally what I give it. We are in an era of relatively low fuel costs, anyway. The extra money both up front and at the pumps is worth it any time you want to get to an open spot in traffic or simply dust-off a tailgater. It’s no trouble to reach the computer-chip-mandated top speed of 98 mph before the end of a quarter-mile. I don’t know how I keep winding up with vehicles that hit an artificial Vmax before the end of the quarter — my Honda CB1100, which can knock on its Japanese 112mph limiter well before the beam, is another such creature. Regardless, the Vette-ish V8 in this truck is the proverbial hella strong.

A few weeks ago I had a kid in a tuned-up Fiat 500 Abarth try to drop me on a two-lane. The result was that I had to back off the throttle lest I accidentally add the Fiat’s weight to the Chevy’s already overwrought front end.

My son’s karting season was made much easier by the Silverado, which had enough room to simply roll his Birel C28 in and out without drama. This, to me, was the killer app that prevented us from buying an Escalade or Denali XL; last year we put his TopKart cadet 50cc in the back of Danger Girl’s Tahoe, which struck me as both unsafe and uncomfortably noxious thanks to the two-stroke fuel wafting around the cabin. Our fellow competitors tend to tow a trailer behind the back of their Escalades, but I don’t have unlimited funds or storage space.

Pretty much everything about this truck works exactly the way you think it should, from the sliding rear window to the power-locking, soft-drop rear tailgate to the massive and multi-functional center console. There are three 12-volt outlets, four USB outlets, and a single 110-volt plug, all easy to reach and use without compromising other functions. The rear seat is comfortable and the storage space under it is extremely useful for things you’d like to not have flying around the cabin in a crash, such as a low-profile toolbox, an air pump, or a couple of baseball bats. The “corner step” bumper is a much better solution than Ford’s “Man Step,” even if Chevrolet is going to copy that feature from here on out.

Which brings us to the aluminum-bodied elephant in the room. Do I wish I’d gotten the F-150 instead, even if it meant waiting for the 2018 F-150? Well, there’s the fact that the equivalent Ford product to my Silverado is made in the United States, while certain GM trucks (mostly four-doors) are made in Mexico. Given a choice, I’d like to have the American-made truck, even if it means paying more.

Beyond that, however, and despite the fact that I’ve been a Ford loyalist for much of my life, I simply prefer the underlying principle of the Silverado to that of the F-150. The F-150 is basically a lightweight tribute to the Super Duty trucks. It tries its level best to look, feel, and act “trucky.” That’s apparent everywhere from the cartoonishly outsized controls to the Kenworth-bluff front end. The Chevrolet, by contrast, is far more car-like. It is designed with a horizontal bias, while the Ford is designed with a vertical one. I care nothing for pretensions of super-duty mega-manhood and never have cared about them. I want a vehicle that is easy to use for its intended purpose. For that reason the Chevrolet fits my needs best. And that’s before I get into my feelings about using boosted V6 engines in trucks. At the very least, the Silverado should be much cheaper to repair when the mill finally lets go.

Alright, those are the good parts. Here’s the bad stuff. It’s possible to make the front end “clunk” under low-speed reversing conditions and the dealership has so far proven unable to fix it. The 1-2 shift sounds and feels like it’s going to rip the diff out of the axle, which is a common complaint about the eight-speed transmission in these vehicles. The AWD mode, which lives between 2WD and 4-High and which is basically the “4WD” in the Escalade/Denali, is laughably slow to respond to spinning rear wheels.

The door handles feel like they were made by China’s Lowest Bidders. The fake wood inside isn’t up to the standard set by the vinyl applique on the flanks of a ’73 Chevy wagon, much less that of any modern competitor. The leather wouldn’t pass muster in a Jaguar or even an Audi. It could use a tighter turning radius, even given its aircraft carrier-length wheelbase. Under certain conditions, it displays the “GM Wobble,” which is a steering vibration common to this generation of truck.

All things considered, however, this is a lot of vehicle for $58,000 before discounts. (Which, by the way, are not easy to come by; 6.2-liter trucks aren’t eligible for the 20-percent-off deals.) I’m glad I got it before the new model came out, because I don’t much care for the looks of the new one and I doubt they’ll have it sorted out at Job One. If you have the chance to pick one of these up, as the man says, I highly recommend it. We’ll return in six months and 10,000 miles.

So, from me, my son, Uncle Rodney, and the rest of our karting/BMX racing team — see you then!

[Images: Jack Baruth/The Truth About Cars]

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123 Comments on “2017 Silverado LTZ Long-term Test – 10,000 Miles and Counting...”


  • avatar
    fvfvsix

    Dude! The 991.2 Carrera GTS is an awesome car (as I’m sure the AMG GTS is as well), and Switzerland is nice, but… take care of yourself, man! You only get one body.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    At least it wasn’t a kid in a tuned-up Altima trying to drop you on a two-lane. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around someone saying “..this is a lot of vehicle for $58,000 before discounts.”, I found my dad’s building permit for our house he built in 1958…$12,200.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Cue DW rant in 3… 2… 1…

    Sigh. I still love that dash and the info that it provides.

