2014 Chevy Silverado Unveiled – Heartbeat or Deadbeat?

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Now that the all-new 2014 Chevy Silverado has been unveiled, critics and fans are asking the same question. Does it have enough changes to re-engage Chevy truck buyers? Could this be the truck that ultimately brings Chevy back into the full-size truck discussion? You be the judge.

2014 Chevy Silverado - Z71 Front

The new Chevy Silverado is “more muscular, more functional and more aerodynamic” according to Chevy. Will it wow customers?

The Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra’s haven’t been meaningfully changed for many, many years. With a stagnant truck line, GMC has had a hard time rekindling investor and customer interest in the brand enough to increase the stock price so the U.S. Treasury will sell finally their shares (see: payback taxpayers). This means the new full-size trucks have a lot riding on them especially with how much automakers profit on these full-size behemoths. Let’s go over the new 2014 Silverado.

Build Materials

Chevy is hoping that the new “high-strength” steel and aluminum equal durability and weight savings (see: higher MPGs). While there was some speculation that we would see some plastic to drop more weight and jack up the MPG, it seems steel, hydroforming and aluminium is where Chevy is headed. All the Silverados will have this “high-strength steel” throughout the frame, cab and main rails and major cross members. Chevy says that about two-thirds of the cab structure is made with this steel. It will also be used throughout the rocker panels and underbody.  The idea is that this material will make the truck lighter and produce a quieter ride. Chevy says it the truck will feel more solid and refined to buyers than previous versions.

The bed is also make from a roll-formed steel which Chevy says is lighter, stronger and ultimately more durable than anything else on the market. And the hood is made of aluminum.

All of this material should add up to a substantial total curb weight drop. That figure though isn’t available yet.

Styling

On the front end, gone is the three-bar grille (yippee) and replaced is what resembles the more traditional styling of Chevy products. Chevy says they have gone through and worked hard to close every gap on the front end to create a more aerodynamic look. And it sure looks like it. While the front end still has the “I’m a TRUCK” look to each, you can see some places more curves that allow the air to flow more efficiently around it.

The side profile is fairly straightforward and nondescript. It has the exaggerated wheel wells that extra sheet metal provides and the now common aerodynamic hood/windshield look.

2014 Chevy Silverado - Bumper Step

A smart addition to any full-size truck is a bumper step. This should be a standard feature on all of them.

While Chevy didn’t provide a great shot of the rear profile in their press release, it does show a taligate step (CornerStep bumper) and handholds inside the bed. This addition is frankly a no-brainer and a great use of the usually empty bumper space. It should be a standard feature on all full-size trucks. The bed also is easier to open and close and has “under-rail light-emitting diode lighting.”

2014 Chevy Silverado - Engine

The new engine lineup features less weight and more efficiency. Expect this truck to have vastly improved MPG.

Engine

Alright, here is what most truck buyers wanted to know. How will the Silverado pickup compete with the Ford EcoBoost and the Ram 1500 which claims 25 mpg? Well it is going to offer a new 4.3L V-6, 5.3L v-8 and a 6.2L V-8. These all-aluminium engines will be direct fuel injected, still use the pushrod technology, have continuously variable valve timing and will have the trendy cylinder deactivation feature (you know when you aren’t towing a space shuttle). Chevy says that each of these engines can “seamlessly switch” to four-cylinder mode for everyday driving.

Unfortunately, that is all we get to know right now. The final stats like torque and MPG are promised to be released early next year.

2014 Chevy Silverado - Interior

Spacious with a new 4.2 inch infotainment display is combined with what Chevy says is a comfortable, smooth ride should make it more appealing to customers over previous versions.

Interior

The interior is a big improvement with a new dash, gauge setups and a 4.2 inch infotainment touch screen. Some of the controls like the optional trailer-brake controller have been moved. It also looks to be roomier than previous models with lots of leg room.

Other Items

GMC has done some reworking of the crew cab which will have larger rear doors to help get in and out. Also, it will feature a 6’6″ box option for the crew cab as well. There will still be an Z71 off-road version with upgraded shocks and tires. Plus, all of the new trucks feature the latest in advanced safety features like:

  • Front and rear park assist
  • Rear vision camera mounted in the tailgate
  • Spotter mirrors for blinds spots.
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • StabiliTrak electronic stability control with Trailer Sway Control and Hill Start Assist
  • Head curtain side airbags with rollover protection

GMC Claims

While we all know that GMC will probably produce towing numbers for the new trucks that makes it the “top of the class in towing,” those numbers are really laughable these days. Until all truck manfuctures adopt the SAE standards, include us in the group of disbelievers (however, we do believe Toyota since they do follow the standards).

