5 Fixes for the Next Chevrolet Silverado

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We're fans of Chevrolet's Silverado 1500 pickup truck, with its slab sides and brawny good looks combined with proven capability and top-notch tech. But that doesn't mean we think it's perfect — and with the news that an updated Silverado is likely on the way sometime in 2018, we figured it'd be a good time to drive the current version and make suggestions on what needs improvement for the next-generation half ton from the Bow-Tie brand.

Material Quality

The interior of the Silverado looked good when we saw it a few years ago, but since then, newer trucks have upstaged it in the material quality department. Even in the mid-level LTZ we drove, the plastics looked a little cheap, with fake wood that's been tacked on as an afterthought. Ram currently has the nicest interiors in the pickup truck segment, so there's a great benchmark to look at, Chevy.

Seat/Steering Wheel Position

My biggest peeve about all the GM full-size trucks is that the steering wheel is not centered in front of the driver — it sits inboard a good 2 or 3 inches. See how it looks in relation to the driver's seat? You get used to it after a few days, but it's still awkward to drive. Redesigning this means expensive tooling changes to the firewall, but after a decade or more like this, it's time to finally solve this issue for 2018.

Exterior Styling

The Silverado is handsome, but those fenders are so huge that anything other than 20- or 22-inch wheels and tires look comically undersized. Chevy offers plenty of chrome versus no-chrome packages, so that's not an issue, but the overall look is a little too Tonka-on-steroids for some. Getting some better proportions wouldn't be a bad idea.

Gauges17chevrolet_silverado_ab_08jpg_34559595526_o

These blue numeral gauges haven't seen much change in some time, and compared to the designs in competitor trucks, they're starting to look a little too retro and low rent. The small display screen between the gauges is also ready for a boost in size. Time to update the Chevy stylebook and make something new and interesting.

Cabin Storage

While the center console is spacious enough, the two-level glove box is still an oddity. We'd reshape things into a single, large storage bin, able to swallow bulkier items if need be.

And as a quick bonus ... here's what we think Chevy does right and doesn't need to change.

Engines

Our test Silverado was equipped with the awesome 6.2-liter V-8, putting out massive power and torque — but even the base 5.3-liter V-8 is a fantastic engine, and with the upcoming 10-speed automatic transmission that GM developed with Ford, it should match the F-150's 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 fuel economy, too.

Multimedia Tech

Big screens and easy-to-use Chevrolet MyLink infotainment systems are great, and with available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, they couldn't be simpler to use. Add in the multiple USB, 12- and 120-volt charge ports, and everyone can stay charged and connected.

Trailer Brake Controller17chevrolet_silverado_ab_12jpg_33757976494_o

Unlike other brands, Chevy mounts its trailer brake controller high and to the left, where it's easy to reach in an emergency without having to take your eyes off the road or fumble about on the lower dashboard. We wish all automakers would put their trailer brake controllers there.

Cars.com photos by Angela Conners

 

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Comments

E-e-end t-t-the m-m-mysterious sh-sh-sh-shaking t-t-t-too...

But seriously, GM needs to work on more interior space. Headroom and legroom, especially in the rear seat, has been lacking for decades compared to the Ford.

Hmmm. Let's see now...

• Slope the hood more for better vision and fuel economy
• Clean up the sides for a sleeker, aerodynamic flow
• Lower the ground clearance to something reasonable... like 7" There's no reason for a 15" climb into the cabin if you're not a 4x4.
• Stop trying to pretend it's a 'Big Rig'

WOW, thats alot to improve on, maybe they will listen like Ford did, then at least they could compete a bit better.

My biggest issue with the truck, is the lack of a head restraint in the middle back seat. I had one of these as a rental, and switched out within a couple of days--my kid would not be properly protected without one of these.

@Nitro don't get me wrong but if they are gonna try to compete they need to work on the pulling also power also need to work on those different rears and transmission gearing so people like my self can actually look at a 3500 that can pull more then 15K on a SRW truck

Don't get the critique re Interiors. Do get the critique regarding glove box. I have been driving a Silverado for more than five years and I still don't get the split level glove box.

Exterior? Never had a beef. I consider the upscale RAM and the GMC Denali to be the best looking trucks ever.

