The pickup truck is an American icon, its ruggedness and no-nonsense utility having long ago made it the workhorse of the blue blooded. But in recent years the game in this segment has been upped several notches. Pickups today have made huge strides in design, technology and comfort such that they now appeal to a wider range of customers outside of farmers, construction workers and cowboys. Chevrolet pickups have always been at the forefront of the segment, but the new Chevy Silverado sets the standard for all to follow. Fully redesigned inside and out, the Silverado is head and shoulders above the rest in performance, safety and luxury. But it's more than just a great offering in an intensely competitive segment -- it's a shining example of what America does best.
Introduced in 2013 as a 2014 model, the Silverado got a full makeover both inside and out. With an available 6.2-liter V8 engine, Silverado drivers can expect a towing capacity that tops out at 12,000 pounds, an optional Max trailering Package, 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque -- the most power of any pickup engine available and the most torque of any light duty pickup truck. The 6.2-liter vaults this beast of burden to 60 in a quick 6.1 seconds, making runs to and from the home improvement store an utter joy. To improve gas mileage, the V8 even has cylinder deactivation and kicks down from 8 to 4 cylinders when you don't need all that power. But the news that's even more important is Chevy's new potent 4.3-liter V6, which churns out 285 hp and a healthy 305 lb-ft of torque for 7,200 pounds of towing power while still getting 18/24 mpg. Plenty of oomph at the wheels and gobs of ahh at the pump make for a very appealing powertrain, indeed. For those who want something in between, a 355 hp 5.3-liter V8 is also available.
Step inside the Silverado's upgraded cabin and you'll wonder if you're in a well-appointed sedan. It's far more refined than before but still undisputedly masculine. Trim quality and soft touch materials are much improved, and you can even opt for heated, cooled and lumbar-supported seats to make a long day at work that much easier. Both bench and bucket seats are comfortable and well-trimmed, a great place to spend long trips as driver or passenger, and vastly improved noise reduction greatly muffles the cacophony and road noise outside. The optional MyLink system has an 8-inch touchscreen with easy-to-use controls and can be operated with tactile nobs if you so please.
Thanks to a stronger structure, better ride comfort and improved handling, the new Silverado is a pleasure to drive; it's also as impressive on road as it is off, with well-weighted steering and great chassis composure. In terms of safety, the Silverado was one of the first in its class to receive a five-star overall safety rating, this after GM set a goal to be the benchmark in pickup truck safety by offering a full array of advanced features designed to protect all occupants.
With the Chevy Silverado's comprehensive redesign, the full-sized pickup truck has gone from rough rider to smooth operator without losing the capabilities you'd expect from a truck of this caliber and heritage. It's ready for anything you can throw at it -- but wherever you're headed in it, you'll be inclined to clean off your boots before you step inside.
$23, 590, chevrolet.com
Excellence, innovation, craftsmanship, and an unwavering desire to challenge expectations -- these are the constants that have captivated our attention since Gear Patrol's inception in 2007. This year we're proud to announce the next step in our role as a champion of quality in product design and execution: welcome to the GP100. Our inaugural product awards are dedicated to honoring the 100 best consumer products released during the calendar year by companies of all sizes and scope.
The GP100 is not a ranking or a contest. These selections represent the collective expertise of our entire editorial staff, who have scoured every corner of the vast product universe -- from automotive and electronics, to men's style essentials, home goods, spirits and outdoors -- to find the inspiring and the practical, the ground-breaking and the traditional, the priceless and the accessible. In short: products that define or defy their respective categories to better the life of the modern man.
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