Also, GMC continues to say there trucks have the lowest cost of ownership. They point to a report by the analysis firm Vincentric as proof. Although Vincentric did also say that the 2011 Best Value Truck was the F-150 and everyone else  like KBB, Intellichoice says it is the Tundra.

What do you think? How will this new truck compete?

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  1. ricqik says:

    as far as towing numbers go, i dont think it matters what they list their towing at. ford will just throw their magic spring dust n reclaim best in class towing by a few hundred pounds. its tradition for ford to have magic spring dust.

    the truck looks more like a refresh. from this angle, looks like a bit of colorado mixed in. im not a fan of the creased fenders. didnt like the f150 for this, wont like this either. crease like the tacoma was nice as it didnt follow the fender well. the truck does look nice. i guess bcuz its a new look.

  2. Mickey says:

    The truck looks some what better. Chevy may run deep, but my hatred for GM runs deeper. The ole saying “Don’t piss on myback and tell me it’s raining” keeps coming back to me on GM products. My question will be did these Big 3 go with the new mandated towing standards? Since Toyota was the only one to comply…..

  3. LJC says:

    Regarding the J2807 standard: I believe the reason for non-compliance by the domestric guppies is there is a physical limit for SRW trucks. With this in mind, there can be no winner. This would explain why the Duramax 3/4 ton took a 2 ton hit on its tow rating. Now, if GM comes forward and complies, well then I’m wrong. I believe the threshold is about 5 tons.

    • LJC,

      Good points. I hadn’t heard about the physical limit.

      -Tim

      • LJC says:

        The physical limit is naturally based in physics. Ultimately, there is only so much that can be done with four wheels.
        Here’s another observation: the Sequoia took an almost equally big hit, but has the same drive train as the Tundra. The only real difference between the Tundra and Sequoia is the wheelbase: the Sequoia’s is shorter.

        So, like a said, with a physical limit, there can be no winner. It would be hard to market and claim a better towing truck when they all have the same limit/rating.

    • BriBri says:

      While towing numbers are a good selling point, since GM isn’t going to win that war anytime soon, they should put more emphasis on other characteristics of the Silverado, such as the interior dash layout (which I do not particularly like), interior materials quality and fit/finish, technology, and comfort/roominess/user-friendliness.

      The rear-bumper step is a good, practical feature. If they focus on good, practical features (I’d even call them ‘benefits’) that many truck buyers are looking for, then I may one day be impressed. The newer Chevy pickup trucks (Silverado included) are just not the same as they were decades ago.

  4. LJC says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the 5.3 litre is close to what the iForce 5.7 can do in terms of torque and hp. GM has been bitch slapped for the past 5 years or so; I can’t believe they’re going to let this continue.

    I bet the extra price for a GM truck is going to clearly out weigh the gains in fuel mileage. All GM vechicles got more expensive after the bailout.

    So, in the end, when buying a truck for capability, the Tundra will be the clear winner.

  5. AD says:

    I was let down as I thought GM would come up with some new tech instead of applying already know tech that they were late in applying. Although I will say I won’t laugh at GM as much as I want to because I think the 3rd Gen Tundra may be more of a refresh of the 2nd Gen as well sadly. I have a bad feeling ever since I saw that Tow the Space Shuttle thing done to show the power of the 5.7L iforce done this late in the 2nd Gen Tundra’s generation Toyota is telling us no more power for the 5.7L iforce it has enough. I hope I am wrong but their may be a good chance that the new 6.2L may get better fuel efficiency and 30-40 more HP/lb ft than our 5.7L ifoce on the 3rd Gen Tundra.

  6. Brian J says:

    Looks more like a refresh than a redesign. I’m a little disappointed. Kudos that they now offer a 6 1/2 ft bed with the crew cab, but from the pics the legroom in the crew still looks like worst in class. As someone who hauls around 3 kids in the back seat of my Tundra, leg room is a huge factor for me.

    It will be interesting to se the power numbers from the engines. I would be surprised if the 5.3 meets or surpasses the 5.7 in the Tundra. Seems like it would be more on par with the Ford 5.0 or Toyota 4.6. I do expect the 6.2 to continue to be more powerful than the 5.7, but also to get worse MPGs. Maybe GM’s dedication to pushrods are the way to go, but it sure seems to me that 4 valves per cylinder and DOHC allows for better breathing and thus, more power.

    • AD says:

      I agree with you I don’t think the 5.3L would compete with the 5.7L in power. I also agree that it will probably compete more with the Ford 5.0L but I don’t think it willcompete with th Toyota 4.6L as it already has more power and better fuel economy.

      I don’t think the new 6.2L will have worse fuel economy than our 5.7L because the current 6.2L is rated at 13/18 http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg.....8;id=31436 to our 5.7L 14/18 so if direct injection, continuously variable valve timing and higher compression ratio do anything to help fuel economy than the new 6.2L will be no worse than our 5.7L iforce fuel economy.

