Few other segments inspires such fierce loyalty as full-sized trucks. Generally, you're either a fan of Ford, Chevy or Ram, with a few outliers going to bat for the Toyota Tundra or Nissan Titan. The Chevy Silverado is the second-best-selling vehicle in America, just behind the Ford F-150. This truck is Chevy's bread and butter. Enthusiasts may love cars like the Corvette and Camaro, but it's the Silverado that pays the bills.
This week, we tested a 2017 Chevy Silverado 1500 Z71 4WD LTZ Crew. Yes, that's a lot of numbers. Chevy does love its option codes. This particular truck wears Chevy's Redline package, a suite of upgrades that's available on a number of vehicles, including the Traverse and Malibu. It adds a number of black and red accents on the badges, wheels, grille and door handles. Other options on this truck include the 420 horsepower 6.2-liter V8, a sunroof and a driver-alert package. All in, this truck rings up at $59,610. It seems outrageous, but people are paying.
Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: I love driving a big pickup as the weather cools and fall starts. There's something cathartic about rolling into work as the sun comes up and the mist and fog burns off. The Silverado offers a great view to soak it all in. I vented the windows, turned up the seat heaters and savored the season in this strapping V8-powered truck.
As I breathed in life, I pondered this specific Silverado. Dressed in the Redline and LTZ plus trims, it's not cheap — checking in right at $60 grand. You do get a lot of stuff. We're talking four-wheel drive and the Z71 package, and with the upgraded leather interior, the value proposition seems to bear out.
The EcoTec3 V8 punches out a robust 420 hp; it sounds good and delivers plenty of pull channeled through the smooth eight-speed automatic. It looks sharp, too. The Redline feature offers blacked-out moldings, Chevy badges and red accents on the wheels and tow hooks. It's cohesive and dresses up the Silverado in snazzy yet not overdone fashion. It's a good vehicle. It's fun, strong, looks sharp, and it's expensive. In other words, it's a microcosm of today's truck market.
Associate Editor Reese Counts: This thing is big. Really, really big. I hardly ever drive full-size trucks, so I forget how utterly massive they are until I get behind the wheel. Still, once you settle in, it doesn't feel nearly as large as some of its forerunners. The steering is decent for a truck, giving enough feedback to let you know what's going on at the pavement. The brakes are adequate, so stopping isn't a harrowing event. The 6.2-liter V8 is great and helps this beast get out of it's own way. Still, good luck parallel parking this thing downtown.
I think the exterior is fine, though I much prefer the Ram 1500 and even the Ford F-150. It feels like Chevy designers were allowed to work only with straight lines, like early 3D video games. The interior is far better. I've been critical of GM interiors as of late, but this is one of the better ones. The design is simple and well organized. There's lots of little cubbies and slots, though the secret storage behind the infotainment screen is gone. The instrument cluster still looks cheap, but it's clear and has lots of gauges.
I do like Chevy's MyLink infotainment. It's clean and packs both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. As a GM vehicle, it has 4G LTE wifi, which is reasonably quick and very convenient on long trips. Does it change my opinion of the Silverado? Meh. I like this truck, but I think I'd still drive the Ram.
Senior Producer Christopher McGraw: The Chevy Silverado sold well over half a million vehicles last year. And it's pretty easy to see why. It is a capable truck that can do everything from hauling firewood or lumber, to towing the family boat, to driving off-road to find the best grouse hunting spot (all things I have done in previous Silverados). This version doesn't seem to change much, which is a good thing. In my time in it this week it was just as happy bouncing down muddy, pothole filled dirt trails, as it was cruising on the highway.
I'm not much of a fan of the "urban-inspired" Redline package, which is really just an appearance thing. Red tow hooks, black badge, black and red wheels — it seems more like a ploy to brag about on one of those ridiculous Chevy commercials than an actual special edition. I'm also not a fan of the boxy wheel wells, but that's also a matter of taste.
That being said, the 6.2L V8 offered plenty of power, but it is a $2,500 option. For most, I think the 5.3L V8 will be enough. Tack on another $2,300 for the Redline Edition, another grand for both the power sunroof and driver alert package and you're staring at a truck that costs $60,000 including delivery. That price might not be easy to live with, but at least the truck will be.