Sunday Drive: Chevy hits it out of the park with the new Silverado
It is not very often that we get into a new vehicle and are completely taken aback by the interior. After testing new cars week after week for the past 12 years, it takes a lot from a manufacturer to really move us.
That being said, climbing inside the new Chevrolet Silverado for the first time really took our breath away!
The new interior design of the Silverado is the best thing to come from Chevrolet since the new Corvette a couple of years ago. It was engaging, technically advanced and a perfect fit for this new truck.
On the Chevy press site, they underplay the new dashboard as a fully redesigned, premium interior on the LT trim and above. After experiencing this new look for a week, we are convinced this is the best new interior design for a truck we have ever driven.
There are some huge screens out there now in the truck world, with everyone trying to outdo what Ram did when it incorporated a portrait screen measuring more than 12 inches into the center console. However, this new look for the Silverado is way more refined and subtle, using the dashboard as more of a canvas as it sweeps its way from driver to passenger.
The levers and buttons that turn functions on — things like parking assist, tailgate release and crawl control — are not incorporated into the dash under its huge screen or sticking out as a clunky button as in years past. They are actually used in the dashboard as a design element.
Under these features are the controls for the trailer brakes and HVAC, which can all be controlled manually or through the touchscreen. The designers have also smartly included a smaller home button and volume control to the right of the center buttons to provide the driver with a quick way to get to the home screen or turn down the volume.
Of course, the volume and channel controls are still included on the back of the steering wheel and can also be used by the driver for those functions.
Are there cameras? Why, yes. They are everywhere, including one that can be used in the rearview mirror. Hooking up a trailer was simple when Craig had to pull a fully loaded trailer to an event on the Friday of our test drive week.
Even with 8,800 pounds on the hitch, the new ZR2 had no complaints about pulling the load. The 2-inch factory-installed lift made it even easier to get hooked up to the trailer; it resembled the stance of Craig’s business partner’s 2500 truck.
Interior amenities aside, the new ZR2 version of the Silverado is Chevrolet’s answer to the Ram TRX and Ford Raptor. It comes with the largest petrol-powered engine in their wheelhouse, a 6.2-liter Ecotec V-8 powerhouse that is hooked up via a 10-speed automatic transmission.
The ZR2 setup comes with all kinds of suspension add-ons and off-road technology to optimize off-road performance and capability. It may not have the pure power off the line as the competitors, but it will keep right up in any off-road contest and definitely wins on the interior design side.
We found that even with all this off-road prowess, the Silverado maintained its manners very well when out on the open paved road. Craig had the opportunity to take a few co-workers to Ogden, and other than the fact that the truck sits higher, making it slightly harder to climb in and out, they were all very impressed with the ride of the truck.
The ZR2 was loaded with safety features, including an over-the-top, 15-inch heads-up display that came with the Technology Package addition ($1,970). It also included adaptive cruise control and a power steering wheel adjustment. Combined with the lane keep assist, this was invaluable on the drive up to Ogden, keeping the truck well mannered and in its lane appropriately distanced behind the leading vehicle.
The large, full-color heads-up display was the icing on the cake while enjoying all the other technology in the truck, including the 12.3-inch fully digital driving display. It seemed like there were screens everywhere, enhancing the drive to a more futuristic starship-like experience. It was not what we were expecting from Chevrolet!
On top of all the tech going on, this truck was really good looking and turned heads at every stop. The first day we were out in the ZR2, we spent more time talking with folks about it than actually driving it. It seemed as if we were back in the new Corvette based on the number of questions and onlookers we attracted.
Our hats are off to Chevrolet and the new Silverado. It’s definitely worth a look for those in the market for a new truck.
Base price: $65,100
Destination charge: $1,695
Price as driven: $72,770