The winner of the 2014 North American Truck of the Year Award will be announced at next week’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Finalists vying for the coveted position are the Acura MDX, Chevrolet Silverado and Jeep Cherokee.
Recently, I tested the two-wheel drive 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab LT and drove away impressed with the truck’s new look and capability.
Silverado’s chiseled physique fuses brawn with aerodynamic efficiency for this model year.
Fronting Silverado’s handsome look is a two-tier chrome grille anchored by a sculpted eye-tooth bumper and center valance that ushers slip-stream aero movement under the vehicle for reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency.
Powering the 2014 Silverado is a new family of EcoTec3 engines that include a standard 4.3-liter V6 for 285 horsepower while a revised 5.3-liter V8 is built to deliver 355 hp.
Topping Silverado’s engine lineup is a new 6.2-liter V8 that generates 420 hp, designed to be the most capable engine in the light-duty pickup segment.
Both V8 engines have direct injection, continuously variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation that enables them to seamlessly switch to four-cylinder mode under light load conditions.
A six-speed automatic transmission with gear ratios and shift timetables, optimize for performance and efficiency.
“Most of our 2014 Silverado buyers choose the 5.3-liter V8 engine for its power and city fuel economy of 16 miles per gallon and 22 (mpg) on the highway,” says Ryan Alberson, new car sales consultant at Christenson Chevrolet in Highland. “The Silverado Crew Cab model is popular because it serves as a dual purpose vehicle. It’s a capable work truck that still has space to carry a family of five.”
The 4.3L V6 engine fitted with a Z71 off-road package exceeds my expectations with fuel economy that reaches 27.5 mpg on the highway.
Extensive updates to suspension and brake systems provide a quiet and refined ride, while offering improved handling and brake force.
An all new interior reflects Chevrolet’s emphasis on functionality and refinement featuring an elevated instrument cluster that is easy to read with thoughtfully positioned controls and knobs.
The Crew Cab aft doors are larger for enhanced rear cabin entry and exit.
Out back, lockable tailgate operation is greatly improved by a rotary damper that allows hands-free controlled motion when lowering the gate.
Topping the gate is a standard integrated spoiler that aids aerodynamics over an available 6.5-foot long cargo bed.
But, of the many cargo improvements, none come more applauded than the rubber step built into the corners of Silverado’s rear bumper.
The hold is deep enough for work boots and provides sure-footed confidence when stepping from the ground into the cargo box.
The price for the 2WD 2014 Chevrolet Silverado equipped with the 4.3L engine starts at $35,855. Add $995 for freight.