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2014 Silverado Towing Performance

Monday, May 13th 2013. | News, Review, Silverado 1500

With an all new EcoTec3 engine lineup and a fully redesigned frame, we naturally find ourselves wondering how well the 2014 Silverado’s and Sierra’s will tow. Driving tests have reviewers commenting on how well the new truck handles rough roads as well as feeling very stable on any road, both loaded and unloaded. This new chassis, I am sure is to thank. GM has lightened and/or strengthened components throughout the new truck.

By doing this GM aimed to significantly improve both the ride and carrying capabilities of the new truck. This also meant an entirely rethought suspension. Compared to the GMT900 the truck has a significantly stiffer chassis with a re-engineered front coil over suspension. Also new are hydraulic body mounts, aiding in a much more comfortable ride whether one is hauling a load or not. The track of the truck is also wider, but only slightly so.

As we already know, the all new 5.3L V8 offers class-leading towing capabilities of 11,500 pounds and the 4.3L V6 offers both class leading towing performance (7,200 pounds) and class-leading torque (305 ft-lb) for a base V6. The new EcoTec3 engines are vital in arriving at class-leading figures. They are designed to have most of their power available across the entire RPM range, which is a very important characteristic of a truck engine. It is torque that moves loads and it is torque that gets a truck going off the line. So even if the 5.3L V8 doesn’t deliver class leading torque, it does provide most of it across its entire RPM range, where others may have a very peaky torque curve. Keep this in mind when test driving for your next pickup truck purchase. You will undoubtedly notice very smooth acceleration and power available at any time (characteristics of a flat torque curve).

With towing numbers what they are today, I think we can rest assured that trucks are capable of towing whatever we throw at them. I think it is, however, very important how these trucks tow these gigantic loads. Early reports suggest that the 2014 Silverado does a great job of towing the loads that the testers were provided, thanks to the new chassis and the new 6-speed automatic transmission. I say “early reports” because these tests were done with GM fully in control, providing appropriately heavy, but also perfectly balanced loads, which is a luxury many end users won’t have. Even still it was noted that in both V6 and V8 applications, when towing near the limit, both the truck, engines and transmission performed exemplary.

The new 6-speed automatic features “grade-braking software” which will downshift the truck when slowing down or stopping, even when unloaded, to spare the brakes. And of course also to provide 2014 Silverado owners with safe braking distances, especially when towing near the limit of these very capable new trucks. Towing performance, of course isn’t all in the transmission, it is also dependent on which axle ratio one selects, the 2014 Silverado will be available with 3.08:1, 3.23:1, 3.42:1 and 3.73:1 axle ratio’s. Of which the first two will be the most widely available. Reviewers noted that even with the 3.08:1 axle ratio, the 5.3L V8 did not feel slow at all.

It seems that Chevy’s new truck delivers when it comes to ride quality, hauling and towing performance. With no small thanks to its entirely revamped EcoTec3 engine lineup. Delivering the torque whenever needed aided by an intelligent 6-speed automatic transmission.

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