Auto Trends Magazine http://autotrends.org Car reviews, industry news, & advice. Tue, 23 Jan 2018 14:30:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 At a Glance: 2019 Kia Forte http://autotrends.org/2018/01/23/at-a-glance-2019-kia-forte/ http://autotrends.org/2018/01/23/at-a-glance-2019-kia-forte/#comments Tue, 23 Jan 2018 10:30:59 +0000 http://autotrends.org/?p=11052 Kia’s Forte compact sedan is big on style. Son of a Stinger! At first glance, the 2019 Kia Forte looks a lot like the premium Kia Stinger performance sedan. Those ported design elements provide the Forte with perhaps the most handsome sheet metal amongst small cars, something certain to capture the attention of car shoppers. […]

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Kia’s Forte compact sedan is big on style.

2019 Kia Forte.
2019 Kia Forte Sedan.

Son of a Stinger! At first glance, the 2019 Kia Forte looks a lot like the premium Kia Stinger performance sedan. Those ported design elements provide the Forte with perhaps the most handsome sheet metal amongst small cars, something certain to capture the attention of car shoppers.

Kia used the occasion of the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit to debut the Forte sedan, now entering its third generation. As before, three trims are for the choosing: LX, S and EX. Pricing details will come later this year — likely closer to when the model goes on sale. In the interim, we should learn more about the Forte5 hatchback.

2019 Kia Forte

As for the model at hand, there’s plenty of details available front and center, including the following:

1. The Affordable Stinger

With a base price coming in at $32,800, the 2018 Stinger is beyond the reach of many mainstream car shoppers. The Stinger’s price, however, is very reasonable when stacking it against luxury models such as the BMW 3 Series or Cadillac ATS. But we’re talking about the 2019 Forte, a sedan that will cost half as much, while taking on such segment stalwarts as the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and Nissan Sentra. So, what you have here is a budget sedan with a premium look. My, look how far we come from the econoboxes prevalent in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s!

2019 Kia Forte2. Longer, Taller and Wider

Today’s compact sedans rival the size of midsize models from about 15 years ago. All manufacturers, Kia included, have adopted longer platforms, while delivering more powerful and efficient models. Engineering changes and the expanded use of lightweight materials are behind the effort. Consumers are the winners because they get more car for the money.

3. Kia’s First CVT

We don’t have full information yet about the powertrains available with the 2019 Forte. What we do know is the base model comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, generating 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. We also know the very first continuously variable automatic transmission offered by Kia sends power to the front wheels. This is an important move for the automaker as a CVT is more efficient than a cog-driven unit and should raise fuel economy by about 3 mpg to 35 mpg according to a Kia estimate.

4. Standard and available technologies

Compact mainstream models include technologies luxury manufacturers were just beginning to offer five years ago. Besides that, some of the tech features such as smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are free. You can’t say that about BMW, which charges $300 for CarPlay. The 2019 Forte also presents an 8-inch color touchscreen and that’s quite a bit larger than what you’d find in this class, especially for standard equipment. An available wireless charging tray is compatible with Android devices and for Apple iPhones from the 8 Series on up.

2019 Kia Forte

5. Driver-Assist Technologies for the Masses

We’ve been seeing so-called driver assist technologies move down from more expensive models to mainstream vehicles and that’s always a good thing. The 2019 Forte delivers standard blind-spot collision warning and smart cruise control. Available features include forward collision-avoidance assist and smart cruise control, the latter useful for maintaining proper and safe distances between vehicles no matter the speed.

Kia Continues to Impress

From a journalist’s perspective, Kia has certainly impressed me with what it has done these past five to 10 years to its product line. Although tied in with Hyundai as part of the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group, Kia has its own take on the platforms it shares with some models unique to itself, including the Sedona minivan and Soul multi-purpose vehicle.

2019 Kia Forte


See Also — Refreshed Jeep Cherokee Includes New Turbo Engine

Photos copyright Kia Motors. All rights reserved.

