Chevy Silverado

Oct. 11, 2007
With more than enough room inside for five, this pickup is two vehicles in one — a luxury SUV on the inside with the towing and cargo capacity of a pickup.

The luxurious interior features include 12-way power, heated, leather bucket seats with memory, Bose speakers, and autodimming rearview mirrors. Equipped with a navigation system that doubles as a DVD screen in the front (there is also a screen for the rear passengers), six-disc CD player, and XM radio, there’s hardly a need for a living room. The DVD and GPS do not work while the car is moving as a safety feature. While I can understand the DVD automatically turning off, a passenger could easily still use the GPS. I guess some drivers would still use it, making it unsafe. Fun extras include a power sliding rear window and electric sliding sunroof.

With a 5.3-liter V8 engine and four-speed automatic transmission, it’s no wonder it puts out 315 hp, 338 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm, and has a towing capacity of 7,000 lb. The vehicle is rated 16-mpg city and 20-mpg highway, which is standard for a vehicle its size. Safety features include driver and passenger air bags, rear-parking assist, tire-pressure monitor, daytime running lights, stabilitrak (stability control), and 1 year of OnStar service, which I accidentally called and could not figure out how to hang up — the disconnect button is on the rearview mirror.

One of the most useful features was the remote vehicle start, because I was driving the truck in February in Cleveland. Not only was the truck warm when I got in, I didn’t have to worry about someone hopping in and driving off with it while doing so. I’d get into the toasty truck and if any snow was left, well, the heated washer fluid took care of that.

The gas and brake pedals and seats raise and lower so, even though I am somewhat vertically challenged, I was more than comfortable in this “monster truck.” The rear-parking assist furthered my comfort level by alerting me when I was near an object while backing up.

The base price is $38,080, but loaded with extras like the navigation system ($2,250), the rear-seat entertainment system ($1,295), 20-in. machined aluminum wheels ($1,295 minus the $300 credit for the standard wheels), and power-sliding rear window ($200) brought the price to $45,424. However, the only option I deem necessary is the GPS. It directs you to places like restaurants, gas stations, and hotels. You select the point-of-interest tab and it will direct you to any of the aforementioned places within either a 5 or 10-mile radius.

— Julie Kalista

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