2015 Chevrolet Silverado
I have driven a compact pickup truck for the past 12 years. I swore at the thought of driving a full size every time I entered a parking lot or drove offroad. Then I got into the new Silverado. Bad idea. It doesn’t help that I have a budding business with growing haul loads or the fact the new Silverado gets just as good of gas mileage as my compact V6 pickup.
Seeing this truck for the first time you notice the third gens slightly square look especially on the fenders. It fits, I believe, very well with the new front end and makes this truck my favorite body style since the late 90s. The model we drove was very well equipped with the LTZ package, 20” chrome wheels, projector headlights, tow package, heated folding mirrors and just about every interior accoutrement available in the Chevrolet truck line.
The first thing I noticed climbing into the interior is the size. It’s huge. I could just about fit my luggage, a carry on, in the center console! Five adults could fit in the truck and be more than comfortable. It needs to be that big to fit all the options though. With growing up in the 90s, Chevrolet has always had a stigma in my mind of being cheap and overly plastic feeling on the interior. Not true anymore. The buttons and dials were well engineered and feel solid. Combined with the leather seats and sunroof it felt like a luxury vehicle, not a truck. The parking assist and rear view camera was super useful with me getting used to driving a truck with an 80” width and almost 20 foot length. The center of the dash also had an LCD info screen that would scroll through many of the features on the main head unit screen. It also displayed the rear camera view when the truck was in reverse. Parking never really was issue even though I tried to find a few empty spaces every time I parked it. Parking assist used the same vibrations in the driver seat as the lane departure system. The lane departure was already off when I got the truck and once I turned it on I realized why it was off. The heated and cooled seats were nice as well for pre and post surf warm ups. The cooling option though when used blew hot air on the rear passengers legs. One of the best features though in the interior was the power sliding rear window.
The Bluetooth music and phone sharing was easy to setup and once the initial sync was done, it would recognize and sync every time I got into the truck. When a text message was received it would show on the main head unit screen with the option of the system reading it aloud. The navigation system though seemed lacking. I am so accustomed to using my phone with Google to get directions that having to scroll through multiple screens to get to a point where I had to input an address was annoying. With Google I can type or speak the name of a place and Google will automatically navigate to that for me. I don’t have navigation in my daily driver but I guess I just assumed with technology today and this truck advertising 4G LTE connectivity this would have been possible.
This truck was equipped with the 5.3L Ecotec V8 mated to a 6 speed transmission and offered the usual 2WD and 4WD Hi and Lo ranges as well as an AWD mode. The sticker mentioned 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. Seems pretty good for a full size V8 truck. It accomplishes those numbers with variable displacement technology which I was looking forward to trying out. One of the screens on the center dash info center would display whether the engine was in 4 cylinder or 8 cylinder mode while driving. When cruising with little throttle input or on cruise control the engine would subtly switch to 4 cylinders. There was a however a slight noticeable pause when you got on the gas while it was 4 cylinder mode and changed to 8 and downshifted but once all 8 cylinders were firing and you dropped to a lower gear the engine had a lot of power. 355 hp and 383 ft/lbs of torque according to the ratings. While I drove the truck in mixed highway and city, I was averaging 17.6 mpg, according to the onboard trip computer, which was average over the last 400 miles. I also had the truck in AWD mode the entire time. I never had a chance to get it somewhere I could try the 4WD system.
Driving this Silverado was unbelievably comfortable and made driving easy. It climbed passes on the 101 with ease. It cruised the 1 in stylish comfort. It was the cushiest vehicle I have hunted for surf in. Its 5.8 foot bed was ample amount of space for luggage that included 3 surfboards. Chevrolet seems to have really honed in all the design elements on both the exterior and interior making this an extremely desirable truck for many! They have me wanting one, that's for sure.