Monday 24 October 2016
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Test Drive: 2015 Chevy Silverado Z71 Custom Sport Review

Test Drive: 2015 Chevy Silverado Z71 Custom Sport Review

When I review one of the top five selling vehicles in America, I pay special attention to the vehicle, and how it stacks up to the competition.  This review is of the 2015 Chevy Silverado, which is the #2 selling vehicle overall in America.  I had the 2014 last year after the big change, but this truck is different.

My tester is one of the special edition trucks that GM has been coming out with a lot the past year.  This one is the Custom Sport, a name that was popular in the late 1960’s.  You get a very monochromatic look, new Z71 badges on the fenders, and a unique grill that looks awesome.  This special edition only comes in two colors; black and the White Diamond that my review vehicle has.

The big reason I wanted to review this truck was that it is my first review of the 8-speed automatic transmission that debuted in the GMC earlier this model year.  I was not sure how it would interact with the big 6.2-liter V8 that is putting out 420-horses.  The difference in the 8-speed really is not noticeable until you are out the highway at cruising speed when the gas mileage jumps up due to the transmission, and the GM cylinder deactivation system, which eliminates four of the eight cylinders.  Although rated at 21 miles per gallon, I consistently got slightly better than 23.

This truck has the Z71 package, which signifies it is 4-wheel drive and has a different suspension system.  This truck is the next to the top-of-the-line LTZ package which offers a lot of standard equipment, like trailer towing package, EZ Lift tailgate, front fog lights, cornerstep chrome rear bumper, power heated leather seating, keyless entry, remote start, power sliding rear window, rear camera, MyLink audio system, and Bluetooth.

Including the big 6.2 V8, this truck has over $12,000 in options.  The Custom Sport package is $2000.  The paint is $995 in the special tri-coat, add another $995 for the power sunroof, $700 for chrome running boards, an upgraded Bose stereo is $500, and navigation system for the MyLink is $495.  This one has a trailer brake controller for $230, and air conditioned seats add $650.

The other option on this one is the Driver Alert package, which is a great investment for $845.  You get park assist sensors, lane departure warning, forward collision alert, and the ultra-cool safety alert seat.  If you stray out of your lane to the left, the left side of the seat vibrates, the same happens on the right side of the seat, and if a collision is about to happen, the whole seat vibrates.

The interior of the LTZ is very nice and has a ton of headroom and a spacious back seat.  I like the Chevy MyLink system a lot, it gives you voice activation, a host of apps, and you can turn the inside of the truck into a Wi-Fi hotspot.  As mentioned earlier, this one has a 7-speaker Bose stereo system that and a large center console.  The split rear seat folds out of the way to give you a ton of cargo room if needed.  The interior has an abundance of cubby holders and a two-tier glove box.

This 5400-pound big truck looks great on the outside with its big, bold grill and aluminum hood.  There is a ton of headroom and legroom for five passengers, and it even has a 110-volt outlet to charge your computer, or plug in your blender.  Properly equipped, this half-ton truck will tow 12,000 pounds.

I have enjoyed driving this truck for a week, it is very attractive both inside and outside.  Chevy has stepped up its game for sure, and in mixed driving I am averaging 18 miles per gallon, which is good actually.

The rub with this package is the price.  MSRP is almost $57,500, which is very near the price of the top-of-the-line High Country package, which I think is a better buy and will hold its value better.  It is also getting really close to the price of the all-aluminum, all-new 2015 F150.  Therefore, on value alone, I have to rate it at 4 out of 5 stars.

What I liked most: The interior and exterior looks, the new 8-speed tranny.

What I would change: Just the price, I think it is overpriced with the competition.

MSRP: Base price $45,910. As equipped $57,405.

Fuel Economy: Rated at 15 City/21 highway/17 combined, but doing better.

Odometer reading when tested: 4200 miles.

Weight: 5400 Pounds.

Length-Width-Height: 230” long/80” wide/74” High.

Fuel Tank Capacity: 26 gallons.

Towing Capacity: 12,000 pounds properly equipped.

2015 Silverado in a few words:  Great truck, but probably will still be #2.

Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 5-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance, and two years of free scheduled maintenance.

Car Pro Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.

Photo Credit: Chevrolet