    Danger Girl is right BTW, in that work truck shade of white I wouldn’t look twice at that truck. A colleague had his PowerStroke Ford stolen and trashed, after the insurance check cleared he picked up a 3/4 ton Silverado crew cab Z71 in “diamond white” – that color is dang near obnoxious when the sun hits it.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      “Cue DW rant in 3… 2… 1…”

      Right? Glad I made it here before having to scroll through all that mostly-incoherent b¡Г©hing and moaning.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Not all of us LIVE ON TTAC 24/7, JohnTaurusOMGmyFordTempoWasAwesome.

        At any rate, Jack’s next General/Guangzhou Motors Silverado will more closely resemble this (as trends tend to ebb), and have 93% Chinese-fabricated parts content, instead of the roughly 50% currently:

        http://images.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/jac-4d25tc-china-1-458×292.jpg

        ALSO – U.S. Trade imbalances (deficits) with BOTH Mexico AND China have reached all-time record highs on the 1 year anniversary of Donald “We Have Been Taken Advantage of By China and Mexico Very Terribly Because of Past Administrations” Trump’s 1 year marker in office!

        #MAGA

        Now back to work for me, John, and back to flyspecking every word, tweet and breath of Jack and Mark Baruth for you, JohnTaurus.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          p.s. – Jack, that Silverado needs an American and Confederate Flag in the rear window, and Gadsden Flag and MAGA bumper stickers, given how big a U.S.-made absolutist that Jack Baruth is.

          Make sure to not to get your US made Vans Style 113s, Kirkland Signature Socks, or Rattlerstrap Titan too dirty in this messy weather!

          Buy American With “The American List” by Jack “Do As I Say, Not Do” Baruth

          http://jackbaruth.com/?p=5682

          http://jackbaruth.com/?cat=399

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            Weren’t you the one who was complaining about links to my website on TTAC?

            I spent more money on American-made goods than I did on Mexican and Chinese stuff combined last year — and that includes 50% of the Silverado, thanks.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Why are you insinuating that your GM (Guangzhou Motors) Silverado is somehow doing great at the mere 10,000 mile mark, given that you already have 1) a significant transmission issue (and prob a precursor of worse things to come) that the brilliant techs can’t fix, 2) a significant suspension issue (and prob a precursor of worse things to come) that the brilliant techs can’t fix, and 3) the infamous and widespread wobble (and probably harmonic imbalance) that’s par for the course for new Guangzhou Motors Escalades, Tahoes, Suburbans, Silverados, Sierras, etc?

            SOUNDS LIKE A REAL PROMISING START on that Hecho En Mexico rig cobbled together with lowest-price Chinese bidder parts/components that GM is shoving up their customers’ a$$es, with most gladly taking the pain with not so much as a whimper, like a prostate exam gone really wrong.

            Prepare to bend over repeatedly, Jack. You made a deal with the Chinese Devil.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Should have closed the deal with the Robot Devil instead.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          There really is no excuse for Trump support in polite company. Especially on a board that used to be apolitical.

          Thanks for calling this büllshít out, DW. Even if it’s not how I would do it. But it’s probably better than how I just largely stopped reading.

          Trump’s stupidity goes beyond liberal or conservative. The man is just an incoherent fool who is bad for America. I’m happy to respect people who disagree with me, but Trump (and the people gullible to still support him after he’s had a chance to prove he’s as dumb as I thought he was) are something don’t deserve that courtesy.

          I try to keep checking this blog from time to see if things have gotten better, but I really have lost a lot of respect for the editorial staff aND some of the writers politics that they’ve let show through.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            Remember that most Americans own cars and are employed, but that only about half of us vote, and less than half of us who voted did so for Trump.

            Getting political is gauranteed to piss off between 25% and 50% of the American readership of this blog.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            Thanks for sharing.

            P.S. They threw her in the van like a SIDE OF BEEF

      • 0 avatar
        nrcote

        JohnTaurus > “Right? Glad I made it here before having to scroll through all that mostly-incoherent b¡Г©hing and moaning.”

        And you’re still a poster boy for an Ignore button.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Get rid of those cheeseball 20-inch wheels for a set of the 18 inch NHT ones.

  • avatar
    EMedPA

    I still think modern pickups are overpriced and too big, but I have to say that is one amazingly capable vehicle. The fuel mileage alone is impressive. I used to tow a Ski Nautique with a WJ Grand Cherokee with the 4 liter I-6, and every time I did the indicated fuel mileage was 13 mpg.

  • avatar
    ajla

    So it sounds like most of the luxury materials and features on the up-level truck are unimpressive and the best solution would be a 6.2L in WT or LS trim, but that doesn’t exist.

    • 0 avatar
      tinbad

      Right, that and the 3-seat bench up front…

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Bench seats uber allies.

