Nuts & Bolts

2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT Z71

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The bottom line: Forget the chrome. This is a hard-nosed work truck that comes with all sorts of useful stuff on the inside, including the OnStar emergency communication and navigation system, laptop hookups and other infotainment connectivity. It's also one of the best-driving trucks on the market.

2010 model changes: Little has changed for 2010, which means, for the budget-minded, it might make more sense to shop for a 2009 model. Just go easy on the options, of which there are many in the Silverado line.

Suggestion: GM should consider reducing Silverado production costs by reducing/consolidating options. Do we really need chrome-clad rails on the cargo bay?

Ride, acceleration and handling: Excellent highway marks in all three. But this is a big truck, which means it could be nerve-wrecking for you and fellow motorists in tight city traffic.

Head-turning quotient: Big, bold and powerful. City drivers generally stay out of the way of this one.

Body style/layout: The 2010 Silverado 1500 LT Z71 is a front-engine, four-wheel-drive, extended-cab pickup truck with two full side doors, two small rear-access doors and a short cargo bed. Construction is body on frame. It is designed for off-road use.

Engine/transmission: In the tested application, the Silverado comes with a flexible-fuel, 6.2-liter V-8 that develops 295 horsepower at 5,600 rotations per minute and 305 foot-pounds of torque at 4,600 RPM. The engine is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission.

Capacities: There are seats for six people. Payload, onboard capacity, is 1,714 pounds. It can tow a trailer weighing 10,400 pounds. Fuel capacity is 26 gallons of regular gasoline or E85 ethanol, or gasoline/E85 mix.

Mileage: Using gasoline only and often carrying heavy loads, I averaged a combined 15 miles per gallon in city-highway travel.

Safety: Standard equipment includes ventilated front-disc/rear-disc brakes. This column prefers rear discs all around. Also standard are four-wheel antilock brakes, electronic brake force distribution for extra protection in panic stops, electronic stability and traction control, front side air bags, and rear head air bags.

Price: Base price on the 2010 Chevrolet Silverado LT is $32,275. Dealer's invoice price on that model is $30,016. Price as tested is $37,490, including $4,220 in options (Z71 appearance package, 6.2-liter V-8 with accompanying trailer-tow equipment, satellite radio) and a $995 destination charge. Dealer's price as tested is $34,725. A $1,000 rebate is available at this writing. Prices are sourced from Chevrolet, and, an affiliate of The Washington Post.

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