Monday, December 27, 2010

Chevrolet Silverado: Sterling among Work Trucks

Working men and women who need a working truck to help them get their jobs done should take a good look at the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD.
This blue-collar machine has a new Duramax turbo-diesel engine that is not only powerful, but is also remarkably fuel efficient. 

The engine makes 397-horsepower and is a 6.6-liter V-8 that does a colossal 765 pounds-feet of torque. That engine is linked to a six-speed automatic Allison 1000 transmission that offers manual shift control. 
If you don't want the diesel, there's a 360-horsepower, 6.0-liter V-8 gasoline engine that makes a comparatively paltry 380 pounds-feet of torque that is linked to a six-speed automatic transmission.
For the record, though, there really is nothing paltry about 380 pounds-feet - that's still pretty doggone strong.
Rear-wheel drive is standard, but four-wheel drive is optional.
Chevy says there is a traditional floor-mounted transfer case or an Autotrac knob-controlled electric transfer case that engages when wheel slippage is detected. 

Incredibly, this new diesel engine makes more power but also gains an 11 percent improvement in fuel economy. Emissions have also been reduced compared with the previous year’s model.  The fuel tank is a cavernous 36 gallons that provides you with about 680 miles of range, meaning city-highway fuel economy is right around 18.8 mpg.

Towing capacity has been raised to 17,800 pounds, Chevy says, thanks to the fully boxed frame on the Duramax diesel. With the single-rear-wheel gas V-8, towing is now 14,500 pounds. Chevy says maximum payload capacity is up to 4,192 pounds.

The Silverado can be configured in a variety of ways thanks to the four models, three cab configurations and two bed lengths that are offered.
At the base level, there is the two-wheel-drive, two-door Work Truck, with standard features such as vinyl seats, XM Satellite Radio and a CD player.  The four-wheel-drive LTZ model has automatic locking hubs, leather seats, remote power door locks, cruise control, dual zone climate control, heated and powered front seats, and an upgraded Bose stereo with seven speakers and a subwoofer.  Options include a power glass sunroof, adjustable pedals, a rearview camera, a TV, and a DVD-based navigation system.  OnStar 9.0, mobile WiFi, Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port are also offered.

For safety, the stout structure of the Silverado and dual front airbags protect passengers in collisions, but standard antilock brakes and traction and stability control systems can help prevent wrecks.  Trailer sway control, hill-hold assist and GM’s StabiliTrak stability and traction control systems are other key safety features.

The Silverado starts at around $28,400 and ranges as high as the $55,145 sticker on the test drive model, a four-wheel drive LT crew cab.

The pickup truck market suffered a bit of a slump over the past couple of years, thanks largely to the economy and to consumers' concerns about fuel prices.
But thanks to a slight economic recovery and some pent-up demand, pickup sales are starting to warm up a bit.
For those who need a solid, meat-and-potatoes truck that can get the job done, the Silverado presents a sterling option.

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