        That’s one of my attractions in getting a truck. Heck the Colorado/Canyon are less attractive to me due to no having a bench in the crew cab configuration.

    • 0 avatar
      gaudette

      If you find the materials in a LTZ to be unimpressive then I doubt you will find comfort in a WT. 6.2L or not.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick 2012

      It is almost impossible to find a Sierra/Silverado configured like this.

      Out of the thousands of new GM trucks in the midwest, only a very small percent have the long bed, and of those, fewer still have the 6.2. Almost none have the Max Tow NHT package. There were none in metro Indy, for example.

      Ford, however, has dozens of long bed crew cabs with the max tow on the Turbo 6, and some with the 5.Oh yeah.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        There were two in the state of Ohio when I looked.

        One GMC, and this one.

        Our plan was to order but this was exactly what we wanted with the exception of navigation, which I would not have paid for.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @ajla – “So it sounds like most of the luxury materials and features on the up-level truck are unimpressive”

      They are on the Chevy.

      I’ve been in the cab of Platinum and King Ranch F150’s as well as Ram Limited and Laramie. Both are superior to the Chevy LTZ. I was downright disappointed.
      GMC’s Denali is much better than the Chevy but I still prefer Ford and Ram’s premium offerings.

      In my part of the world you can get the 6.2 in mid-spec trim but it is rare.

  • avatar
    gtem

    Reading this just makes me think even more of how I’m going to really miss having a truck come spring time and various landscaping and house projects start up in full swing. My first foray into truck ownership last year definitely left an impression (cheapo RWD ’97 4 banger Ranger with a stick). If I did it again, I’d pony up for an older used half-ton this time around, my ideal candidate would be a W/T trim GMT400 with the trusty and reasonably efficient 4.3L mated to a 5spd manual. Some more comfort for freeway commuting and coudl handle a full yard of mulch at a time.

    A new crew cab in the mid-30s is interesting and what I think is a lot of truck for the money. Once the price goes north of $40k I quickly lose interest.

    For now, my money is better spent on a clean old truck in the $3k range.

    Way overkill for what I want, but a nice example:
    cincinnati.craigslist.org/cto/d/1995-chevy-2500-cheyenne/6452239233.html

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Foley

      Agreed that the 4.3 GMT400 is an overlooked gem. My first truck experience was with my grandpa’s 1979 Silverado w/305 2bbl. It was slow as hell and got 12.5 mpg on the freeway cruising at 65, but it could haul and tow and pull stumps out of the ground and any other truck stuff we needed it to do.

      Then I drove a 4.3L GMT400 and was amazed that anything that old Silverado could do, the 4.3 could do better, except make V8 noises. And it got 17 mpg on the freeway.

      Of course, a 4.8L GMT800 is even better, and not much more money…but now we’re starting down a slippery slope that ends with a $58,000 truck.

  • avatar
    deanst

    I guess it is the ultimate sleeper mobile – if I saw it on the streets I’d assume it was the local HVAC technician on the way to his next job. What’s the reverse of conspicuous consumption?

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      This is exactly why I like the Silverado 6.2. Its not garish or ridiculous, it isn’t slathered in chrome, and does nothing to give away what lies under the hood. Its a wolf in sheeps clothing.

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        Not garish or ridiculous, ok, but isn’t slathered in chrome???? You might want to take another look. Granted it helps that Jack’s is white, so the chrome is not as noticeable.

  • avatar
    Ryannosaurus

    You definitely made the right choice with the longer bed. This is my biggest regret with my crew cab purchase. At least once a month I find myself wishing for that additional space. It’s ironic that I wish I had gone bigger, when reading all of the comments about full-size trucks being to big and only hauling air.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      Somewhat surprised it doesn’t come in an 8 foot bed configuration. There are a lot of things that need hauling that are 8 feet long. Lumber, plywood, drywall immediately come to mind and are a pain to transport.

      Just for John Taurus, I’ll point out that maybe Chevy knows its market very well as most buyers will never haul anything much less something 8 feet long ;) Sort of kidding John….relax.

      Not being a truck guy, I have a difficult time wrapping my head around the price tag of $58,000 for this rig. Not being someone who needs or wants a truck, I can think of fifty-eight thousand things I would rather spend that money on including a lot of pretty nice rides. If my needs were similar to Jack’s with about a tenth of the miles driven being actual towing/hauling I would seriously consider a used truck or even renting one for 1200 miles per year vs buying.

      • 0 avatar
        EMedPA

        An 8′ bed would be handy, but it would be a bear to park and maneuver in any urban or suburban setting. The turning circle issue Jack mentioned would be even worse. If you really need an 8′ bed, an extended or regular cab’s probably a better bet. For Jack’s needs, the combo he bought seems a good choice.

        • 0 avatar
          whynot

          There is also payload concerns. An 8′ bed full of crap plus 4-5 people in the cab on a high trim truck with a bunch of options may be pushing it for a half ton. Crew cabs have lower payload than most people think, since obviously they all advertise the highest number which is usually with the lightest base trim regular cab configuration.

