2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Review

2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 - Less is more


2007 Chevrolet Silverado

Good passenger and cargo room, Refined interior, Truck ability without truck attitude

Behind-the-times four-speed automatic, Limited headroom with optional sunroof

Sometimes less is more. Truck that is. Used to be you could mark the decades by counting large pickup redesigns. No more, as the last bastion of the domestics is under full-scale attack from the imports. To whit, Chevrolet has introduced a completely redesigned Silverado for 2007. It comes at just the right time as Toyota has a redesigned and enlarged Tundra waiting in the wings that's set to go head-to-head with the big three.

The '07 Silverado shares chassis and engines with the GMC Sierra and again comes in regular, extended, and crew cab body styles. Each body rides the same wheelbase as the previous generation, but is roughly three inches longer and two inches wider. Crew cab models have traditional front-hinged rear doors and extended cab models have rear-hinged half doors that open a full 180 degrees. Regular cab models come with either a 6.5- or 8.1-foot cargo bed and crew cabs have a 5.8-foot bed. Extended cab models come with any of the three bed sizes.

Vehicle Tested

2007 Chevrolet Silverado LT 1500 crew cab

Base Price:
As-Tested Price: $38,802
Built in USA, Canada, or Mexico.
OptionsLT1 Convenience Package
Safety Package
EX Lift Tailgate Package
Off-Road Suspension Package
Vortec 6.0-liter V8
Leather Seats
Power Sunroof
Camper Mirrors
XM Satellite Radio
Cargo Management System
P265/70R17 Tires

Engine: OHV 6.0-liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Drive Wheels: Automatic 4-wheel drive

Standard on regular cabs is a front bench seat. Extended and crew cab bodies have either a front bench seat or front bucket seats and a rear bench seat that folds up and away to increase cargo space. Bucket-seat models get a center console between the front seats. Two interiors are offered: Pure Pickup and Luxury Inspired. Pure Pickup features color-keyed plastic trim panels and a one-piece instrument panel and center stack. Luxury Inspired takes cues from General Motor's full-size SUVs with woodgrain plastic and a separate center stack.

Returning on regular and extended cabs and not available on the crew is a 4.3-liter V6 that makes 195 horsepower. Standard on crew cabs and optional on the others is a 295-horsepower 4.8-liter V8. Optional on all models is a 315-horsepower 5.3-liter V8. Optional only on extended- and crew-cab models is a 367-horsepower 6.0-liter V8. All engines mate to a 4-speed automatic transmission and have an overhead valve design. Both the 5.3-liter and 6.0-liter V8s have General Motor's Active Fuel Management system, which is designed to shut down four cylinders under light throttle to save fuel. Some 5.3-liter V8 engines are flex-fuel capable, meaning then can run on gasoline or E85 Ethanol.

Rear-wheel drive, part-time four-wheel drive, and full-time four-wheel drive are available. The part-time four-wheel-drive system offers two- and four-wheel drive modes and does have a low range for off-road use. It is not indented to be used in four-wheel-drive mode on dry pavement. The full-time four-wheel-drive system has four modes: two wheel, automatic four wheel, locked four wheel, and low-range four wheel. It can be left in automatic four-wheel mode on dry pavement. A locking rear differential and off-road package are optional.

Standard safety features include front airbags, antilock brakes, and a tire-pressure monitor. Stability control with roll-over sensors is standard on crew cabs and optional on the others. Curtain side airbags and a rear-obstacle detection system are optional on all models.

New features for 2007 include power-down rear window, remote engine starter, navigation system, power-adjustable pedals, power rear side windows on extended cabs, and an easy-up tailgate. Also new this year is rear-seat DVD-based entertainment system that is removable.

Regular and extended cab come in Work, LT, and LTZ trim while the crew cab comes only in LT and LTZ trim. Prices start under $18,000 for a Work regular cab and climb to more than $38,000 for a LTZ crew cab. All models have a $900 destination charge.

Get up and Go
The 6.0-liter V8 has more than enough verve to motivate the 5200-pound crew cab. Acceleration from a stop isn't neck snapping, but passing power is robust. The V8 is also quite smooth for a truck engine and has a pleasant growl in hard acceleration.

2007 Chevrolet Silverado
The automatic four-wheel drive system is easy to use. On dry pavement leave it in two-wheel-drive mode. In the rain and snow, switch to auto four-wheel drive. Off road, switch to four-wheel locked or, if the terrain is really rough, four-wheel low. The transmission has a tow/haul mode that alters shift points to aid acceleration and passing power to accommodate heavy loads.

General Motor's Active Fuel Management system cuts the engine from eight cylinders to four in light driving and deceleration. In practice it's a great way to reduce the fuel consumption of a larger engine while still maintaining the power that pickup buyers expect. In reality, the engine rarely operates in four-cylinder mode because of the crew cab's large curb weight and hefty aerodynamic drag at highway speed. There's little doubt that the system works to reduce fuel economy, but it's probably not as effective as it would be in a smaller vehicle.

The engine is also saddled with a four-speed automatic transmission. While that was the class norm a decade ago, some competitors offer more fuel-frugal five- and six-speed automatic transmissions. Obviously, more speeds mean higher prices, but in this case better fuel economy would trump that premium through lower costs of ownership.

Speaking of fuel economy, the four-wheel-drive crew cab with the 6.0-liter V8 is EPA rated at 15 mpg city and 19 mpg highway. Those numbers are comparable to competitors' less-powerful V8 engines. In routine around-town driving expect to average less than 16 mpg, and in gentile highway cruising perhaps as much as 18 mpg. Chevrolet says that all Silverado engines will run fine on regular-grade gasoline.