Steering wheel? I just completed a long trip in the Silverado and was comfortable from start to finish, despite one day that lasted 22 hrs behind the wheel.

Engine? Agree that the additional cogs in the transmission help but a V8 powered half ton truck with a six speed has all the leverage it needs. 10 speed is an added complexity that is hard to imagine unless you do a lot of heavy hauling or towing, or live in hilly environs.

Maybe correct the orientation/viewing angle of the gauges and the radio? Currently they're completely straight up and down and it's annoying.

Most of the comments here are very nit picky. But nonetheless constructive criticism is always good. I have a '14 silverado and I do not even notice the steering wheel issue that everyone complains about. I agree that the glove box is a little strange- one big one would better. I think the gauge cluster is fantastic. I'm very much a fan of the analog gauges- digital ones just look tacky IMHO. The biggest improvement that chevy can make is offering their 6.2L on the LT models atleast, if not the LS/WT models as well. I shouldn't have to pay an extra 10Gs to get the bigger engine.

@papajim I do live in hilly environment and do a lot of hauling and I have always said this before just because it can pull say 15k doesn't mean it should with that being said what ever your towing, a lot of people don't keep in mind the wind drag on an RV or big trailer where that drag is now putting on extra weight that the engine cant pull and your stuck driving at 40 mph

Amen to fixing the steering wheel, also please raise the frame so it does not look like it hangs below the body.
Things a person can get used to but look like elementary design flaws.

WOW, thats alot to improve on, maybe they will listen like Ford did, then at least they could compete a bit better.


Posted by: Nitro | May 18, 2017 8:10:01 AM

Only people complaining about the Silverado are the Ford fan base. Go figure.

@GMSGREAT, I have owned many gm's, I buy based on cost, quality and function. Closing your eyes to the weakness of any brand is silly.

... or big trailer where that drag is now putting on extra weight that the engine cant pull and your stuck driving at 40 mph

@Darklore

Maybe you need a different truck

Very nit picky if you ask me.

I own a 2016 GMC SLT with the 6.2 and I couldn't be happier. This is my first GMC, but I've owned Chevrolet trucks for the last 20 years. Last year when I was shopping, I couldn't make myself like the front end of the Silverado. It's too busy and the grille bar is too thick, making it look awkward unless you have body colored bumpers and grille. Either way, the GMC looks much more refined and subtle. I agree, the Silverado needs an update big time! I think GM owns the best line of truck engines out there and they are underrated.

People forget the comparison article that came out on here about a year ago where they had the 5.3 versus the ecoboost versus the 5.7 Hemi. That 5.3 was more fuel efficient, faster, and ranked much better than the Hemi. I believe it even got better fuel economy than the ecoboost, especially when towing. People like to bash GM on here for whatever reason, but the truth is that GM makes a helluva truck, I think their Silverado just needs some updating.

One question I have for the Admin on here. Why won't you do a comparison test of Ford's naturally aspirated V-6 engine versus GM's V-6 engine versus Ram's V-6 engine, all with the same configurations? Your poor attempt at this comparison test used Ford's top of the line ecoboost 3.5 V-6 against these naturally aspirated engines from GM and Ram and it was of course, no contest. If that wasn't a biased article/test then I don't know what is. You need to try to cover-up your Ford bias on here from time to time, otherwise you should just rename this website: "Fordpickuptrucks.com" Seriously....

"Only people complaining about the Silverado are the Ford fan base."

--NOT A TRUE STATEMENT--

Aaron, your comments concerning the fenders are pretty much mute when viewing the picture above with the 20" wheels. That's a perfect match. Your critique may have some validity when applied to lower trim levels, however that applies to all manufactures. The two glove box compartments is an excellent idea. It allows you to separate and access the more commonly used items (tire gauge, license / registration "I have the 6.2L") from stuff that just sit there for years. As I have stated before, I have the High Country with the Saddle color interior. It is a nice place to spend some time. With respect to the off center steering column, it's designed in for easy entry and exist for the driver. Stop your complaining and research why engineers do things that actually offers greater comfort.

But seriously, GM needs to work on more interior space. Headroom and legroom, especially in the rear seat, has been lacking for decades compared to the Ford.