          I know a 8′ bed is available with a crew cab on the Ford Superduty, what about GM’s HD trucks? I don’t think I have ever seen one.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            2500 and 3500 Silverados are available with the long bed and the crew cab.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @whynot – exactly.

            Payload is the limiting factor with a 1/2 ton.

            IIRC Chevy with max tow is 1800 lbs. 4 typical 200lb adults in the cab leaves 1000lbs in the box. That is very easy to eat up. You add a trailer and that eats into payload since it factors into GCWR.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            Max payload on a NHT-equipped crew cab “long box” 6.2L 4WD Silverado is 1980.

            The highest payload on any GM half ton is 2210 with a NHT double cab 2WD 5.3L.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @ajla – I don’t think higher level trim crew cab 4×4’s are going to be over 1,800 lbs.. I’ve looked at several and all of them had door tags south of 1,800lbs.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Eight ft beds are silly for multi-cab 1/2 tons. I’ve circled the damn planet with the tailgate down (6.5 ft bed) boxes netted/bungeed to the t/g lip and beyond. I’ve built houses from scratch, thousands of trips from the lumber yard and The Home Depot with 8 to 12 ft sticks/stock no problem, and up to 16 ft pieces in a pinch, yes through the rear slider, thank g0d for that, plus 20 ft trim more times than I can count.

  • avatar
    CadiDrvr

    Jack, you should experience the 8-speed trans in an Escalade. It also exhibits the 1-2 shift you’ve described, but in low speed situations, usually decelerating, the transmission downshifts with such force and noise that it LITERALLY feels like you’ve been rear-ended. If not for the headrests, it could be whiplash inducing…seriously. The good news is the new 10-speed eliminates these problems.

    Hopefully the redesign also eliminates the “wobble” endemic to all K2XX platform vehicles.

    I’ve had my Escalade for 2 years and 24,xxx miles and it’s been flawless otherwise, CUE included!

  • avatar
    JMII

    A non turbo, big block, American V8, truck needs 93 octane?!? Insert various four letter words here.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      It isn’t a big block.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      This is a hot topic in the Silverado forums. According to GM, the 6.2 can run on 87 octane, but 93 is recommended if towing or if additional performance is needed. Most of the people who actually own these just get premium gas all the time even though it is not a “requirement” per se.

      Also, the 6.2 is a beast in part due to a high compression ratio (11.5:1) which would necessitate higher octane to prevent pinging during demanding use (towing, high altitudes, high heat, etc).

    • 0 avatar
      ktm

      If you are dropping $58k on a truck, you can afford the $0.20 difference between 87 and 91 (Cali here). If you can’t afford the difference or find it outrageous, maybe rethink buying a $58k truck.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        A 20 cent difference between regular and premium isn’t the case everywhere. I just filled up my Mustang, and it was a 70 cent spread between the two (although our premium is 93 here).

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Yep $.60 spread per gallon in Indy. Growing up it always used to be a $.10 per gallon increase between regular/mid-grade/premium, definitely no longer the case.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Only in the last decade has there started to be more than a ten cent difference between grades, and it gets worse all the time.

      • 0 avatar
        OzCop

        I’m not sure what kind of incentives GM has, but my Ram EcoDiesel had a sticker of 578xx and after discounts, 42,150 bought it…that is for a 4 wheel drive Laramie with all options except sunroof and 4 corner load leveling, but included premium tow package. 58 K sticker does not mean that is the hard price…

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I agree with you that this generation of GMs looks better than the current Fords. I think they’ve aged very well, and have no problem with them being “too conservative” which seems to be everyone’s complaint.

    On the other hand, I think your objections to the EcoBoost engines are silly. The OG 3.5 (the only one in truck service for long enough to accumulate a meaningful record) has performed better in service than the Gen V GM engines. And, anyway, it’s not like you’re going to be keeping this truck nearly long enough to worry about “the mill finally [letting] go.” It’s pretty clear from both your and Danger Girl’s history that sometime around 2023, when the kinks are out of the new generation, one will show up in your driveway.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Even if the EBs are perfectly reliable, they are still as exciting to drive as unflavored oatmeal is to eat.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @ajla – I was impressed with the EB 3.5 F150 I had as a loaner while my truck was in the shop. I found that revving it like a SBC, it was disappointing. You rev it too high and all you do is pass its torque peak and end up making annoying noises like any other revved out V6.
        The best way to run an EB 3.5 is to be smooth enough to keep it from downshifting too much and then ride the torque curve.

        My only complaint with the EB 3.5 is that it sounds like a V6 but with some whistling noises.

      • 0 avatar
        srh

        I’ve had 3 EB; Focus RS, Transit, and now an F150. i’ve found them all to be plenty exciting, even in the Transit. The F150 goes like a bat out of hell. Puts the 6.2L from my Raptor to shame.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        It is also a fact that the turbo’s on those EB Ford engines have a limited life after 100K. Ford stated this in a previous press release. So if one were to keep their truck for a long period of time my money would go on the Small block V8 vs the gimmicky twin turbo V6.

