What We're Driving: 2015 Chevrolet Silverado Z71

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We're headed to the 2016 Overland Expo in Flagstaff, Ariz., to examine and drive the 2015 Ram Rebel half-ton, and we can't wait. We're taking a brand-new 2015 Chevrolet Silverado Z71 off-roader to the event to see how it measures up next to Ram's most capable half-ton four-wheeler. Not sure how much back-to-back time we'll have with the two pickups, but it should give us a good baseline for comparing the newest pickup in Ram's 10-truck stable.

Our Z71 crew cab has extra skid plating under the engine (plastic) and a transfer case (steal), 275/55R20 Goodyear Wrangler street-biased tires, the 6.2-liter V-8, 3.23:1 gears, all weighing 5660 pounds and offering a full-time-capable all-wheel drive transfer case with Hill Descent. Our Z71 totals just over $57,000. No doubt we'll get some decent fuel mileage on the way to see the Ram Rebel; we'll have more to report on both later next week.

Cars.com photos by Mark Williams




Too bad that you don't have Fx4 with you, but thank you for doing at least this.

That's a great looking Silverado! I love that they brought back the white bumpers/Sport look! If only that truck with the 6.2 engine was more readily available!!

Not bad. I'd much rather have that Chevy Z71 than the Ram Rebel.

Goodyear Wrangler P275/55R20 (Chevy) vs Toyo Open Country LT285/70R17E (Ram). That alone tells me which truck really wants to leave the pavement.

$57K, i'd rather go Raptor.

That is one ugly truck! I can't believe they want and will get $57,000 for that! Must be many, many fools out there.

The Silverado is just so classy looking. Looks good out on the farm and in the big city.

They really need to level the front end, especially on the 4x4 models.

I agree that the Ram Rebel will be the ugliest truck on the road and it has the crappy semi-Hemi.

Between those two trucks, sign me up for the Ram. This coming from a Ford guy.

Ram is disgusting, but at least it wont drag the front air dam on speed bumps in a mall parking lot...

My prediction is the Chevy will get stuck in a 4 inch deep pothole due to the low air dam and street tires. This is from a Chevy guy.

@ RoadTrip
I have TRD Rock Warrior wheels and they are light weight forged aluminum wheels wrapped around LT285/70R17E tires. Why does the Chevy have 20's?

Because 20 inch wheels are standard on the Custom Sport Edition, which that is. Too bad they didn't get the Midnight Edition, much better setup to go off-road in their Special Editions lineup.

Good looking truck. If Chevy thinks this is an off road package their definition must be a flat dirt road. Technically that's off the road. lol

Would like to see diesel option on the ram rebel if you folks at fca are reading.

This is a better looking truck. At least it isn't one of those blacked out pickups with black rims.

More work with the grille would even be better. The grille is broken down a little, it's a pity many pickups use those ridiculous large grilles.

This does tend to unbalance and make a vehicle look overly animated. The large grilles just don't look functional, they look very Las Vegas.

As for off road? This isn't what I'd call and off road package. It might useful in certain traction challenged situations, but not much more than that.

Maybe GM consider a dirt road, off road, who knows.

Truck trend tested a Silverado off road. Not the Z71 package but the only difference i see is the air dam. Here is what they said. "Off-road, the Silverado was completely out of its element. The truck’s (thankfully removable) low-hanging air dam and side steps caught every rut, rock, and incline on our route."

let us know if it vbrates you guys to death like my 14 silveraod did.... as well as countless others who are buying these trucks with a Known but not acknowledged defect....
Im still a Chevy Guy at heart, but if I were to buy a pickup right now after the '14 Silverado I had.... I'd buy '13 RAM LARAMIE...

@Gm corporate
We have 6 2014 Silverados with no problems at all. We switched from fords to Chevy and best decision we ever made.

I switched from Chevy to Ford, not sure why I didn't do it sooner, best decision I ever made.

The new Chevy truck has to be the ugly-ist of all time. The GMC is some what acceptable. I have a brand new 157 WB F150 Lariat with the 6.2 Raptor Motor. I am adjusting to it. So far not bad.

You ruined the test of the Ram Rebel!
How can you be fair test driving the Ram right after the long road trip on the Chevy spoiled you?
Now you're going to expect the Ram Rebel to be better and more exciting to the Chevy!
If I was a brainwashed Ram Groupie I would cry foul!

That's the same of showing up driving a Mercedes Benz to test drive a Yugo

With most everything "squared looking" on the truck, why haven't they squared the gap cap door yet??
I hate square fender openings. A round wheel in a square hole. Design not good, just to save few cents.

A lot of buyers will choose the Chevy to haul the boat trailer and camper. Off road? Not much, but the 4x4 and heavier chassis makes a great package with the 6.2

You will show up in the best looking and best riding pickup money can buy. You'll throw rocks at the Ram and spit on the Fords.

The Ram Rebel is about to get b%^ slap by a Chevy with street tires off road HAHAHA!

Very Interesting. The front of the Silverado appears to be a throwback to the '90s version in many ways and actually manages to subdue that massive grill through painting the surround in body color. Almost attractive, though not as nice as the Colorado's nose. Definitely far less pretentious than Ford or Toyota right now with this specific paint scheme.

I agree with RoadTrip and Mike: This Z-71 needs a leveling kit, and some nice tires! NOT 20" steamrollers! something like 285 70 17 Toyo MT's or all Country! Or General red letter.

