The Chevrolet Silverado--Part II

Silverado SS 2005 II
Leading to the next generation: GMT900—2005-2013

By Gary Witzenburg

(Editor's note: In honor of the fact that GM will be coming to market with an all-new light-duty pickup truck next year, we thought we'd take a look back at the two most recent versions of the Chevrolet Silverado model: the GMT800 and GMT900.) 

When Jeff Luke was promoted to chief engineer for the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra in 2004, GM’s engineering program for the next-generation GMT900 pickups was just ramping up. We recently asked him what needed to be done to keep those trucks ahead of – or at least fully competitive with -- the fast-improving competition from Ford, Dodge, Toyota and Nissan.

“We continued to be extremely mindful of mass,” he says, “and we were thinking about fuel economy. We came up with Active Fuel Management, which at the time we called “cylinder deactivation,” a big fuel economy enabler. We believed that was a very important purchase consideration even though fuel was maybe $1.50 a gallon.”

What was at the top of his team’s priority list in designing and developing those trucks? “Fuel efficiency was important,” he says. “Aerodynamics, mechanical losses, tire rolling resistance -- without giving up any stopping or handling capability in wet and snow. Also great styling. Those were among the fundamentals in my book.”

When those new trucks came out, what was significantly better about them compared to their predecessors, and the competition? “I think the value proposition,” Luke says. “The balance of ensuring great QRD [quality, reliability and durability], styling, performance, fuel economy, safety, ride, handling, towing, hauling and payload capabilities, NVH [noise, vibration and harshness] and the technologies we employed. We met that balance very well. Also important were the two new interior designs.”

The Best Yet

When the new 2007 Silverados arrived in fall 2006 (the heavy-duty models followed in early 2007), one of the most significant features was two different interiors. A rugged, functional “work truck” cabin was standard, and top-line LTZs got a plush, upscale version like the one in Chevy’s most luxurious Tahoe and Suburban SUVs.

Silverado 6.0L V-8 II
“Silverado has always been the most dependable, longest-lasting pickup truck, and the 2007 lineup extends that legacy with industry-leading advancements in capability, quality, safety and fuel economy,” said Chevrolet general manager Ed Peper at the Silverado's press introduction in 2007. “Our guiding philosophy during the development of the new truck was delivering the confidence that comes with driving the strongest, most dependable and longest-lasting trucks on the road.”

With a base V-6 and a range of six "Gen IV" small-block V-8 engines, Chevrolet said its "strongest Silverado yet" offered segment-best power, capability and fuel economy. Towing capacity was a segment-best 10,500 pounds, while maximum payload was 2,160 pounds. Three cab styles (regular, extended and crew), three box lengths (5-foot-8-inch short, 6-foot-6-inch standard and 8-foot long beds) and three trim levels (WT, LT and LTZ), plus an optional LS exterior styling package were offered with two- or four-wheel drive.

The backbone of GM's new full-size truck platform was a new fully boxed frame riding on all-new coil-over-shock front suspension with rack-and-pinion steering and a revised Hotchkiss-type (live axle, leaf spring) rear suspension. The front tracks were about three inches wider and the rear tracks an inch wider than before for enhanced handling and stability, and the rear shocks were newly splayed for improved axle control.

Five suspension options -- Z83, Z85, Z71, Z60 and NHT -- were tailored to specific tastes and needs. The Z85 was best for on-road handling and trailer towing, the Z71 for off-road, the Z60 (with 20-inch wheels) for maximum street performance and the NHT (with off-road tires on 17-inch wheels) for maximum towing. High-capacity four-channel antilock brakes were standard on all models, and GM’s StabiliTrak electronic stability control was standard (and a segment exclusive) on crew cabs and available on extended-cab models.

Silverado 1500HD 2007 II
Engine choices included the base 195-horsepower V-6; a 295-hp, 4.8-liter V-8; four different 5.3-liter V-8s (two iron block, two aluminum, one of each E85 flex-fuel compatible), all with Active Fuel Management and all rated at the same 315 hp and 338 pounds-feet of torque; and the L76 6.0-liter aluminum V-8 with variable valve timing and AFM. The latter, good for 367 hp and 375 pounds-feet of torque, was available on LT and LTZ extended- and crew-cab models as part of a maximum trailering package. All but the L76 drove the rear (or all four) wheels through a Hydramatic 4L60 electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission, while the L76 was teamed with a 4L70 high-capacity version and a 9.5-inch heavy-duty (4.10:1) rear axle.

Exterior and Interior

Chevy said the new 900's look featured "a broad, chiseled face, which accents a broad-shouldered stance and gives the Silverado a powerful, muscular presence." There was more differentiation from its GMC Sierra cousin, from its large, wide new grille, front fenders, vertically stacked headlamps, bumpers and power-dome hood to its taillamps, box design and flared rear fenders. Its windshield was "faster" for improved aerodynamics, and its door handles were robust grab-handle types for easy use with gloves.

The new cabin was more spacious and functional, with increased storage capacity and (both) instrument panels placed lower and farther forward for better visibility. Basic work truck (WT) and midrange LT models got the "pure pickup" interior with larger controls and door handles, a double glove box and a lockable in-seat storage bin in the center of the 40/20/40-split bench large enough to hold a laptop computer. Leather seating with a six-way power driver's seat was optional with the LT trim level.

