2014 Silverado Z71 1500 Review

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Pickup trucks as a market segment are among the best selling vehicles in Canada.  The case for trucks in a rural area, or from a work perspective are crystal clear.  However, what about those drivers looking for the best of both worlds such as, hauling lumber, gravel or plants for landscaping and home reno projects while still having the finesse and utility as an everyday vehicle for the family without breaking the bank?

Well, the 2014 Silverado 1500 Z71 4WD LT Crew comes close to bridging this possibility of balancing these many needs.

RedlineNorth recently had a chance to test drive the 2014 Silverado 1500 with crew cab and Z71 off-road package.  The base price for the Silverado 1500 with crew cab is $30,995 while the Z71 package with 4WD on the LT model brings it to $41,855 and provides additional features such as auto locking rear differential and Rancho brand shocks.  Our test vehicle also included the special edition package and some additional extras which brought the sticker price to $48,835 CAD. A description of our Silverado’s key features include:

  • 6 speed automatic transmission with powertrain grade braking and tow/haul mode
  • Battery run down protection
  • Autotrac transfer case
  • Stabilitrak electronic stability control
  • Electronic immobilizer
  • Power heated outside mirrors
  • MYLINK audio with voice activated technology for radio and phone
  • Tire pressure monitor
  • ‘Stadium Style’ rear split folding bench seat
  • 3 year 60,000 KM new vehicle limited warranty
  • 5 year 160,000 KM powertrain component warranty
  • 5 year 160,000 KM roadside assistance with courtesy transportation

The additional features included in the Z71 Off-Road package are:

  • Auto locking RR differential
  • Rancho brand shocks
  • Underbody shield for transfer case protection
  • Front fog lamps
  • Hill descent control
  • Trailering package

The Special Edition package also brings:

  • 10-way power driver seat
  • Remote vehicle start
  • ECOTEC3 5.3L Direct Injection V8 with active fuel management and variable value timing
  • Rear vision camera
  • MYLINK 8″ inch touch screen
  • 110V AC power outlet
  • Rear window defogger
  • P265/65R-18 All Terrain Tires
The special edition package includes 18 inch wheels

Our test vehicle had P265/65R All Terrain Tires

The Silverado with the crew cab comes with two box options, the newly available 6-foot 6-inch cargo box and the 5-foot, 8-inch box.  Opting for the 6-foot 6 inch box does bring the Silverado within a sliver of 20 feet long, however, the extra interior room in our opinion makes up to it. For those urban cowboys with families this means the ability to install three car seats with ease. Even rear facing seats that notoriously require additional space fit well in the back of the cab. The additional length, does make it a bit of a challenge to find suitable spaces in parking lots however, for many the trade off is likely worth it.

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Rear seating – space in the extended crew cab was plentiful

The crew cab with extended box brings the Silverado just a sliver below 20 feet long

The crew cab with extended box brings the Silverado just a sliver below 20 feet long

As mentioned, the Silverado 1500 comes available with many luxury features that rival sedans, such as rear back up camera, 8″ touch screen with satellite radio, heated seats, and a 12V and 120V accessory charging plugs along with three USB ports. This pickup truck is for more than just hauling lumber and tools from the job site. Additional stand out features of the 2014 Silverado include the supportive drivers seat, advertised as having all day comfort and we would have to agree; dynamic suspension that provides just enough rigidity when needed and flexibility when not, along with an expansive interior with inlaid triple-sealed doors, and a more aerodynamic windshield that acts to provide a very quiet cabin.

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USB, 12V and 120V charging ports are a nice touch.

The ECOTEC3 engine in the 2014 Silverado automatically switches from V8 mode to V4 mode when less power is needed during the driving cycle.   The transition is seamless and the only way the driver can tell this is happening is by looking for the V8 or V4 symbol on the display.  This technology translates into a rated fuel consumption of 13.3 liters City and 9.0 litres Highway with an estimated annual fuel cost of $2,941.  During our week with the truck, this was very close to what we experienced and we are pleased to see this innovative fuel technology being incorporated into the Silverado.

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Fuel efficiency is aided by the active fuel management system

The 2014 model year also provides some aggressive styling cues with its chrome front and side accents along with the dome hood. Sight lines in the cab are better than expected, although the rear camera is a needed accessory in our opinion. The CornerStep bumper and pocket hand grips in the tailgate are also a nice cosmetic and functional touch.

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Interior storage space is more than plentiful for both front and rear passengers and driver. The 8 inch LCD screen offers plenty of screen space and uses GM’s MYLINK platform. While we are not always a huge fan of current in car infotainment systems, MYLINK does a reasonable job of providing required information and functionality with minimal hassle.

The transmission in the Silverado was a little bit awkward at lower speeds, especially when shifting from first to second. When entering the highway you did have to hammer the acceleration to get all 355lbs of HP and 383 of torque to engage close to the redline, but when they did it was obvious there was plenty of power under the hood.