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New Toyota Avalon Demonstrates Commitment to a Languishing Segment http://autotrends.org/2018/01/22/2019-toyota-avalon-preview/ http://autotrends.org/2018/01/22/2019-toyota-avalon-preview/#comments Mon, 22 Jan 2018 10:30:30 +0000 http://autotrends.org/?p=11041 The Road to Avalon comes paved with handsome intentions. Sales of large sedans have tanked in recent years, falling faster than other car segments as consumers beat feet to crossovers. Manufacturers such as Hyundai (Azera) have abandoned the segment while others, such as Ford (Taurus) and GM (Chevrolet Impala and Buick LaCrosse), may follow. Toyota, […]

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The Road to Avalon comes paved with handsome intentions.

2019 Toyota Avalon
2019 Toyota Avalon (l) and Avalon Hybrid (r) models.

Sales of large sedans have tanked in recent years, falling faster than other car segments as consumers beat feet to crossovers. Manufacturers such as Hyundai (Azera) have abandoned the segment while others, such as Ford (Taurus) and GM (Chevrolet Impala and Buick LaCrosse), may follow.

Toyota, fresh on the heels of an all-new midsize Camry sedan is staying with its Avalon entry and has, in fact, developed the next-generation model to roll out in the second quarter. Despite sales falling by a third last year, Toyota believes this American designed and built sedan has a following worth preserving.

2019 Toyota Avalon and a Detroit Debut

At the 2018 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, the 2019 Avalon made its debut. Based on the automaker’s TNGA K Sedan Platform, representing a stretched variant of the Camry’s architecture, is what supports the new model. The big sedan comes with a multi-link rear suspension and the brand’s first adaptive variable suspension. Updated powertrains, the latest technologies and a standard driver-assist package are among the Avalon’s chief highlights.

The Avalon’s new look is stunning, offering a handsome, low-slung layout that runs contrary to the model’s more pedestrian expression to date. It’s a purposeful change, aligning with the language Toyota describes for its “mid premium” sedan — perhaps to position it better to take on the threatened LaCrosse.

2019 Toyota Avalon
Lexus styling cues, especially with the grille, is evident.

Notably, from front to back the Avalon looks very much like a Lexus, which has us wondering where the automaker will go with the similar ES sedan.

But Lexus is not the focal point of this story, Toyota is. And that has us digging for information that may perhaps shed some light on where this front-wheel drive only sedan is heading. Indeed, what still has us scratching our heads is why an all-wheel drive option isn’t offered, as Ford and Buick supply.

Standard and Hybrid Powertrains

The two powertrain choices offer a familiar displacement, but they reflect a generational shift too. As before, you’ll find gas-powered and hybrid variants of the Avalon with a 3.5-liter V6 engine moving the standard sedan. Power routes to the front wheels by means of an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Toyota hasn’t released performance numbers yet, but in the 2018 Camry, the V6 packs 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Thus, it seems reasonable to deduce the Avalon will deliver similar numbers.

The Avalon Hybrid continues with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine. In the Camry Hybrid, it combines with the electric generator to deliver 208 total system horsepower. Here, the drivetrain utilizes a continuously variable automatic transmission.

2019 Toyota Avalon
The new Avalon is the most stylish one yet.

Key Features and Highlights

1. Choose a grade

Beginning in 2019, the Avalon expands to four grades for the standard model and three for the hybrid. The all-new XSE kicks things off, followed by the Touring, XLE and Limited. The hybrid comes in XSE, XLE and Limited grades. Trim differentiation includes engineered wood on base models and real wood on the Limited. Aluminum pieces grace XSE and Touring models, while all models either have SofTex (imitation leather) or real leather seats. Color choices and quilting set apart the top trims from the rest.

