Car Life Nation

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A red 2019 Chevy Colorado drives through a downtown. The Colorado is the smallest of the Chevy trucks for sale.

Exploring America’s Enduring Love Affair with Chevy Trucks 

Last year, in an attempt to get a better understanding of consumers in search of trucks for sale, Chevrolet conducted an online survey. The survey consisted of 1012 respondents, all truck drivers aged 18 years and older, scattered across the 50 states with additional data collected from Texas, California, and Florida to ensure more diversified results.

The survey was initiated following the centennial anniversary of Chevy’s truck lineup, a model year where deep-running nostalgia seemed to coexist with forward-thinking strategies related to weight reduction, safety, improved fuel economy, and improvements in overall performance. Rather than exposing a rigid dichotomy, the survey helped to spotlight some of the universal characteristics of American pickup truck owners, the first of which is the personal nature of one’s relationship with their truck.

For example, the survey determined that nearly one-third of all pickup drivers in the U.S. love their truck so much that they’ve personified it with a name. And in anticipation of your next question, the most popular name for an American pickup truck is ‘Betsy’, followed by ‘Big/Little/Old Red.’ In fact, 60% of truck owners say they ‘couldn’t live without their truck’ with 38% claiming to love their pickup truck more than anything else they own. See? You learn something new every day. But the survey also exposed some interesting elements of truck ownership…

First, is the fact that the functionality of a truck places its owner in high demand while empowering them with the opportunity to be of assistance to others. As many as 89% of respondents confirmed that they have utilized their truck to help someone else. From plowing, or towing, to helping someone move or by simply transporting an oversized item for them. This certainly paints truck owners in a positive light, presenting the idea that ‘truck people are good people.’

Next comes the high-percentage of truck owners who consider their truck to be an important component of their family unit. 57% claim to consider their truck a bonafide family member, and a surprising 45% plan on passing their truck onto a child or loved one (as opposed to trading it in). This highlights the idea that a truck is more than ‘just another vehicle’, and might retain more sentimental value than other kinds of vehicles.

And while this last part might prove a little more subjective over a third of truck owners feel that a pickup truck “makes them more attractive” and “more popular”. Granted these results might stem from self-delusion encouraged by modern country music, but it’s still an interesting tidbit.

At the end of the day, the survey depicts truck owners as confident individuals, enthusiastic about their vehicles, unwilling to accept anything less and almost always willing to help when they’re needed. And while the survey wasn’t brand specific, it did a great job of highlighting some of the similarities between truck owners rather than expose differences, as encouraged by brand loyalty. But what if we do get brand specific? How would Chevy trucks, for example, factor into this conversation?

Understanding the Truck Lineup

One of the two leading lineups in terms of sales, the Chevy Lineup consists of midsize, 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, and 1 ton offerings. What’s the difference? Well, a midsize truck (like the Colorado) is meant to take on the most modest of tasks, where a half-ton (like the Silverado 1500) is far more capable for most utility needs (even if it’s still considered a ‘light duty truck’). Considered to be a driver’s truck, there is traditionally a focus on comfort, with the ability to accommodate minimal hauling.

A 3/4 ton truck (like the Silverado 2500) bring us into heavy-duty (HD) territory and is best suited to those who feel that they need more power than a midsize or 1/2 ton pickup can muster. In the case of the Silverado, this is where the ‘driver’s truck’ mindset transforms to embrace a ‘worker’s truck’ mentality.

But the most rigorous of tasks might require a full-ton truck like the Silverado 3500. Equipped with a bolstered suspension and designed for stronger torque ratings, the 3500 is built to endure the rigors of daily work while accommodating any towing and hauling need you can throw at it. That said, let’s take a closer look at each of the Chevy truck offerings to see which might best suit you.

Chevy Colorado

Starting as low as $21,300 MSRP the Colorado has proven a favorite among midsize pickup trucks since its 2004 debut. Considered to represent a near-perfect balance between work and play, the Colorado can be configured as a Crew Can with a Short (61.7-in) or Long (74-in) box, or Extended Can with Long Box. The rear-wheel-drive truck can be configured for 4WD capability and is available in one of three powertrains. First, a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine delivering 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque. Next a 3.6-liter V6 capable of 308 hp and 275 lb-ft. Finally, a 2.8-liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel delivering 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Offering up to 7700 LBS of towing capacity, the Colorado is a great place to start.

Chevy Silverado 1500

A 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 is parked in the sunshine in a wooded area.

The Silverado stands as one of the most dependable, and longest-lasting pickup trucks in existence. Offering Best-in-Class Horsepower, Fuel Economy and a Max Towing capacity of up to 12,500 LBS, there are plenty of incentives for considering a Silverado. But dive in deeper and the availability of 8 distinct trim levels gives you every opportunity to make it your own. Available engines include a (285 hp/305 lb-ft) 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V6, a (355 hp / 383 lb-ft)  5.3-liter V8 and a (420 hp/460 lb-ft) 6.2-liter variant of the latter. Priced to start around $28,300 the base Silverado remains one of the most popular trucks ever made.

Chevy Silverado HD (2500 / 3500)

And atop the lineup stands the HD offerings, in the form of the Silverado 2500 & 3500. Both circle around the $35,000 mark in terms of starting MSRP, but the availability of up to 445 hp, up to 910 lb-ft of torque, and a towing capacity of up to 23,300 LBS assuage any fear that the Silverado HD isn’t ready to work. From the Vortex 6.0-liter V8 to the Duramax 6.6-liter Turbo-Diesel V8, it has exactly what you need resting under the hood – while still including every creature comfort inside a luxurious cabin, complete with all the newest in infotainment technology. “Confident and In-Control” are the words used by Chevy to describe their HD offerings, and we’d be inclined to agree.

Is a Chevy the Perfect Truck for You?

Whether you’re considering the Colorado, Silverado 1500 or Silverado HD — or are already a proud owner — we probably don’t need to convince you of the value of a Chevy truck. But, just as it’s interesting to see the evolution of the ever-expanding truck segment, it’s fascinating to explore all the ways that General Motors and Chevy have persevered in offering one of the most celebrated lineups in history.

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