Silverado_1500_ltz interior 2007 II
LTZ models offered a completely different luxury interior with its own instrument panel and door panels, a heated 12-way power driver's seat, a large 20.1-liter center console box, premium audio with Bose speakers and heated windshield washers. LTZ crew cabs added rain-sensing automatic wipers, a rear-seat audio system and a bigger (5-liter) glove box.

Rear seats in extended and crew cabs were improved (the former with more rear legroom), a new 60/40-split "stadium style" back seat -- standard in crew cabs, available in extended cabs -- could be folded up with one hand (both sides, or just one or the other) and new rear doors on extended cabs opened a full 170 degrees for easier access.

In addition to StabiliTrak, all models came with an improved tire pressure monitoring system, segment-first safety-belt pretensioners that activated during a rear-end crash and Generation 7 GM OnStar with Advanced Automatic Crash Notification and a one-year Safe and Sound subscription. Also available were remote vehicle starting and safety-oriented features such as Autotrac active transfer case for slick-surface grip, Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist and, on LT and LTZ models, side curtain airbags.

Like the 1500s, the 2007 2500HD and 3500HD pickups offered three trim levels with two interiors, three cab styles and three box lengths, plus a choice of five different wheelbases and two different powertrains. Standard was a 353-hp, 6.0-liter Vortec gas engine making a class-leading 373 pounds-feet of torque and driving through a new Hydramatic 6L90 six-speed automatic transmission. Optional was a cleaner, more powerful Duramax turbo-diesel capable of pumping a segment-leading 365 hp and 660 pounds-feet of torque through its Allison 1000 heavy-duty six-speed automatic. All HD models were available with an integrated trailer brake controller, and maximum towing capabilities were a segment-best 13,000 pounds with conventional trailers and 16,700 pounds with fifth-wheel hitches.

Silverado 1500 2012 interior II
Evolutionary Changes

These new Silverados not only boosted sales over their predecessors, they also earned a series of accolades, including 2007 North American Truck of the Year (from a jury of 50 veteran auto journalists), Motor Trend Truck of the Year and Car and Driver's Best Pickup for 2007. Minor changes for 2008 included standard XM satellite radio and the optional integrated trailer brake controller that was previously offered only on HD models.

New for 2009 was a E85-capable 403-hp 6.2-liter V-8 for crew-cab models, a six-speed automatic available with 5.3-liter, 6.0-liter and the new 6.2-liter gas V-8s, new 18- and 20-inch chrome-clad wheels, OnStar 8.0 with turn-by-turn navigation and destination download, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, a new NavTraffic feature for the XM satellite radio and a backup camera available on extended- and crew-cab models.

GM's expensive but highly effective two-mode hybrid system was offered on Silverado pickups for 2009. It integrated two electric motors into a four-speed automatic transmission to deliver an impressive 21/22 mpg city/highway from a 6.0-liter V-8-powered two-wheel-drive pickup with a 6,100-pound towing capability -- a 40 percent boost in EPA city fuel economy and a 25 percent improvement overall. With four-wheel drive, it was rated 20 mpg in city and highway driving.

Unfortunately, 2009 was also the year of the Great Recession, plummeting auto sales and GM's government-guided bankruptcy. Few two-mode hybrid pickups were sold that year or the next, yet GM stuck with them through its darkest times and eventual sales and financial recovery. "Yes, the two-modes are more expensive," Luke says. "That technology costs more, but its fuel economy is pretty impressive. Fleets like them, so we sell a good number of two-mode hybrid pickups to fleets."

As gas prices soared and as sales plummeted in 2008-09, changes to the Silverado for 2010 were aimed at improving fuel economy. A fuel-saver mode and a tall 3.08:1 axle with the 5.3-liter V-8 improved efficiency in both two- and four-wheel-drive Silverados to 15/21 mpg, and a special XFE model delivered 22 mpg highway. Availability of the more fuel-efficient six-speed automatic expanded, the 4.8-liter and 5.3-liter V-8s got variable valve timing, and E85 capability was offered on 4.8-, 5.3- and 6.2-liter engines. Other upgrades included revised interior door trim, standard StabiliTrak, side curtain and seat-mounted side airbags on all models and USB connectivity on all except the base radio.

Silverado Hybrid engine 2008 II

Silverado Hybrid 2007 II
Changes for 2011 were mostly wind noise reductions and a new 9.0 version of OnStar, but 2012 brought a freshened face with a new chrome mesh grille, chrome front bumpers and 20-inch chromed aluminum wheels. LTZs got a hard-drive navigation radio, available heated and cooled front seats, trailer-sway control and hill start assist along with StabiliTrak, and base work trucks added standard cruise control and a spare tire lock.

As of this writing, we expect little change to 2013 Silverados as GM's full-size truck team puts the final touches on its all-new 2014 models. Luke -- now executive director, vehicle line executive (VLE) and vehicle chief engineer over all GM trucks, vans and crossovers -- will not drop any hints, but it's safe to say that his team's key priorities will begin with substantially higher fuel efficiency balanced with class-leading capabilities, along with fresh new styling and state-of-the-art entertainment, convenience and safety features.

He says his philosophy is "to be the No. 1 truck in the marketplace. From a value perspective, to deliver all of those elements of the value proposition at an affordable price so that the customer feels that he has received great value. Each brand has a brand promise, and my job is to deliver every truck in accordance with its performance expectations.”

Silverado towing 2007 MT


Mediocre at best and certainly not with the audience in mind during development.

