2014 Silverado Test Drive, EcoTec3 Performance
Several media outlets have gotten their hands on the 2014 Silverado in both 4.3L V6 and 5.3L V8 form. So do these engines and also very importantly, these trucks, live up to the hype that GM has created? Gauging from what I’ve been reading so far, it looks like in most aspects, these trucks do live up to the hype surrounding them. GM has certainly taunted us long enough at this point. It is hard to believe we’ve finally arrived at the stage where these trucks are now in the hands of the news-media.
I am going to start with the engines as this is undoubtedly where most of you are anxious to get some real-world information. Personally I was most anxious to hear how the all new 5.3L performs, which is GM’s bread-and-butter V8. As we’ve reported before, it is in no way shape or form related to the outgoing 5.3L and that, in my opinion, is a very good thing. With its upgraded “EcoTec3” design including variable valve timing and direct injection we were all expecting good power across the RPM range and road-tests have confirmed that this is the case. Going as far as stating that power delivery is even better and smoother than the now famous 3.5L EcoBoost from Ford. It seems that sticking with traditional V8 has paid off for Chevy.
It is even paying off for them in the fuel economy department, with reports of the test-trucks averaging high teens. So, Chevy’s claim of class-leading fuel economy (16/23 cty/hwy) figures translate to the real world. Active Fuel Management (AFM) also known as cylinder deactivation, I’m sure, plays a big role here. GM promised us that the AFM system would cut down to 4 cylinders more frequently than its current system and from what I am reading they’ve succeeded. GM’s infotainment system includes an indicator of when the truck is in V4 mode versus V8 mode (on the 3.5 inch screen between speedo and tach). Reviewers have also commented that switch from V8 to V4 is seamless, they wouldn’t haven known it switched, but for the V4/V8 indicator.
Test drivers also got their hands on the base 4.3L V6 EcoTec3 engine. GM claimed class-leading torque of 305 ft/lb’s. How do these numbers translate to the real world? Very well. Here reviewers commented that the new GM V6 is quicker off the line than both Ford or Dodge’s base V6’s. This is undoubtedly due to that torque advantage the EcoTec3 has over Ford or Dodge’s engines which are overhead valve V6’s, built for horsepower. They also commenting that the new 6 speed transmission does a great job of delivering the power and holding gears longer when towing loads. On top of that it will downshift to slow the truck down regardless of a load being present, saving wear and tear on the brakes. As for fuel economy, we are still waiting for GM to release those numbers.
As I go through more details on these new 2014 Silverado’s, I’ll be sure to report them to you. So come back soon for more details on 2014 Silverado test drives. I’ll be looking into towing performance and the all-new 2014 interiors.