Among the new for 2016 stuff is the big up front you see here. The Chevrolet Silverado gets new grille designs across the board as well as a reshaped bumper fascia with new trims. Our LTZ Z71 here has a body color grille and LED headlights with the latest Las Vegas style accents.
The hood design is new too with a nice sculpted look and some insets that look perfect for heat extractor vents some day down the road if Chevrolet ever offers a high-performance package. Our tester here was also upgraded with 20-inch chrome wheels that while big, still don’t look like it in their huge square openings.
At the rear, the LTZ gets LED tail lamps to go along with its body colored bumper which still sports Chevrolet’s now trademark steps. Also optioned on our tester was a sturdy set of chrome step rails with heavy rubber grips. The power sliding rear window is a nice touch too.
Inside we have leather seats that are power operated, heated and ventilated up front along with premium trims on the center console and door panels. With the LTZ you also get the top-tier 8-inch MyLink infotainment, audio and navigation system.
Rear seats aren’t adjustable or heated but fold upward in a 60/40 split for the ability to carry tall items back here like a big-screen TV or a lot of gear for your trips.
Overall the interior is well put together with trims of a pretty high quality for the class even though its design didn’t mesh with my aesthetic tastes. Fit and finish were good and it has a well thought layout for all controls and storage spots. It earns 5 of 5 stars.
To the technology, while I groused about the absence of Android Auto, it will be available later in the 2016 model year. The infotainment system is easy to use and learn, audio quality was ok, but not what I would call top end. Overall, technology scores in at 4 of 5 stars.
Under the hood is a 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 which this year is now available in the LTZ with the 8-speed automatic transmission. This with the engine’s variable valve timing, direct injection and variable displacement contribute to higher fuel economy to go with its 355 horsepower.
The new eight-speed behaves well most of the time, but can seem to hunt around a bit in city driving but not too badly. It brings the EPA fuel economy to 15 mpg city, 21 mpg highway and 17 mpg combined.
I was able to achieve 20 mpg in my week with it combined city and highway – not bad at all. It all fits now. You see last fall I asked the GM guys what they had in mind to compete with Ford and their EcoBoost V6’s and RAM with their EcoDiesel. They just shrugged and said, “We’re pretty happy with what we got”. I was pretty impressed as well as it earns 4 of 5 stars.
Moving on to chassis, the Z71 package on our tester here gets you a number of upgrades. Among them are heavier duty Rancho off-road shocks, an auto-locking rear differential, a skid plate for the transfer case and the all important Z71 graphics.
The truck’s road manners on the highway were night and day from the choppy and jittery buckboard ride off the pavement. Some might consider this the sign of a tough truck, but I’ve driven to many others who don’t offer up this Jekyl and Hyde personality. The chassis earns 4 of 5 stars.
Quality feel when it comes to trucks is always a tough measure as they aren’t always built to the same tolerances as passenger cars. The interior was well put together with good materials, but the exterior showed variances in paint finish and some panel alignment gaffes that need improvement. Thus quality feel comes in at 4 of 5 stars.
Value at $52,585 is decent, though we found some features missing at this price, earning a score of 4 of 5 stars. Our total test drive score is 5 of 5 stars.