Friday, 13 October 2023 09:55

Big tick for a big truck

Written by  Mark Daniel
The 2023 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Premium sports a 6.2-litre EcoTech 3, V8 engine that delivers 313kw (420hp) with 624Nm torque giving power and thrust in abundance. The 2023 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Premium sports a 6.2-litre EcoTech 3, V8 engine that delivers 313kw (420hp) with 624Nm torque giving power and thrust in abundance.

Electric cars and big American trucks can both bring a little anxiety, but for different reasons.

The former centres around the amount of kilometres to your destination on a single charge and the latter about how many litres of fossil fuel are needed to cover 100km.

Having recently spent a week with a 2023 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Premium, I’m happy to report that fuel consumption is a particularly overrated anxiety that’s not worth worrying about.

Obviously in a different league to those pesky one tonne utes, with its wide chrome enhanced front end with daytime running lights and long flanks, its higher seating position gives a panoramic view and the assistance of multiple camera views means oversize doesn’t mean overawed in the tight spots.

Sporting a 6.2-litre EcoTech 3, V8 lump that delivers 313kw (420hp) with 624Nm torque means power and thrust in abundance. This combination means the 100km/h speed limit comes up at a leisurely 1240rpm. Complemented by a silky smooth 10-speed transmission, out on the open road, it’s really a case of selecting D and then letting the big Yank do its thang!

Looking at the transmission in a little more detail, a strange foible is certain to irritate many users. After starting, the seat belt must be engaged before forward or reverse is activated. This becomes a nuisance in the yard when you want to hitch up to a trailer at low speed. Strangely, after that first movement, the seat belt engagement isn’t then required, so one can predict a trip to the breakers yard to get a spare seat belt buckle.

Weighing in at 2500kg, with a wheelbase of 3745mm, means the cabin is spacious. It has wide, deep fronts seats – equipped with heating and cooling – and the rear occupants are treated to comfort and importantly plenty of legroom.

A wide central 13.4- inch colour touchscreen offers an expansive array of settings, audio and visual links. Meanwhile, ahead of the driver is a 12.3-inch instrument cluster that offers comprehensive vehicle info – including that allimportant fuel consumption data. Particularly useful is the heads-up display that helps confirm speed and cruise control settings on the open road. This will hopefully reduce the chance of an impromptu interview with the boys in blue.

Talking about driver aids, the LTZ features an expansive safety suite. These include the cameras, the likes of Rear Cross Traffic Alerts, Electronic Stability with Traction Control and Front Collision Alert with Low Speed Autonomous Braking.

For those looking to tow a heavy load, the Silverado trumps the best ute with a solid one tonne extra, with a rating of 4500kg, the push-button, two speed transfer case means venturing off the tarseal is also anxiety- free.

Back to those fuel consumption figures, a swift 600km round trip across the Waikato and the King Country to National Park certainly wasn’t too bad on the wallet. This returned an average for the trip of a rather sensible 11.4 l/100km, using the set and forget cruise control. A trip to Jaffa Land dropped that figure to only 10.2 l/100km, meaning those with a good understanding on how to deliver a light touch to the two-pedal layout, should arrive at their destination without a furrowed brow.

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