GM Specialty Vehicles – 2022 Chevrolet Silverado Launched in New Zealand

Like many things, the launch of the new range of Chevrolet Silverados had been delayed due to Covid and its knock-on effects on the global supply chain. But we are finally here in Auckland to see the full range of super-utes available in New Zealand. 

Before we get into the range and details, some background. GM Specialty Vehicles currently distribute the Chevrolet Silverado and Corvette C8 in New Zealand, with talk about the Corvette Z06 coming sometime in the future. At the moment, the Silverado is only manufactured in left-hand drive, GMSV takes these vehicles and ships them to Australia, to Premoso (part of the Walkinshaw group) who then converts these to right-hand drive. From there, they get shipped to New Zealand, ready for sale. 

Based on the current global situation and the time required for the conversion if you order a factory Silverado today, you’re looking at about 8 months for delivery. Current stock may see your vehicle delivered anywhere from 2-3 months up to 8 months depending on the model. 

Due to the end of the Holden brand in New Zealand, the majority of the old Holden dealer network and their familiarity with GM branded vehicles, they will now be able to support and service the Silverado in 9 major locations across New Zealand

What’s In The Chevrolet Silverado Range?

There are three variants available for the New Zealand market:

  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Trail Boss – $119,990
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Premium – $130,990
  • Chevrolet Silverado HD LTZ Premium – $159,990

Across the range there are two main differences, the Trail Boss and LTZ Premium both have the 6.2-litre Ecotech V8 petrol engine and the HD has a 6.6-litre Duramax V8 diesel engine. Both engines are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, which will greatly help to improve fuel economy. 

The Trail Boss and LTZ Premium are very similar vehicles, with the Trail Boss having a slight height advantage with a 2-inch lift kit. Both vehicles produce 313kW and an impressive 624Nm of torque from the 6.2-litre Ecotech V8. Both have a 91-litre fuel tank and have the same overall dimensions and weight. (Length – 5931mm, Width – 2063mm, Weight – 2481kg – Height – 1963mm, LTZ Premium is 1933mm).

The maximum payload rating for each variant is a little different; the Trail Boss is 752kg, the LTZ Premium is 760kg and for the HD it’s 743kg. 

Tow ratings are the same up to 3500kg, but the top end tow limits for each vehicle are different. All three models are rated up to 3,500kg on a 50mm tow ball. However, above that, there are variations. The Trail Boss can tow 4,260kg, the LTZ Premium and HD can 4,500kg on a 70mm or equivalent rated hitch. GMSV indicate that a weight-distribution hitch is required when towing above 3,175kg. Best Bars have teamed up to supply and fit the pintle system, which can push the HD rating to 6700kg. This system also has the ability to have an easy swap out tow ball system for 40mm and 50mm towballs. This is not a GMSV part, but it can be requested through the dealers when purchasing. 

The HD is another beast altogether, even though all of these trucks are huge compared to what is on the road in New Zealand, the HD is bigger again. Powered by the 6.6-litre turbo-diesel Duramax engine, that produces 332kW and a monstrous 1,234Nm of torque. To feed this beast, it has a huge 136-litre fuel tank. The HD is much heavier than the other two models, coming in a 3,752kg, which pushes it over the WOF requirements and into COF territory. It does not require an H2 licence, however, if your towing is more than a combined, vehicle and trailer load of 6 tons, an H2 license will be required.

Standard specs across the range as follows;

  • Automatic Locking Rear Diff
  • 2 Speed Transfer Case
  • Lane Change Alert w/ Side Blind Alert
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Cruise Control
  • Reverse Camera
  • Front & Rear Park Assist
  • Heated Seats – Front
  • Heated Leather Steering Wheel
  • Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control
  • StabiliTrak® Electronic Stability Control w/Traction Control
  • Hill Descent Control
  • Rear View Camera w/ Hitch Guidance & View
  • Tow Bar (Not Including Tow ball and Tongue)
  • Electric Trailer Brake Controller

GMSV indicated that the LTZ Premium is focused more on towing over the Trail Boss and the HD is just for those situations when nothing else will do it and you need to move a small town down the road with its mind-boggling torque.

As the range has had an LHD to RHD conversion the full range of accessories that would be available to the US are not yet available here. GMSV said that this range will continue to grow over time. Currently, they offer 4 different tonneau covers, a hard rolling cover, tri-fold cover, softcover and a fully electric hard rolling cover. You can also option 20” gloss black rims for the Trail Boss and LTZ Premium, side-tray mounted tub boxes, a swing-out bed box and a trailer camera. The trailer camera is a very neat accessory as it can show the view of the rear of the truck with the trailer transparent for easier reversing. 

