2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 vs. 2013 Ford F-150 Lariat, 2013 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn
Three Mild Hogs: We brave the honky-tonks, strip malls, and hipster burger joints of central Texas to root out the pickup truck that's just right.
Car and Driver
By Daniel Pund
From the moment the 2014 Silverado was unveiled at this year’s Detroit auto show, it’s drawn fire for looking too similar to the outgoing model. How’s that for changed expectations in the pickup market? We, however, have no problem with a truck that looks like a truck, even if it happens to look like a truck used to look. We specified the volume model of the lineup, which is a four-door version powered by the 5.3-liter gen-five small-block V-8. A 4.3-liter V-6 and a 6.2-liter V-8 also will be offered. This new pushrod 5.3 comes with fuel-saving cylinder deactivation, direct injection, and variable-valve timing.
Ford insisted on entering this contest with its optional turbo V-6 ($1095), which the company views as an alternative to conventional V-8s. We asked for a truck with the company’s most popular engine and, according to Ford, the EcoBoost V-6 slightly outsells the 5.0-liter V-8 available in the F-150. And, indeed, the turbo V-6 makes V-8 horsepower—10 horses up on Chevy’s 5.3 and not much less powerful than Ram’s 5.7-liter Hemi. By now you should know that this EcoBoost prioritizes Boost over Eco. The EPA rates the Ford’s fuel economy even with the Ram’s and slightly worse than the Chevy’s.
The Ram 1500 is our reigning full-size pickup champ. And the Ram folk loaded up a brown-and-tan Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Edition Crew Cab to the tune of $55,390, including the Hemi V-8, optional air springs ($1595), and enough cowboy filigree that even the “cowboy” from the Village People might consider it a bit flamboyant.
The Silverado is a clear-headed reworking of the pickup truck. It brings a level of sophistication and technology to the breed without sacrificing capability. We reckon even non-Texans might just like it, too.
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