Chevy Silverado Spider Edition Price Improvement – This truck does some things very well, but falls short in many other areas.
Craig brings 15 years of automotive journalism experience to the Cars team. A lifelong Michigan resident, he was as comfortable with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he was in front of the camera or behind the keyboard. When not hosting videos or producing features and reviews, he’s probably working on one of his project cars in the garage. To date, he has completely restored a 1936 Ford V8 sedan and is currently resurrecting another flat-headed power relic, the ’51 Ford Crestliner. Craig is a proud member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
Chevy Silverado Spider Edition Price Improvement
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 does many things well. This latest-generation half-ton truck drives better than many midsize pickups, offers some of the best powertrains in the segment, and, of course, hauls and tow numbers are excellent. But despite all these positives, it’s a rig full of head-scratching options and odd omissions. In short, it’s a truck that strikes me as more complicated than the Game of Thrones ending.
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My Silverado test unit came in Custom Trail Boss trim with an extended cab body and a 6.5-foot bed. That cargo box is probably the most versatile in the business. Engineers moved the sidewalls out for more hauling and threw in a bunch of tie-down hooks.
GM’s integrated bumper steps and stake bed handles make it easier to climb into this pickup’s loft bed and eliminate the need for tedious pull-down or folding steps. Conveniently, the tailgate also lowers at the touch of a button. You still have to manually turn it off on my tester, but there’s enough help there that it’s almost fingertip light.
As configured, this Silverado can handle up to 1,618 pounds of payload, while its towing capacity is up to 9,300 pounds. These aren’t industry-leading numbers, but they’re certainly good. GM’s trailer info sticker on the driver’s side door jamb is a stroke of genius, giving you instant access to these valuable figures.
The 2020 Silverado offers up to seven different powertrain combinations, including a variety of V8s, turbocharged four-cylinders and a base V6. Depending on the engine, three different automatic transmissions are offered. To keep things simple, my test truck came with a top-of-the-line drivetrain, a delicious 6.2-liter V8 paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
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This engine is lovely, proving that magical things can happen when two sets of four-cylinders share a common crankshaft. Not only is it smooth-running and burly sounding with a healthy rumble when you give it a spur, it’s also powerful, delivering 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Whether you’re taking off from a standstill or navigating through slow-moving traffic, those numbers are enough to make the Silverado feel remarkably quick, and its acceleration is aided by an equally smooth and responsive transmission. The 10-speed transmission was co-developed with Ford, but at least in this particular GM application, it seems smoother and more recognizable, shifting less perceptibly and easily when extra speed is needed dumping ratio.
For efficiency, that big V8 gets direct fuel injection and variable valve timing, but that’s not all. Plus, it has a nifty tech called Dynamic Fuel Management. Think of this as the next generation of cylinder deactivation. Rather than just shutting down the engine’s four tanks under light load, the system is able to disable almost any number of cylinders depending on driving conditions, with 17 different activation combinations. Thanks to clever engineering and a lot of computer code, the arrangement is seamless. You’ll never feel or hear it when it’s running on less than all eight cylinders. It’s amazing how smooth it is and how effective it looks.
The EPA rates my truck at 14 miles per gallon city and 18 highway. Combined, an estimate returns an estimated 15 mpg, which is a pretty scary score; however, in real-world mixed driving, the computer readouts showed me consistently around 18.7 mpg, for something about the size of a two-car garage frontage That’s an impressive fuel consumption rate. No doubt the engine’s silky start-stop system helps in this regard.
No one expects a full-size truck to drive like a BMW M3, but this one is closer than you might think. With typical body-on-frame construction and a live rear axle supported by parallel leaf springs, the Silverado is built and still feels like a truck, but it’s surprisingly agile and gentle.
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The ride quality on my test truck was solid, but it never gave you a hit or bruise. Handling is surprisingly safe, with fairly sharp steering feel and minimal body roll. The F-150 doesn’t seem out of place by comparison, and the Silverado feels much smaller than a comparable Ram 1500. This pickup drives even better than the Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger midsize trucks I recently tested. It feels smaller than the Toyota and far less understated than the obsessive Ford.
In addition to heavily blacked-out exterior elements, Trail Boss models feature a 2-inch suspension lift and Z71 off-road kit. This includes skid plates to protect sensitive bottom hardware, a locking rear differential for enhanced off-road traction, and Rancho monotube shocks. You also get downhill control and 18-inch wheels wrapped by a set of beefy Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires.
The interior of this Silverado is mostly quiet, although the knobby rubber does like to sing on the pavement. Tire noise is the only noticeable racket inside this truck, save for the slight whistle of the exhaust pipe under hard acceleration.
This full-size Chevrolet is comfortable to drive and has an excellent powertrain, but those important strengths are outweighed by some glaring weaknesses. The current-generation Silverado was widely criticized for its bland interior, and that’s still the case here, especially compared to the Ram 1500, which easily has the best cabin in the segment.
The 2022 Silverado 1500
The interior of my tester was rudimentary, with nearly every surface made of unremarkable hard plastic. The color combination doesn’t do any good either. It’s black on black with a touch of grey and a touch of charcoal, which makes things as grim as a big round of layoffs.
The Silverado’s interior isn’t great, but I actually prefer this rather stark example over the high-end model because of lower expectations. Economy-grade plastics and a serious lack of features are much more bearable when you’re paying $45,000 instead of $60 or more.
If you like lots of unremarkable hard plastics, you’ll love this Chevy’s interior. Craig Cole/Roadshow
Another downside of this Silverado is its lack of functionality. There’s no adaptive cruise control or blind-spot monitoring. It doesn’t come with reversing sensors, lane-keep assist or integrated navigation. Automatic high beams are nowhere to be found, as is rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning and even automatic emergency braking. But this is the kicker. It’s crazy that these features aren’t even optional on the Custom Trail Boss trim, as Honda actually gives you all of these things in the base Civic, for example.
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Fortunately, that changes for the 2021 model year. Chevrolet is tweaking the Silverado’s interior and options structure. Work Truck, Custom and Custom Trail Boss models will come with a safety package that includes features such as automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Additionally, both wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be standard on higher-end models and available on some smaller models.
The lack of content in my test Silverado was reflected in a pile of plastic blocks. The lower part of the center stack has several as well as several virtual switches, and there is another obvious filler piece on the right-hand steering wheel spoke, which is a sadness of large injection molding that cannot be ignored. It’s also hard to ignore the non-open center console that limits interior storage space, the old-school stick-twist key ignition, or the injection-molded steering wheel that almost screams a taxi.
The Silverado’s tall, wide dash is mostly flat, which makes its standard 7-inch infotainment screen appear smaller. High-end models feature a slightly larger 8-inch display, but it’s still fairly cramped, especially compared to the 12-inch displays you can get in Ram pickups these days. The good news is that Chevrolet’s infotainment system is easy to use and as responsive as anything you can get in a truck these days, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, though the tuning knob isn’t. There are physical buttons to change stations or tracks.
At least my test truck’s front seats were supportive, wrapped in a nice fabric that felt like it could brush away years of abuse without getting worse. Like an oasis in the desert, the woven headliner is also surprisingly premium.
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Since modern pickup trucks are used more for family hauling tasks than for actual work like towing
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