Third Place: Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The traits that helped propel the Silverado to the head of the pack last time around — solid structure, brisk acceleration, smooth on-road ride quality — haven’t diminished with age. The GMT900 chassis, with its hydroformed frame rails, is still a solid foundation, giving the Chevy an edge in pavement handling. One member of our test crew went so far as to call it “tossable,” which is a stretch, but the Silverado did smoke its opponents in the lane-change exercise, in part because the stability-control systems in the Ram and
F-150 can’t be turned off and in part because the Chevy weighed 300 pounds less than the next-heaviest Ram.
Light is not a word that comes to mind in connection with a 5540-pound vehicle, but it was a tangible distinction in favor of the Chevy and gave it the second-quickest 0-to-60 time — 7.6 seconds — even though this Silverado was equipped with a 5.3-liter V-8 with cylinder deactivation (315 horsepower, 338 pound-feet of torque). In 2007, Chevy showed up with a 367-hp, 6.0-liter V-8 (375 pound-feet). Going with the lesser 5.3 cost a couple of 10ths in the sprints. But the Chevy had the highest towing capacity of the group (9500 pounds) and the best observed fuel economy, at 18 mpg.
The Chevy’s logbook also contained praise for GM’s new six-speed automatic transmission and column shifter. The center-console shifters in the Dodge and the Ford may look a little more macho, but they take up space that could be devoted to stowage.
Brake feel, on pavement and off, was another strong suit, although this was mitigated by the longest stopping distance in a group of long stoppers: 70 to 0 mph in 202 feet, likely a result of the tire choice. Still, the Chevy’s dynamic report card was generally pretty good. So why the slide from first to third? In a word, details.
The most obvious shortcoming is rear-seat space. You can get three adult males buckled in back there, but it’s much more confining than in the Dodge or the Ford, particularly for the guy in the middle. There’s a shortage of rear cabin stowage, too — no door pockets, no under-floor bins — and the front door pockets were the smallest in this trio, as well as the flimsiest. Not good for guys who like to stash tools in the cab.
We were also underwhelmed with the Chevy’s interior materials. Although the instrument-panel design was clean and uncluttered, there were visible mold lines, and the quality of some of the plastics looked a little cheap for a truck in this price category.
The Chevy’s seats drew the lowest scores for comfort and support, and a venomous rattle manifested itself in the rear of the cabin during our dirt-road driving.
Speaking again of price, you’ll note that the Chevy had the lowest base and as-tested prices in this group, but even so, both were pretty steep, and the leather interior that goes with the LTZ package seems a little out of step for a truck that’s actually going to get its hands dirty on the job. You could get the same capabilities, minus 4WD, for much less — $32,600 for an LT model with cloth seats, a trailering package, and the 5.3-liter V-8; $34,480 for the 6.0-liter V-8 and max towing package.
You'd go home with a truck that would serve you well. But there are a couple of others here that might serve even better.
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The Chevy pulls more, is faster, cheaper, handles the best, and got the best gas mileage.
But C&D doesn`t like the interior... not enough pockets? WOW...ridiculous.
A TRUCK review?...Really?