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in Full Size Pickup Trucks

MSRP: $25,575 - $49,180
Invoice: $24,552 - $45,737
MPG: 18 City / 24 Hwy
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Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Performance

Reviewers are impressed with how the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 blends respectable towing and hauling capability with a refined, comfortable ride. They say its civilized driving dynamics are one of its greatest strengths. One also says that the Silverado is easy to drive around town, which is a compliment to its maneuverability, and several remark that its engines are especially quiet and smooth.

  • "The Silverado possesses uncanny refinement for a vehicle that's capable of hauling about a ton of dirt or towing up to 11,500 pounds of construction equipment." -- Car and Driver
  • "One of the most impressive parts of the Silverado's performance was how quiet it rides. Even with the windows down, you hardly hear the engine." -- Motor Trend
  • "Fuel economy numbers are nothing to get excited about, but the 2014 Chevy Silverado delivers big on its promise of blending work-truck capability with everyday civility." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "On the road, the whole truck feels larger, too. Perhaps that's because the hood is wider and flatter. Regardless, this is an easy machine to handle around town." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "Throw in spray-in sound deadening along the firewall and transmission tunnel, and this is the quietest truck on the road, hands down. There are luxury SUVs with worse noise, vibration and harshness characteristics." -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

The Silverado 1500 comes with a 4.3-liter V6 that produces 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. Optional engines include a 5.3-liter V8 that makes 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque and a 6.2-liter V8 that produces 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Power from all three engines is routed through a six-speed automatic transmission. The V6-powered Silverado gets up to 18/24 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. With the 5.3-liter V8, the Silverado gets up to 16/23 mpg, which is good among V8-powered trucks.

Reviewers say the V6-powered Silverado offers plenty of power if you don’t do a lot of towing or hauling. Some appreciate that the Silverado's V6 engine has more torque than that of its rivals, while others say that 5.3-liter V8-equipped Silverados generally deliver impressive acceleration and an imperceptible cylinder deactivation between V8- and V4-mode. Test drivers say the six-speed transmission is refined and is well-suited to the engines, but several comment that the truck would be better served by an eight-speed transmission, which they say would improve the Silverado's performance and fuel economy.

See full 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 specs »

  • "While the F-150 and Ram six-cylinder engines are also used in cars and crossovers, the Silverado's 285-hp V-6 is tailor-made for this application. Its large, 4.3-liter displacement produces substantially more twist than the naturally aspirated V-6 competitors, at 305 lb-ft." -- Car and Driver
  • "As you'd expect, the 5.3-liter V8 delivers solid thrust with good manners, though there's still a bit of vibration during hard acceleration. More seamless than ever, however, is the fuel-saving cylinder deactivation system, which swaps between V8 and V4 modes with complete transparency." -- Edmunds
  • "All engines are mated to GM's six-speed automatic transmission, which is impeccably calibrated for smooth acceleration." -- Motor Trend
  • "Acceleration from the standard V6 is adequate for ‘air haulers’ and light-duty users, though loads weighing in excess of 5,000 pounds are best left to the mid-tier 5.3-liter V8." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "So what's missing? The 8-speed automatic. An 8-speed will almost certainly improve every performance metric of this truck and create and even more capable V-6 option." -- Popular Mechanics

Handling and Braking

The Silverado comes standard with rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive is optional. Test drivers praise the Silverado for having one of the most comfortable rides in the segment, which one says is second only to the Ram 1500’s ride. They also write that the Silverado remains composed off-road, and that it has good handling for a truck, with well-weighted and accurate steering. Some remark that the brakes are strong, despite a pedal that feels somewhat spongy.

  • "The Silverado's on-road behavior is almost carlike, but given that the crew cab stretches nearly 20 feet nose to stern, comparisons to a big crossover are probably more apt." -- Car and Driver
  • "The Chevy is steady around turns and the steering is well-weighted. Off road, the Silverado shudders less when bouncing around on rocky trails, exhibiting better composure than ever before." -- Edmunds
  • "Lastly, while the pedal feels a bit spongy, the brakes themselves provide more than enough pucker power." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The new electronic power steering offers just the right amount of heft and feels more accurate than the outgoing hydraulic system." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "The results are impressive: undoubtedly the best-handling and riding truck to feature a leaf setup out back, Silverado is second only to the coil-sprung Ram over undulating pavement." -- Left Lane News

Hauling and Towing

When properly equipped, the Silverado 1500 can tow up to 12,000 pounds and haul up to 2,108 pounds, which is good for the class. Reviewers say the V6-powered Silverado has plenty of power for towing 5,500-pound trailers. Some reviewers say the 5.3-liter V8-powered Silverado could use a bit more power and a firmer suspension after towing a 9,000-pound trailer. As a result, they say anyone needing to tow closer to the max tow rating may be better served by a heavy-duty pickup truck. One reviewer says that the six-speed transmission is not geared optimally for trailering, and notes that power lags at times. With a half ton of cargo in the bed, reviewers say that the rear of the truck squats minimally.

  • "We got to drive Silverados with 1,000-pound boxes in the bed, which gave us the opportunity to see how the chassis dealt with heavier payloads. Although we would have liked some kind of load-leveling capability, the visual ‘squat’ to the trucks was minimal and the handling and rear-end control on our drive routes were well within our comfort zones." -- PickupTrucks.com
  • "The 4.3-liter generates 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque. While towing a 5500-pound camper using a trailer hitch, the Silverado never hesitated. It accelerated quickly and the integrated trailer sway controls, which use the truck's anti-lock brakes, helped steady the trailer down the windy Texan roads." -- Motor Trend
  • "Later, we towed a skid steer on a flatbed that checked in around 9000 pounds, and only then did the 5.3 feel a bit overmatched and the suspension a little too soft. Yes, the Silverado can handle a load this heavy (some Silverados will be rated to tow 11,500 pounds) but it felt like a job better suited to a heavy-duty pickup." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "But despite the pull of the Silverado's huskier new engines, we've noticed that there's still too big a gap between the transmission's gear ratios when towing." -- Edmunds
Review Last Updated: 12/13/13

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