The cabin was spacious and the 'all-day comfort' seats live up to their name

The cabin was spacious and the ‘all-day comfort’ seats live up to their name

Towing capacity of our test vehicle with the Max Tow package was a massive 5216 kg (11,500 lb) providing the ability to tow a large boat, or RV trailer. Upgrading to the EcoTec3 6.2L V8 available this fall increases that capacity to a monstrous 5443 kg (12,000 lb.)

Key competitors to the Silverado are the GMC Sierra 1500, Ram 1500, Nissan Titan, Ford F-150 / F-150 SVT Raptor and the Toyota Tundra.  Even among this stiff competition the 2014 Silverado 1500 is worth serious consideration, and with the Z71 off-road and the special edition packages, the Silverado 1500 is hard to beat at its $48,835 CAD sticker price.

The Siverado 1500 Z71 is a powerhouse both both at the job site and at the shopping mall

The Siverado 1500 Z71 is a powerhouse and it works well both at the job site and the shopping mall

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Grand Theft Auto V

Last Tuesday, Grand Theft Auto (GTA) 5, the latest installment in the raunchy gangster action game series, generated $800 million in first-day sales, shattering the previous record for the video game industry.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V

Although this new installment includes some cool features, the core essence of the game is still the automobile and the variety of vehicles included in the game is awesome as always. Earlier this week, Autoblog Canada went deep with some analysis of the new game in a recent article worth checking out.  As well, they have closely examined the images of the cars throughout the game as there are certainly some great vehicles to choose from.

Targa Newfoundland

For the past twelve years, Targa Newfoundland has played host as a unique one of kind auto event providing auto enthusiasts with the opportunity to drive or race their own cars along a 2200 kilometer course through Canada’s most eastern province. This amazing course is comprised of central Newfoundland‘s breathtaking public roads along with competitive race sections held on closed roads.

Photo source: thegarageblog.com 2009

Photo source: thegarageblog.com 2009

For one week every September, the roads in Newfoundland become much busier with all types of vehicles attempting to tame Newfoundland’s incredible terrain.  As auto enthusiasts, Targa Newfoundland needs to be on your bucket list if not already.  We hope some day in the near future we are able to run a RedlineNorth team in this epic auto adventure. Be sure to check out all the recent coverage as the event wraps up tomorrow.

Photo source: ca.autoblog.com 2011

Photo source: ca.autoblog.com 2011

Porsche 930

Car guys all have their favourite dream rides but one model remains on most auto enthusiasts’ list, the iconic Porsche 930.  Built between 1975 and 1989 the Porsche 930 was one of the fastest production vehicles ever produced in its time.

Porsche 930

Porsche 930

Known to the public as the Porsche 911 Turbo, Porsche originally produced the car to comply with homologation (racing series) regulations and had focused its marketing on creating a street legal race vehicle similar to the illustrious 1973 Carrera 2.7 RS. When the homologation rules changed, Porsche continued to develop the car, deciding to make it the top of the 911 model range also providing Porsche with a product to compete with Ferrari and Lamborghini.  Sure sounds like today’s Porsche GT3 models which regularly go toe-to-toe with the Italian sisters on the track.

Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Porsche 911 GT3 RS

People all over the world love Porsche and do crazy things to get their dream rides. If this video does not get you inspired about one man’s passion about the Porsche 930 we don’t think anything will.

An amazing Porsche TV ad from the 1980s….It’s a shame there was no social media back then since this video is truly a masterpiece from Porsche’s marketing team.

Are you between 35-50 and drive a blue BMW?

According to a recently released public opinion poll by UK based VoucherCodesPro you are more likely to be an aggressive driver compared to drivers of other colour cars.

Blue BMW drivers are more likely to be aggressive drivers according to a recent report.

Blue BMW drivers are more likely to be aggressive drivers according to a recent report.

The finding is based on interviews with 2,837 motorist in the UK. Blue was seen as the worst car colour for road rage incidents (46%), followed by black (33%), silver (26%), green (19%) and red (15%).

In terms of vehicle brands, BMW drivers were tops for potential road rage incidents with 32% followed by Land Rover, Audi, Subaru and then Vauxhall.

Other interesting findings from the report include Friday afternoons at 5:45pm is peak time for anger behind the wheel.  That one is probably a no brainer, with everyone wanting to get home for the weekend, or trying to get out of town. Also, men reported losing their temper behind the wheel seven times a month, while women reported getting angry only three times a month.

We wonder if these statics line up with insurance premiums paid by middle aged blue BMW drivers verses say young, white Ford drivers.

