By Peter Perrotta
One of the most iconic pieces of Americana is the Chevy Pickup truck.
Chevrolet has been selling factory produced pickup trucks for almost nine decades – 89 years.
Of course, the various shapes and sizes of Chevy’s modern day pickups are nothing compared to the very simple models that first hit the market in 1931. Nevertheless, the concept has remained the same – a truck with a cab and a bed capable of hauling a pay load and towing.
Twenty-three years ago when my wife was pregnant with my youngest son, I was motoring around in a Chevy S-10 pickup (manual transmission). I loved that truck – as most men do.
My wife, on the other hand, hated it.
On one particular notable ride, she looked at me cross and said, “What are we going to do with this truck when the baby is born?”
I hadn’t really thought about it up until that point. But, she raised a good point. There wasn’t anywhere to put a baby in that pickup. There was no backseat in its cab.
Within a few days, I reluctantly traded in that Chevy S-10 for a more practical Dodge Caravan minivan.
So it was with great pleasure that I recently got to spend a week behind the wheel of a 2020 Chevrolet Silverado Crew LTZ 4WD pickup.
Chevrolet first introduced the Silverado 21 years ago in 1999. It has been one of its most popular selling vehicles ever since.
Chevrolet actually enhanced its Silverado line in 2019. Much remains the same for the 2020 version. However, it did make it available with a 3-liter Duramax turbo diesel six cylinder engine for the first time in 2020 and that is the powertrain my tester was equipped with.
The six cylinder Duramax turbo diesel engine works like a dream for this truck. It couples with its 10-speed transmission extremely well making for a smooth yet powerful ride.
The inline 6-cylinder turbo diesel puts out an impressive 277 horsepower, which I found was more than enough to get it up and down the interstate impressively and do aggressive passing or lane changing maneuvers.
But perhaps the biggest advantage of the turbo diesel Silverado is in its economy. While most of the regular fuel engines that Chevy offers for the Silverado get an average of about 17 miles per gallon. This turbo diesel blows that away.
According to the Department of Transportation EPA estimates, the turbo diesel Silverado averages an impressive 25 miles per gallon – 23 in city driving and 29 on the highway.
The EPA also estimates that this Silverado will cost you about $1,900 per year in fuel costs as it uses about 4 gallons per every 100 miles.
The overall appearance of the Silverado has a tough, aggressive stance and look, especially with the Z71 off road package that my tester was equipped with.
Inside, the cabin is very spacious and comfortable and not overly opulent so it still has a somewhat utilitarian feel to it even though this heavily optioned rig carries a pricey $61,720 price tag.
The ride is typical of what one would expect from a large pickup. It is comfortable and powerful but not very athletic. My wife always quips that it is like “driving a boat around.”
Well you can’t criticize the Silverado for what it isn’t. It obviously isn’t a sports car. It has a big sort of clunky feel to its ride and handling – but that is to be expected.
Where the Silverado excels beyond what any sports car can do is in its towing capacity and pay load.
This Silverado can tow up to 13,400 pounds and can haul a pay load of more than 2,000 pounds – that’s a lot of heavy lifting.
The base price of the Chevrolet Silverado Crew LTZ 4WD that I tested is $48,700. My tester was equipped with $12,925 worth of options. When you add in the $1,595 for delivery and destination, the bottom line comes in at the $61,720 tag.
The options included $6,700 for the LTZ premium package, $2,495 for the upgraded Duramax turbo diesel engine, $2,125 for a technology package and $1,605 for the Z71 off road package.
The LTZ premium package includes: leather seats; rear sliding power window; power tailgate; heated front and second row seats; blue tooth; Apple Carplay; a Bose premium sound system and more.
The Z71 off road package includes: twin tube shocks; skid plates; hill descent control; dual exhaust with polished tips all weather mats and more.
In the government’s five-star safety crash test the Silverado earned an overall score of four stars. It got four stars for the frontal crash test, five stars for the side crash test and four stars on the rollover test.
The infotainment system in the Silverado is in line with the standard system that GM uses in most of its vehicles. It is easy to use and not all that complicated to learn.
My overall impression of this Silverado is positive. However, there is still a lot of competition in the pickup field with the Dodge Ram and Ford F-150 also offering impressive trucks as well.
Peter Perrotta’s On the Road column appears weekly. For suggestions and comments please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org