  • avatar
    tinbad

    Taking pictures while going 67mph… hmmmm not setting a very good example for our shapchatting millennial readers here.

  • avatar
    chevyfan029

    24 MPG highway out of a 6.2 is awesome. Do you see these numbers regularly?

    • 0 avatar
      Maksym

      I’m so salty after seeing this.

      07 Sierra SLT with the 5.3 here.

      I’m cracking 14mpg in mixed driving in the Chicago area. In all fairness, I’m pouring regular in it out in the suburbs at 2.50 which evens things out a little bit.

    • 0 avatar
      gaudette

      With a 5.3 I get 20mpg highway. Lifetime 16mpg with lots of idling, cold weather, and city driving. From what I’ve seen I’m on the low end, and the 6.2 does a bit better to begin with.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      You must be the only person on any automotive forum who doesn’t regularly get 30 mpg in their full sized truck. I too live in the real world, it can be a lonely place sometimes. I have a large GM vehicle in my driveway and the trip computer is a g’darn dirty liar when it comes to actual fuel economy. Id hold off on the glitter bombs for that 24 mpg figure until Jack actually posts the fill up receipt next to the trip mileage….and has the picture and receipt notarized by someone along for the entire ride between fillups.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        All of my GM and Ford truck rentals real world calculated MPG is within .5 of the trip computer. Have never seen a modern trip computer in cars after around 2006 or so that are off by more than 1 MPG.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      In summer, yes.

      Winter blend fuel, it’s more like 20-21.

      • 0 avatar
        srh

        Color me envious. My F-150 w/ 3.5, granted with only 2000 miles, is getting 17-18 with highway driving at Idaho speeds (~80).I was hoping for 20+. Will see if it gets there after break-in.

        The reports of poor Ecoboost mileage had me looking for an F-150 with the 5.0. But in CC/LWB trim they’re virtually impossible to find, at least in the PNW.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    That one looks a lot like the one my brother-in-law bought a couple months back. I’m amazed at the fuel economy the Silverados manage – my 2013 Tacoma (4.0 V6) can only manage 16mpg around town, and the best mileage I’ve ever gotten with it in five years (I track it on Fuelly) is 20.3. Why the hell can’t Toyota do better? They replaced the 4.0 in 2016 with the wheezy 3.5 from the cars/minivans, just pick up one lousy mpg.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    The clunk in the front end – is that a 4WD thing? Or in the suspension?

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    The clunk in the front end – is that a 4WD thing? Or in the suspension?

  • avatar
    gaudette

    Anyone who thinks 58k for this truck/sports car/luxury vehicle/family hauler isn’t great value can you please show me what to buy instead?

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      With $58k I’d frankly buy a whole fleet of vehicles and probably a few motorcycles/ATVs, but within the realm of a “normal” consumer that prefers newer stuff:

      Lightly used 1-2 year old 4wd halfton (if you must have a newer truck): $32-36k
      new or lightly used midsize CUV for wife: $26-28k.

      Or:
      New/barely used loaded up midsize/fullsize sedan: $20-25k
      family minivan or CUV: $25-30k
      beater truck: $3k

      If you just want a new crew cab 4wd truck that can tow a crap load for cheap and is made in Mexico like Jack’s: Ram 2500 with the 6.4l hemi: $33-35k.

      • 0 avatar
        gaudette

        You could buy a fleet, but then there’s added maintenance, insurance, and necessary storage space. Here we need snow tires. That’s an added cost and more storage space.

        Fuel cost on a 6.4 would be close to double. Don’t forget about the front end work every 60k at best.

        58k over 10 years and 200k miles is a good deal. If either you don’t want it, like it, or need it anymore it’s one of the lowest depreciating vehicles out there.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Yeah and multiple vehicles have given you the ultimate value/utility: you know have both a truck and a whole other almost new car for a spouse to drive for years. What is there not to get about that? If you made the argument more generally about the utility/performance per-dollar in a modern half-ton truck, I’d be inclined to agree. But to point to a $58k LTZ Chevy as the lowest depreciating vehicles out there is beyond laughable. Make the argument with a lower trim F150 XLT or Silverado 1LT with the 5.3 bought in the realm of $34-36k and I’d be much more inclined to agree.

          • 0 avatar
            gaudette

            A truck/sports car/luxury vehicle/family hauler inclusive. I think you’re missing the point.