During the launch, we spent the afternoon driving the Tail Boss to see what it was all about. Later in the month, we have the LTZ Premium booked in for an in-depth car review in Wellington. 

First Impressions Of The 2022 Chevrolet Silverado Trail Boss

It’s big and red and it sends a pretty strong statement to the world. You know what they say about guys who drive huge trucks…… that’s right they need to tow big things. I am 200cm tall and there are not many vehicles I have to look up or climb up into, and this thing is a beast. It did play to my inner child, as deep down every man (man-child) wants to drive a big red truck.

What’s The Interior Like In The  2022 Chevrolet Silverado Trail Boss?

Inside the Silverado is very spacious, this is a vehicle you climb up into, instead of dropping down onto a seat. Nice grab handles on the A-pillars help to make this an easier task. 

Once inside you feel like you’re at the controls for a ship, the Silverado is big and you really feel this, looking down on all the other vehicles around you. The interior is well laid out, with the majority of things in the centre console, like the media screen and air-con controls and trailer brake settings. Stick-shift gear selection is on the right of the steering wheel, with a few easy-access controls on the steering wheel: phone, media, volume and driver’s dash menus. On the left of the cabin there are two glove boxes and in the middle a very spacious storage space under the middle armrest. 

One feature that rather impressed and surprised me as I had not seen it before, was that the air-con went into a quiet mode when you were on the phone. I thought that this was such a simple and well-thought-out feature as it shows it has been used and tested in real-world situations.

The rear of the cabin is huge, there’s so much room. It almost feels weird to sit in the back seats and have the two front seats so far away. There is enough room for me to cross my legs and still not touch the seats in front. Great for tall people and great for additional storage space too. 

The central media screen is set up to use the Andriod Auto or Apple CarPlay system. This means there is no SatNav without using your phone. Once wired in it worked very well, using Android Auto. Google Maps and the phone’s apps are very well integrated. It would have been nice if this was wireless too, but I was only able to get it working when it was plugged in.

The tray of this Trail Boss was covered with the soft tonneau cover, which was super easy to use and roll away. The rear tailgate has a soft automatic open, so it never drops out down too fast. It’s one-way only, with a manual close, and it’s not heavy, so this was no problem. The rear tray is a big space, covered with a hard-plastic tray liner, which means it’s ready to work and do those dirty tough jobs.

What’s The 2022 Chevrolet Silverado Trail Boss Like To Drive?

Even though this truck is quite a bit bigger than the typical vehicle or ute, it’s a rather easy vehicle to drive. The steering is light and the vehicle does not feel as big and heavy when you’re driving around.

The main thing is having good spacial awareness and visibility around the truck. I found that in most cases this was good, but it was hard to see what was down close to the car on the passenger side, forward of the mirror from the driver’s seat. 

I was surprised after driving it around Auckland for the afternoon that I was getting 13-litres per 100km on my average fuel consumption. That’s really not bad for the size of the vehicle. It’s pretty close to what a typical Ranger, Hilux or D-Max would be on the day-to-day. This is partly to do with the huge torque and the 10-speed automatic transmission. 

The brakes are very good, with two sudden stops required due to other drivers’ poor decisions, the truck came to a halt very quickly, which leaves the driver with a lot of confidence for those unexpected situations. 

Out on the motorway, the Trail Boss is smooth and quiet for a ute. Even the all-terrain tyres didn’t make as much road noise as expected. Cruising at 100km/h is no problem for the mighty V8, and I can imagine that towing would be done with ease too. 

What are our thoughts on the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado Trail Boss?

The Trail Boss is an impressive truck, with lots of smart features. It’s clear that this impressive truck is for those people who have larger-than-life requirements. Towing would be the main one, with a higher rating than the standard range of 3,500kg utes in New Zealand. If you have a big boat, horse float or other heavy towing requirements, this truck is a must on your list of vehicles to test. 

In the coming weeks, we will have the Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Premium on a full review, where we will dive deep into all the features. We also plan to test its towing capability. Stay in touch to see when this review is published.

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It started at a young age with bedroom posters, the Countach of course. This slowly grew into a super car die-cast model collection, fifty five 1:18 models at the last count. At which point it had almost taken full control, the incurable Mad Car Disease ran deep though my veins all the way to the bone. And things for my loved ones just got worse as the cars where now being bought at 1:1 scale, after a BMW, HSV, and couple of Audi's, the disease reached my brain, pushing me over the edge and down the rabbits hole into the world of the bedroom poster.

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