Following successive weeks driving the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado full-size pick up trucks, I can tell you that there is no difference between these two models. What I can tell you is that the Sierra Crew Cab with its 5.3-liter V-8 beats the Silverado Double Cab with its 4.3-liter V-6 engine in two important areas: seating comfort and trailering considerations. In any case, both trucks are new for 2014 and it is the expanded cab models that are likely to appeal best to work crews and large families alike.
Place the Chevy and the GMC side-by-side and from the front, you have two vehicles that look more alike than not. The GMC has dual projector-beam headlamps; the Chevrolet comes equipped with stacked headlamps. Unique grilles and badging are the only observable differences between the two, but the tested Silverado was outfitted with the slightly smaller and less roomy double cab.
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Seating in the double cab is for five, but a sixth-place seat can be had by turning the middle front storage compartment into a seat. The pictures that immediately follow show how that seat hides a nice storage compartment, what otherwise provides an extra seating area in a pinch. Let’s just say that pinch is a good word to describe that seat as it falls short in the hip, thigh and leg support departments that any passenger would treasure. Then again, if you’re taking five other guys with you to the job site, that bonus seating position comes in handy.
The rear seat, however, is hardly comfortable for long trips its lack of thigh support is its biggest drawback with its 34.6 cubic inches of legroom rivaling what many compact cars provide. Families with young children may like the double cab, but for work crews that use these trucks on a daily basis, the crew cab offers far more legroom and adequate thigh support.
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The other difference between the two extended cab models comes down to engine choices. As equipped, the 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V-6 engine performed admirably. It supplied ample power and did so without much effort. The six-speed automatic transmission shifted smoothly through its gears. Handling and steering were excellent.
The V-6 provides 6,000 pounds of towing capacity. That’s light-duty work for large pickup trucks, sufficient to carry a small boat, your ATV or even a light camper. I’ve pulled a U-Haul with a different manufacturer’s truck and a six-cylinder engine and had no problems. Your Silverado should perform at least as well.
With a double cab filled with people, you have a 2,015-pound payload to work with. Trailering capacity is 6,000 pounds with the 42 model and 6,700 pounds with the 44 edition. To get the maximum trailering benefit, the 5.3-liter V-8 provides as much as 9,900 pounds or an 11,200-pound towing capacity when outfitted with a trailering package. Choose the 6.2-liter V-8 and you can get upwards of 12,000 pounds of towing capacity. Fortunately, most pickup truck buyers anticipate what their vehicle use will be months and years down the road. For some, the V-6 engine is all they need. For others, only the two V-8s are worth looking at.
Chevy’s Big Truck Gets An Update
Chevy Silverado LT Essentials
Chevrolet offers five cab and box style combinations across the Silverado line. The regular cab can be had in standard (6-feet, 6-inch) or long (8 feet) boxes, the double cab comes equipped only with the standard box while the crew cab can be outfitted with either the short (5-feet, 8 inches) box or the standard box. Both 42 and 44 models are available across the model line.
The available trim packages include work truck 1WT and 2WT across the entire model line as well as LT and LT Z71 levels. For both the double and the crew cabs, top of the line LTZ and LTZ Z71 trim comes in. Beginning pricing ranges from $24,585 for the standard box 42 edition to $44,945 for the Crew Cab LTZ Z71 44 edition. Add in all the goodies and a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 can top $50,000.
Trim Level and Packages
The tested Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2WD LT Double Cab offers several standard features that should interest pickup truck buyers including a locking tailgate, rear wheelhouse liners, power heated side mirrors, 17-inch machined aluminum wheels encased with all-season tires, a spare tire lock, front and rear chrome bumpers, and left and right corner step rear bumper support.
Inside, the front bench seat features a 40/20/40 layout with a 60/40 split-bench seat in the back. Keyless entry, power windows, power door locks, air-conditioning, tilt steering, cruise control, Chevrolet MyLink, HD radio, USB ports and Bluetooth connectivity are standard.
As equipped, the Chevrolet Silverado came with $3,940 in options including an All-Star edition package that upgraded the wheels to 18 inches and added a trailering package, a power-adjusted driver’s seat, front fog lamps, dual climate control, remote vehicle start, and an enhanced Chevrolet MyLink system. A rearview camera, a rear window defroster and a 110-volt power outlet were also included. Notably, no power seat for the front passenger was included with this upgrade.
Other enhancements included tubular chrome assist steps installed by the dealer, a trailer brake controller, all-terrain tires, four movable upper tie-downs and cargo box LED lighting. Notably, a $750 discount was applied to the All Star edition package.
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Your Truck Choice
Chevy Silverado enthusiasts should be pleased with the changes GM wrought with its big pickup trucks. The 4.8-liter V-8 engine is gone, but all three remaining engines have been redone to produce more power and to extend fuel range. The instrument panel is modern, Chevrolet MyLink is easy to comprehend and OnStar is a familiar friend to truck buyers. Looks-wise, the 2014 edition does not provide a significant departure from the previous generation, itself a pleasing, reliable and durable pickup truck.
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