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2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 4WD Crew Cab First Test

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 11/20/2014 Jessica Walker, Christian Seabaugh

Aluminum. Diesel. Coil springs. Air suspension. Turbochargers. These are all things that both the 2015 Ford F-150 and 2015 Ram 1500 have but the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado lacks. Truck buyers are a traditional bunch, though, so the question is, does any of that really matter? With the Silverado and its Sierra cousin the last truly traditional half-ton pickups on the market, we thought we'd find out if all that whiz-bang, attention-grabbing tech that its rivals have is worth the hype, so we rounded up a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ and hit the test track.

Our Silverado tester's Ecotec3 5.3-liter V-8 is Chevy's answer to the turbocharged power of Ford's EcoBoost and Ram's EcoDiesel engines. The Silverado's 5.3-liter V-8, which makes 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and a two-speed, four-wheel-drive transfer case.

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 Although more powerful than Ford's new 325-hp 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6, the Silverado certainly doesn't feel it. While the 2015 F-150 SuperCab we recently tested with the little EcoBoost mill scooted from 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds, our Silverado tester needed 6.9 seconds to hit the same speed. Our recent F-150 Platinum SuperCrew, which was equipped with the larger 365-hp 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6, was also quicker to 60 mph than the Chevy, hitting the mark in 6.4 seconds. The Ram 1500 bookends the Silverado's numbers: The 240-hp 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 EcoDiesel model needs 8.8 seconds to hit 60 mph, and models equipped with the 395-hp 5.7-liter V-8 Hemi need 6.8 seconds. When it comes to dragstrip performance, the Silverado turned a 15.4-second time with an 89.8 mph trap speed. The Silverado's 60-0 stop took 127 feet. When it comes to handling performance, our 2015 Silverado 1500 tester lapped the figure eight in 28.0 seconds at 0.75g average and pulled 0.77g average on the skidpad.

We ran the same straight-line instrumented tests with our Silverado hitched to a 7,000-pound trailer and saw the Chevy's 0-60 mph time drop to 19.5 seconds and its quarter mile time fall to 22.0 seconds at 62.3 mph. The F-150 2.7 EcoBoost with the same trailer needed 20.7 seconds to go through the quarter mile at 68.0 mph, and our long-term Ram 1500 EcoDiesel took 22.2 seconds to complete the quarter mile at 58.7 mph while loaded.

The 2015 Silverado 1500 might be neck and neck with the other trucks in its class at the test track, but it certainly doesn't feel it out in the real world. The blame for that can likely be attributed to the Chevy's throttle and transmission tuning. The throttle has that heavy, dead feeling that Hyundais get when they're in Eco mode, and the transmission simply feels like it's from the last century. The six-speed wants nothing more than to be in sixth gear, even if that means it has to constantly up- and downshift over short periods of time on steep grades. The eight-speed auto that just became available in 2015 Silverados equipped with the larger 6.2-liter V-8 can't come to the 5.3 soon enough.

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 The Chevrolet Silverado might be a disappointing drive, but its interior layout borders on brilliant. While I don't love its design, you can tell Chevy designed this truck's cabin for one thing and one thing only: work. It's got more power outlets than I have devices to plug in and a zillion USB jacks for charging your phone, your girlfriend's phone, her sister's phone, and your childhood best friend's iPod. Point is, there are a lot of them. To top it all off, the center console lid is big enough to fit a laptop on and use as a desk. Combine that with the OnStar-provided 4G LTE Wi-Fi and you've got a jobsite-ready rolling office.

That said, your rolling office isn't coming cheap. Before options, our 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 LTZ starts in the mid-$40,000 range. Add four-wheel drive, 20-inch chrome wheels, active safety tech, and luxury features such as heated and cooled seats, and you're suddenly looking at a $54,550 sticker.

Ultimately the choice between traditional truck technology like that found on the Silverado and more groundbreaking technologies like the F-150's aluminum skin and Ram's diesel engine is up to the buyer. As for our professional opinion on the matter, stay tuned. 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71


2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71
BASE PRICE$43,755
PRICE AS TESTED$54,550
VEHICLE LAYOUTFront-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door truck
ENGINE5.3L/355-hp/383-lb-ft OHV 16-valve V-8
TRANSMISSION6-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)5607 lb (58/42%)
WHEELBASE143.5 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT230.0 x 80.0 x 74.0 in
0-60 MPH6.9 sec
QUARTER MILE15.4 sec @ 89.8 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH127 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION0.77 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT28.0 sec @ 0.75 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON16/22/18 mpg
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY211/153 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB1.06 lb/mile

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71
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