King of the Road
Loaded with options
Almost 6 tonnes towing capacity
Hard to manoeuvre
There is nothing more American than doing things bigger and bolder than everyone else. So that’s exactly the case with the Chevrolet Silverado, now available in Australia through HSV. On the other side of the ocean it might be a regular size truck, but locally it dwarves many dual cab utes. If you want to feel like a bus driver – because you’ll sit eye-to-eye to them - and drive around in the superlative of a ute, then the Chevrolet Silverado is your truck of choice.
Luckily they’ve fitted the Chevrolet Silverado with side steps as standard and are the cabin handles sturdy, because you’ll be using them a lot when getting in and out of this massive truck. The gold-cross badge almost sits at eye height and when seated in the broad driver seat anybody driving next to you looks to be in a go-kart. Don’t even think about parking it in a tight spot; it’s not going to fit. The Silverado is Chevrolet’s pinnacle model and now that it’s finally available in Australia you can see the attraction. It’s a driving statement. You’re the King of the Road.
As American as the Silverado looks, it also drives. Powered by a Duramax 6.6-litre (!) Turbo Diesel V8 you can be certain it never lacks power. It’s not per se the power – 332kW – but the torque number that’s astonishing: 1,234Nm of torque. It gives the Silverado the possibility to tow almost 6 tonnes; 5.89 to be precise. You’ll need a heavy duty pintle tow hitch to do so, but compared to most other utes maxing out at 3.5 tonnes, it’s a huge increase. This vehicle is made for towing the biggest boat in the marina, the largest caravan in the park or practically, a complete horse stable instead of just a carriage. You understand why there are so many buttons to assist you with doing this. The 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and automatic locking rear differential together with options like Exhaust Brake, Trailer Assist and much more technology keeping your heavy load under control. Additional load can be carried in the tray, with a maximum payload of 975kg.
Chevrolet fitted the Silverado with a 6-speed automatic transmission, operated by a column shifter mounted on the steering column. At times it seems the oversized engine doesn’t know how to distribute the power. Though this gets noisy at times, the V8 Turbo Diesel is remarkably silent when cruising on the highway. It definitely doesn’t have the visceral grunt these engines are known for. What the Silverado does have is an high, yet expected, fuel consumption up to 15L/100km.
Of course you don’t buy a vehicle like this for it’s outstanding handling, because driving the Silverado feels like navigating a boat. The steering is not the most accurate, but that actually doesn’t matter. The ride is extremely comfortable because of the soft suspension and because you’re the biggest passenger vehicle on the road, you will just make your own way with the Silverado. Cumbersome as it might be on narrow roads or tight corners.
The outside dimensions of the Chevrolet Silverado make for a very spacious cabin. The front seats are designed to fit large American bodies, so you expect plenty of cushioning and a surprising amount of support. The heated and ventilated perforated leather-appointed bucket seats have 10-way power driver seat adjustment and 2-way power lumbar control, which makes it possible to mould them exactly to your preference.
Space abounds inside the Silverado, noticeable in the oversized mid-console and door pockets. Just as American are the six cupholders in front and additional four in the back, where the passengers have plenty of space as well. The Silverado is fitted with a handy option if you transport anybody in there: Backseat Reminder. If you press this button after putting your child on the backseat for example, the car will remind you that there is ‘something’ on the backseat when exiting the vehicle. A smart option that especially with the Queensland heat could saves lives and should be a safety standard in new cars.
In regards to safety, the Silverado is leading the ute-pack with Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning as standard. The latter isn’t transmitted through the steering wheel as usual, but by vibration in the seat bolsters. The 8” touch-screen features a much needed reversing camera, but unfortunately doesn’t support satellite navigation. This perhaps has something to do with the fact that the car is purely American except for the left-right conversion. Hence why the emergency button – linked to an American system – also isn’t working overseas. The wireless phone charging is a nice extra that works every time.
It’s over 6 metres long, a 15.7 metre turning circle and measures 1.985 metres in height – it’s fair to say that the Chevrolet Silverado is ‘sizeable’. It’s very American and feels like that inside and out. The nice thing is that it doesn’t look like an awkwardly converted vehicle, but actually seems to roll out of the factory like this. That’s thanks to over 500 individual components that have been made to create the HSV right-hand-drive Silverado, plus 100 hours of labour. This makes the price of almost $150,000 more understandable. Whilst the price is up there, you do get a unique vehicle for it in return. It will turn heads and you won’t likely see another one around the corner. With the highest towing capacity, biggest engine, most torque and road presence like no other, the Silverado is big in all the right places!
Interested in a test drive? Come and see the Motorama Holden team at either Moorooka or Springwood.