Bottom line: If you want or need a pickup truck, it is difficult to go wrong with the Chevrolet Silverado — or any of its competitors, including the Ford F-150, Toyota Tundra, Dodge Ram 1500 or Nissan Titan. Seriously, there is a war going here — with innovation and value as the primary weapons — that works in consumers’ favor.
Ride, acceleration and handling: The ride is limousine-comfortable and quiet, uncanny for a pickup truck. Acceleration is there when needed. Handling is excellent, especially on rough roads.
Body style/layout: The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado is a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive full-size pickup truck with a boxed front frame. It is also available with four-wheel-drive. There are five trim levels: Work Truck, LT, Z71 LT, LTZ and Z71 LTZ.
Engine/transmission: The Z71 LTZ comes standard with a 5.3-liter, 16-valve flex-fuel V-8 (it can run on regular gasoline or a mixture of regular and 85 percent ethanol) with variable valve timing (355 horsepower, 383 pound-feet of torque). The engine is linked to a six-speed automatic transmission that also can be operated manually.
There is seating for six people. The standard cargo bed is 5.75-feet long. Gasoline capacity is 26 gallons. The truck can be equipped to tow up to 7,200 pounds.
Safety: Standard equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes (ventilated front, solid rear); four-wheel anti-lock brake protection; emergency braking assistance; electronic brake-force distribution; electronic stability and traction control; an introductory subscription to the OnStar emergency communications service; and side and head air bags.
Pricing: The base price for the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado Z71 LTZ with rear-wheel drive is $35,855. Dealer’s invoice price on that model is $33,345. Price as tested is $38,825 including $1,975 in options (onboard camera with high-definition backup camera, Chevrolet MyLink eight-inch-diameter touch screen and other items) and a $995 factory-to-dealer transportation charge.