Restyled Silverado Offers Expanded Deployment of Eight-Speed Auto
We Like: Apple CarPlay, smooth transmission, responsive V-8, Wi-Fi hot spot.
We Don’t Like: The drab, featureless dash design, second row’s lack of amenities.
During last year’s TOTY testing, a few of our staffers were simultaneously running a comparison of the 5.3-liter Silverado and Ram 1500 against the all-new Ford F-150. To put it charitably, the Bow Tie brand finished third.
Stay tuned to MotorTrend.com as the 2016 Motor Trend Truck of the Year finalists are revealed in advance of the official winner announcement on the evening of November 16. Learn about other Truck of the Year finalists at the links below. Check out the Truck of the Year introduction HERE, and discover how our Of The Year awards have evolved HERE.
Less charitable things were said about the Silverado’s six-speed transmission. “The combination of incredibly lethargic throttle response and fuel economy-biased transmission programming made the Silverado feel the slowest.” Of course, a full-size truck even having a six-speed transmission would have been crazy talk a few years back, but time rapidly marches on.
One year later, the revamped 2016 Silverado showed up ready to blitz to the front of the TOTY line with an arsenal of targeted upgrades: mechanical, sheetmetal, electronic, even paint color. It’s gained sportier noses (each variant getting its own motif), a restyled aluminum hood, HID projector headlights and LED taillights on the LTZ and High Country, available lane keep assist for those same two trims, snappier-responding info screens (with CarPlay!), a trio of freshened paint colors, IntelliBeam, and wireless phone charging for every truck with front bucket seats.
And then there’s the expanded deployment of its beyond-superb eight-speed automatic with the 5.3-liter, an engine many of us were so taken by that we wondered if upsizing to the 6.2-liter really makes any sense outside of towing horse trailers. “The new eight-speed automatic is a great transmission,” Ron Kiino said. “It has very intuitive, seamless shifts.” Ed Loh was also impressed. “Always in the right gear,” he said. “Seamless shifts.” Note the repeated “seamless.” I thought the transmission was invisible, never, ever bringing any notice to itself, which is probably the highest tranny praise you can apply.
|2016 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Z71 4×4|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$52,170|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door truck|
|ENGINE||5.3L/355-hp/383-lb-ft OHV 16-valve V-8*|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||230.0 x 80.0 x 74.0 in|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||5,507 lb (59/41%)|
|ACCELERATION, 0-60 MPH**||6.7; 14.7; 17.6 sec|
|QUARTER MILE**||15.1 sec @ 90.7 mph; 20.0 sec @ 69.3 mph; 21.4 sec @ 66.2 mph|
|DAVIS DAM “FRUSTRATION”***||6.4 sec, 558 ft|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||131 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.76 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||28.0 sec @ 0.62 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||15/21/17 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY||225/160 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||1.13 lb/mile|
|REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB||17/24/19|
|**Unladen; towing 7,000-lb trailer; towing 9,100-lb trailer|
|***50-70-mph passing acceleration with 1,000 pounds of payload|
2016 Truck of the Year Finalists:
- Chevrolet Colorado
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500
- GMC Canyon
- GMC Sierra 1500
- Nissan Titan XD
- Toyota Tacoma