I certainly hope for better economy with the next gen than this one. I was more than a bit surprised to only see 19 mpg on a trip w/ the use of cruise.
Heck, I have an '08 5.3L GMC 2WD with cylinder deactivation and still got less than my buddy's '85 Chevy 4X4 with a 305 4bbl which averaged 21 mpg.
So much for this new tech!

"Silverado has always been the most dependable, longest lasting pickup truck.." At that point he lost all credibility and I stopped reading. Sigh..

This is the only body style that I refused to buy because.......I want to see the HOOD NOT WIPERS!!!!

The current line of GM trucks do absolutely nothing for me! GM needs a hit with the new truck!

No wonder every one says bull sh*& stories and lies about these trucks. Look at all the class leading and segment-best the 800 and 900s had, can you say jealous!! Their fords and rams where no match other then they had girlie man interiors. I'm sure this time GM will add them girlie man female interiors with tampon holders to steal away ford girlie men and ram sales this time.

Silverado the most dependable, longest lasting pickup truck on the road and it will only get better.

The GMT900 will go down as the most failed truck in truck history. For one, the Silverado is not muscular, it's flat out butt ugly. You don't flare an entire bed. Same with the front fenders. It looks horrible. The mega wide front end looked bloated and cartoonish with it's 3 piece bumper. Next, everything on this truck is cheap. The interiors were abysmal at launch. Very poor quality materials were used and fit/finish/design was horrible. Parts bin drum brakes. Wax dipped frames which begin to rust away after a good first winters worth of car washes. The bumpers are chintzy and just worthless. They also took the thin metal too far. When coupled with the poor design you also have Rippled sheetmetal over the rear wheelwells on a brand new vehicle. To add insult to injury they still didn't fix the piston slap problem these engines have been plagued with since day one. This truck is a pile of scrap metal. The 800's were just as bad but they at least had a little thicker body metal and bumpers. Then again they were rust buckets. The last good truck Chevy ever built was the 400. They had a solid multi decade of dominance run there all the way until the 400 was done. Then Ford took over because Chevy's got extremely cheap and ugly.

The "most reliable blah blah blah" advertising BS detracts from the article's credibility.

Stating that the Nissan Titan is a rapidly improving piece of competition while in reality it is standing still and compares horribly with everything else detracts from the article's credibility.

Chevy has some work cut out for it if they want to maintain their customer base. People will only wait for so long before moving to ram or ford. I hope that they put out some great stuff because I would never buy one (until Onstar is gone) I both like trucks and like to see competition in the truck market.

Chevy has sold so many trucks that they rule the roost for used trucks around here. You can get an old beater circa 2000 Chevy 4x4 for ~$5000. That's not bad at all for the wealth of information and parts available for such a truck. Probably wouldn't want as a daily driver, but for a beater/work/hunting/fun truck it would do the job just fine.

LOL!! Longest lasting?? Maybe in the old days but certainly not this piece of crap. Every time I see one of these rolling turds I think of this....

And Most Dependable?? Again, LOL!! Nice Piston Slap. Ya, I'd sure want to spend 50 grand on a new truck built of tinfoil that knocked like a hammer!!

Chevrolet is DONE FOR. Their trucks are as worthless as their cars now. The brand is cooked. Stick a fork in em.... Dodge Ram will OWN the #2 spot in sales within a year and Chevrolet Silverado will NEVER get it back.

Oh yes, the goofy looking Silverado launched in 2007 that still didn't have a King Ranch interior like the Ford had way back in 1999. I remember that one. It was an attempt at humor on Chevy's part right? Surely they weren't serious with that thing.

This right here shows where Chevy went all wrong. That blue truck up top is where they lost me. When they went to the slant eyed Japanese Avalanche looking front end I bought an F-150. I had a 2001 Silverado that still looked sharp. In 04 Ford's new truck had it all over this slant eyed mess Chevy came out with. Why didn't the Silverado just stay the same way they had it from 99-02??? The Sierra stayed the same. I don't drive GMC's though. They completely ruined a good looking Chevy truck. GM could have got my business back in 2007 when it was time for a new truck again but no way in hell was I buying this new Silverado in 07. I had waited for 4 years to see if Chevy was going to fix the abomination that the Silverado became only to see they made it 10 times Worse. No thanks. In 09 I bought my second new Ford truck. Chevrolet has lost so many customers over their poor designs and cost cutting measures that I don't know if they'll ever recover to be honest. It would take a mind blowing Silverado to ever get me back in the Chevrolet family again.

@ danL They didn't lose customers read the story.

"These new Silverados not only boosted sales over their predecessors, they also earned a series of accolades, including 2007 North American Truck of the Year (from a jury of 50 veteran auto journalists), Motor Trend Truck of the Year and Car and Driver's Best Pickup for 2007."

Only reason sales are low this year is cause the all new 2014 will be on sale in spring of 2013. Poeple are waitting for the new trucks. Talk bout brainless and jealous fan boys haha!!

