NASCAR Quickie: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado
Fifteen minutes with one of the truck world's bad boys
Sometimes love grows on you slowly. And other times it hits you like a fist you don’t even see coming.
For me, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado is that second one.
I had a chance to drive one of these bad boys Sunday at NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ inaugural Canadian event, the Chevrolet Silverado 250. And no, I wasn’t competing; until they get that “Most Stylish, Least Experienced” category I’ve been bugging them for, that’s just not going to happen.
However, I did get a stint as one of the drivers during the parade lap. It’s a splashy, meticulously choreographed event in which the race’s sponsor lines up a phalanx of brand new Silverado LTZs (and I’m talking assembled-just-days-ago, not-even-20-clicks-yet new), puts two of the racers in each truck bed and does a lap around the track to the delight of the crowds lined up along the way. (My lucky passengers were Ross Chastain and Ron Hornaday Jr. They played it cool but I think they were pretty thrilled.)
The whole thing lasted about 15 minutes, from leaving the paddock to picking up the drivers to rounding the final bend. More than enough time, I soon realized, to develop a crush.
I mean, holy silver moly. This truck has everything: a beefcake exterior and an interior that’s loaded with thoughtful touches and accoutrements.
Here are 10 of the sweeter features I noticed during my brief fling with the Silverado.
1. It’s ridiculously huge. There were four of us inside the cabin and it felt like we were in a plush, stitched-leather room. You instinctively want to sprawl out, stretch your legs, take up elbow room on the console. (Go ahead. There’s plenty of room.)
2. It’s ridiculously quiet. I’m not used to trucks whose engines hum so softly your passengers ask, “Is this even on?”
3. It’s got air-conditioned seats. An odd sensation, but extremely rejuvenating on a sweltering race day, I can assure you. (It also has a heated steering wheel.)
4. There’s tons of leg room in the crew cab. The two tall passengers in the rear seat were mighty pleased with that.
5. It has power adjustable brake pedal to accommodate different drivers.
6. There’s a holder on the dash for an iPad and a hiding spot for its wires and cables.
7. There’s a button to open the back cargo window from the front of the vehicle.
8. There’s a dashboard button to illuminate the flat bed with LED lights.
9. The console storage space is big enough to stash the world’s biggest, bulkiest and most unattractive purse (I keep meaning to downsize) and still have room left over for whatever else you couldn’t fit in the big ugly purse.
10. And lastly, it has a 120 V plug on the dash, which officially makes the Silverado big enough and equipped enough to plug in your microwave and cook breakfast for the family.
Of course, 15 minutes isn’t enough to fully judge the merits or flaws of any vehicle, but it’s certainly enough to make a first impression. And in the Silverado’s case, it was a good one.
Verdict: Would I agree to a second date to get to know the Chevrolet Silverado LTZ better? Definitely.
Base price: About $32,000 ($44,000 for LTZ package)
Video: Just long enough to smell the leather