Posted by: redbloodedxy | May 18, 2017 7:42:42 AM

--NOT A TRUE STATEMENT--

GM needs to fix their pricing structure and packaging.

More Horses better seats in front an rear

The front seats are narrow and uncomfortable.

@Trucky048 - I agree regarding availability of the 6.2 V8. What if someone wants the 6.2 but doesn't want leather? They have bragging rights with the 6.2, but those bragging rights don't exist in lower trim levels. Should be available in the LT (if not the WT and LS). Bragging rights belong to Ford and Ram in the lower and mid trim levels.

Regarding the offcenter steering wheel.... I've noticed it in pictures online.... but never when I've test-driven the truck. My brother-in-law has a '14 Silverado and has taken it on some long road trips and, though he's told me a lot of what he's observed about the truck, not once has he mentioned anything about the steering wheel being offcentered or awkard in any way.

@ GMS, sorry you have to defend the second place chevy on this. I will however congratulate you, as you finally have said something about Chevy you actually like. I'm glad I could be of help to you.
I will say I do like the leather in the Chevy's, not sure what it is about it but the leather seems comfy compared to others, not as stiff. ( only comparison there is wifes Camaro compared to my old Ram leather).
That being said, after having so many quality issues with all the Pontiac and silverados I owned, I still would not buy one. If Chevy ever actually updates the whole truck and gets rid of the square wheels, than I may look.

My 2014 5.3L 6 speed WT has little over 200,000 miles, no real trouble just the common things that need done due to wear. Love the truck, only thing I tell them to change is 6.2L in more trim levels. I'd gladly buy a WT trim with 6.2L with 8 speed. Could live with other 5.3L, good power, and great mpg's too.

@papajim and this is why i am stuck on two options of either a dodge or ford for the pulling both great trucks how ever both have their flaws

My 2014 5.3L 6 speed WT has little over 200,000 miles, no real trouble just the common things that need done due to wear. Love the truck, only thing I tell them to change is 6.2L in more trim levels. I'd gladly buy a WT trim with 6.2L with 8 speed. Could live with other 5.3L, good power, and great mpg's too.

Posted by: johnny doe | May 18, 2017 11:21:35 AM

Offer the 6.2 engine in a regular cab short box awd SS version. That would scare Mustang and Camaro owners at stop lights all over America.

I would not hesitate to choose the RAM if towing was the big deal. Whether you pick the Cummins or the gasser, you can't go wrong.

@GMSGREAT, I have owned many gm's, I buy based on cost, quality and function. Closing your eyes to the weakness of any brand is silly.


Posted by: Firefighter | May 18, 2017 9:49:37 AM

There were no weaknesses highlighted in this article, just opinion and in some areas, ignorance. (EXAMPLE. THE OFF CENTER STEERING COLUMN COMMENTS)

Do not change the glove box, things I use on top, things I do not use much in the bottom. Figure out how to price them so people are not waiting for the $10k sale they have every couple months. Just reduce the price $6-$8k period. Tweak the dash. only ones I know who complain about the size of the interior or those who need to reduce their own size. There's plenty of room for my family.

Some fair critique here.....

You missed ADD push button start . NO reason not to at least have an OPTION for it.

GM : make everything available across the line. 6.2L 10spd in a single cab? 8 or 10 spd in a base truck ? Check the box , pay the price , its yours.

Some of these trucks have experienced the "shake" or vibe issue, not all . Fix it .

My kids want rear A/C vents and controls ..... help me out , GM.

Light knob and 4x4 knob are right next to each other and look the SAME , differentiate them . Too easy to grab one.

Add a turbo six to engine lineup . Ford has sold a bunch and it would sell for GM too.

NO more 6 spd . How about just 10 spd across the board or at least 8 spd.

I am sure there was a reason the steering wheel is off center but it needs to move . I NEVER had an issue and anyone complaining never spent time in the truck . You simply dont notice it after 10 minutes driving.

Split glove is a GOOD idea .....gives you a way to store and lock things separately .....different types of items , items of importance etc.

Current gen of these trucks have supremely rigid chassis and very good suspension and brakes. Powertrains are the BEST , PERIOD....small improvements in power torque mpg along with 8 or 10spd across the board keeps it that way.