Source: http://www.Dailymail.co.uk

Pope Francis and his new “old” Fiat

You may already have seen some of the coverage from back in July when Pope Francis grabbed headlines with his decision to ditch the custom-built bulletproof Mercedes-Benz “Popemobile” for a silver Fiat Idea for his drive around Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Pope Francis in Fiat Idea

Pope Francis in Fiat Idea

Well, this week, the frugal pontiff from Argentina was at it again, as this amazing story came out about how a 70-year-old priest from northern Italy, Father Renzo Zocca had given his 1984 Renault 4 with 186,000 miles to Pope Francis to drive around the Vatican.

Pope Francis, right, and Father Renzo Zocca, second right, with the Renault 4. Photograph: AP

Pope Francis, right, and Father Renzo Zocca, second right, with the Renault 4. Photograph: AP

Pope Francis continues to be a man of his word as he appealed to priests several months ago not to drive expensive cars and to save money to give to the poor.  So all of this buzz around his new “old” car is not a huge surprise for the frugal Pope.

Nevertheless, as car guys we thought this was a very cool touch to the latest story.  The Italian priest Zocca was quoted saying “the snow tires are still in the boot and you never know,” although Pope Francis will probably never need them driving in the Vatican since Rome is only hit by serious snow every 25 years.

Frankfurt Motor Show 2013

Holy jeez, time flies as it just seems like the auto show season just wrapped up and it’s beginning all again with this week’s start of the Frankfurt Motor Show. Unfortunately, RedlineNorth is not actually attending this year’s event, however, we have pulled together a compilation of some key outlets’ media day coverage.

918 Spyder hybrid

Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid                                               

From the headlines so far one thing is clear – electric cars are gaining momentum and becoming more popular across product lines.  With a range of manufacturers debuting their latest models of plug-in electrics and plug-in hybrids there’s really an electric offering for all audiences now.

VW e-Up!

Volkswagen  e-Up!

Here is some of the early coverage coming out of Frankfurt.

Ferrari 458 Speciale

Ferrari 458 Speciale

Motor Trend’s World’s Greatest Drag race with only engine sounds

What do you say when the 12 best performance cars in the world are tested at an airstrip by the folks at Motor Trend in their third iteration of the Motor Trend’s Best Driver’s Car competition? If you love cars as much as we do, you probably have seen it already and are still giddy from its awesomeness!  Well, hold on because it gets better as Motor Trend has outdone themselves as they have posted an unplugged version of the epic drag race. Yes that’s right, same race, same cars just with no music and narration. Wow!!!

The full video includes the roundtable of all the Motor Trend gang discussing their opinions about the various cars.  To check the out drag race go to 19:35 in the video.

Here’s the full list of cars in the video.  Quite the showcase that’s for sure. The only key one missing is the 2014 Corvette Stingray…..

  • Aston Martin Vanquish
  • Audi R8 V10 Plus
  • Bentley Continental GT Speed
  • BMW M6 Coupe
  • Ford Focus ST
  • Jaguar F-Type V8 S
  • Mercedes-Benz E63S AMG Wagon
  • Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series
  • Nissan GT-R Track
  • Porsche 911 Carrera 4S
  • Porsche Cayman S
  • SRT Viper

Source: Autoblog.ca 

London skyscraper blamed for melting Jaguar car

Well, this certainly is a new one for us to cover on an auto blog. One wild story making headlines this week has to do with London’s latest skyscrapers called “Walkie Talkie” and how light reflecting off the building is so intense it can melt the exterior of cars.

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At least one car owner has officially complained to the builders as his Jaguar was apparently damaged recently by the buildings’ infamous glare.  Jeez, between its draconian downtown car rules, high auto theft, sky-high fuel prices and now this, driving in England’s busiest city sure ain’t easy. For more on this story see the following Vancouver Sun article.

Classic Car Show at Guelph Ribfest 2013

As summer is coming to a close, one event worth attending is Guelph’s Classic Car show at Ribfest. With over 200 classic cars in attendance there is something for all car enthusiasts. Organized for the whole family by the Rotary Club of Guelph Trillium, the event includes music, amusement park activities and of course, the delicious Ribfest. Along with the ribs there is a variety of other summertime foods including; cupcakes, fries and the famous blooming onion rings. Here’s a glimpse of some of the classic cars on display at this year’s event.

Ford Bucket Hot Rod

Ford Bucket Hot Rod

1980s Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

1980s Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

Hemi Cuda

Dodge Barracuda

1954 Ford

1954 Ford

Chevrolet Camaro

Chevrolet Camaro

Chevrolet El Camino

Chevrolet El Camino

1950s Convertible

1950’s Chevrolet Convertible

Ford Pick-up

Ford Pick-up

1930s Saloon style

1930s Saloon style

1957 Chevrolet Hardtop

1956 Chevrolet Hardtop

1950s Chevrolet Pick-up

1950s Chevrolet Pick-up

Be sure to check out their Facebook page for next year’s details.