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2007 Chevy Silverado Pickup Road Test
Good for the jobsite or a night on the town
By Kevin 'Crash' Corrigan
When I was a kid, I drew a rather un-flattering picture of my teacher on the blackboard. She flew into a rage and dragged me off to the headmaster's office. While this was going on, my classmates rolled around on the floor laughing their socks off.
You see, there is always more than one way to look at something.
To some, what might appear as totally obnoxious, may appear to others as the funniest thing since Monty Python's dead parrot sketch.
This leads me nicely to my latest test drive, the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ 1500 4WD pickup, or as I like to call it, the 07 Silverado four-door half-ton 4x4.
My tester was loaded with a fine array of extras, which bumped up the base price of around $46,000, to slightly over $53,000. That's a fair chunk of change for a Chevy pickup, isn't it?
This is where we get into 'different ways of looking at things'. Yes, if you're looking for a bare-bones workhorse, then $53K might seem a tad on the extravagant side. On the other hand, if you've been looking towards the purchase of a Cadillac Escalade EXT or the Lincoln equivalent, then the Chevy Silverado is an absolute bargain.
With its restyled front end, the new Silverado certainly has good looks. In fact, over the week that I had it, this truck drew more attention than the Harley-Davidson Edition Ford that I had driven a few months back. Of course, this could be partially due to all the publicity it has received after being named North American Truck of the Year.
The restyled front end gives the truck a much more muscular presence, and the 2007 Silverado sits squarely on the road. My test vehicle was fitted with the optional 20-inch rims, which definitely boosted the overall look.
Personally, I much prefer the four-door setup to that of the clamshell door design on other models. After all, when coming out of a store with a bag or two in hand, it is much easier to open a rear door first to load the back, than to open both doors while struggling with your groceries. It also works so much better for passengers, since they have total control of their own doors.
Once inside the vehicle, one can't help but be impressed. The Silverado carries an interior that is equal to any big-buck pickup available from GM, Ford or anyone else. From the dashboard layout with the nice wood-effect accents to the leather seating, the interior just screams high-class.
It also has a very spacious feel to it, which is mainly due to the sculptured dashboard design. All the controls and switches fall readily to hand, and there are plenty of them as this truck is loaded with all the latest gadgets and gizmos, including XM satellite radio.
There is, however, one thing still missing, which I keep reminding GM about on most of their trucks and SUVs, and that is telescopic steering. Tilt is there, but it is the old-fashioned notch-lever type. Somehow, GM still hasn't realized that people like telescopic as well. This is something that most manufacturers have figured out by now.
That aside, it is hard not to fall in love with the interior of the Silverado. It is not only an extremely comfortable place to spend your driving hours, but it will impress even the most picky luxury sedan owners.
Now we come to the drive. With its Vortec 5.3-litre V8, the Chevy Silverado has ample power and yet, because of GM's smart Active Fuel Management system, which can shut down four of the eight cylinders in low demand situations such as highway cruising, it returns rather good fuel economy figures.
My tester came with the standard four-speed electronic auto/overdrive, which is then coupled to GM's Autotrac Automatic 4WD system. This allows for control of the 4WD system with just a quick turn of a knob. It also boasted of a limited slip differential and a 3.73 ratio rear end.
The Chevy Truck lineup includes six small-block V-8 engines which GM claims delivers the light-duty segment's highest-rated towing capacity (4,763 kg/10,500 pounds), horsepower (367 hp) and fuel economy, with a maximum payload capacity of 980 kg (2,160 pounds).
I would call the ride quality of Silverado extremely good. Naturally, it feels like a truck on the road, but a very comfortable and stable truck. The bumps and potholes are soaked up superbly by the suspension and the steering is precise, and allows for some good driver feedback.
Naturally, the four-door means a short cargo box, so that is not going to work for everyone. Although I can see this truck being purchased as a family toy hauler, it is perhaps better to suited to the owner of a construction company. Coming from a building trade background myself, I can see this working well for the boss, or “The Governor” as we used to call him.
Yes, it's impressive enough to woo clients, and could be quite useful for dropping off guys to the jobsite. It's plenty capable enough to pick up the odd pallet or two that the estimator forgot about, and then at the end of the day, it can ferry the boss and the company secretary for a night out on the town.
Oh yes! There's something I forgot to tell you...the company secretary is often the boss' wife.
See, there's always more than one way to look at things.
Kevin 'Crash' Corrigan is a regular contributor to CarTest!. He is based in Caledon, Ont., and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2007. Posted June 13, 2007