If you wanna see ugly look at the box flat looking ford. No style at all with a butt ugly grill and head lights, and wanna be rice burner spoiler on the tailgate. Ford F150's look like a 1990s honda with a wanna be spoiler. Then you drive them fords down the road and look in the mirror and watch the bed sides wave at you at 50 mph. With in two years time at 100,000 miles around the fuel filler door and the buttom front of the bed they start rusting out. Ford puts plastic bed rail top protecters on cause if you lean on the top of the bed rails they dent to hell with out them. Then when you close the doors on ford trucks they wave at you thin tinfold metal they use. Walk around a ford you can push in with you're pinky finger and dent the sheet metal from the tailgate to the bedside to the doors and to the hood. You can grab the bumps and hard pull and watch them flex. Then you got the 5.4L guttless motors that blow spark plus out of the head, cracking manafolds, and spark plugs that break apart into 3 parts. So you need buy a 200 dollar spark plug puller. Then you got the oh so great 6.0L power joke that blows head gaskits and leaking ERG'S the dump coolant into the engine and blows it up and failing turbos. Then you got the 6.4L with blown head gaskits and leaky EGR's to top it off you have to pull the cab off to fix these head gaskit blowing engines. If you want to see pure junk go look at a ford truck near you. I'm sure there is more common ford problems I messed.

hardly pull*

This right here shows where Chevy went all wrong. That blue truck up top is where they lost me. When they went to the slant eyed Japanese Avalanche looking front end I bought an F-150. I had a 2001 Silverado that still looked sharp. In 04 Ford's new truck had it all over this slant eyed mess Chevy came out with. Why didn't the Silverado just stay the same way they had it from 99-02???

@Dan, I hear this from many Chevy guys. It seems to me that 2003/2004 was the tipping point for loyalty. Ford came out with a homerun of a truck no doubt that year and arguably Chevy kind of ruined theirs with that slanted front end. The piston slap issue was probably just starting to manifest itself after 3-4 years and the rust issue was probably just creeping in on those Northern trucks. You have a point on the King Ranch as well. Chevy strangely had nothing to counter it.

As for this 900 model, I think they made it look a little better myself because they put a more rounded front end back on. Then again, the complaints on the flared sides and 3 piece bumper I can fully understand. I never got that either. The Sierra bumper and stampings looked so much better to me. Chevrolet has their work cut out for them. I see they pulled out of Texas. They must have thought they could slide by again and got caught with their pants down. I don't know what happened to those guys. I really don't. They had such fantastic old trucks. Till this day I still think they were better looking for the most part than what Ford was doing at the time. The build quality was there too. Oh well..

Johnny Doe, you obviously haven't spent much time looking at the GM trucks. Take a look at the spoiler on GM's tailgates before you ridicule other makes for having them. And while you're at the GM dealer, take a look at the hoods to see how many have finger impressions in the sheet metal left from someone closing the hood.
All brands have their strengths and weaknesses. If you love this vintage of GM trucks so much, why not focus on posting their positive features instead of deflecting attention to other brands.

If they had cleaned up the sides of this truck, narrowed the front end to match the slimmed down sides and fixed the bumper, this would have been a really sharp looking Silverado! As it is, it's a mess. I'm looking forward to the next truck and the new engines. As a Chevy guy, I'd rather put the last 2 generations of trucks behind me and get back to the good stuff. We need some high quality Ford and Dodge type interiors and some good looks again. Like many, neither of these last 2 models have set very well with me design wise. And while the LS engines are awesome, the piston slap just isn't good. I have it in my 02 with the 5.3 and it's not terrible but a minor annoyance. The 6.0's at work though pound pretty loud when it's cold out and we first start them. My Corvette doesn't have any slap yet but I only drive it maybe 5k a year and only in the summer. I'd just rather not have to worry about it anymore. I'll always be a Chevrolet man but if I wasn't a loyalist, I'd probably be in an F-150 right now. I wouldn't buy a new Silverado. It's why I've kept my old one for so long. I just don't like what they've done since so I'm waiting. C'mon Chevy! Let's get it right this time!

This truck sucked. No other truck in the world waves at you as it drives by. The sheetmetal is just wavy wavy. Over the rear tires on the bed it's just awful! Just look at any brand new Chevy truck on the dealer lot. From the base of the wheel opening to about 4 inches high all the way across the opening. Waves all over on an expensive new vehicle that you can see plain as day. GM deserves all of the hate they get for this thing. Poor design and terrible terrible build quality. That's very telling of the cost cutting in this thing. And yep, drums out back, waxed frames, tinfoil pop riveted bumpers and the oh so famous cheap plasticrap GM interiors. They've had so many issues with just the cheap seat coverings on the seats it's bizarre. The truck is a rolling Heap Of Cheap. How fitting that it rolls on Chinese made wheels. Heartbeat of America-America's Truck my ass. Chevy trucks are disposable junk now.

The GMT900 will go down as the most failed truck in truck history. For one, the Silverado is not muscular, it's flat out butt ugly. You don't flare an entire bed. Same with the front fenders. It looks horrible (All personal opinion). The mega wide front end looked bloated and cartoonish with it's 3 piece bumper. Next, everything on this truck is cheap. The interiors were abysmal at launch (I've already has this arguement before, they were class matching if not leading with the LTZ, many magazines and comparisons were won and mentioned this. Quit talking smack of your opinion). Very poor quality materials were used and fit/finish/design was horrible (See above). Parts bin drum brakes (What is wrong with them? More pad area then a disc, cheaper, bullet proof, used on semi trucks, oh all they don't do is cool from track abuse...). Wax dipped frames which begin to rust away after a good first winters worth of car washes (They tried something different, I am sure an engineer knows something you don't. Maybe they will use something else going forward?). The bumpers are chintzy and just worthless (As are all trucks as weight is saved, nothing is like the old bumpers). They also took the thin metal too far (and the new dodge has what for fenders and hoods, aluminum?). When coupled with the poor design you also have Rippled sheetmetal over the rear wheelwells on a brand new vehicle. To add insult to injury they still didn't fix the piston slap problem these engines have been plagued with since day one (none I have ever owned nor know anyone that has that, it doesn't cause failures just sounds, and that motor is damn near bullet proof regardless of the sound it makes). This truck is a pile of scrap metal (stop with the opinion, it has been passed by newer model trucks, each truck tops the other with new models every dang year). The 800's were just as bad but they at least had a little thicker body metal and bumpers. Then again they were rust buckets. The last good truck Chevy ever built was the 400. They had a solid multi decade of dominance run there all the way until the 400 was done. Then Ford took over because Chevy's got extremely cheap and ugly (what ever you say boss)...

