The all-new 1500 Silverado and Sierra
My Chevy Silverado first drive was in Jackson Hole, Wyo., followed by a GMC Sierra first drive in Newfoundland, Canada. It was a big year for changes.
Next year we’ll see new heavy duty trucks, my guess is we’ll see them first at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Yes, truck prices are going up. There is so much safety equipment on trucks, you would have to try hard to get in an accident. That and all the pollution controls drives up new truck prices. But I’m all for living longer and breathing better, it’s just not free.
Next month I’ll be driving the new GM 2.7 turbo 4 cylinder gas engine. Fuel numbers are out and they are not class leading at 20 miles per gallon in the city, 23 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg combined. The all new 2.7L has more torque than the dependable 4.3L V-6 and faster acceleration. The 2.7L will be the base engine on premium models.
The Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra stand apart with more recognizable individual features than I remember in past years. Silverado and Sierra have totally different noses and fender wheels. Only GMC has the MultiPro tailgate that folds down, turns into a step and cargo management. Only Chevy has the power up and down tailgate. Both have off road packages with a 2-inch factory lift, but Chevy only has the 5.3L engine on Trail Boss off-road with 6 or 8 speed auto tranny, GMC with AT4 off-road does offer the 6.2L V-8 with 10-speed auto tranny. Both brands have the new cylinder deactivation called Dynamic Fuel Management which can run on 2 cylinders and anywhere in between with 17 firing fractions to improve your trucks’ fuel mileage.
Both brands have a 4-inch longer wheelbase and most of that extra room is in the second row. Second row seats have new storage doors in the top cushion that will fit a rifle or whatever you need to hide from thieves. Both brands have optional head-up display. One of my favorite options is that it shows gauges, speed, tack, radio station and more on the windshield. You won’t have to take your eyes off the road. Rear view mirror can now be a camera. Takes awhile to get used to it, the picture is wider than what a mirror gives you and is clearer.
Both brands have gone wild with trailer towing features. My favorite is the tag in the driver’s side door that shows you the max trailer weight, max tongue weight, rear axle max weight and curb weight. Not in general like you find on the internet but weight ratings for your exact truck. The truck has four cameras, some activate when turning with a trailer, backing up to a trailer, you can have two views, one right above the trailer coupler. And it has a new optional corded camera for the rear of your trailer. It also features a wireless trailer tire pressure monitor and trailer tire heat display. An interesting feature is the auto parking brake assist. You know how a truck can roll after you put it in park when you are perfectly lined up over the ball. This feature automatically turns on the park brake. First time GM has trailer light test, so you know what’s working on your trailer without help.
The GMC Sierra is the only one to offer a CarbonPro Box. Yes fiber carbon, like Batman wears, that replaces the inside of the bed. It’s tough stuff, better than bedliners. I was going to pound on it with a hammer, but the truck in NewFoundLand Canada that I drove was the only one in the fleet. But they will make more.
After years of making fun of Ford’s aluminum, both Sierra and Silverado have aluminum doors, hood and tailgate. Of course it’s to save weight for better fuel mileage and my payload and trailer capacity. Another small weight savings that surprised me is the bottom main overload leaf spring is now, on premium models, made from fiberglass but not on the max towing package. Towing mirrors are coming this winter. ❖