Chevy Silverado can do some heavy lifting
THE RIDE: Four-door, up to seven-passenger 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 LT Crew Cab AWD full-size pickup. DOWN THE ROAD: Redesigned for 2007, this heavy duty pickup is available in eight trims and three configurations. Sitting on a strong ladder frame, the Silverado absorbs the blows of bumps and potholes quite effectively, resulting in a robust and energetic ride. Handling is decent at high speeds and brakes are reassuring. TECH & PERFORMANCE: My ride was equipped with the optional 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V-8 engine pumping 365 horsepower at 3200 rpm and 660 pounds-feet of torque at 1600 rpm. It also was mated to an optional Allison 6-speed automatic transmission, which is renowned for seamless shifts and the cleaner ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. Power-assisted steering conveys a precise and accurate feel. The front suspension is handled by an independent short-long arm (SLA) design with torsion bars and the rear gets an axle design and two- or three-stage multileaf springs. Trailer towing on the horizon? The Silverado boasts a towing capacity of 16,700 pounds. The 6.5-foot short bed comes in handy for loading varying sizes of cargo. LOOK & FEEL: Chrome, chrome everywhere! The Silverado is lathered in chrome surrounds above and below the dual-port grille and the air intakes. The rear bumper is adorned with a thick chrome bar. You rarely see vertically stacked headlights and tail lamps but the pickup carries them well. Space is more than ample in this full-size pickup with not one but two glove boxes and a huge center console that can gulp several of your belongings. The 60/40 split fold rear seat opens up even more space for storage. The front hinged rear doors with large door pulls makes for easy ingress and egress. A driver-oriented cockpit with a six-gauge instrument panel, including a tachometer, is a pleasant sight. Dual 12-volt auxiliary power outlets under the distinct-looking climate controls can come in handy for folks on the go. Four cupholders in front and two in the rear also are available.SAFETY FIRST: Standard features include dual front airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, locking rear differential, daytime running lights, tire pressure monitoring system and the optional rear park assist, which warns with beeps in case of an obstruction during backup. OUT THE DOOR: $36,440, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges. The 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel engine is priced at an additional $7,195. Leather seats come in at $800 and GM's Allison 6-speed automatic transmission is $1,200. BY THE NUMBERS: Tires, LT265/75R17; wheelbase, 153 inches; length, 240 inches; weight, 5,742 pounds; fuel capacity, 34 gallons; no mileage numbers on highway or city are provided. WHY DIG IT: It was Motor Trend magazine's 2007 Truck of the Year. Need we say more? Suffice to point out that the Silverado is up to the task of some heavy lifting, with a powerful engine and a cabin that is vastly accommodating.
Nitish S. Rele is an advertising staff writer for The Tampa Tribune.