What really matters in the real world is how a truck sells. And nobody cares about who came in second, or third, or fourth.

I drive a Tundra 5.7, by choice because I owned both a Silverado and an F150, at the same time, for years. For me it is the best truck I have ever owned in 66 years of living on this planet. It doesn't sell all that well, but it sure is a perfect match for me.

Having said that, if no Tundra was available, I'd buy another F150 because Ford is just lightyears ahead of both GM and RAM, all the way around. And the sales data supports that.

What I would look for in a GM truck, Silverado or Sierra, would be a 5.7-liter, 32-valve, DOHC, all-aluminum V8 with an Allison transmission behind it, and HUGE 4-wheel disc brakes. Let's get rid of the pushrods in the half-ton series.

In a truck, engine, transmission and brakes are all that matters. The rest is fluff, bling, eye-candy. The closest thing I got to my ideal was my 2011 Tundra 5.7 SR5 DoubleCab.

Not selling anything here, but if GM wants to outsell Ford they had better put some awesome upgrades in their half-ton trucks at the next upgrade. And it better be soon.

johnny doe i've said it before and i'll say it again, you are an idiot sir, that is all

I think Ron Kenseth said it best. Brand loyalty aside Chevy hasn't built a decent truck in years. I sure hope the next one does great because ford and ram really have their game face on.

I didn't care for the way the Chevy's looked, but I liked the GMC's. The 900's were a lot better than the 800's, in particular the interiors were better quality and the cargo boxes were much stronger. No question the 900's had the best powertrains of any of the 'Big 3' full size trucks. The 900's hold up well, the fleet I work for ownes several hundred, and the operating/ownership costs are about the best. Can't argue with the numbers.

I wish I had gotten your tundra.Mine had terrible wind noise and when you pulled it in to gear on a hill it sounded like the whole truck was exploding.2 starters in 8 thousand miles.
Mine squeaked and rattled like a 30 yr old truck.

To add insult to injury when I mounted my toolbox on it the bed shook so bad when driving in the snow or rough rd it actually pulled the bolts threw the bed.I fell for the yota is better crap and at 20 thousand and about 10 visits to the dealership I got rid of that turdra.

I went back to ford and quality.Never again will I ever purchase a toyota anything.I over looked the bulldog nose because I thought the truck would be good.What I ended up with was a ugly truck with very poor quality.

I don't have a horse in this race, but I run an oilfield services company. I make the ultimate decision on what truck has the best value for our company. The only thing I admittedly don't weigh heavily is the pimped out interiors. We periodically try all of the Big 3 offerings to vet the product choices. Even with the most dated design of the bunch, the Chevrolet is still the best truck for running rough roads all day long with crews and equipment. The repair costs and downtime don't lie. If you want the pimped out interior, sure, buy the Dodge, Toyota or Ford. Great trucks, no doubt. In fact, all of these manufacturers are producing good products. But if you need a truck that will outwork the others, the Chevys still outproduces.

It seems to me that 2003/2004 was the tipping point for loyalty. Ford came out with a homerun of a truck no doubt that year and arguably Chevy kind of ruined theirs with that slanted front end.

-Bingo! We have a winner. The 800's and 900's are junk but at least the 800's looked good until 2002.

@Tyler- you're an apologist excuse throwing GM fool. GM started wax dipping their frames on the 800's because it was Cheap. Not because of engineering, because of cost. GM went to parts bin drums because they were Cheap. Not because of engineering, because of cost. 2500/3500's have Disc brakes. Our 25/3500 Express vans at work ALL have disc brakes out back for stopping power and reliability. The GM bumpers are the Thinnest of the thin. The others have gotten thinner yes, but not THIS thin. GM's interiors were pathetic at launch. You cannot honestly compare the stupid LTZ to a King Ranch. GM's plastics were and are horrible compared to a 2004 Ford as are their fabrics. Wonder why GM is sourcing Ford's supplier now for their interiors on the new truck?? Hmmm.. And the piston slap issue is irrelevant to you?? Is that why there's a website devoted solely to it and there's a brend new GM bulletin about it for the 2012's?? Who wants to spend 50-60 grand on a truck with a knocking engine? I wouldn't spend 5 grand on a used one because of it. GM is the cheapest chintziest auto manufaturer there is bar none. Chevrolet's reputation is in the toilet because of them.