2. Standard technology features

Premium tech features grace the 2019 Avalon. Toyota’s Entune 3.0 telematics system represents next-generation connectivity by means of Bluetooth hands-free calling, music streaming and Siri Eyes Free. Integrated navigation with maps, traffic reports, fuel price comparison and other apps extends its usefulness. HD Radio, satellite radio and Scout GPS are part of the JBL audio system with eight, 12 or 14 speakers, depending on the trim.

2019 Toyota Avalon
The Avalon is available in four trims; three for the hybrid.

3. Capacitive touchscreen

All models receive Toyota’s 9-inch capacitive touchscreen center console display where pinched and flicked commands control the screen, just as you do on your smartphone or other personal devices. Toyota says the system operates faster than the outgoing arrangement with improved voice recognition.

4. Smartphone connectivity

One sore point with Toyota products in recent years has been smartphone connectivity. This year, Toyota begins to rectify the problem by adding Apple CarPlay, but not Android Auto. Toyota must have found a way to protect propriety information from Apple, but not Android. At least for now.

5. Standard and available safety technologies

Under the Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) umbrella, Toyota bundles a suite of driver-assist safety technologies. TSS-P comes standard, allowing the Avalon to outperform its rivals. The package includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist and automatic high beams. But that’s not all! You’ll also find blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and a back guide monitor. Separately, Toyota also offers a panoramic view monitor and what the automaker calls “intelligence clearance sonar,” which includes a rear cross traffic braking system.

2019 Toyota Avalon
You have a choice of imitation or real leather seats in the Avalon.

6. Improved driving dynamics

Most 2019 Avalon models have a three-mode drive select diet — Eco, Sport and Normal. Touring models come with Eco, Normal, Sport/Sport+ and Custom modes. The all-new adaptive variable suspension system, exclusive to the Touring edition, brings in real-time damping control for improved controllability and sharp handling. The system controls shock responsiveness at the corners, detecting sudden changes in vehicle movement and road conditions to ensure a smooth ride.

Late Spring Arrival

With a thorough overhaul of its flagship sedan, Toyota serves notice that it hasn’t abandoned the segment. Indeed, Toyota may be gauging a gradual shift in consumer sentiment away from crossovers and back toward cars. Even if consumer tastes do not shift, the automaker remains poised to capture customers left hanging by competitors who exit the market. In this case, the pie may yet shrink, but Toyota’s slice stands to widen.

2019 Toyota Avalon
Quad tips, anyone? Avalon Touring edition.

See AlsoGrand and Efficient Sedan: Toyota Avalon Hybrid

Photos copyright Toyota Motors. All rights reserved.

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Refreshed Jeep Cherokee Includes New Turbo Engine http://autotrends.org/2018/01/19/refreshed-2019-jeep-cherokee/ http://autotrends.org/2018/01/19/refreshed-2019-jeep-cherokee/#comments Fri, 19 Jan 2018 10:30:53 +0000 http://autotrends.org/?p=11017 Updated Jeep Cherokee delivers style and performance. Ever since its 2014 return, the Jeep Cherokee has established and maintained a strong beachhead in the highly competitive small-to-midsize SUV segment. Notwithstanding its polarizing front fascia, the Cherokee has successfully played on both its name and rugged off-road capabilities to stand out. For 2019, an updated Cherokee […]

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Updated Jeep Cherokee delivers style and performance.

2019 Jeep Cherokee
2019 Jeep Cherokee in Trailhawk and Limited garb.

Ever since its 2014 return, the Jeep Cherokee has established and maintained a strong beachhead in the highly competitive small-to-midsize SUV segment. Notwithstanding its polarizing front fascia, the Cherokee has successfully played on both its name and rugged off-road capabilities to stand out. For 2019, an updated Cherokee arrives, delivering a refreshed nose and a new turbo engine to go with it.

NAIAS2018 Jeep Cherokee Debut

Jeep introduced the 2019 Cherokee at the North American International Auto Show in January, two months after debuting the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler in Los Angeles. Together, the two models should help Jeep stabilize sales after the automaker trimmed fleet sales by 60 percent in 2017, resulting in a double-digit loss in the US market. Overall, Jeep global sales rose in 2017.