            I own an SLT. I can tell you it’s depreciated much less than a midsize sedan would have.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            I guess I am. Like I said above, once trucks cross the $40k threshold, I (personally) lose interest, and I think any claim of it being a “value” buy falls by the wayside. Relative to a $75k 4cyl turbo German “executive” sedan, sure, the $58k Chevy truck with a beastly V8 and some leather sounds good. But a lesser crew cab still gets you all the utility and most of the comfort (except leather seats) at about 40% less cost.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Splitting hairs, but good acceleration does not a sports car make. Would gladly watch video of Jack tracking this anyhow.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I’d buy a Ford with the 3.5 EB and fewer luxury gewgaws for $48k (unlike Chevy, Ford doesn’t try to discourage buyers from the top engine choice) and use the extra on the 330i ZHP convertible that I increasingly think I’m going to buy once the right car comes along.

      • 0 avatar
        RSF

        That’s what I did. I bought a new 2016 XLT supercrew 302a pkg with 3.5eco, pano roof, nav, 20 inch wheels, max tow pkg, 36 gallon fuel tank, etc for 38k after factory and dealer incentives. Cheap enough to pay cash and use money saved on cars for my teen drivers.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          RSF, This is more the realm that I’m talking about. It’s crazy the amount of content you can get on the lower trim trucks with some packages, after negotiations. They make a lot of them, and are willing to deal.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Are the tops finicky on them? E46s don’t sound too scary relative to many more modern Euros, assuming you do some wrenching yourself and/or have a decent indie to fall back on. I still want to dab my feet into depreciated German car ownership at some point, once I have much more garage space I think. I kind of want to “go for broke” so to speak :p with something like an R129 Merc.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Tops have a few issues, but they’re not as scary as something like a W124 convertible. You can count on having to replace the hydraulic pump at some point. Top itself lasts a very long time if you take good care of it, and the window is glass.

          The powertrain with a manual is rock-solid, one of the best that BMW ever built. The M54 engine is bulletproof (and the reason that a ZHP is only a bit cheaper than a M3 with its finicky S54). Like any BMW there is a lot of preventive maintenance, especially around the cooling system and suspension, so you just have to be aware of that cost going in. Fortunately there are no fewer than three standout BMW shops in Seattle.

          The thing that’s just amazing researching older BMWs after dealing with so many older Japanese cars is parts availability. The Germans really do much better at that.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        My sale price before taxes was, I think, $50.4k.

        For the extra $2400 why not take the stuff? :)

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Nice deal (really). But I expect you could get a similar deal on that “$48k” Ford. I wouldn’t be surprised if that number was pretty close to the MSRP on RSF’s truck.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    What? The Silverado doesn’t come with the turbo-boosted 4 cylinder engine? Oh, the humanity!

    In all seriousness, my truck choice would be the Silverado as well, After all, I’m a Chevy guy at heart. Short bed, standard cab, WT1. Most likely in red.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      After spending numerous weekends in all big 3 pickup trucks usually in 4 door mid trim level V8’s or EB 2.7 or 3.5 Ford I would also pick the Silverado. But I would get a cheaper 2LT Double cab Z71 with Allstar package with the 5.3 and 3.42 rear gears for $34995 at my local dealer. And there are a choice of 20 in differing colors like this to choose from.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Nice review. I am shocked at the F.E figures for the 6.2 and 8 speed auto. Not sure how you make the argument for the more complicated turbo v6 which I am fairly certain does not return any better in the real world. I like the simplicity of a standard V8 though.

    I have rented several Silverados with the smaller CC, which is more like an extended cab but with four doors in the 2LT trim complete with Principal Dan’s desired bench seat, which is the set up I believe I would want for a Silverado. Oddly, I like the cloth seats better than the leather clad ones, for whatever reason I find they sit better and the lack of a center console is a joy on longer highway drives. You can stretch out your right leg quite a bit. What I am not sure of is if you can get heated seats in the cloth or not, as I like heated seats for the lower back pain which rears its ugly head every now and again.

    I would love to see a comparison between the Silverado 6.2 and a standard 5.3 that has had a tune downloaded. My neighbor put a tune on his and claims it enhanced the day to day drivability quite a bit.

  • avatar
    SC5door

    What do you think of the headlights? I know GM switched to HID for WT and LED for other models as well as LED fog lamps.

  • avatar
    pb35

    This is like my Chevy SS but in truck form. Or something. I always knew you’d wind up with a 6.2 in one form or another Jack. I’m not a truck guy but this one is nice. Good choice.

    Oh and my SS just hit 10k this morning. No issues to report yet.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I had a 2014 GMC Sierra SLE Extended Cab 4×4 short bed with leather and the 5.3/6 speed combo, and an identical 2016 Silverado. My thoughts:

    The highway ride is great, but the low speed ride is ridiculously bouncy with the z71 suspension. Your best bet is to fly over the bumps at full speed instead of slowing down.

    The leather is low grade, but do you really want nicer stuff in your TRUCK? I don’t. I wipe the dirt off the “leather” with clorox wipes.

    Looks: GMC beats Chevy

    The “clunk” is annoying and make the truck sound like it is breaking.

    The mileage sucks. I have no idea how you got 26.5 as your best. My easiest driving best was about 22, but most of the time my average is in the teens.

