2007 Chevrolet SilveradoExtended Cab LTZ 4x4America's truck. That is the ever-present advertising campaign launched by Chevrolet in all types of media, including print, TV, music, and on the web. If you're not buying into the campaign, here are some things to think about. The newly redesigned Chevy is very comfortable in front of the camera; it features tons of creature comforts, and is an overall good-looking rig. With the niceties out of the way, the Silverado is also a very capable truck. If you are one of the millions of truck buyers who purchase a truck to use it, and use it hard, you will not be disappointed in the Chevy.
During my nearly three months of driving the Silverado: I moved, then helped three other people move, remodeled an entire house, and traveled all over Southern California photographing trucks. What does this have to do with the Chevy? I did all of this while driving the Silverado. I also hauled 2,200 lbs of new tile, 2,500 lbs of junk to a landfill, carried new truck parts that were valued as much as $18,000 in the bed, filled the cab with unimaginable amounts of new appliances and fixtures, and I have been the sole driver for daily lunch excursions away from the office, stuffing the cab with hungry editors. This truck has been literally through hell and back. One staffer asked me how this brand-new truck looked 10-years-old already, and I just laughed and cringed to think of how many hours it would take to detail the truck back to its original luster. If you have ever wondered if the magazine editors really drive the heck out of the trucks we test, well, we do.
Praising the Chevy is easy, as it does darn-near everything at an exceptional level, but finding things to gripe about is a more difficult task. My biggest complaint is the HVAC ergonomics. In an effort to make the dash appear cleaner and more elegant-which it does-GM rearranged the A/C buttons to push-type controls. For instance, it you want the blower motor to redirect the air from the upper vents to the defroster and your feet, you have to cycle through the push buttons rather than the previous style of just selecting the desired location. Not only does this cycle take your eyes off of the road and onto the HVAC buttons, but it is also annoying. Often times, if you adjust a blower setting midway through a driving cycle, the computer will not remember it the next time you hop in the truck and drive off. Again, it's not a major gripe, it's rather an unnecessary annoyance. Also, the tan leather interior this LTZ-packaged Silverado is equipped with has become incredibly dirty, incredibly quickly. Yes, we have used and abused it, but not while wearing soot-covered clothes. And now, the passenger side mirror appears to be loose at highway speeds and causes us to perform unnecessary double-takes. Other than those gripes, my only other complaint is the 13.7 MPG I received during my drive time, despite the Chevy's fuel saving technologies. This low MPG meant filling the truck up every 3-4 days. Unfortunately, gas isn't getting any cheaper and I'm not getting paid any more than usual.
This is the first installment of our long-term coverage of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500. Total miles driven during this period is 7,700 and the overall MPG is 13.7.