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NSAP Drives: 2004 Chevrolet Silverado
Need of a Redesign In some areas...






In the highly competitive full-size truck segment does Chevrolet have all the bases covered with the current Silverado??? I will weigh it out in great detail over every front of the 2004 Silverado. Since a family member just got a new Silverado, so I have drove it a lot, through several different terrains.

Design

The design of the Silverado is much more modern than the previous generation, which in such a growing segment is a good thing. But you would be surprised how much repeat buyers dislike the front fiscal. Most of them that I talk to think that it is too "square-like", and that it does not look like a Chevy truck. I have to wonder why they don't think it looks like a Chevy, it has a cross-bar and bowtie. As for the rest of the truck, it is okay, but nothing great.
Back to the front, since repeat buyers are not that crazy about it, what will they think when the next generation comes out? It is suppose to have an overpowering grille and big headlamps, like that of most new trucks. which is certainly a new thing for the buyers of Silverado's.




Interior

Unless you like oceans of plastic, then I doubt you will like the Silverado interior. I can see having a cheap looking interior for the lower models, but even the LT and Z71 have the same interiors. I think on the next Silverado they need to pull the same move as Ford did with the new F-150, have several different interiors. A washable, cheap one for the base model, a nice yet rugged interior for the LS and Z71, and a top-of-the-line interior for the LT.
Another problem with the interior is the placement of some of the audio and climate controls. For instance, the volume button for the radio is always hidden behind the shift knob, which makes people turn the tuner knob, thinking that they are about to change the volume of the radio. Another thing that Chevrolet screwed up is the center consol. It is basically useless! It has no useful compartments other than the coin holder.
The seats in the Silverado are not that bad, believe it or not. That slight altercation they did in from 2002 to 2003 really did help. They are much more supportive and comfortable. As for the back seat, I drove an Extended Cab, and the legroom was kind of limited, but not that bad. The backseats are designed very well. It holds up allowing the whole floor space to place items, such as groceries, shopping bags, or sporting equipment.


Power/Handling

My test vehicle had the 5300 Liter V-8, which lacked no power in my opinion. That engine is greatly improved over the last generation “knocker” engines. The updated pistons that they placed in in the 2003-2004 5300 engines diffidently helped out a lot! This engine had no glitches what so ever. I also notice a little more “pep” in this engine over the previous generation. That 10 horsepower upgrade helped out a little I guess. The Powertrain is about the best part of the Silverado all around! I hope they continue to put Vortec Engines in the next generation Silverado.
The Z71 Off-Road package is worth it! General Motor’s Four-Wheel-Drive system is one of the best! The automatic option it great for when you have to drive through a lot of rain, or when you are in some mud! The Off-Road suspension allows for a very nice riding truck. It is not as smooth as an Escalade’s, but it shouldn’t be since it is not a luxury truck.


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The Verdict

Pros: good power, okay pricing, and awesome Z71!

Cons: Avalanche styling, terrible interior, and bad feature placement.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10.0

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Specifications

2004 Silverado 1500 Z71
Selected Style: Extended Cab Standard Box 4WD Z71

Exterior: Summit White
Interior: Dark Charcoal Custom Cloth

Total MSRP:* $33,102.00


MSRP: $32,202.00
Color & Options: $900.00
Total MSRP:* $33,102.00
 

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What! The volume control is in perfect sight when the shift is in drive.And problem with the heat controls.
The brown dash looks bad the black looks much better.
"Another thing that Chevrolet screwed up is the center consol. It is basically useless! It has no useful compartments other than the coin holder"
Center consol works great for me, Place for phone, PDA,wallet
The front end is my I got a GMC instread of a CHevy when I trade in my 00 Chevy for a 03 GMC
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Originally posted by airbalancer@May 9 2004, 08:26 PM
What! The volume control is in perfect sight when the shift is in drive.And problem with the heat controls.
The brown dash looks bad the black looks much better.
"Another thing that Chevrolet screwed up is the center consol. It is basically useless! It has no useful compartments other than the coin holder"
Center consol works great for me, Place for phone, PDA,wallet
The front end is my I got a GMC instread of a CHevy when I trade in my 00 Chevy for a 03 GMC
I hate that consol! I don't put ANYTHING in it (except change) because when you go to lift it up everything bumps into eachother and crashes and gets messy!!! I would not dare put my PDA in that thing and lift it up!!!


Maybe yours has a different volume knob... ;)
 

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Same radio, when the shift is drive , the handle is lower than the radio beside the shown have steer wheel controls
You are talking about the covered part.
I usually keep my PDA in the slot beside the cup holders.
When I get my next truck it will be a SLT and not SLE
 

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Just get the radio controls on the stering wheel, then you never have to use the radio knobs!

I have an 03 Silverado 2500HD. The only thing I don't like about it is that the 6.0 gets horrible gas mileage. If I had to do it again, I would have spent the extra $6500 for the Duramax and Allison transmission.
 

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Just out of curiousity nsap, was the rear end the 3:73, or the 4:10? My father had a 2000 GMC Sierra SLT 5300 with the 4:10 rear end, that thing would haul serious a$$. In October 2002 he got a 2003 GMC Sierra SLT 5300 with the 3:73 rear end, he b!tches all the time about it, wishing it was the 4:10 rear end he had in his 2000. The gas mileage isn't any better with the 3:73 either, it still has enough balls to get up to speed, just not as much as with the 4:10. The interior does look much better in all black, I think the ergonomics are great in the Silverado/Sierra, especially the seats! Did the Silverado you tested have the optional Bose 7-Speaker sound system? My father's Sierra has it and it rocks!
 

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In my opinion no truck is more comfortable than a new Sierra or Silverado. A few weeks ago we got in an accident in my dads '03 F350 and had a rental 2004 Sierra. That thing was the El Cheapo crew cab 4wd model. Even the base model seats are EXTREMELY comfortable! The gauges are great and easy to read, decent radio, awesome Driver Information Center (I love the blue display on the DIC and Radio). The dash is solid and controlls are very well laid out. No sissy soft materials that rip and stain easily.

My dad's F350 is a fully loaded Lariat with leather seats, they have NO side support at all, and are almost half as comfortable as the seats in our rental Sierra.
 

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Overall, this is a great interior. Everything was right in this review. Bravo, bravo. Yes, the Silverado deserved the low rating. The Avalanche styling & horrible plastic doesn't make the cut in my book...(and probably yours as well...)
 

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GM truck interiors always disappoint me. It's unbelievable how they can still make ugly, cheap, plastic, crap interiors. It seems to get worse every year..
 

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Originally posted by Taycron@Aug 21 2004, 03:34 AM
GM truck interiors always disappoint me. It's unbelievable how they can still make ugly, cheap, plastic, crap interiors. It seems to get worse every year..
Have you sat in a 99-04 Silverado or Sierra? Or are you making these statements based on what you have read in Car and Driver?
 

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Have you sat in a 99-04 Silverado or Sierra? Or are you making these statements based on what you have read in Car and Driver?

My Uncle has a 2000 GMC Sierra. I drive it occasionally. The interior looks like crap..
 

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I've always thought that the Ford Ranger had a quality looking dash.. Especially this type..

I hope I can attach a pic.
 
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