The Silverado has so much catching up to do to even Match the F-150 and Ram. To surpass either one the Silverado will have to go above and beyond both or completely lose it's #2 sales spot. I personally don't feel it will happen. Chevrolet is held back by GMC plain and simple so there's no way the Silverado will ever be allowed to be as nice as the F-150 or Ram in top trim form by GM's own doing. Then there's the overall issue of how far they would have to go to even try. And what happens when Ford and Dodge counterpunch Chevrolet right back inside of a year? Chevrolet is once again sol.. GM won't have the resources to keep the truck fresh because they have to spend money on 2 trucks and even 2 car lines with Buick/Opel competing against Chevrolet as well. The bottom line is this, GM is a mess and in a hole that they created themselves. We tried to save them but they can't seem to save themselves. The company should have closed and Chevrolet should have continued on as an individual company like they started as. Maybe then would you see a world class Silverado built to perfection. Having Chevrolet compete head to head with Ford or Dodge like they used to is a pipe dream now to anyone living in reality. It simply will not happen. And if it did, it will be very short lived.. Ford and Dodge own the truck market now. On Road (rear coils-Dodge), Off Road (SFA-Both, Tucked up frame-Both, Raptor/RamRunner), Work Truck (Both own this segment in the HD arena), Luxury Truck (King Ranch, Platinum, Laramie, Longhorn, Limited's etc), Everything. Chevy? Not so much. Chevrolet has NONE of any of those things in their Silverado and the Silverado is the ugliest of the 3.

The number one commerical truck in my neck of the woods are Fords F150's and F250's drivetrain strength, frame strength, and durability.

I agree GM should get rid of the pushrod motors if they want to survive. SOHC and DOHC engines have been the future for over 20yrs. They getting smaller and more powerful with technologies like Variable Valve Timing and Direct Injection. Pushrod guys will say that engine packaging is better with a pushrod motor, but that not the case. When the Japanese Auto companies like Toyota and Nissan introduce there SOHC and DOHC engine to the U.S. 20yrs ago these little 2.0L engines cranked out the same power as a typical pushrod V-6, and use less space.
Checkout the Ecoboost packaging in a F150, the size of this engine is amazing compared to the truck.

I agree the 2004-2006 Chevy trucks are ugly as hell, especially compared to the then new 2004 F150, lightyears ahead in style and technology. I am also a Ford truckguy.

@Johnnie Doze -
Comprehension not your strong point? The quote about "These new Silverados not only boosted sales over their predecessors," was then folllowed by the comment "Unfortunately, 2009 was also the year of the Great Recession, plummeting auto sales and GM's government-guided bankruptcy."
One interesting point that was made on another thread - from 2008 to 2011:
Ford gained 69,404 new truck sales = 14% increase
GMC lost 69,309 new truck sales = 12 % loss
Ram lost 10,007 new truck sales = 1% loss
It looks like GMC's platform is hurting sales to Ford's benefit.
It doesn't look like they went to Ram.
2008 Ram - 245,840
2011 Ram - 244,763
2008 Ford - 515,513
2011 Ford - 584,917
2008 GMC (combined) - 633,609
2011 GMC (combined) - 564,300

GMC sales fell 12% and Ford sales increased 14%.

I wonder where all of those loyal Chevy fans went for new trucks?

Ram's truck line over the same period lost 1% in sales. Considering Ram also went through bankruptsy and suffered ONLY a 1% loss is actually pretty damned good.
You can't blame the bankrupsy on poor sales since Ram didn't take the big hit GMC did.

Then what is to blame?

GMT 900's ??????

I agree the 2004-2006 Chevy trucks are ugly as hell, especially compared to the then new 2004 F150, lightyears ahead in style and technology.

@latwoods, add me to the list. This is where Chevy lost me as a customer. And no, they didn't win me back with the 2007 redesign either. Yuck! Both the 2004-2006 and the 2007-present trucks are ugly as hell. What happened to those guys? Did they lose all of their good designers to Ford and Dodge or what? I have a 5th grade kid who could draw up a better looking truck than these last two. I'm with pretty much everyone else in the world, Chevy trucks of the 40's 50's 60's 70's 80's and 90's were Awesome! Now? Forget about it. Ugly as hell is right. I don't know about the build quality issues eveyone complains about because I refuse to buy one in the first place. Although I do see quite a few smashed up bumpers on these things driving around. It appears as though they'd be worthless for work duty. I'm not impressed with seeing drum brakes either. And now that I see the piston slap bulletin, I'm glad they're ugly. It saved me from a mechanical nightmare obviously.

@Tyler, how could you possibly defend the interiors on this truck? Even in 2007 they were bad. The plain interior looks to be terrible like something you'd see in a Hyundai circa 1995. The LTZ isn't all that great. It's ok at best for the Tahoe. It's certainly not a truck interior on the same caliber as what Ford had with the 2004 redesign. You're nuts.

Pictured above are the 2 most pathetic so called trucks in GM history. They turned these "trucks" into cheaply built cars with a bed. Rust buckets, engine knocks, cheap brakes, poor body quality, cheap interiors, crap looks. It's like in 1998 when the old bodystyle ended GM took all of the screwballs who built the disposable junk 1990's GM cars and told them to build trucks now instead. That's exactly how I view the last two generations of GM trucks. Just cheap ass 1990's junk GM cars with a bed. They are certainly not the Chevy trucks I grew up with. Not even in the same league. Chevy's were always top dog over the competition at any given moment in truck production and you were proud to own one. Now I'd be embarassed.