The refreshed Jeep, now entering its sixth model year brings with it a much more pleasing and streamlined front end, aligning with the style of the smaller Compass and larger Grand Cherokee. Instead of delivering separate lighting elements for the headlamps and daytime running lights, the updated fascia includes both in one assembly. The recognizable seven-vertical-slat Jeep grille is also present as are new fog lights and a new hood.

2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.
The water-fording Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.

Three Engines, Including a New Turbo

But what’s new under the hood may excite Jeep fans the most. Specifically, an available 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque expands the engine lineup from two to three.

The new engine comes with start-stop technology and joins the standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 180 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque as well as the 3.2-liter V6, generating 271 horsepower and 239 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission works alongside all three engines; front-wheel drive comes standard, while all- or four-wheel drive can also be had.

2019 Jeep Cherokee
The 2019 Jeep Cherokee offers room for five.

Charting the Changes

Other changes include exterior, interior and tech updates, such as the following:

2019 Jeep Cherokee turbo engine
The Cherokee’s new turbo engine.

Redesigned liftgate. The Cherokee’s lightweight composite liftgate features an integrated light bar with a better positioned release handle. Also, a handsfree option automatically opens same when an individual performs a kicking motion underneath with a key fob in hand.

Multiple wheel choices. You’ll find five wheel choices with the 2019 Cherokee, including 19-inch premium polished aluminum wheel on Overland models.

Enhanced Active Drive I system. Jeep calls its three “Active Drive” systems “four-wheel drive,” but what you’re getting is an enhanced all-wheel drive system that mimics some of the capabilities of four-wheel drive. The base Active Drive I system features the latest rear drive module, weighing less for improved performance and fuel efficiency. You still have your choice of Active Drive II and Active Drive Lock, the latter with a mechanical locking rear differential.

Refreshed center console. Jeep updated the center console to move the media center rearward along with an enlarged front storage pocket, USB port and available 115-volt outlet. The interior also benefits from a pair of new color themes, depending on the trim. Three updated UConnect infotainment systems are also available, including one with navigation.

2019 Jeep Cherokee
The 2019 Cherokee’s center console offers a fresh design.

Prices and Availability

Jeep has yet to announce pricing for the 2019 Cherokee available in Latitude, Latitude Plus, Limited, Overland and Trailhawk grades. That will soon change as the refreshed model arrives in Jeep showrooms later this quarter. Indeed, production is already underway at Jeep’s Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Illinois.

The Cherokee’s competitive set includes the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Chevrolet Equinox, Mitsubishi Outlander, Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Rogue, Dodge Journey, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Outback and the Kia Sportage. All models offer standard front-wheel drive with available all-wheel drive except for the Subaru with full-time all-wheel drive.

2019 Jeep Cherokee
The Jeep Cherokee is the most capable off-roader in the segment.

See AlsoOne Week With the 2017 Jeep New Compass

Photos copyright Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

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The Next Centennial: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 http://autotrends.org/2018/01/18/next-centennial-2019-chevrolet-silverado-1500/ http://autotrends.org/2018/01/18/next-centennial-2019-chevrolet-silverado-1500/#comments Thu, 18 Jan 2018 10:30:40 +0000 http://autotrends.org/?p=10969 2019 Silverado launches Chevrolet’s second century of trucks. Yesterday, we looked at the 2018 Chevrolet Silverado in Centennial trim, a model that both marks an important milestone and brings the curtain down on the final model year of the current generation. Later this year, an all-new 2019 Chevy Silverado debuts, a full-size pickup truck that […]

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2019 Silverado launches Chevrolet’s second century of trucks.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
In the wild: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Yesterday, we looked at the 2018 Chevrolet Silverado in Centennial trim, a model that both marks an important milestone and brings the curtain down on the final model year of the current generation. Later this year, an all-new 2019 Chevy Silverado debuts, a full-size pickup truck that is longer, but lighter than the current one.