    The 5.3 seems gutless unless you really stomp on the gas, and at low speeds seems to struggle between 4 and 8 cylinder mode, making it sound like it is lugging in the wrong gear.

    The touch screen and climate controls reflect in the rear window at night, rendering the view useless.

    Lastly, the defrosting system SUCKS. The windshield defrost can’t keep the window and wipers clear even at 85 degrees full blast. The corners of the windshield stay iced up and the side windows ice up when you drive while it is snowing, rendering the truck useless.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I saw an earlier comment by you on the topic of the defroster.

      It’s not the case with my truck.

      Last month, my son and I made a 285-mile drive to a skatepark in weather that ranged from 3deg F to -6. We didn’t even have the defroster on full blast.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      I noticed the defrost comment as well on another post. Any possibility and actuator door is not operating correctly in the HVAC system and you are not getting full defrost? I have driven through some gnarly snow storms and have not had an issue.

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        Oh, it is on full blast. I’ve had to crack the rear windows to let the heat out. The problem happens only when it is actually snowing. The wipers ice up, and slowly deposit ice along the driver’s side of the windshield. Pretty quickly there is enough ice on the wipers that they don’t clear the windshield, and I have to stop and clean off the wipers. The bottom edge of the windshield where the wipers park also ices up. Looking at the design of the dashboard vent, it stops about 1 foot from the edge of the windshield on both sides, and that’s where the ice starts to accumulate. The side windows start to collect ice as well. I had this same problem with the 2014 GMC Sierra.

        It’s been the most frustrating thing about owning the Silverado, besides the stuck valve spring that left me dead in the middle of the street, with GM’s roadside assistance unable to get me a tow truck.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        Never had that issue on all 3 pickups from Ford, GM or FCA. Sounds like a blendoor issue.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      I think the GMC has the best leather on the market for the standard truck leather. It may not look as fancy on the showroom floor, but it lasts better than any of the others in my experience.

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    I just got done replacing the battery in our 2015 2500HD silverado… It is the worst designed piece of garbage in the world… When the 2016 truck craps out its battery probably next year I’m going to go to the dealer and have them do it just like GM probably engineered for maximum dealer profit. Not to mention TORX screws on an the air-filter box, and now having to remove the entire door panel to change out the stock garbage mirrors to even more garbage towing mirrors, and the idiotic wiper blade mounts that aren’t just the normal hook… We get a solid 13mpg for the 6.0 and the towing rating isn’t all that better than the normal silverado or F150 so I don’t know why it’s so bad. Plus it’s a lot slower than our ’09 and ’11 2500HDs with the same specs.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    First of all you are just supporting/defending a purchase because you bought it. Easy to understand that simplistic line of thought, isn’t it?

    Ford makes more advanced trucks. Aluminum bodies equal no rust. 10 speed smooth as silk transmission. Variety of engines, turbo for torque and towing or V8 that sounds great or diesel now. Superior interior with better field vision and better wood and beautiful from Lariat upwards.

    At the end of day there is a reason F150 outsells Chevy and GMCs put together. And that’s before feeling dirty about buying a made in Mexico truck.

    It is not even close, F150 by miles. But some like a truck that can’t even have its steering wheel in front of passenger better than the most technologically advanced truck (F150) in the world.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I admire your steadfast commitment to criticizing everything I buy.

      The fact of the matter is this.

      Unlike you, and unlike most of the buyers out there, I was able to obtain, and use, brand-new examples of all three domestic pickup trucks over the space of a few months.

      In the case of Ford v. Chevy, I evaluated a loaded F150 3.5 EB almost back to back with a Silverado LTZ 6.2. Both my wife and I preferred the Chevrolet by a nontrivial margin.

      Which is not to say that the F150 was bad. Far from it. But I preferred the Chevrolet. Even though it cost me more than I would have spent on the equivalent Ford. Even though the crewcabs are made in Mexico. Even though it doesn’t have the wondrous aluminum construction that allows the F150 to shed so much weight it almost, but not quite, weighs less than a Silverado.

      I’ve explained my reasons above but I will add one further thing: If you could still get an F150 with the 6.2 Boss then I would have been much more likely to buy an F150. Ford’s choice to force customers into the relatively tame 5.0 or the complex 3.5EB was a turnoff for me.

      If I decide that I need or want a less expensive truck for other tasks, I’ll buy an F150 5.0 SuperCab XLT in a heartbeat and never look back. But the Silverado was the best tool for the job I’ve defined. It’s quietest, most comfortable, easiest to operate, fastest, and least FREAKY-LOOKIN’.

      I can’t wait to hear you complain about the car I bought AFTER the Silverado. Hint: the Corvette is gone.

      • 0 avatar
        tnk479

        Jack, why do you favor the 5.0-liter V-8 over the 2.7-liter turbo in an XLT Supercab? The flat/early torque of the smaller turbo would make more sense for “trucky” things, wouldn’t it?

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          My experience with turbo gas engines is that service costs are always higher.

