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Car Review: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 4WD LTZ Crew

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The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 4WD LTZ Crew is all new from hood to hitch while carrying over base prices. We had the opportunity to drive this beast of a truck for a week and now understand why supply is having a hard time keeping up with demand.

EXTERIOR

Chevy didn’t disappoint, as the finished exterior design of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 4WD LTZ Crew has received rave reviews. Silverado’s design blends strong Chevy truck heritage with a refined, modern aesthetic. The new design is more muscular, functional and aerodynamic. A twin-port grille, full-width bumper and dual power dome hood create a strong presence, which is carried through in sculpted body sides and fender flares. The new Silverado design is about much more than just looks, however. The new front end is engineered to improve sealing for more efficient cooling, while the roof and tailgate spoiler were shaped in the wind tunnel to smooth airflow over the truck for reduced drag. New inlaid doors, which fit into recesses in the bodyside, reduce wind noise for a quieter cab.

Our test vehicle looked sweet from first glance, with improved function from the outside in. Equipment included an EZ lift and lower tailgate; locking tailgate; deep tinted glass; rear wheelhouse liners; chrome body side molding; adjustable with huge turn signal power heated outside mirrors; projector headlamps; 18-inch bright machined aluminum wheels; all-terrain tires; front fog lamps; bed rail projectors; chrome front bumper; rear bumper cornerstep (yes, it’s here!); and front recovery hooks.

INTERIOR

Huge strides were made in the cabin and we just couldn’t get over the room and upscale vibe in this new Chevy truck. The all-new interior of the 2014 Silverado 1500 reflects the same focus on form and function. The upright instrument panel, six-gauge instrument cluster and multiple storage options are tailored specifically to the needs of truck customers. Controls are functional, logically placed and easy to operate with work gloves on. Rear doors on crew cabs are larger for easier entry and exit, and rear doors on double cab models are now hinged at the front for easier access, especially in tight spots. The new Chevrolet MyLink provides easy-to-use connectivity for the job site or family vacation, with natural voice recognition and enough ports and power outlets to support multiple devices. Our LTZ model received an 8-inch high-definition touch screen that enables users to scroll or drag through menus. The MyLink system features intuitive, easy-to-operate controls for major functions. Silverado also features four selectable themes for the display screen and drive information center, which tailor the look of the displays to the taste of the customer.

The cocoa leather seats were about as good as you’re going to find in any vehicle out there, with amazing comfort and top-line quality. The spacing inside the cabin is more than one could imagine, and the rear leg room goes on forever. Our truck boasted memory adjust driver’s seat, heated front seats, remote keyless entry, remote vehicle start, theft deterrent system, driver express power windows, power sliding rear window, power door locks, rear window defroster, dual zone climate control, sill plate bright accent, 110 volt AC power outlet, color display color info, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, rear vision camera, universal home remote, Chevrolet MYLINK audio system with 8-inch diagonal color touch, HD Radio, single slot CD/MP3 player, USB ports and Bluetooth for phone. With the LTZ plus package, the interior also included power adjustable pedals, Bose Audio system, heated steering wheel, cooled driver and passenger seat and cargo box LED lighting.

As with most GM products, you will find the venerable OnStar system on board the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 4WD LTZ Crew with OnStar hands-free calling, RemoteLink mobile app, OnStar family link and the simplest and possibly smartest navigation system.

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PERFORMANCE

With all of the initial appreciation of a great looking exterior and interior, we wanted to know just how strong the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 4WD LTZ Crew could be! The increased power, torque and efficiency of the new 5.3 liter V8 EcoTec3 engine resulted from an unprecedented level of computer analysis, including extensive computational flow dynamics, to optimize the burning of air and fuel in the cylinders. EcoTec3 engines feature direct fuel injection, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and continuously variable valve timing, a combination not found in competitive trucks. The engine also uses a compact overhead-valve design and weight-saving components such as aluminum blocks and cylinder heads to reduce mass for additional energy savings. Fuel efficiency was also improved with our 4WD Silverado coming in at 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg in highway driving. The new truck cab is also stronger, with nearly two-thirds of the structure made from high-strength steel for a confident feel and improved safety. Similarly, the main rails and key cross members of the updated frame are high-strength steel with major elements hydro-formed for reduced mass and improved strength.

New shear-style body mounts tune out both up-and-down and side-to-side movement for a quieter, more comfortable ride. Double cab and crew cab models have a set of hydraulic body mounts to further isolate the cabs. Combined with numerous other acoustic and NVH (noise vibration and harshness) enhancements, the intended result is a solid, refined feel with no loss in traditional truck capability. The chassis of the 2014 Silverado includes a number of customer-focused updates. A revised front and rear suspension and wider wheels provide a more comfortable ride and more confident handling. Electric power steering improves steering feel and reduces fuel consumption. New four-wheel-disc brakes with Duralife rotors improve brake feel and potentially double rotor life.

As tested, the LTZ came with segment-exclusive safety features such as Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning with an Active Safety Seat, and Front and Rear Park Assist. StabiliTrak with Trailer Sway Control and Hill Start Assist are standard on all Silverados.

OVERVIEW

There is so much in this truck that we could write for days, so we tried to keep it to the point. The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 4WD LTZ is one fine machine. This is the truck that you can take your significant other out to dinner in (which I did), haul whatever your heart desires, and plow through whatever Mother Nature can deliver. All of that in a first-class package brimming with high-end options with a clear understanding that the 2014 Silverado 1500 was engineered to be stronger, smarter and more capable than ever before. As you can read above, the test truck we drove was loaded and came in with a sticker price of $49,080, which will have some of the competition staying up at night wondering how the folks at Chevrolet pulled this off. Truck buyers are some of the most knowledgeable customers in the world, and it’s clear that the designers and engineers at Chevy certainly qualify as the same in their respective fields.

  

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