GM Shows off 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra

2014 GMC Sierra SLT Crew Cab Front Three Quarter in Iridium MetaAlong with the webcast I previously posted, GM published a press release with plenty of details and photos of its upcoming 2014 model year pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.  I’ve sorted through the press release and gathered up all the pictures, so click past the jump to see them and read my in-depth analysis of what was mentioned and what wasn’t.

2014 GMC Sierra Rear View ComparisonWhile the new Silverado and Sierra continue to share a platform, it’s a much-improved one, even if the sheet metal differences between the old and new trucks aren’t drastic.  GM’s gone to a fully-boxed frame, which adds strength and structural rigidity, and they’ve added quite a few safety features and creature comforts.  While it sounds like they’re just playing catch-up with Ford and RAM, who have both introduced new pickups in the last few years, they’ve gone a few steps beyond their main competitors, which is great to see.

2014 GMC Sierra Front View ComparisonThe highlights on the safety front include lane departure warning, front collision alert, and a “safety seat” – details on the latter weren’t forthcoming.  It sounds like what Mercedes-Benz does in their E-Class sedan, with a vibrating insert in the seat to alert the driver to hazardous conditions or driving, usually related to lane-departure warnings.  I hope GM provides some more details on this, as it’s a technology they are likely to use in many of their models in the near future.

2014 GMC Sierra SLT Interior Color Touch Radio with Navigation dOn the tech front, the Silverado and Sierra are getting connected, with full-blown infotainment systems, featuring large touch screens and voice control.  They copy Ford’s “productivity screen” in the dash and RAM’s center stack design, with a large touch screen.  The gauge cluster looks almost like it was copied directly from the F-150, with four gauges on top and larger speedometer and tachometer below, with an LCD screen in between the latter two.  The dashboard itself appears to be a one-piece design, which should be durable and long-lasting.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado LTZIn the looks department, the trucks have all-new sheet metal, and along the same lines as, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” the design continues to mix curves with squared-off wheel wells, although the new wheel wells are exaggerated, to say the least.  A lot of what GM did was for aerodynamics and fuel efficiency, sealing off as much as they could in the front end to prevent unwanted air from entering the engine bay, and moving the doors inward to get better sealing and less turbulence, thus less noise.  About interior noise, GM says it’s got the quietest truck cabin in the segment.  I’m quite interested to experience that for myself, because the previous-generation Sierra, which I reviewed, was pretty quiet.

2014 Chevrolet SilveradoMoving inside, the trucks feature an all-new interior as well, a big departure from previous generations.  It’ll be interesting to see how the truck interior plays out in the full-size SUV arena when GM releases news about its Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon sister SUVs, which have been based on their full-size trucks for some time.  Whereas I believe that Ford’s truck interior doesn’t translate well into its Expedition SUV, GM’s truck interiors have translated well.  I’m not a huge fan with the interior pictures I have seen though, but I like the placement of controls and use of the dash – including two glove boxes for added storage.  The new trucks continue the evolution of the pickup truck into luxury off-road sedan, giving customers a cushier ride and more soft-touch, higher quality materials inside.  Even with $4.00/gallon gasoline and a struggling economy, a lot of consumers are buying pickup trucks, so GM is smart to cater to them.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado LTZOut back, the bed box gets new upper tie-downs to help manage cargo, as well as LED lighting under the bed rails for added visibility when loading and unloading at night.  This feature really would come in handy, as from personal experience, it’s tough to see in a truck’s bed at night.  Hopefully the lights and tie-downs don’t interfere with tonneau covers, since they’re a very popular addition.

As a response to Ford’s tailgate step, GM has steps built into its bumpers, and molded handholds in the bed rail, making it easier to get into and out of the bed of the truck, but I still don’t see any side steps, which are quite handy on 6.5′ beds.

Speaking of 6.5′ beds, GM is finally offering it on a crew cab.  While it makes for a long truck, it really makes the Silverado and Sierra more competitive with Ford.  I know several guys who bought Fords because GM didn’t offer the long truck, as they need both cargo and people-moving space.

Under the hood, GM is again offering a V6, in a 4.3-liter configuration, as well as a 5.3-liter, which is supposedly not the same engine as is found in the 2013 trucks, even though it shares displacement and some engine management features.  The top-range engine is a 6.2-liter, a truck version of what will be under the hood of the C7 Chevrolet Corvette when it’s released next year.

All three engines feature cylinder deactivation, which allows them to run on only four cylinders when the demand for power isn’t there.  They also feature direct injection and variable valve timing, which aid in the combustion cycle.  When paired to electric power steering, which removes some of the parasitic load from the engine, these engines should be pretty fuel efficient.  No fuel economy or power numbers were shared in the press release, which makes me wonder if the engine guys aren’t quite finished tweaking them and making them ready for prime time.

Towing and hauling capacities are supposed to be improved, but again, the press releases are light on details.  I’m expecting to see more details in January, when we should see the trucks at the Detroit Auto Show.  Keep an eye on Road Reality for those details as soon as they’re released by GM.

Overall, the outside looks like a refresh, the inside looks like a true redesign, and the engines should be competitive, giving GM’s fans something to celebrate, after a long time waiting for the General to fire back at its biggest competitors’ new trucks.

Chevrolet Silverado Press Release:

Show Press Release

 

GMC Sierra Press Release:

Show Press Release

by John Suit

Source: GM

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