True, the 2019 Silverado’s initial unveiling took place at a special event last month marking the brand’s truck centennial. But the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit was the first major show for the truck’s official appearance. Over last weekend, Chevrolet offered a more comprehensive press conference, outlining most details left unknown in December. Most, but not all.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The 2019 Silverado makes an early appearance in Texas last Dec.

The following are the highlights of the 2019 Silverado:

1. Eight distinct models. The major manufacturers have long delivered numerous sub-models based on the main truck model. Manufacturers may call them models, but they are in reality grades or trims. No matter, you’ll find no less than eight when the 2019 Silverado rolls out: WT (work truck), Custom, Custom Trailboss, LT, RST, LT Trailboss, LTZ and High Country. Add in three cab sizes — regular, double and crew, short and long box beds, rear- and four-wheel drive, and various package choices, including Z71.

2. Longer and lighter. Depending on the model, the 2019 Silverado is up to 3.9 inches longer between the wheels with an overall length that is 1.6 inches longer. Despite the larger footprint, the new model is up to 450 pounds lighter. Chevrolet realized weight savings in several areas thanks to a greater use of mixed materials. For example, all door, hood and tailgate swing panels are aluminum while fixed panels such as the roof, bed and fenders are steel. Furthermore, mixed materials are in the suspension, while higher-strength steels are present elsewhere.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab.
2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab.

3. Six engine/transmission combinations. Chevrolet has long offered a family of three gas engines for the Silverado, including one V6 and two V8 engines. Those engines displace at 4.3, 5.3 and 6.2 liters, respectively. For 2019, a 3.0-liter Duramax inline six-cylinder engine becomes available. Both the diesel and the largest V8 work with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Word has it that the 3.6-liter V6 used in other GM products will replace the 4.3 liter. In any case, an eight-speed transmission seems likely with the 10-speed optional. Another powertrain choice may include a hybrid. In any case, GM said six powertrain combinations are in the offing, while leaving some details out.

4. Increased cargo capacity. Chevrolet claims the 2019 Silverado beats the competition in the cargo carrying compartment. The short box now offers 63 cubic feet of volume, giving it a 20 percent edge over the nearest competition. Chevrolet increased the volume by widening the maximum width of the truck bed by seven inches. In addition, the truck bed now has 12 fixed tie-downs along with nine moveable tie points. Accessory bins are optional, designed to fit over the wheel wells to deliver seven cubic feet of lockable space. Lastly, a 120-volt outlet and LED Rear Task Lighting are also available.

5. An updated interior. Just as the Silverado benefits from a new exterior, the cabin features a fresh design. Most importantly, the interior is roomier with more rear legroom and additional storage space. Newly available storage features include a pair of 10-liter bins integrated into the second-row seatbacks, ideal for holding gloves or tie-downs. You’ll also find a 24-liter storage tray under the rear seat, suitable for carrying groceries or your outdoor gear.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The Silverado’s roomy and in this case, upscale interior.

2019 Chevy Silverado

The next-generation Silverado arrives as the segment continues to enjoy modest year-over-year growth in a passenger vehicle market that pulled back slightly in 2017. Even if sales slip below 17 million units in 2018, in all likelihood pickup trucks will command a bigger share of the pie going forward. An all-new Silverado arrives in time to gain a bigger slice of said pie.


See AlsoDriven: 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab LT 4×4

Photos copyright General Motors Company. All rights reserved.

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Happy Centennial: 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 http://autotrends.org/2018/01/17/centennial-chevrolet-silverado/ http://autotrends.org/2018/01/17/centennial-chevrolet-silverado/#comments Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:30:45 +0000 http://autotrends.org/?p=10911 A centennial celebration with a full-size pickup truck. One hundred years ago, the Chevrolet Motor Car Company and the McLaughlin Car Company merged, with the new entity becoming the Chevrolet Division of General Motors. That transition promptly gave Chevrolet access to GMC’s truck platform and the first one-ton Chevrolet truck was born. It didn’t take […]

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A centennial celebration with a full-size pickup truck.

