2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ: Staying the course and standing the test of time

By Mike Blake Carlisle Events
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

For 100 years, Chevrolet has been “truckin’. Chevrolet entered the truck market in 1918, with the Model 490 on sale to the masses after using them internally for a couple of years. Considered a light delivery vehicle with a half-ton rating, the 1918 Series 490 was sold as a chassis only, meaning the truck cab and body had to be installed by the customer.

Silverado began as a trim level for Chevrolet C/K pick-ups and Suburbans from 1975 through 1999, and its sister platform, the GMC Sierra also began as a trim level. They became their own lines beginning with the 1999 model year.

Chevrolet’s Silverado family of trucks is perennially, the No.2-selling vehicle line in the United States and it continues its legacy as a tough work truck with luxury upgrades and environmentally conscious enhancements. Chevrolet calls Silverado: “Strong, capable and built to stand the test of time.” Their marketing mantra is: “When you need to get things done, you want a Silverado — the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickups on the road.” With that in mind, changes are subtle for 2018. Silverado is still in its third generation that began with the redesigned 2014 model, and for 2018, per government mandate, all models now carry a rear-vision camera, and the tire-pressure monitor has an audible alert to indicate when the air pressure is filled to the recommended level. The eAssist package is now offered on LT and LTZ trims; two exterior colors have been added – Cajun Red Metallic and Havana Metallic; and several trim-specific upgrades have been added. Also, a commemorative Centennial Edition is available this year with iconic badging and exclusive Centennial Blue paint.

My test Silverado 1500 LTZ with a Crew Cab fits full-size parameters. With a short 5-foot-8-inch box, Silverado measures 230 inches long (the 6-foot-6-inch box adds 9.6 inches and the 8-foot box is not available with the Crew Cab), 80 inches wide and 73.8 inches high (for the 4x4) on a 143.5-inch wheelbase. Ground clearance is 8.9 inches and step-in height measures 22.2 inches, while the Silverado LTZ’s base curb weight comes in at 5300 lbs. with the 5.3-liter engine and 4x4 configuration.

Inside, Silverado’s well-appointed interior is roomy, quiet and functional, with a sturdy cab structure. Its Crew Cab is spacious, providing 42.8 inches of front headroom, with 40.5 in the rear. Legroom is considerable at 45.3 inches up front and 40.9 in the cab, while shoulder room measures 66.0 and 65.7 inches.

Silverado’s muscle comes in the form of three engine choices: a 4.3-liter V-6 rated at 285 hp and 305 lbs-ft of torque (297/330 on E85 fuel) and 17mpg/city and 22mpg/highway for AWD; a 5.3-liter V-8 delivers 355 hp and 383 lbs-ft of torque (380/416 on E85 fuel) and 16/22mpg for AWD; and the muscular 6.2-liter V-8 thunders out 420 hp and 460 lbs-ft of torque and is EPA rated at 15mpg/city and 20mpg/highway for AWD.

My Silverado LTZ with the 5.3 provided the anticipated muscle necessary to pass at speed and haul some heavy loads. Pick-up was niche-solid and I finished a zero-to-60mph sprint in 7.2 seconds during a 15.4-second quarter-mile that showed some sway at top speed. Fuel consumption averaged 18.8mpg in mixed-use driving.

My test Silverado LTZ was steady on uneven roads and softroad obstacles with its independent coil-over-shock front suspension with monotube shocks coupled with a solid axle rear with semi-elliptic, variable-rate, two-stage multileaf springs and monotube shocks. The electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering was attentive and while higher-speed S-turns produced top-wobble and yaw, Silverado was poised and balanced during road and highway tests.

The 2018 Silverado 1500 is offered in Regular Cab with standard box and long box; Double Cab Standard Box and Crew Cab in short box and standard box, and are configured in 2WD and 4WD. Base prices run from $29,695 to 2WD and standard box starts at $29,080.to $37,595 including destination and handling ($1495). My test 2018 Silverado 1500 came with a Crew Cab and short box, and included the 5.3-liter V-8 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, for $36,195. Eight trim packages are offered that can add from $3,000 to $20,000. My LTZ trim package – sixth on the list – came with 4WD moved the sticker to $49,295, with the inclusions mentioned earlier. Red Hot exterior paint was standard, as was the Jet Black leather-appointed seat trim. Fourteen packages are available, and my test truck upgraded with The Enhanced Driver Alert package (with Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Forward Collision Alert, Safety Alert Seat, Front and Rear Park Assist, Intellibeam headlamps, Jet Black, Perforated leather-appointed seat trim and front, leather-appointed bucket seats) for $1710; and the LTZ Plus Package added $1295 for power adjustable pedals, Bose® premium audio system, remote start and heated steering. The Interior Convenience package (Interior driver assist handle, console insert organizer tray and underseat storage) added $370; a power sunroof added $995; spray-on bedliner was $495; MyLink® Audio System with 8-inch Diagonal Color Touch with Navigation added $495 and remote start was $275. The sticker-as-tested was $54,655, but local incentives dropped it to $53,655, so check your local dealer for the best programs.

And for truck fans, don’t miss the 2018 Carlisle Chevrolet Nationals this weekend, at the Carlisle (PA) Fairgrounds, as there will be a Special Display honoring 100 years of Chevrolet trucks. This historic milestone will be celebrated with an indoor display in Building T to feature the “Bowtie” brand truck heritage, showcasing tough and pampering, work and family trucks, from historic and early versions to current models.

> Visit www.CarlisleEvents.com for more on the automotive hobby.

Mike Blake, former editor of KIT CAR magazine, joined Carlisle Events as senior automotive journalist in 2004. He's been a "car guy" since the 1960s and has been writing professionally for about 30 years.

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