The Silverado is a truck of analog and digital opposites. It is a bare-bones truck-lover’s truck, made of steel (not aluminum), with leaf-spring suspension and the kind of boxy sheet metal that doesn’t give a damn. And, on the flip side, it’s a truck that comes with an 8-inch touchscreen, a wireless charging area, half a dozen USB ports, a wi-fi hotspot powered by 4G LTE data, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and it drives with the kind of plush comfort that calls to mind Grandma Louise’s Caddy. So what — the same guy that flips the bird at progressive design also wants his iPad fully juiced and online while he cruises casually over a rutted out backroad?
Yes. The Silverado handles all the necessary truck-owner chest-puffing by delivering a vehicle that stands its ground with all the good looks and beefiness of a stalwart Iowan. And yet, like the modern worker — be it farmer or e-banker — the Silverado also gives what is most needed in this time: simple, reliable connectivity. When testing out the Silverado on a recent trip to Charleston, South Carolina — a place where big trucks cram into small city blocks — the truck did everything it needed to do, without any of the pomp that comes from extraneous novelties.
2016 Silverado 1500 4WD LT Crew Specs
Engine: 5.3L V8 EcoTec3
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Horsepower: 355 @ 5,600 rpm
Torque: 383 lb-ft @ 4,100
MPG (City/Highway): 16 / 22
Towing Capacity: 11,100 pounds
MSRP (as tested): $50,070
The 5.3-liter V8 engine was ample without being overbearing (or too loud). The Active Fuel Management (GM’s cylinder-deactivation tech) helped save on fuel economy in the city (I clocked 15 MPG during my four-day weekend), but left all eight cylinders at the ready when I needed them to pass on the freeways. Steering is fluid and the truck is easy-riding. The balance of the truck gave it the kind of floating impression that made me forget I was navigating a 20-foot-long vehicle through cobbled, Colonial streets (the turning radius, unfortunately, quickly brought me back to reality).
With the crew cab, there’s plenty of room for four full-sized adults, and with the cabin’s quietness, even at freeway speeds, it was easy to hold casual conversation.
For interior conveniences, there is substance, not fluff. The six analog gauges in the dash show this isn’t about modern opulence, it’s about clarity in design. The 8-inch MyTouch screen is responsive and quick, and if you’re into Apple CarPlay, there’s that (although your smartphone must be connected by USB). I preferred to simply sync through the Bluetooth, connect to the wi-fi and stick with an un-corded phone. With the crew cab, there’s plenty of room for four full-sized adults, and with the quietness of the cabin, even at freeway speeds, it was easy to hold casual conversation.
This is a truck that immediately feels like home — especially if you have roots in middle America. And it delivers the ideal representation of what America wants today, something stalwart and strong that eschews flash for function, while still remaining endlessly connected. In a word, it’s a modern truck — nothing more, nothing less.