Luke the VLE has his work cut out for him. So does that lady in charge of the truck launches. I can tell you right now I wouldn't own this Chevrolet even with 15k cash back on the hood.. It's just not a quality built piece of machinery. I agree with the above, they are kind of like 90's GM cars with a bed. Very poor build quality. I also agree the 800 was not much better. I bought a 99 when they first launched and it was very cheaply built compared to my 95. I went through 3 speedometers in 40k miles, had the steering clunk fixed twice and had the same piston slap issue everyone else is experiencing. I also had the typical rocker rot with holes in the metal by the time I traded it off for the new 04 Ford. I had None of those issues with my 95 Silverado. Not a single one in the 4 1/2 years I drove it. Zero problems. And the interior was Far better quality than my 99 and so was the body durability. It was the best damn truck I ever owned next to my new F-150. You have to go back to the 400 to get a good Chevy Silverado and then continue backwards from there not forwards. And that's a very sad thing to say. Ford's are just built better now and are nicer now than Chevrolet's and that's the cold hard truth. I never in my life thought I'd say those word's but here I am saying them. There's a reason they're running away with sales my last one included. And not having a SFA on the HD's has done serious damage to Chevy 2500 and up sales ever since the early 90's. Huge mistake there Chevy. And if GM ever thought they'd win back loyalty from Ford with making their GMC truck nicer they're dead wrong when it comes to this guy. I've never owned a GMC and never will. Especially not now with the Government Motors thing. I'll stick with Ford. Chevrolet is a lost cause that apparently GM cares nothing for to fix.

Chevy blew it with this truck. I remember being excited for it's launch only to be let down big time. I didn't like the blue one up top. They just didn't look right either. I've been anxiously awaiting this new one but don't have my hopes up this time like I did for the 07. When you're let down that bad, you kind of lose the faith. My last Chevy was a 98 and it was awesome. I'd still have it if it didn't get hit by our city plow. I bought my brothers 05 Ram from him. It's really been a good truck. I don't feel at home in it as I've always been a Chevy guy but I can't say the Dodge has been bad to me either. If I had to buy a new truck this afternoon, I'd pretty much be forced to go with a new Dodge instead of the Chevy. I'm not nor will ever be a Ford guy so. The new Ram Limited's are sweet! That would most likely be my choice of truck. My racecars will always be Chevy's though. Sorry Dodge, you can't have me there. I'm not into Dodge engines for racing.

And to the guys whining about the piston slap, yes, it's BS that GM has that in this modern age. Don't discount the LS motors for racing though. We rebuild them with different pistons and tolerences are checked-spec'd out perfectly and we have No slap at all after that. You can make serious horsepower.. We've been routinely pulling 1500 hp out of LS motors for 5 years now. You can get better flowing heads for these SBC-2's (as we call them) than the SBC-1's. I can't wait for the SBC-3's (Gen-5) to arrive! Even if the truck it comes in is a letdown again... I know it's not truck related. I just posted it for what it's worth. Racecar guys/Truck guys are one in the same.

I'll admit it up front. I am a Ford guy. As far as looks go the Dodge Ram wins hands down. 2nd is Ford. Chevy's and GMC's are either Tied for the Ugly title along with the Nissan. One question about the GM large trucks though. It seems that 8 out of 10 have one light (parking light in front) on at all times. Is that on purpose or is that a quality issue? I really don't know. If anyone has an answer, please let me know.

@ Cameron

What is it about Chevy trucks that you find to be more reliable than Ram or Ford? You seem to be in a good position to evaluate for this so I am curious if you could expand on that a little bit.

Let's hope they have new designers and the new truck will be decent looking instead of the butt awful look of this past generation.

Breaking news!

Revamped GM Trucks to Have Only Six Gears

@ Cameron - good to hear you have the best luck with chevy trucks for your industry, I have to say its rare someone has that comment though, my experience it's usually Fords, but good to hear some positive feedback about chevy's!

hope the new Chevy keeps Ford and Ram on their toes, the competition is great to have, its a win win for all 3 makes and their owners.

My 2006 HD Silverado 2500 with over 300,000 miles on it and still going strong and making me money. Great investment for me! I would not own anything but a GM truck because they are dependable and a good value over both Ford and Dodge, and I have the numbers to back it up.

You Ford boys can call this generation of GM trucks a failure but the facts speak for themselves. The GM HD's out pulled and out performed the best that Ford and Dodge had to offer two years in a row. The new HDs are the best heavy duty pickup offered today! GM's suvs outsell Ford's suvs by large numbers because Ford has been failing in that market for the last 10 years or more. They tried the Excursion to top the Suburban but failed at that too. Ford likes to pretend that they can build a good truck but they are failures at offering a good reliable truck today. And Dodge is only dreaming at offering a truck to compete at the top. GM sells more cars and trucks because they are the best that are offered today. I would not buy anything but a GM product because I like making money not blowing it on worthless junk.

The 8-year-old GMT900 Chevy Silverado is considered by some to be a huge success, but it has not aged well.

-The title of this piece is accurate. It hasn't aged well at all and it's only considered by 'Some' to be a huge success. Certainly not by me. This truck is a failure on all levels.

@Greg, Chevrolet's Tahoe is the best looking suv in the industry. Even the LTZ interior looks alright in it. The design is still fresh today and is one of if not the best Chevrolet designs ever. No doubt that's why it sells. If I were going out to buy an SUV, I would buy a Tahoe in a heartbeat if I had a guarantee it would not have piston slap. You could not give me a Silverado however.. I think the Silverado's should have looked like the Tahoe's but they are what they are. A total failure in design. It's just an ugly duckling of a truck. And people expect more from the Silverado in terms of interiors and interior packages because Ford and Dodge offer more than Chevrolet in the F-150/Super Duty and Ram. Your evidence of the fastest pulling truck only tells about 1/10th of the pick up truck equasion. The Duramax diesel and Allison transmission is the best out there and I agree. It also pulled a lightweight truck faster because of the tinfoil sheetmetal..And that thin of metal and bumpers are Not desirable in a truck. These are not Sprint Cup or NHRA cars. They are supposed to be trucks built as machinery for working not drag racing. None of what you say takes into consideration the piston slap of the non diesel engines. Nor the cheaply wax dipped frames. Nor the drum brakes. Nor the poor design. Nor the cheap interiors. Nor the wavy sheetmetal and thin tin bumpers. Nor the lack of a SFA on the HD's. Nor the low slung frame on the HD's.

