2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS DoubleCab 4×4 Test Drive

?Chevrolet Silverado 1500?
A wide range of choices

Chevy?s ever popular Silverado truck line continues to evolve with improvements with each new model year. Last year, the Silverado was new from stem to stern or hood to hitch if you prefer. The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 was more powerful, more technologically advanced and more capable than its predecessors. Not only that, but for many, it was the best looking Chevy truck to leave the Bowtie plants since 1948. All right, that might be a stretch, but the 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 Crew Cab was definitely one really good-looking hauler in any of its many forms. Trim levels included two work trucks ? 1WT and 2WT, LT and LTZ. Z71 suspension models are available for both LT and LTZ trucks. Later, a Silverado High Country special edition bowed, providing an impressive entry into the Premium pickup marketplace.

Unquestionably, truck owners are divided into distinctive separate camps ? Chevy fans, Dodge (now Ram) fans, Ford devotees and those who gravitate toward import trucks. You will seldom find a staunch supporter of one brand being drawn to another. Truck loyalty tends to be like blood ? family is family and family rarely strays from its roots.

The 2014 Silverado was launched at the Knibbe Ranch not far outside San Antonio, TX. Journalists from around the country were afforded the opportunity to learn, first hand what the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab could do, both on and off-road, as well as in various towing and payload exercises. Obviously, the 1500 Crew Cab version is not the only Silverado model available, but it was selected as the truck to do duty as the focus for the inaugural Silverado 1500 launch. Other Silverado examples included Regular cabs and Double Cabs with both short and long beds available, all available in both RWD and 4WD configurations.

The 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500?s exterior styling cues continue to blend strong Chevy truck heritage with a refined, modern aesthetic appeal. The new design is still muscular, functional and continues to present an aerodynamic presence. The twin-port grille, full-width bumper and dual power dome hood create a bold impact, that?s carried out through its sculpted body sides and fender flares.
The design is about more than just looks, The front end is engineered to improve sealing for more efficient cooling, while the roof and tailgate spoiler were shaped in the wind tunnel to smooth airflow over the truck for reduced drag. inlaid doors fit into recesses in the bodyside, reducing wind noise for a quieter cab.
Moving to the inside, the interiors of the 2015 Silverado 1500 reflect the same focus on form and function as the exterior. The upright instrument panel, six-gauge instrument cluster and multiple storage options are designed specifically to serve the needs of truck customers. Controls are functional, logically placed and easy to operate, even with work gloves on. Crew cabs rear doors are large, for easy entry and exit, with rear doors on double cab models hinged at the front for better access, especially in tight spaces.
Chevrolet?s MyLink provides easy-to-use connectivity on the job site or on a family vacation, with natural voice recognition and enough ports and power outlets to support multiple devices. Controls and switchgear are grouped categorically, making perfect sense, and the dash includes a 110V outlet, 3 USB ports and two lighter-type plugs for added connectivity. There are double (stacked) glove boxes, slider sun visors, and the center console provides storage ? enough for even hanging file folders.
Power sources for the new Silverado lineup will include a 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V-8, expected to find its way into three out of every four new Silverado 1500s. The 5.3-liter engine is SAE certified to deliver 355 horsepower at 5,600 rpm along with 383 pound feet of torque at 4,100 rpm ?V-8 power that?s actually proven to be more efficient than a turbocharged V-6. The EPA estimate for 2WD models is 23-mpg highway, while 4×4 models deliver 22-mpg highway for the top fuel economy rating of any V-8 powered competitor. A 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V-6 is available in the Silverado 1500 models along with a 420 horsepower, 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V-8. All three EcoTec engines feature direct fuel injection, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation, where 6-cylinders switch seamlessly to 4, with V-8s dropping from an 8 to 4-cylinder operation under lighter loads), Flex Fuel capability and continuously variable valve timing. Transmissions include either a Hydra-Matic 6L80 and a Hydra-Matic 8L90 six-speed automatic with manual shift capability, depending on the engine choice.

My test 2015 vehicle was a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS Double Cab 4WD powered by the 355 horsepower 5.3-liter Ecotec, OHV, 12-valve Flex-fuel, Direct injection V6 with Active Fuel Management, coupled by the Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic, with Z71 Four-wheel Drive suspension componentry. It came with a short box (5?8? ? a 6?6? and 8? bed is also available) with the exterior finished in Victory Red, and with a Gray interior. The base price was set at $35,985 with the final total rising to $39,210 after adding: the Trailering equipment Package with auto locking differential; Custom Packaage; the 5.3-liter V8, spray-on bed liner; color-keyed carpet; and Destination charge. Additional features and equipment included: OnStar, MyLink, front bucket seats with driver memory settings, LED cargo box lighting, upper cargo tie-downs and 20-inch silver-painted wheels.
SUMMARY: The 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 lineup offers enough choices in terms of cab styles, engine choices, suspension and drive setups, trim levels, styling and feature and equipment options to satisfy and meet the needs of virtually any potential bowtie truck customer.
Lots of thought obviously went into the development of the Silverado 1500 both inside and out. The bed features and undersill LED light and EZ Lift and Lower damped tailgate for effortless opening and closing, thanks to a torque strut hidden in the hinge trunion. The hood is lightweight aluminum for weight savings and ease of opening. Four-wheel drive mode operation is as easy as twisting a knob, and the Hill Descent Control is speed adjustable. StabiliTrak with Trailer Sway Control and Hill Start Assist are standard on all Silverados.

This Silverado 1500 not only looks good; it functions admirably in every category. Acceleration provides plenty of grunt off the line and the transmission shifts smoothly. The ride quality of an unladen Silverado 1500 is decidedly firm with the Z71 off-road suspension, but smooths out with a heavy load.

Towing capacity is 11,500 pounds with the 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 and max towing package.

Bottom-line, whether working hard or hardly working, the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab, though not an inexpensive choice, is ideal to serve in virtually any capacity from attending the opera to hauling a load to the construction site and all scenarios in between.

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?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 4WD LS Double Cab [/wptabtitle]
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Base Price: $35,985.
Price as Tested: $39,210.
Engine Type and Size: 5.3-liter Ecotec, OHV, 16-valve Flex-fuel, Direct injection V8 with Active Fuel Management.
Horsepower (bhp): 355 @ 5,600 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 383 @ 4,100 rpm
Transmission: Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic.
Drive Train: Longitudinally-mounted front engine / Z71 Four-wheel Drive.
Suspension: Front – independent coil-over-shock; twin-tube shock absorbers; monotube shocks with Z71.
Rear – Solid axle with semi-elliptic, variable-rate, two-stage multileaf springs; splayed shock absorbers; twin-tube shock absorbers; monotube shocks with Z71

Brakes: Power-assisted, four-wheel vented discs, four-wheel ABS, with Duralife? rotors.
Tires: Continental CrossContact LX20 P275/55 R20 mounted on5-spoke alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 143.5 inches
Length Overall: 230.0 inches
Width: 80.0 inches
Height: 73.9 inches
Curb Weight: 5,002 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 26.0 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 17-mpg city / 22-mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed
0 – 60 mph: Not tested

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Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.

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