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2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Overview
Despite all the bells and whistles, Chevrolet’s 2017 Silverado full-size half-ton pickup truck does its fair share of the grunt work. Though half-ton trucks are designated as light-to-medium-duty workhorses, the upcoming year’s Silverado 1500 lineup, slated to go on sale fall 2016, again boasts a one-ton-plus payload capacity and a 12,000-pound max towing capacity, depending on the powertrain and cab configuration.
Again for 2017, the Silverado 1500 comes in a nearly unlimited variety of configurations. First, there are three cab choices, the 2-door, 3-passenger Regular Cab, the 4-door 5/6-passenger Double Cab, and the roomy 4-door 5/6-passenger Crew Cab. There are three available bed lengths: the 8.2-foot long bed, the 6.6-foot standard bed, and the 5.8-foot short bed (only available with the Crew Cab). Trim levels include the base Work Truck (WT), LS, LT, Custom, LTZ, and flagship High Country; the LTZ is available only as a Double or Crew Cab, the High Country only as a Crew Cab.
The 2017 Silverado 1500 will see a number of further upgrades, including capless fuel fill, optional 18-inch off-road tires, and a reworked High Country package boasting an upgraded Driver Alert Package (now with front collision-mitigation braking), power pedals, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, and IntelliBeam headlights. Further enhancements for 2017 include a teen driver mode, presumably similar to Ford’s MyKey programmable speed and audio limits, as well as Android Auto smartphone capability and a standard rear-view camera on the LT. Two new exterior paint colors, Graphite Metallic and Pepperdust Metallic, also debut for the upcoming year’s Silverado 1500 stable.
As is traditional, the 2017 Silverado comes with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD), while part-time 4-wheel drive (4WD), boasting low-range gearing, auto-locking hubs, and, in higher trim levels, an electronic locking differential, is also available.
Standard on all trim levels except the LTZ and High Country is a 4.3-liter V6 engine that mates with a standard 6-speed automatic transmission (with tow/haul mode) to put out 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque. Look for a 7,600-pound max towing capacity, with mileage expected to mirror the current version’s 18 mpg city/24 highway/20 combined in RWD editions and 17/22/19 with 4WD.
Again for 2017, a 5.3-liter V8 powerplant is standard on the Silverado 1500 LTZ and High Country, and remains optional for various other trim levels. Look for 355 hp and 383 lb-ft from this peppy V8 under the management of either the standard 6-speed automatic or an optional 8-speed automatic transmission. Expect an increase in towing capacity to 11,100 pounds. With the 6-speed automatic, mileage again reflects the current 16/23/19 with RWD and 16/22/18 with 4WD, or 16/22/18 with RWD and 15/21/17 with 4WD when equipped with the 8-speed.
Also available on the LTZ and High Country for 2017 is a 420-hp 6.2-liter V8 engine that’s managed by the 8-speed automatic transmission. Expect 460 lb-ft of torque from this big V8, enough to haul up to 12,000 pounds with the optional Max Trailering package installed. Mileage is slated to remain 15/21/17 with both RWD and 4WD.
Look for the 2017 Silverado 1500 to sport 17-, 18- or 20-inch steel or alloy wheels, exterior chrome and distinctive trim pieces, heated power-adjustable and power-folding mirrors, and GM’s E-Z-lift tailgate. Higher trim levels are slated to return with a standard power sliding rear window, a heavy-duty locking rear differential, and a trailer hitch and wiring. The High Country also features a standard spray-in bedliner and front and rear parking sensors.
Inside, you'll find vinyl, cloth, or leather upholstery, power accessories, a driver information display, and cruise control. Higher trims add such niceties as heated and ventilated power-adjustable front seats, remote engine start, memory for driver settings, and telescoping tilt-wheel steering. Manual air conditioning returns standard in the WT, LS, Custom, and LT, while the LTZ and the High Country offer dual-zone automatic climate control.
Technology aboard the 2017 WT includes an AM/FM radio with 4 speakers and an auxiliary audio input, while the LS adds a 6-speaker system and Bluetooth-integrated OnStar directions and connections. The LT and LTZ, meanwhile, are expected to pack the newly upgraded MyLink infotainment system with an 8-inch audio touchscreen, as well as a CD/MP3 player, 6-speakers, satellite radio, HD Radio, Apple CarPlay, and the debuting Android Auto smartphone apps.
The top-shelf Silverado 1500 High Country is slated to pack a 7-speaker Bose premium audio system and GPS navigation.
Perhaps the most popular option for the Silverado 1500 is the off-road-oriented Z71 package that is anticipated to offer standard 4WD, off-road shock absorbers, a heavy-duty air filter, descent control, underbody shields, and distinctive exterior styling cues. Furthermore, 18-inch off-road-dedicated tires debut in this package for the 2017 model year. Other options include varying rear axle ratios, a power sunroof, rear-seat Blu-ray DVD entertainment, and side steps.
Look for standard safety equipment aboard the 2017 Silverado 1500 to include 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, front, and in Double and Crew Cab trims, rear head curtain airbags, LED daytime running lights, Xenon headlights, and a post-collision safety system. The LS and higher trim levels also feature standard OnStar emergency telematics, and the LTZ and High Country each boast standard front fog/driving lights, turn-signal-integrated mirrors, and a remote antitheft alarm.
The newly enhanced optional Driver Alert package (LTZ and High Country) offers lane-departure warnings, automatic high/low-beam headlights, and a safety alert driver’s seat, not to mention the new forward collision alert with collision-mitigation braking.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the current Silverado 1500 stable its best 5-star rating for overall crashworthiness, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awards current versions its best score of Good in all tests except the small-overlap frontal offset impact, where the Silverado 1500 scored a second-worse score of Marginal.
Expect challengers to the 2017 Silverado 1500 to include the Ford F-150, Ram 1500, and Nissan Titan XD. GMC’s mirror-image Sierra 1500 is expected to grab some sales as well.
Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.
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