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The Top Gear USA car review:Chevrolet Silverado
What is it like on the road?
Tipping the scales at 450lb lighter than the third gen truck thanks to a thorough lightweighting program involving the use of mixed metals – the hood and other parts of the body, although not the load bed, are aluminum – the fourth gen Silverado is immediately much quieter, smoother and feels more agile than the truck it replaces. Even with an empty load bed, the test Trail Boss truck felt comfortably damped and handled neutrally. That’s quite an achievement – and important when so many of these trucks will be used as transport not to haul.
The engines – there are three at launch: a 305bhp/285lbft 4.3-liter V6, a carryover version of the 355bhp/383lbft 5.3-liter V8; a reworked 5.3 with Dynamic Fuel Management (DFM), and a 420bhp/460lbft 6.2-liter V8 with AFM. A pair of diesels (2.7L turbo four and 3.0L V6 nat asp) and a gas-fuelled turbo four will be added later to the range. The base engines are mated to a regular six-speed automatic gearbox, but the DFM-equipped 5.3-liter models get an eight-speed auto and the 6.2-liter a 10-speed.
Again, the weight loss makes an immediate difference. Even the base model gets away faster, more cleanly, has better overtaking acceleration and all while using less fuel. Up to five per cent less in the DFM-engined trucks. It also means the truck can carry 14 per cent more payload and pull five per cent more through its tow hitch.
Off road a Z71-equipped Trail Boss truck showed itself to be more than amply capable of traversing fallen logs, steep inclines and deep mud holes. So it won’t let you down when the terrain gets challenging. And there is a real focus on making towing easier, through the addition of cameras and software. So that should be easier, too.