Interior is still VERY competitive . Ram looks nice but doors are VERY light , GM's feel like an anvil ....very rigid next to a Ram. Ford close . 6.2 V8 GM engine is KING unless you live or drive up in the mountains regularly , then Ford 3.5 EB is best. GM's V6 is best , reliable torquey simple cheap to operate/fix/repair.

Use lightweight materials in the right places . No need to make the whole truck costly aluminum and why would you make the BED FLOOR out of it? Punctures more easily. GM already was way ahead of the other two domestics in weight management and Ford HAD to resort to all alum. to get the upper hand . Trucks dont need to be super light , not good. Super strong , cost effective , reliable , easy to fix and maintain yes......balance the weight savings/cost etc.

I have owned a fleet service company for nearly 15 years and we service them all . I OWN and drive Rams , Fords and GM's and the comments are based on my experience , your results may vary .....but these are accurate.

Some fair critique here.....

You missed ADD push button start . NO reason not to at least have an OPTION for it.

GM : make everything available across the line. 6.2L 10spd in a single cab? 8 or 10 spd in a base truck ? Check the box , pay the price , its yours.

Some of these trucks have experienced the "shake" or vibe issue, not all . Fix it .

My kids want rear A/C vents and controls ..... help me out , GM.

Light knob and 4x4 knob are right next to each other and look the SAME , differentiate them . Too easy to grab one.

Add a turbo six to engine lineup . Ford has sold a bunch and it would sell for GM too.

NO more 6 spd . How about just 10 spd across the board or at least 8 spd.

I am sure there was a reason the steering wheel is off center but it needs to move . I NEVER had an issue and anyone complaining never spent time in the truck . You simply dont notice it after 10 minutes driving.

Split glove is a GOOD idea .....gives you a way to store and lock things separately .....different types of items , items of importance etc.

Current gen of these trucks have supremely rigid chassis and very good suspension and brakes. Powertrains are the BEST , PERIOD....small improvements in power torque mpg along with 8 or 10spd across the board keeps it that way.

Interior is still VERY competitive . Ram looks nice but doors are VERY light , GM's feel like an anvil ....very rigid next to a Ram. Ford close . 6.2 V8 GM engine is KING unless you live or drive up in the mountains regularly , then Ford 3.5 EB is best. GM's V6 is best , reliable torquey simple cheap to operate/fix/repair.

Use lightweight materials in the right places . No need to make the whole truck costly aluminum and why would you make the BED FLOOR out of it? Punctures more easily. GM already was way ahead of the other two domestics in weight management and Ford HAD to resort to all alum. to get the upper hand . Trucks dont need to be super light , not good. Super strong , cost effective , reliable , easy to fix and maintain yes......balance the weight savings/cost etc.

I have owned a fleet service company for nearly 15 years and we service them all . I OWN and drive Rams , Fords and GM's and the comments are based on my experience , your results may vary .....but these are accurate.

Forgot to add to my post....

Column shifter is BEST .....no its not as "sporty" but it also totally frees up the console which is the BEST among the big three....roomy LOTS of plug in ports of ALL types . Rotary is OK , we have it and have no issues and its relatively small and unobtrusive.

KEEP parking brake PEDAL....newer cars have the silly push buttons .....not good especially on an truck.

Center stack is EXCELLENT in general , knobs are great for easy radio and HVAC control....MyLink works pretty well for the most part.

The 6.2 across the board would be a good thing. It's perhaps the best truck engine, then Coyote, then Hemi

You get the gangster lean standard with every Chevy truck.

A very fluff article. Everyone's interior needs a refresh at the end of its cycle. That's the nature of the market. Gauges, glove box, styling, ect all kinda trivial really. The Engines... How about a small diesel? or relevant V6. Something modern you know like everyone else is doing. Their 6.2 struggles to keep pace with a competitors 3.5 and less than 10% of 1500s see that engine as opposed to the 35% of 3.5 turbos the competition fields. No call for real innovation in this article just a suggestion for modest refinement really.

@ Shriker

As a GM guy (I own a 15 Sierra 1500) I think you have made a much better list than the article. I'd argue a couple points.....

Not having a push button start, personally doesn't bother me. My wife has it in her car and I don't care one way or the other.