On the Road General Motors was wise to offer several different wheel/suspension packages on the new Silverado. This way, buyers can tailor the truck's ride to their need. Base suspension is called Z85. It comes with 17-inch wheels. Optional are a Z60 sport suspension with 20-inch wheels and Z71 off-road suspension with 18-inch wheels.

The base suspension is perfectly suited for around-town driving, and, along with the long wheelbase, provides a comfortable and stable ride. There's a fair amount of body lean in turns, but bump absorption is good and there's little bobbing on badly broken roads.

2007 Chevrolet Silverado
The sport suspension has a noticeably firmer ride with far less lean and pitch in turns when compared to the base suspension. If you tow or haul or spend a lot of time on rough roads, it's probably not the best choice. Same goes for the off-road suspension. It's too compliant and provides a bouncy and jittery ride on all but the smoothest pavement.

As much as the different suspensions affect ride quality, they also create three distinct driving experiences: Base exhibiting truck-like road manners; sport feeling a touch more comfortable in fast turns; and the off-road with exaggerated body motions. Though turning radius is large thanks to the long wheelbase, Chevy got the steering feel right. It's somewhat slow, but accurate around town and tracks straight and true on the highway. Brakes are also quite powerful and the pedal is easy to modulate.

Another area where General Motors worked hard in the Silverado's redesign is on noise suppression. The Silverado is quite simply the quietest pickup on the road. There's little road noise (unless you opt for the noisy off-road tires) and wind noise is only noticeable at extra-legal highway speeds.

Behind the Wheel Given the way people use their trucks today, offering two interiors makes a lot of sense. The Pure Pickup interior sports a handsome and thoughtful design, but also utilizes plenty of sturdy hard plastic to limit wear-and-tear and scuffs. The Luxury Inspired interior is much more rich looking and also well designed, but the upscale touches give it just enough class to stay a step ahead of competitors.

Both interiors make use of General Motors standard radio unit. It is head-and-shoulders ahead of the rest of the industry in terms of ease of use and functionality. Climate and ancillary controls are right where they are expected and even the turn signal has an upscale "three blink" mode that's convenient in lane changes.

Front bench seat is comfortable, as long as you are sitting outboard. Riding three abreast scrunches everyone but can be done in a pinch. Leg room is good. Head room adequate as long as you don't order the optional sunroof. It eats into head space and can cramp taller drivers. Visibility is great to all directions and available rear-obstacle detection is a nice feature.

NHTSA Crash-Test Results, 2007 Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab

Front Impact, Driver  5 stars
Front Impact, Passenger 5 stars
Side Impact, Driver NA
Side Impact, Rear Passenger NA
Rollover Resistance 4 stars
Extended-cab rear seats are roomier than most, but still not quite adult comfortable. Rear seats in the crew cab are quite spacious and have an upscale flair. In both models, seats fold up and away in one easy motion to increase interior cargo space. There are plenty of open and covered bins throughout the interior but the upper glovebox door latch is flimsy.

Optional this year is a cargo management system that features rails in the bed with sliding tie-down hooks. It's a convenient and unobtrusive way to make the bed more useful. One note, the tailgate features a lock, but it's not connected to the central locking system or the remote, so you have to lock and unlock with the key.

Bottom Line Kudos to Chevy for taking the truck out in all the right places. In other words, Silverado is a lot more livable than before but still every bit a truck. The ride is better, there's more power, the interior has more room, and the appointments are class leading. It's hard not to like the new Silverado.

Still, it faces tough competition from the new Toyota Tundra, Ford F-150, Dodge Ram, and even the Nissan Titan. Prices are attractive and there are some cash-back incentives, so shop wisely and make sure you are getting a Silverado equipped the way you need it, rather than getting a truck with options that aren't necessary for your purposes.

Specifications, 2007 Chevrolet Silverado LT 1500 crew cab

4-door pickup



Wheelbase, in. 


Size, liters/cu. in. 

6.0 / 364

Length, in. 


Horsepower @ rpm 

367 @ 5500

Width, in. 


Torque (lb-ft) @ rpm 

375 @ 4300

Height, in.



4-speed automatic

Weight, lbs. 


EPA Estimates, mpg

15 city / 19 highway

Maximum Payload, lb. 


Fuel Capacity, gals. 


Manufacturer's Warranty

Seating Capacity



5 years / 100,000 miles

Front Head Room, in. 




Front Leg Room, in. 



6 years / 100,000 miles

Second-Row Head Room, in. 


Free Roadside Assistance 

3 years / 36,000 miles

Rear Leg Room, in. 


Free Scheduled Maintenance


Mark Bilek

Mark Bilek is the Senior Director of Communications and Technology for the Chicago Auto Trade Association and the General Manager for DriveChicago.com. He is also responsible for developing and maintaining the Chicago Auto Show Web site.

Mark has been reviewing vehicles for more than two decades. Previously, he was associate publisher at Consumer Guide, where he oversaw publication of Consumer Guide Car & Truck Test, Consumer Guide's Used Car Book, and ConsumerGuide.com. He was also responsible for publication of "Collectible Automobile" and various hardcover automotive titles. In 2001 and 2002 he served as president of a Midwest Automotive Media Association. Mark has appeared on NBC TV, ABC TV, Fox News, WGN and MotorTrend TV as an automotive consultant. He hosts the Drive Chicago radio show on WLS 890 AM and was a regular guest on WGN Radio's Steve & Johnnie show. Mark lives in the northwest suburbs with his wife and three sons.