          Turbochargers themselves are not immortal, also.

          Comparing, say, the 3.5 EB to the GM 6.2, it’s astounding how many extra parts are in the Ford engine. Another cam. Eight more valves. The turbos. The more complex VVT equipment.

          • 0 avatar
            tomLU86

            I agree with Jack B about a normally aspirated V8 vs a turbo engine.

            A lot more HARDWARE. More complicated. It’s gotta be harder and more expensive to repair.

          • 0 avatar
            87 Morgan

            The Hell you say, the Vette’ is gone?

            I thought that was the track car along with the Mazda.

            My money is on Viper GTS.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    Looks are subjective. To me the Silverado looks like Mike Tyson with chrome teeth. The F150 looks classy and fit for any kind of work. I can’t help it, but I refuse to buy Mexican or chinese where I have a reasonable alternative. I recently bought all new appliances for our Savannah condo and whirlpool was my choice while there were plenty of Korean LGs and Samsung’s and a few Bosch. Every little bit helps.

    The 5.0 is a great engine. It is in no way as torquey down low as the 6.2. As owner of both stingray and Mustang GT 2014 premium) the 6.2 in Corvette is disorienting (to me any way) as to how fast it is. The Mustang Coyote needs to rev and breath to get going. In trucks it works good enough. Still it just works.

    Hopefully you didn’t buy another VW/Audi or hairdresser Miata. Side note Jack, put as much money into market now as you can, I think you have enough toys. Tell us what you got

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    “It has absolutely zero social cred or upscale desirability”

    Mustn’t live in a really rural setting :)

    Truck guys know the difference between a fleet spec truck and a higher trim model.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Jack, have you verified the trip computer mpg with gallons pumped & miles driven? 24mpg at any freeway speed is impressive for something this big and powerful. My 4Runner has reached that number before, but that was at 65mph and it does not cross the quarter mile at 98 mph. The 6.2 looks like an exceptional engine.

  • avatar
    Radggs

    Seems like the complaint is the pri$e. Too bad, because for now that truck sale pays for tech on future products of the fleet for all manufacturers. I have purchased several 2500HD ext. cab LWB Eaton 2wd WT over the years with the last one being a 2011 that with discounts was mid $30k. Been in the shop once in 99k miles. It has paid for itself. With that, your review was right on. I’ve been looking for that configuration GMC for 3 years. I wanted 20% got 16. Prefer 8foot bed, colded seats, 6.2, 12500lb tow pack. Found all that with sunroof & Nav. Best mileage was 27mpg, avg 17mpg. Same complaint on drive train. 1500 vs. 2500 saves me in fuel cost as well registration. Tested a F150, doors felt weak, but had good turning radius, and saw too many in the shop for turbo fix. GMC works for me over CHEVY or Ford. Ever so slight there is a difference in the GM sibs.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    In a world of ecoboost, ecotec, ecodiesel etc, kudos to GM for this engine. I would have a tough time dealing with clunking and wobbling after parting with $58k. I haven’t had a GM vehicle in a long time but is the answer still “they all do that?”

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Premium recommended is a big downer…

    Here in Motor City, it’s about $0.70 more a gallon than 87, $3.40 vs $2.70. Over 25%. That’s too much, at least for me, especially for a truck.

    Interesting that in California, which I associate with high gas prices, it’s only $0.20 more.

    In CA, it’s not a big hit then.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I own the shortbox GMC version of this truck, 2015 model, which I found used (6 months) for about $10,000 less than Jack paid. It’s intended purpose was to haul a 27-foot Airstream on a 10-month adventure that my wife and I had planned upon my retirement.

    With about 63,000 miles on the odo, I have had zero problems with the truck. About two thirds of those miles were towing the 7600 lb. GVW travel trailer. The MPG computer does a 400 mile rolling average, which I have achieved 24.6 mpg. Even at western state speed limits (80), the truck will do better than 20 mpg. I run premium when towing, mid-grade when not. The ride is a little stiff when the truck is empty, which you would expect with a truck that has a 1960 lb. payload, but it’s much better than any “3/4 ton” that I test drove. Under load, in tow/haul mode, the transmission shifts very smoothly. In that mode, the 1-2 shift happens at 3000 rpm, but its not jerky. Under very light throttle at very low speeds with any empty truck it is possible to get harsh engagement. The autobox has a very aggressive torque converter lock-up program. And, under light acceleration, the transmission runs through a lot of shifts rather quickly when starting from a dead stop — not always limousine smoothly. Ironically, none of this happens when pulling a trailer.

    People who have never ridden in pickups before are amazed at how quiet it is inside and pleasant the ride is on good roads.

    Equally amazing is that I’m still running on the OEM Goodyears that came with the truck — although they do need to be replaced now.

    The other complaints Jack mentioned I don’t have.

  • avatar
    googly

    Almost all tow trucks that I have seen are Chevy or GM, with a few Dodge RAM. Never seen a Ford tow truck. Must be a good reason for that.

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