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

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

A silver 1999 Chevy Silverado 1500 LT Z71 is shown from the front kicking up mud as it driving through a field.

The Engines of the Silverado Through the Generations

Whenever you find yourself walking onto a used Chevy Silverado dealership lot, you might find yourself looking at the various makes and models that are for sale. If you already own a Chevy Silverado, then you’re familiar with the attributes that make it one of the best pickup trucks on the road. The recent trim lines that Chevy has produced offer an array of driver assistance features, creature comforts, and of course, award-winning performance. Whether you’re looking to haul a trailer across the highway or go over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house, a Silverado can accommodate your wishes. However, a quality product doesn’t come by accident. Much like the stone that’s smooth and shimmering, the process of refinement takes time, and perfection is only achieved through perseverance and dedication. We invite you to come with us on a journey through the past as we take notice of how the Silverado has evolved into the workhorse as we know it today.

Party Like It’s 1999

As the tumultuous decade known as the ’90s came to an end, change was in the air. As the planet scrambled and panicked over the potential disaster of Y2K, the roads of America were about to be graced by a new breed of truck: the Silverado. The name conjured up images of cowboys and cattle rustlers taming the arid wilderness of the American West. Longtime Chevy enthusiasts might recognize the name as a trim level on Chevy pickups from the mid-1970s, but this new Silverado was a model all its own. Whatever the familiarity might have been, the industry would never be the same again.

While we tend to think of trucks in terms of “bigger is better,” the 1999 Silverado was more on the compact side of the spectrum. Relatively smaller than the pickups of today, Chevrolet’s offering came with three types of engines that allowed for efficiency in whatever one needed to accomplish. For those who favored economy, a 4.3L V6 engine was readily available. If a V6 wasn’t to your liking and you needed just a bit more ferocity underneath the hood, Chevy offered up three distinct V8 engines. A 4.8L V8, a 5.3L V8, and a 6.0L V8 provided a plethora of horsepower and towing capability. Chevy’s 4.8L V8 was a perfect compromise between the fuel economy of the V6 and the performance that one typically gets from an 8-cylinder engine. With 200-300 horsepower and 255-255 lb-ft of torque to use, the Silverado’s journey towards excellence started on a good note.

A silver 2007 Chevy Silverado 1500 is shown from the side driving in front of a mountain range.

2007: A New Generation Takes to the Road

The differences in attitude, outlook, and popular culture were completely different by the 2000s. The apathetic post-ironic era of the 1990s had given way to reality television and CGI-laden movies that always seemed to bring the crowds in. 2007 was a truly unique year for the Chevy Silverado, as a second-generation came forward to bring its performance and practicality to a brand new legion of drivers and do-ers. Nothing comes easy, and adversity would be impeding Chevy’s hopes of complete market domination. While the Silverado remained popular, consumers favored the Ram 1500 and Nissan Titan. Still, Chevy persevered as they always had. What’s popular isn’t always a barometer of quality, and the Silverado achieved high marks in safety, proving Chevy had a better eye for its customer’s safety than others.

The 2007 model featured even more variety in terms of engine choices, giving customers a chance to get a truck that fit their needs. Chevy still manufactured the Silverado with a 4.3L V6 for those who favored economy above all else. The 4.8L V8 and 5.3L V8 engines were also still available, but for those who needed to go the extra mile, Chevy now offered a 6.0L V8 with even more power than before. This was a Silverado that brought the goods to the table and wasn’t about to back down. The wide range of horsepower provided by the multiple engine options and a towing capacity of up to 10,400 lbs were impressive, and Chevy’s continued commitment to both its customers and their best interest was still unwavering. But time waits for no one, and history marched on.

Ahead of the Pack in 2014

As the world entered the second decade of the new millennium, changes were in the air. The more things change, the more they stay the same. 2014 marked 95 years of the Chevy truck, and a proud lineage and tradition were to be upheld by a new breed of trucks. Coinciding with this important anniversary was the arrival of the third generation of Silverado. In the 15 years of the truck’s existence, the industry had dramatically changed, as did the world around it. While Chevrolet adapted to these changes in the form of technological development, they had retained and doubled down on their determination to uphold the high standard of quality that their truck had established over the past century.

The 2014 Silverado was refined, fine-tuned, and far beyond what its humble beginnings had established. This year marked a significant change in terms of the arsenal Chevy offered its customers. A new standard 4.3L V6 brought economy and performance together like never before. Connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission, this was a V6 that could quite literally carry its weight yet still offer an excellent fuel economy. A decade earlier, 20 MPG was considered the average for a four-door sedan, but now a pickup truck was achieving this feat with relative ease.

Still, Chevrolet never forgot its customers who craved raw power. A new 5.3L V8 was redesigned from the ground up. Customers still had plenty of horsepower, with this particular engine boasting an impressive number of 355 hp. More impressive than its power was its reliability and ability to maintain. Drivers reported their 5.3L V8’s lasting upwards of 220,000 miles. Not only could one go the distance, but they could also have peace of mind along the way. If there was any doubt about Chevy pushing the Silverado even further, these were abruptly silenced by the 6.2L V8. The same type of engine that had propelled the Corvette Stingray, Chevy’s motor offered some of the strongest performance figures from the time period. With 420 horsepower and the ability to generate 460 lb-ft of torque, it was more than apparent that the Chevy Silverado had not only scaled the top of the mountain, it had moved it in an entirely new direction. Plus, if you appropriately equipped this model, you would benefit from a towing capacity of up to 12,000 lbs, so you could bring whatever items you wanted along.

A silver 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 is shown from the front driving through water during a durability test.

No Turning Back Now…

The question one might ask is, “what do you do when you’ve conquered your domain?” The answer: you keep on doing what you do best. The automotive industry is one that’s highly competitive and exists in a perpetual state of evolution. Nothing stays stagnant for long, whether that be the myriad of engines we have seen over the years or simple things like exterior styling choices. Time and again, Chevy has continued to adapt with the times, and in the years to come, we can all assume that they will continue to do so. After all, you don’t become king of the mountain and the undisputed champion by being complacent with your accomplishments and resting on your laurels. If that were the case, there would be no used Chevy Silverado dealerships out there for you to shop at because people would’ve stopped relying on the brand long ago.

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