I have never switched to Ford or Ram because there was no reason to. I was already driving the best pickup built, a GM pickup.

Isn't it cool that all the yapping about FE has died with only a year of lower gas prices? Where's all the diesel-or-die talk? Or the must-have-tiny turbo half ton crowd?

A year ago any PUTC story that whispered a word about big gasoline V8 engines would get the usual greenie-crowd all whizzing in their Wheaties about using mass transit and riding bicycles.

One commenter even suggested we should all start making our own moonshine-based motor fuels in the back yard.

Who knows how much longer the lower prices will last but it's so refreshing to not hear all that BS about FE.

I love the color combination of the pictured Silverado.
I love the no chrome but color matched bumpers with the heavy chrome look wheels without the white letter tires.
That's the perfect looking truck for my taste.

I searched every Chevy Dealer within 100 miles and couldn't find any that were similar. All had the ugly chrome bumpers and the painted alloy wheels.
All the Z71 trucks come with the All Star option , I guess every different part of the country has similar looking trucks and share the same options.

maybe if someone important from Chevy or a dealer is reading this is don't have 100 trucks on stock at your dealership with the exact same options and all looking similar!
The truck buying customer like me wants one that looks different than everybody else owns.

papa jim
The world's economy is headed for a collapse soon, HSBC said is coming soon.
When that happens cash won't exist anymore, no matter what your bank account says you'll won't be allowed to spend it, but you'll be permitted by the bank to spend a certain amount in a certain time period.
You won't be able to buy a new truck cause the bank won't allow you your own money to do so, BUT if you already own a new late model truck then you won't have to give it back, now if that truck gets poor gas mileage and you have to spend $600 a month on gas then the bank will allow you to spend that money on gas.
Also if you have a $600/month loan payment on that new truck then that will be wiped out and you'll be one of the lucky ones with a new truck for almost free.
The bottom line is what you have now is all you're going to have for a long time without buying new and replacing it.

I suggest go out today and buy that new $55K new truck cause it might be the last time you have that chance.

Weighing 5660 lbs! 460 ftlbs of torque! But with a 95 mph speed gov.

Does Ford's 2.7 EcoBoost really take it in the quarter mile? Time to upgrade to Aluminum?

bob Mc
did you really have to contaminate this story and all the comments with that Furd 2.7 ecoboost atrocity?

Speaking as an official comment poster of PUTC I took one for a test drive and it was a horrible experience!
The transmission was constantly searching for a gear and you can abruptly feel every shift with a "JOLT"
Its a compact car engine in a 5000 lb truck!
When those turbos break down will that engine even pull that truck home?
Plus it ONLY gets 17 MPG!
The Silverado 5.3 and the Ram 5.7 HEMI gets BETTER 19 MPG !
To add on Ford isn't giving any discounts on the new F-150 where you can get a Chevy or Ram for almost $10K less!
Walk into any Ford Dealership and the salesman will stick his nose up in the air saying everybody pays full sticker price!

@Tom#3 your comment about the "collapse" of the economy as you put it, makes you sound a little silly, actually. There is always the mathematical chance that your prediction is sound, however, consider this:

1. economies don't crash--financial markets do, however

2. the habits of consumers will not be dictated by the government any more than drivers will quit speeding or running red lights.

3. the only "free" pickup trucks out there are the ones nobody wants, which is actually the way economies work, regardless of which government or finance minister happens to be trying to run things.

It's more likely that ten years from now we'll all be paying more in taxes and getting less in return. People will yell about it but unless their kids are going hungry they won't do much about it.

You can keep the push-rods, and lifters.

@Greg, you can keep the push-rods and lifters!

@Greg, you can keep the push-rods and lifters!

Posted by: latwoods | May 16, 2015 2:08:05 PM

If the Pushrods are good enough for a Corvette,it's also good for truck LOL @ Your stupidity

Total crap

Total crap

The Chevy 6.2 runs on regular unleaded gas

The Ford 6.2 AND the Eco-Boost requires premium gas at least 91 octane rating

@papa jim--One of the few comments you have made, the one to Tom#3, that I agree with.

Jeff S
papa jim

just trying to help you out for preparing whats coming
in a few years you'll remember what I warned you about
that's the main reason why I always buy a new truck cause when the economy falls out I will be driving around in a newer late model truck with less problems where you will be driving an older truck never getting the chance again to buy a new one.
Your bank account, cash, investments, retirement will be wiped out in one day.
Other countries have done it and more countries are planning it

@Tom#3--That could happen, but more likely the Government will print more money and raise taxes. i don't agree with that policy but that is what I think will happen. Anyway you look at it the global economy will suffer. We as a country cannot survive long term on borrowing cheap money and lower paying jobs.

Unless you can write it off as a business expense, anyone with a net-worth of less than $2-3 Million that would pay $57,000 for a truck is a fool.

Please report on whether they've fixed the rattle your teeth out at interstate speeds vibration, water leaks from windshield, seat swaying back and forth in curves, clunky transmission, and horrible throttle response issues yet. The 2015 Texas Edition I test drove had some of these issues readily apparent.

G M = Garbage Makers

I really like the Silverado. They need to make the Z71 OffRoad package with a bumper that doesn't scrape bugs off the cement.

. . . and a transfer case (steal), . . .

steal or steel ?

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