Chevy has gone back to the drawing board with the all new 2014 Silverado and started at the core with a redesigned chassis that gives the look and feel of a complete overhaul from the ground up.
When I headed over to Vogel Chevrolet in Kiel for a test drive, I was eager to grip my hands on the steering wheel of this brand new truck.
As Vogel’s salesman Kelly Johnson handed me the keys, we walked through the parking lot toward the new line of trucks on display.
Upon first sight of the vehicles, you can tell that you are looking at a redesigned vehicle with a brand new look.
Solid on the outside
The Silverado greets you with a solid front end and edge detail along the entire body that gives the vehicle a very muscular look.
The new chassis design was at the core of discussion when Johnson explained the features of the design, ride, and handling of the new Silverado.
He said, “You can see on the body, the very tight gaps in between the sections and especially on the front end around the lights and the grill.”
The more solid chassis design helps to create a stronger vehicle that experiences less bending and twisting on the road.
Johnson said, “In some of the older models of trucks, you would see bigger gaps between parts of the exterior. This was so the truck had some room to ‘flex’ while on the road. The new design tightens up the body and ride which has really created a much stronger truck all the way around.”
A lap around the truck will show features not seen before on the Silverado line.
Since the body sits lower, access to the bed of the truck is more easily available for those who are constantly in and out or on the job working.
There is also easier access to the box with the new CornerStep rear bumper, and EZ Lift and Lower tailgate and box rail protectors.
Two-tier loading, available upper tie-down hooks, available under-rail lamps, and standard cab mounted cargo box lamp make it easier to see, organize, and secure cargo.
For those who will put this truck to the test physically, they will find confidence in towing with StabiliTrak, Trailer Sway Control, Hill Start Assist, and the convenience of the built-in seven and four pin trailer connectors.
The Silverado also features a roll-formed steel pickup box floor that is stronger, lighter, and more durable than stamped steel. Plus, it is now available in a 6 foot 6 inch length on Crew Cabs.
Smarter on the inside
The tighter look of the body really finishes off the truck and gives it a cleaner appearance, but it’s not only the looks that benefit from this design.
The ‘14 Silverado is not only stronger, but it is also smarter and more capable than ever before.
The all-aluminum 5.3L V8 engine is packed with technology to provide the towing capability and fuel efficiency that today’s drivers demand.
A truck-based, high-torque 4.3L V6 engine is powerful enough to tow a trailer and power a 4WD Crew Cab, while the 6.2L V8 engine is expected to be the most powerful light duty pickup on the road.
The three all-new EcoTec3 engines optimize fuel efficiency and power output is based on driving demands.
Johnson talked about the different customers who drive the Silverado line, saying, “This truck is very marketable to both men and women. We have people with many different lifestyles driving Silverados off the lot because the Chevy line offers something for everyone in terms of model and size. The capabilities are endless.”
Slipping inside the cab of the ‘14 Silverado, the new dash layout jumps out at the driver right away.
Inside is the available Chevrolet My-Link “infotainment” system that features natural voice control for phone, media, and connectivity.
The dash also features active safety features like forward collision alert, lane departure warning, and the safety alert seat. Electric power steering improves both the feel of the truck and delivers fuel economy benefits to boot.
When you really break down the new Silverado, it’s hard to ignore all the tech features inside that create a more stylish, comfortable, and convenient truck that, again, features something for any lifestyle.
Pointing out some of the main interior features on the dash and control panel, some of the highlights include:
n Integrated trailer brake controller and four wheel drive controls
n Six gauge instrument center with a four inch information screen
n Comfortable, leather steering wheel with audio and cruise controls
n Larger knobs and buttons for easier access while driving
n Chevrolet MyLink center with eight inch touch screen (available in certain models)
n Dual zone climate control
n Roomier storage in both the glove box and center console
n Auxiliary power outlet (12 volt), SD card slot, 110V power outlet, and USB ports
This truck is loaded with more features than I knew were available but with the versatility and option packages given for each model, there is plenty of choices for anyone that steps on the lot.
Smoother on the road
The new model can be loaded with features and is designed with a newer look to catch more eyes driving past, but how it handles on the road was the test that ultimately needed a passing grade.
After getting comfortable in the driver’s seat with electric adjustments, I was able to move the steering wheel up, down, in, and out to find my sweet spot. To accommodate drivers of all shapes and sizes, the foot pedals are also adjustable under the dash.
Right away I noticed the quiet ride as we left the car lot and headed east through Kiel. Hitting the first roundabout the truck handled smoothly, making quick turns without jerking any of the passengers.
I could feel the new stiffness in the chassis design. The truck felt tighter, but in a very comfortable way that simply gave the truck a more solid feel. To maintain a level of toughness and comfort is quite an accomplishment in such a big vehicle.
As we hit the highway leaving town, the truck accelerated smoothly while staying quiet enough to hold conversation in the cab. The comfort and size of the interior gave enough room for everyone, regardless of size, and had plenty for storage after folding up the back seats.
Four-wheel disc brakes with Duralife rotors ensure confident braking every time.
The new 2014 Chevy Silverado definitely catches the attention of anyone driving past and pound for pound can be put to the test physically.
Redesigning success can be difficult, but with this truck, Chevy will look to set a new standard.