We've teased you with numerous photos over the past year, and now we finally have a full look at the 2014 Chevy Silverado. Its overall appearance is not a huge surprise, but we did learn a few unexpected details.
As expected, all of the available engines feature direct injection. We expected the 5.3- and 6.2-liter displacements of the two available V-8s to carry over. However, the base V-6 engine was the source of intense speculation, with many wondering if the new trucks would adopt the 3.6-liter twin-cam "high feature" V-6 used in the Camaro, CTS, and other GM passenger car models.
Surprisingly, GM stuck with the pushrod, two-valve 4.3. But with all the changes, it's safe to say it's essentially a clean-sheet engine, and nothing like its badly dated Vortec 4300 predecessor. The base engine features cylinder deactivation and direct injection, just like its big brothers. All engines are backed by a six-speed automatic.
But the main reason we're here is to analyze the styling. While the 2014 Silverado shares a strong family resemblance to its predecessor, it's not likely to be confused with the 2007-2013 model. Chevrolet released a sneak peek a few months ago, so we knew the Silverado would be getting projector-beam headlamps. The unmistakably bold bisected front grille definitely gives the new Silverado a strong road presence, and it will be an imposing sight in drivers' rearview mirrors, along with the chrome lower front bumper on the LTZ model. For the top-trim LTZ model and Z71 off-road package, the trim designation is highlighted by a badge in the lower left of the grille.
We've never really considered the 2007-2013 Silverado to be "soft"-looking, but compared with the chiseled lines of the 2014, it looks like a wallflower. This is most apparent in the boxy, angular front and rear fender flares on the 2014, as well as a prominent horizontal sheetmetal crease running between the wheel wells on the side of the bed and doors. This styling detail takes place of the painted plastic accent bumper strip on the 2013 models.
From the rear, the differences are not as striking. Although the taillights and tailgate are new, they're more evolutionary and subtle than the front or side styling. However, like the side doors, the top of the tailgate gets an integrated sheetmetal lip, rather than the tacked-on plastic piece of last year's model, giving it a more macho, purposeful look. Speaking of purpose, the 2014 models have integrated bumper step cutouts to aid access to the cargo box. Yes, Nissan first had this feature on the 2005 Xterra SUV. But it's the first time we remember seeing it as a factory feature on a full-size truck.
Finally, following in the footsteps of Ram's Quad Cab, the extended-cab versions abandon the rear-hinged, suicide-door design for a conventional front-hinge, rear-latch side door.
The 2014 Silverado's interior manages to look both tougher and more sophisticated than its predecessor. A crisp, configurable color TFT display in the middle of the gauge cluster ditches the previous model's 8-bit green monochrome readout. The dashboard and center stack feature bold silver-painted accent pieces around the audio and climate controls, as well as the outer HVAC vents and the steering wheel. The buttons and controls are large and clearly marked, presumably for easy operation when wearing work gloves.
After seeing photos of the 2014 Silverado, what do you think? Should Ford and Chrysler be worried about competition from GM's new full-sizers?