You Done Good, GM: 2007 Chevy Silverado 1500
Taking a closer look at the 2007 Chevy Silverado
GM makes a turn in the right direction with this one.
Say hello to Number Two.
The completely redesigned 2007 Chevy Silverado 1500 has created a serious buzz in the half-ton pickup world, resulting in the kind of praise and sales that could ultimately upset Ford’s F-Series statistics of being the best-selling truck in America.
General Motors Corporation made a bold move of debuting the full-size Silverado with its wider grille and integrated wrap-around headlights alongside the new Toyota Tundra. The race the company took to the factory finish line to do so paid off – the light-duty model has already won numerous awards from the automotive media, including the 2007 Detroit Free Press Truck of the Year.
The Silverado is General Motors' best-selling vehicle, hovering at 2.5 million sales a year. The first Silverado was introduced to the consumer market in 1999 as a replacement to the C/K model, which stood for the drive configurations C1500 (with a 2WD) and K1500 (with a 4WD). It is estimated the motor corporation will spend $292 million in advertising dollars on the 2007 Silverado alone. It is obvious GM is ever hopeful the model will slingshot sales higher than where it has reached the past couple of years.
The off-roader's choice is the LT Z71 crew cab.
A Whole New You
The 2007 Chevy Silverado has been built on a completely new platform with “improvements over its predecessor in six key product areas,” as states the Chevy marketing literature. This includes styling, interior, performance, engine power, safety and warranty. The rebuild starts with a new fully boxed frame. A new coil-over-shock front suspension replaces the previous model’s torsion bar. The new rear leaf springs and repositioned shock absorbers provide a more controlled ride for big loads. The improved automatic locking rear differential takes hold under slower speeds whenever sensors detect a 25-rpm variance in the rear wheels. Also, a new rack-and-pinion steering system replaces a recirculating-ball setup. Lest we not forget to mention reengineered front and rear axles, stiffer engine mounts, stronger brakes, and the fact all engines are upgraded to a Hydra-Matic four-speed automatic transmission (GM will add a six-speed automatic to the Silverado in late 2007 or 2008).
The 2007 Silverado offers six Gen IV Vortec V8 engines and one V6. The base engine is the 195-horsepower 4.3-liter V6 with 260 lb-ft of torque, standard on WT regular cab and 2WD extended cab models. The smallest of the V8 offerings is the iron-block 295-horsepower 4.8-liter V8 with 305 lb-ft of torque, standard on WT 4WD extended cab, LT regular cab and extended cab models, and WT and LT crew cab models. The most common engine is the 315-horsepower 5.3-liter V8 with 338 lb-ft of torque (iron-block or aluminum-block). This engine features GM's new Active Fuel Management (AFM) system, which can deactivate half the eight cylinders and smoothly put the engine into V4 mode during low-load driving. A FlexFuel version of the 5.3-liter is available on all models.
If you need to put down more power, there is the aluminum-block 367-horsepower 6.0-liter V8 with 375 lb-ft of torque and features Variable Valve Timing and Active Fuel Management, available on LT and LTZ extended and crew cab models.
The 2007 Chevy Silverado has won instant praise from the media and consumers alike.
No Longer a Clone
When it comes to the exterior, an overall noticeable difference is that the Silverado is not longer a clone of the Sierra, or visa versa. Each vehicle now has a unique front and rear fenders, hood and headlight modules.
The 2007 Silverado has a wider and taller grille with a single horizontal chrome bar through the middle, featuring a prominent gold Chevy bowtie in the center. The headlights wrap around the corners and feature a clear lens design and fog lights to match. Flared front and rear fenders give the redesign a wide stance, and the bulging hood is reminiscent of the styling of past Chevrolet pickups.
There are three different trim levels: the WT, the LT (in a 1LT and a 2LT) and the LTZ. On extended models, there is a new rear access door with a 170-degree extension – wider than any other full-size truck. It has three bed lengths that are deeper with stronger inner walls. The lockable tailgate has a torque-rod assist that makes it easier to raise and lower. The Silverado also has a new cargo management system that utilizes three rails running the length of the bed on each side as well as along the forward bed wall. The rails have upper and lower tracks and four adjustable tie-down brackets, each rated for 500 lbs. In addition to the tie downs, there are a number of optional accessories that latch to the rails are available, such as an overhead utility rack, a sliding diamond plate toolbox, a sliding bed divider, diamond plate side storage boxes or a bicycle rack.
As for the interior, you’ll notice the instrument panel and center console have been redesigned, and the dashboard is lower and farther forward. The interior offered on WT and LT trim levels features larger controls and door handles that are easier to use with gloves. A large-capacity, double glove box is integrated into the instrument panel. Cloth seats are standard on WT and LT models. Leather seating is available on LT trims along with a six-way, power-adjustable driver seat. LTZ models feature a luxury-inspired interior with a larger-capacity center console that offers 20.1 liters of undivided storage. A heated, 12-way, power-adjustable leather driver seat is standard, along with a six-disc CD/MP3-capable audio system, Bose speaker system and heated windshield washer system.
On the LTZ extended cab, rear doors open wider than any other full-size truck.
Silverado and Black Gold
Under its new platform, the 2007 Silverado now has more responsive handling traits and steadier control, mainly due to that new front suspension coil-over-shock, the rack-and-pinion steering system, and the revised rear suspension. With a total of five suspension systems options to choose from, the Z71 is an off-road enthusiast’s choice with its monotube front-and-rear shocks, a 34mm stabilizing bar and standard 18-inch wheels.
I’ve felt the haul of a Silverado towing thousands of rock crawl buggy pounds on trailers to off-road events, but it becomes a true towing machine with an available capacity of 10,500 lbs and a maximum payload capacity of 2,160 lbs under the 6.0-liter V8 trailering package, which combines the 4-speed transmission with a heavy-duty 9.5-inch rear axle and locking differential, 4.10 axle ratio, and a heavy-duty cooling system.
Standard gas mileage for the Silverado 4x4 with the 5.3-liter V8 engine is 16-mpg city and 20-mpg highway driving. GM claims a highway fuel economy of better than 20 miles per gallon with their Active Fuel Management system. According to EPA calculations, this saves owners $1,010 to $2,037 in annual fuel costs. Again, a FlexFuel version of the 5.3-liter is available on all models, making it possible to run the engine on either gasoline or E85.
The price for the 2007 Chevy Silverado is between $18,76 -$38,990. The vehicle is proof of two things: One, powerful big trucks are here to stay; and two, the less fuel they consume the more desirable. In the minds of critics and consumers, General Motors Corporation is heading in the right direction – and that would be a realistic future where innovation is going to last longer than our world’s rapidly depleting resources.