When the only category your truck can win in is a drag race, you're not winning. Peopl expect Chevrolet to compete with Ford and Dodge on ALL levels and Better them based on history. Chevrolet has let people down continually for a good 15 years.

I think GM does have to step up its bling profile because that's the way America is going ! So to stay on top of sales at least one bling model should be included in the next model truck ! If thats GMs only drawback compared to Dodge and Ford Iam ok with it.

As far as quality and the top dog rating in in reliability department GM wins . I am in the working water front industry in New England and 8 out of 10 trucks you see by the water are GMs from 1988-2012 models. That not only are they used to transport hundreds of lbs of salt water infested gear year after year and then plow snow all winter long .

.Secondly I plow for a local municipality and we only use GM pickups from mid 90s to 2012 model none have ever left any body stranded.

Maybe its a regional thing ,but in New England Gm is still king for the heavy duty work !

These trucks are pure crap. It's a Ford and Dodge world now when it comes to trucks and that's translating into cars now too. It's time for GM to take a hike. They destroyed the once unstoppable Chevrolet empire anyway. To hell with them and their cheap ass trucks. The blame for all of Chevrolet's fall lies squarely at the feet of Government Motors Corp. They used Chevrolet as a quick money bank to prop up the rest of their crap brands in the 80's 90's and early 2k's and destroyed the Chevrolet brand in the process by making them cheapest pieces of garbage on the planet. I prefer to remember Chevrolet for what it once was. Number One.

GM/GMC should burn in flames for what they did to Chevrolet.

Whoa whoa whoa I knew GMT900's had thin body panels, but getting dents from just shutting the hood? Holy crap thats just terrible. I didn't know it was that bad, guess i have to keep my chevy friends from buying those.

LMAO Look at all the ford trolls, hows you 5.4L spark plug spitting junk, turbo and head gaskit blowing eniges and you're china trannsmissions. I love how their so jealous of the best trucks out there GM RULES!!

@ phillyguy Cameron uses his truck in the same job field I do, and the chevy just always fire up and never falls apart 09 and my 2011 chevy never cost me anything but gas brakes and tires and one set of leaf spring on my 09. My fords 06 and 08 where always falling apart broken leaf springs, fuel pumps, rear axle, spark plug problems, warpping rotors piss poor mileage for brakes wear, ball joints, broken heater a/c controlls, and just shitty gas mpg.

all this chevy rusting and ford don't blah blah crap here some fords with in the 800 and 900 gm timeline and there rusting issues lol

oh look at this even ford had piston slap lmao

here some more problems you can pick away but years

This is just mostly f150 problems with in gms 800 and 900 time line, want me to look at the super pooper problem too? Probably not cause I just make you ford troll look even more retarded. Fords the biggest piles of crap on the road.

I admit I don't like the GMT 900's all that much but calling them a failure is ridiculous.

If selling millions is failure I can't imagine what the pickup truck landscape would look like right now if if GM sold an amount that would be considered a "success".

The stupidity runs rampant on here even from the intelligent regulars sometimes.

The current 900 model is dated and hasn't aged well IMHO but I'd prefer to wait and see what they come up with for the new model before dancing on GM's grave. They really let the 900's out to hang with next to no updates but they've hardly fallen off the map.

The small amount of posters on here (including me) make up what amounts to a needle in a haystack of opinions and purchasers. If this was an accurate cross section GM would be soundly thrashed behind Tundra in sales. Sales is the last thing that concerns me and am in the market for a new "number 3 Ram" but it's easy to see through all the BS many of you try to pass on here as known fact.

The trolls ruin this place but the regulars spewing BS here are hardly any better.

@Officer Niggermyer- johnny queer (a.k.a enus) doesn't use his chevy truck for work because it can't handle it, he uses a four wheeler.

Johnny & Greg are timeless GMC trolls. GMC's are for women who sell Avon and Mary Kay products you two dorks. Generally trashy people who like to bling it up with a Denali. Don't you guys have one of those girly Envoy's or Yukons to go wax?

And ya, this Chevy truck sucked. It was ugly and it IS a chintzy built pile of crapola. Too bad for the old faithful Chevy guys really. At least with the Chevrolet crowd you get proud sophisticated American types like Ford and Dodge drivers are. It's no wonder they want to distance themselves from GM-GMC screwballs. I'd be embarassed too. Maybe next time Bowtie guys. We're bringing you a fight though with our Ram and have NO intention of letting you keep your #2 spot. Sorry boys, it is what it is.

Johnny & Greg are timeless GMC trolls. GMC's are for women who sell Avon and Mary Kay products you two dorks. Generally trashy people who like to bling it up with a Denali. Don't you guys have one of those girly Envoy's or Yukons to go wax?

@RamThis, don't forget Tyler. All 3 are GovtMoCo Sierra chicks. I've watched those clowns for months. I'm with you on the Dodge Ram. Best truck in the business now. We should be aiming for Ford though. Let them be #2. Let Chevy R.I.P... GM killed em.

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