BUYERS GUIDE - UTES & CAB CHASSIS MEDIUM
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Premium edition has been given the right hand drive treatment by HSV. Like all US-market ‘1500’ series utes it has limited payload of around 700kg, but can tow up to 4500kg.
North American utes are the light commercial market’s towing kings. Unlike the medium crew-cab utes that dominate the Australian market, US-market 1500 crew-cab utes are designed primarily with towing, not cargo-bed payload, in mind. So, if you’re in the market for a ute to accept a slide-on-camper the Silverado 1500 is not for you, but if you want to tow a large van or trailer, keep reading.
The Silverado 1500 LTZ Premium is available with Chevrolet’s Advanced Trailering System that includes tow-haul mode; camera hitch view; hitch area lighting; electric park brake connection; integrated trailer brake controller; trailer swap control; trailer theft alert; hill start assist and auto downgrade braking.
Luxury car appointments include: leather trimmed upholstery; heated and powered front seats; heated steering wheel rim; Chevrolet Infotainment 3 plus; rear vision camera; dual-stage front seat airbags; side-impact and curtain airbags front and rear; ESC; trailer sway control; park assist front and rear; lane-change alert; side blind zone and rear cross-traffic alerts; forward collision alert; low speed automatic braking; pedestrian braking; front proximity indicator and adaptive cruise control.
The HSV Silverado is aimed at the successful RAM 1500 and has a broadly similar specification. The powertrain is headed by a 6.2-litre petrol V8 that, like the Hemi in the RAM 1500, has stop/start and, more importantly for highway trips, cylinder deactivation to improve economy.
This EcoTec3 donk puts out a claimed 313kW and 624Nm, so grunt isn’t an issue. Torque passes through a ten-speed automatic transmission to a two-speed transfer case, with low-range reduction of 2.72:1.
Suspension up front is independent wishbone type with coils over shocks and at the rear is leaf springs with bias-mounted shock absorbers. The LTZ Premium edition comes with Z71-spec’ Rancho twin-tube shocks front and rear.
The Chevy is a largish beast, at 5.9 metres overall, 2.1 metres wide and 1.9 metres tall. Wheelabse is 3.7 metres and unladen ground clearance is 235mm. The cargo box measures 1.8 metres in length, with 1.3 metres between the wheel arches, has 12 tie downs and the tailgate is power-operated.
We’ve asked for a test vehicle that we hope to pick up in May 2020.