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  • 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 - Long-Term Report Part 1 of 4

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 - Long-Term Report Part 1 of 4

The Latest Half-Ton from Chevy Arrives

Steve VonSeggern
Feb 20, 2015
It’s a great time to be a truck buyer. For 2014, Chevrolet launched a fully redesigned Silverado 1500. Sporting a fresh body, interior, and engine options, the newest 1/2-ton from GM’s stable is looking to be a game changer. After winning our sister publication Four Wheeler’s 2014 Pickup Truck of the Year competition, we felt compelled to add this beauty to our own long-term fleet for a year of evaluation. We ordered the truck in LTZ trim and with the new 5.3L gasoline V-8. Checking box for the LTZ Plus and other options brought the final price up to $53,210 from a base of $45,050. Skip the 20-inch chrome wheels, sunroof, and chrome assist steps and you’ll be just fine for far less money.
After receiving the truck at our Irvine, California, office, and after a short break-in period, we headed off to Nebraska to support the start of our 4-Wheel & Off-Road’s Ultimate Adventure. The trip was an experience in extreme summer tornado weather in the Midwest, with high winds and heavy rain squalls with near zero visibility crossing Nebraska. All the while, we were impressed with the truck’s safe feeing of comfort and refinement, no matter how angry Mother Nature got. Fortunately, we ordered the dealer-installed soft-folding tonneau cover, which kept our full load of supplies dry. One the way back, we made the entire 1,400-mile trip home to California in one session. That wasn’t the original plan, but the cab is so quiet and comfortable that 19 1/2 hours of driving in one day didn’t seem very onerous. Finally, the trip average of over 19 mpg is very impressive when you consider an engine with very low miles and speeds of up to 80 mph, which is the speed limit for much of Interstate 15 in Utah.
Photo 2/6   |   2014 Chevy Silverado V8 Engine
Otherwise, since delivery, the truck has experienced almost 6,500 miles of commuting, light off-road weekend trips, and some towing of a 6,600-pound, 22-foot toy hauler up and down the California coastline. The truck feels surprisingly spry towing such a heavy trailer with the small V-8, and the only time a little more power would be welcome is on long very steep grades on the highway.
The biggest drawback to this truck is front suspension, or lack thereof. Speed bumps require almost a full stop before summiting, which is silly for what GM considers an off-road package. Large undulations on freeway interchanges occasionally toss the driver into the ceiling, and trips into the backcountry on dirt roads are more punishing than relaxing. Since we haven’t driven a non–Z-71 model, we don’t know if this is confined to this version of the truck, but it seems that the off-road trim level should soak up bumps with aplomb, not shy away from them. Rancho-branded Tenneco monotube shocks are standard and a nice choice, but it appears engineers who prefer a very firm ride had a hand at tuning them. The payoff is on twisting back roads, where the combined firm suspension, low stance, and big sticky 275/55R20 Goodyears provide a surprisingly sporty experience.
We’re looking forward to our remaining time with this truck. The build quality is excellent, the interior is plush, the fuel economy is good, and rattles are nonexistent. Need a bunch of stuff hauled to Nebraska? No problem.
Photo 3/6   |   2014 Chevy Silverado Interior
Long-Term Numbers
Report: 1 of 4
Previous Report(s): None
Base Price: $52,860
Price as Tested: $55,945
Miles to Date: 4,120
Miles Since Last Report: First Report
Average MPG (this report): 13.83
Test Best Tank (mpg): 16.49
Test Worst Tank (mpg): 11.29
Test Maintenance: None
Test Problem Areas: Burst air conditioning hose, fixed under warranty
Logbook Quotes
“The styling is so conservative that I have to look for the steps in the ends of the rear bumper to know it’s a new Chevy.”
“Requires full stop before driving over speed bumps; seems like a Z71 should float over bumps.”
“Love this engine—never needs to rev to the redline to make power”
Someone said it moved like a caterpillar, and although the machine never got stuck, the name did.”