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 Centennial Edition.
2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 Centennial Edition.

One hundred years ago, the Chevrolet Motor Car Company and the McLaughlin Car Company merged, with the new entity becoming the Chevrolet Division of General Motors. That transition promptly gave Chevrolet access to GMC’s truck platform and the first one-ton Chevrolet truck was born.

It didn’t take long for GM to make Chevrolet its mass production division, but one thing hasn’t changed: GMC and Chevrolet trucks continue to share platforms for light- and medium-duty trucks, vans and SUVs.

Chevrolet was formed in 1911 and marked its centennial with the Centennial Edition of the 2012 Chevrolet Corvette. But the second centennial is also worth celebrating — the start of Chevrolet truck production.

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 Centennial Edition

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Centennial

So, Chevrolet did what you’d expect: the company released Silverado 1500 (LTZ Z71) and Colorado Centennial (Z71) editions for the 2018 model year. What’s certain to appeal to passionate Chevrolet truck owners are the special features, including heritage bow tie emblems and Centennial door badges, a spray-in bedliner with heritage bow ties, Centennial edition badging on floor liners, a Centennial Blue exterior, 22-inch premium silver-painted wheels with chrome inserts, and chrome tow hooks, door handles, mirror caps and belt line.

The look is at once handsome as it is elegant — it also makes a fitting rolling tribute to one hundred years of Chevrolet truck building.

The Centennial Edition is a $3,480 upgrade and is added to a truck already costing $50,000. Obviously, that limits buyers to a committed and financially able few. On the other hand, if you like the Colorado, your cost will come in right at $40,000 for a similarly attractive truck.

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 Centennial Edition

Premium LTZ Trim

The Silverado offers two premium trims: LTZ and High Country. That the Centennial comes only in the LTZ grade means your truck has nearly every option included.

Starting with the exterior, you’ll find such items as full LED projector-beam headlamps, fog lamps and tail lamps. You’ll also find chrome front and rear bumpers, two recovery hooks up front and one attached to the frame in the back, power-adjustable and heated side mirrors with turn signal indicators, bright-machined aluminum wheels and a remote locking tailgate.

Important mechanical equipment includes a two-speed active transfer case, a four-position drive knob, an automatic locking rear differential, upgraded engine and transmission coolers, and a heavy-duty battery and alternator.

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 Centennial Edition

Inside, the creature comforts run deep and include such items as leather covered seats, heated front seats, 10-way power front seats with lumbar support, dual-zone climate control, Chevrolet MyLink audio with an eight-inch touch-screen, HD Radio, satellite radio and a six-speaker audio system.

My test model added Z71 trim, including an Appearance Package, spray-on bedliner and off-road suspension with Rancho monotube shocks.

Available packages include an Enhanced Driver Alert Package ($945, with safety alert seat, automatic high beams, front and rear park assist, and forward collision alert) and an LTZ Plus Package ($1,195, with power-adjustable pedals, front and rear park assist, Bose audio system and a heated steering wheel). Also available is a Redline Edition ($2,265, with door and tailgate emblems, body color trim and 20-inch black-painted aluminum wheels) and a Street Package ($1,995, with cat-back performance exhaust, tonneau cover and floor liner).

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 Centennial Edition

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 Centennial Edition

On and Off Road

Under the hood of the four-wheel drive Silverado 1500 Centennial Edition is a 5.3-liter V8 engine, generating 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. That’s about 325 cubic inches for those of us who prefer the traditional measurement. In any case, Chevrolet utilizes an eight-speed automatic transmission to send power to the rear wheels or to all four wheels with 4WD activated.