I don't believe GM will do a gas turbo V6. If GM drops 300-500 pounds and boosted the 5.3 to around 380 hp and 420 tq I think they would be top of the heap.

To add to the list and agree with one point in the article. I think they need to make the Denali gauge screen setup standard on LT, SLE and up.

put the TBC where it belongs, round wheel wells, fix the steering wheel.

Fix the DEF tank and the fill location.

My brother has been a Chevy man since he could drive, over 30 yrs ago. He'll never buy another one. Numerous issues with his 2015 3500 Crew Cab 4x4. I almost fell over when he texted me with that info. LOL.
Change the wheel openings to a round opening, change the dash, i.e. center stack and glove box. Redesign the steering column issue. Also add a/c vents for back seat.
Then it would be nice looking truck.
I'll keep my f150.

The 6.2, although a great engine, requires premium fuel, which is why there are not many of them out there, and the ones that are, the idiots dont know that and wonder where the knock is coming from.

ALLYOU GUYS ARE DUMMIES GARBAGE MOTORS (GM) DOESN'T LISTEN TO THEIR CUSTOMERS LIKE FORD DOES. FORD TAKES CARE OF THEIR CUSTOMERS. GO FORD! KEEP TEACHING GOVERMENT MOTOR HOW IT'S DONE.

Ha ha the truck are great the way they are other then the vibration they have my 2014 was horrible it many different speeds. And my 2016 dose it at 80 / 85 other then that Chevy has Ford beat all around and is right up there with dodge

Only fix the silverado needs, REAR A/C VENTS. Everything else said seems to be subjective other then adding more gears to the tranny with witch you can say about every vehicle (no matter what you can always ask for better MPG).

@CHINGON

Call your stockbroker and tell him you are thinking about "going long" on Ford stock. After the laughing dies down, say

"No, really, I'm really positive on Ford's future in the auto industry."

See what he says next.

How about rear AC, they used to have it and took it away in 2007 WTF!!

REAR AC and more availability of the 6.2L!!!! Those are my only too gripes, but to be honest I own a 2017 Sierra SLT Premium Plus Package with a 5.3l and it has plenty of power for what I need to pull my 20 foot boat.
All you "Ford" guys out there talk smack about your eco-bust engines when they don't get any gas mileage while pulling. They have fantastic power, but the 5.3L is virtually bullet proof. My dad is a mechanic and I can't tell you how may trucks and suv's with the 5.3L have over 250K and still running strong. That's what I look for in a truck.
Now the ecoboost may/might be reliable, we will see.....but cramming that much HP into an engine that has almost half the displacement as a 5.3 or a 6.2 is ridiculous!!!
You ford guys go out and put turbos on your lawn mowers and see how long they last!!!
Now if Ford had half a brain they would put more money into developing the 5.0 better and redoing the 6.2.......those are to great engines!

@TNT GMC

truck engines that produce much more than 1 horsepower per cubic inch are going to struggle with durability. A better approach for gasoline engines is to bump up the displacement and focus on tuning the motor to live comfortably under the 5000 rpm range.

A gas engine like the old 440 Dodge or the 454 GM motor can live a long life AND run on regular unleaded, working hard, if the designers keep the engine running in a sweet spot between 2k and 5k rpm.

I emailed GMC last week about no headrest in the rear center seat position. They were nice enough to respond quickly, but I sure didn't like the answer. There is no plan to add a headrest back there. GMC would be my first choice, but for this minor, but critical, item.

Im a Ford guy but I have to say that I actually think the gauges in that pic look pretty good. Even more so if they glow teal with the headlights on.

Whoa that is a bunch of fixes to try come anywhere near the F150....HAHAHAHA!!!. It proves once again Ford listens to their customers & will always be one-two steps ahead of the competition...

Sorry shaky GOVT motors fangirls...they will need to get back to the drawing board...again, to try keep up with the leader; I guess if you can't beat them, join them :-))

Ford, America's favorite No.1 preferred truck for 41 yrs & counting HEH HEH HEH!!!

I want Chevy to stay Chevy not Ford or ram. If u like Ford go buy one. Chevy seats are the most comfortable seats out there. I drive 8 hrs straight without getting tired n on Ford u can only drive 2 hrs max without rest



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