2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 First Test

Like other automakers, GM faces challenges in today’s plateaued, crossover-obsessed auto market, and rumors are circling that it will discontinue the slow-selling Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Impala and Sonic.

Staying out of the “car versus crossover” fray is the Chevrolet Silverado, GM’s best-selling model by far and wide. On the 1500, buyers can choose from anything between a stripped-down Work Truck costing less than $30,000 and the High Country that can easily hit north of $65,000 when optioned appropriately. Recently, we drove the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, the second highest trim in the lineup and one with off-road aptitude.

Braking from 60 mph to a full stop in our tester required 139 feet, almost as long as it took to brake in an F-150 Raptor (140 feet). You get a sense of that long distance because it takes a while for the brakes to bite upon application in the Silverado. The F-150 Platinum took 121 feet, a Silverado 2500 HD Z71 stopped in 146 feet, and the Tundra stopped in 145 feet. For comparison outside the large truck category, our long-term 2017 Honda Civic required just 120 feet to reach a stop.

At $55,600, our tester featured high-quality materials, but it’s no luxury truck. The tester’s cabin boasts comfortable leather-appointed seats, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with a competent voice recognition system. The LTZ Plus package brought a Bose audio system, heated steering wheel, and power adjustable pedals, while a Midnight Edition package provided black accents to the exterior as well as Duratrac Blackwall tires.

Even though it isn’t the quickest truck on the market, our tester benefits from plenty of creature comforts, reliable performance on and off the road, and a quiet cabin. Chevy fans looking for something a little more extreme will have to move down a size to the Colorado ZR2.