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 Centennial EditionThis V8 is the middle of three engines Chevrolet offers across much of the Silverado 1500 line. The base engine is a 4.3-liter V6 with 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. On the other end of the spectrum is a 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. The middle engine hits the sweet spot for most Silverado owners and still manages to pull 11,700 pounds when properly equipped.

So, what about the transmission? With eight forward cogs, there must be something special about it, right? Well, the transmission gets the job done, shifting smoothly up and down the band curve. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer a fuel efficiency benefit —its EPA fuel numbers are unchanged since upgrading from six to eight gears in 2016.

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 Centennial EditionOff-roading in my area is possible, provided I head about 20 minutes south where open land is abundant. The local terrain is clay with fire clay rocks scattered nearly everywhere. After it rains, you’ll find numerous puddles, especially on trail grooves and ruts.

The only thing you must be mindful of is that some quagmires are deeper than others. If you go off-roading by yourself, there is always a chance you’ll get stuck and need to summon help. Then again, that also becomes an opportunity to test the full capabilities of any four-wheel drive system.

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 Centennial EditionThe Silverado is a ready off-road warrior and includes an “auto” setting on the drive dial to automatically engage the front wheels as needed. Some claim the setting reduces fuel economy slightly as it passively engages the front differential. In any case, switch to 4-Hi the moment your front wheels touch a trailhead and you’ll forget everything else. Until you are stuck in said quagmire.

The Silverado’s sheer mass works to its advantage, enabling this 5,300-pound truck to pound its way across the toughest terrain. On the other hand, its sizable footprint could under certain conditions cause it to get stuck. Happily, engaging 4-Lo, applying increasing pressure to the gas pedal and turning the front wheels from side to side should free you.

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 Centennial EditionMy only off-road challenge with the Silverado had everything to do with the approach, break-over and departure angles. Try as I might, I could not find the “degrees” by which to gauge them. I searched through Chevrolet’s specifications and catalog to no avail. Then again, I did what any thoughtful off-roader does — I sized up every obstacle first before attempting my climb. It also helped I had about a foot of ground clearance at the ready thanks in part to the 22-inch tires.

Modern technology is a big help when it comes to four-wheeling. As long as you don’t mind the instrument panel sounding warnings as you make your descent, you’re probably okay. Either way, you’ll soon gauge whether the approach (attack) angle is sufficient for whatever you’re driving. Just don’t become alarmed by the many warnings — use them to aid you as you go.

Parting Thoughts

Whether you’d consider the Centennial edition or not, the Silverado ticks off all the right boxes for a large pickup truck. If there is a downside to consider there are actually two: cost and fuel economy. Happily for the Chevrolet fan, if either is a significant concern, then the medium-sized Colorado provides a more affordable and efficient option to the bodacious Silverado.

Chevrolet Centennial

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 Centennial Edition

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 Centennial Edition

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Centennial Edition

  • Sticker price from $49,190 (plus $1,295 destination charge)
  • Price as tested: $58,635
  • Seats five
  • Engine: 5.3-liter V8 gas
  • 355 horsepower @ 5,600 RPM
  • 383 foot-pounds of torque @ 4,100 RPM
  • 8-speed automatic transmission
  • Wheelbase: 143.5 inches
  • Length: 230 inches
  • Width: 80 inches
  • Height: 73.8 inches
  • Passenger volume: NR
  • Storage volume: 5-foot, 8-inch bed
  • Towing capacity: 11,700 pounds
  • EPA: 15/20 mpg city/highway (est.)
  • Regular gasoline
  • Fuel tank: 26 gallons
  • Curb weight: 5,300 pounds
  • IIHS safety rating: Good, except for marginal driver side small overlap
  • Limited vehicle warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles
  • Corrosion warranty: 6 years/100,000 miles
  • Vehicle assembly: Silao, Guanajuato MEXICO

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 Centennial Edition
2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 Centennial Edition
2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 Centennial Edition


Further Reading

High Country Chevrolet Silverado Steps Out

The Next Centennial: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Photos copyright Auto Trends Magazine. All rights reserved.

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