      I am starting to think once you go over 5.0L OHV may be the way to go also they are cheaper which allows for start/stop techonoly and cylinder deactivation. I know some DOHC guys will say that start/stop techonoly and cylinder deactivation will make engine repairs more expensive but that is what OHV guys already say about DOHC engines.The only DOHC engines that I know of with start/stop techonoly and cylinder deactivation are expensive foreign super cars or high luxery cars.

      After saying all that I hope that Toyota would give the 3rd Gen Tundra D4s dual injection and Valvematic for all engines if it is possible.

  7. LJC says:

    I didn’t see a trans temp gauge, is that right?

  8. mk says:

    The front end of the chevy in the pic looks like 1988 squared off look not very aerodynamic looking if you ask me. I also hate what is sort of common technology now in the 4-5″ touchscreen controls since I really hated the rental 2012 Highlander Toyota offered me taking way too long to adjust stations, etc. instead of a simple turn knob been around for years. If the 5.3L can boost hp and torque numbers to over their I think 315/335 numbers to more like 335/350 numbers while still boosting hwy. mpg rated at say 23-24 mpg, I might be looking into a new Chevy since besides Ford, GM is NOW FINALLY OFFERING WHAT TOYOTA TUNDRA CANNOT DO FOR ME WHICH IS OFFER A TRUE 1/2 TON CREW CAB TRUCK WITH A 6 1/2′ BED LENGTH. Wake up Toyota, PLEASE!!!!!

  9. art64 says:

    Sequoia is a different animal. It may share the same engine and tranny from the Tundra, but it’s rear suspension and rear frame is entirely different.

    • LJC says:

      Those are good points but I do remember that the initial tow capacity was around 5 tons. I bet the shorter wheel base is the biggest factor; the J2807 only allows so much sway.

      Also, I recall hearing that the wheel base was extended for the new GM 1/2 tons perhaps for a 6 1/2 ft bed and crew cab configuration or to bump up the tow capacity?

  10. john says:

    am i right or wrong, is not the 5.7 481 HP? where is anyone close to that?

  11. Mike T says:

    On first glance, they look meaner and freight train-ier than before. The Silverado has larger headlights and a really imposing grill. But, despite the HD-esque improvements, it’s rather dull. These trucks are designed to last decades with only minor improvements and reflect in style the conservatism of many of its owners.

    • BriBri says:

      If the no-frills approach works for them, then they should keep it. No need to try to win beauty contests. It’s a working-man’s truck, after all.

      • Mike T says:

        “No need to try to win beauty contests” LOL
        The completely redesigned interior is nothing short of revolutionary, with mobile wifi hotspot capabilities, a large Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system, and tonnes of storage space in the centre which can fit full sized pocket folders.

  12. Mickey says:

    That Chevy doesn’t look bad. My friend’s 2012 GMC is quite a beauty too. I still like Chevy’s but my hatred is very deep. Now being that my 07 Tundra has over 150k miles I feel I have the quality, (Peace of Mind) with no need to look anywhere else. I’m still getting plenty of comments on how well the truck looks. I do want to thank GM for pushing me towards the best AMERICAN built truck. Yes that one with the most AMERICAN made parts. Built here in the US. Did I mention one like the CM that towed the space shuttle? I’m not being bias, just truthful.

  13. Interestingstuff says:

    I have leased work trucks for 20 years…Always changing between Ford and GMC. A few years back I chose Tundra, because the Ford problems were still not fixed on the next new & GMC was in that boring stage. Now, it will be very hard-pressed to ever go back. I’m in MI, and Tundra parts are made here too, by customers I have & the truck is assembled in Texas! The Ford was MOSTLY Canada & Mexico! Also, the Ford would often limp back in.. at end of lease. I’m on my 3rd Tundra SR5 lease and each drove back in THE SAME as when I got them new. Actually, I sell the leased truck to the used car dept. and receive a couple grand above buyout. They are always low on used Tundra trucks. This last time I saw a used with 88k miles selling for $6k above my buyout price. I could keep the cash, but I use it to lower my pmt on next new one. And yep, I won a charity gas-class truck pull -by dragging the others across the pavement- hitch to hitch- Fun! Sorry Detroit, but it’s an awesome truck. Don’t try one, if you “think” your mind is set on Big 3, like I was! – Just got my 2013 .. It rocks! The Tundra drives, tows, drags trucks, and street races, better. Has better value and possibly more $$ in USA econ rather than Canada & Mexico. note; I’m not connected to the co. or sales, and my sales guy still ‘tries’ to take money from my pocket, but he’s also fair and good to deal with. All above is accurately reproducible and I hear it from other Tundra owners I meet.

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