The ute market in New Zealand is huge, so much money is spent on all sorts of trucks and then a lot is spent after on a mind-boggling range of accessories. As far as general utes go, there is a line in the sand around capabilities; The utes can tow up to 3.5 tons, and the utes can tow more than 3.5 tons.
Why does anyone need to tow more than 3.5 tons, I hear you ask? Well, much like the RV has evolved so have caravans and horse floats, they are a lot bigger these days with some already over 2 tons. Most fifth-wheel trailers generally push over the limit too, leaving you few options. Fred from DriveLife owned a 34-foot fifth wheel RV he bought new in the USA, and loaded it weighed in at 6 tons.
There are a lot of options if you only need to tow up to 3.5 tons, but once you go over that, the market options shrink a lot leaving you with only two real options, both American brands: Ram and Chevrolet.
After the launch of the new range of Chevrolet Silverado in New Zealand, we got a chance to spend a few weeks in the 2022 GMSV Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Premium, where we plan to put it through its paces of everyday life – and some towing, too.
What We Like and Dislike About The 2022 GMSV Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Premium
What we like
- It’s huge, feels tough and safe
- Powerful 6.2-litre V8
- Spacious cabin
- Huge space for second-row passengers
- All the latest gadgets and toys
- Easy to driveQuiet on the road, low road noise
- 4.5-ton towing capability
- A combined 7.1 ton towing
- Space on the deck for a full pallet
- Lots of accessories
What we don’t like
- It’s huge, so much bigger than normal vehicles in New Zealand
- Not a lot of internal storage space
- Central screen brightness at night
- Fuel economy
- Not ideal in the city
What’s In The 2022 GMSV 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 should 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 the HD is 743kg.
Tow ratings are the same up to 3,500kg, 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, and the LTZ Premium and HD can tow 4,500kg on a 70mm or equivalent rated hitch. GMSV indicates 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 tow balls. 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 at 3,752kg, which pushes it over the WOF requirements and into COF territory. It does not require an H2 license, however, if your towing is more than a combined vehicle and trailer load of 6 tons, an H2 license will be required.
2022 GMSV Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Premium Standard Equipment Highlights
- 6.2L EcoTech V8 with Dynamic Fuel Management
- 10-speed automatic transmission
- Fuel Tank 91L
- Automatic Locking Rear Differential
- 2-speed Autotrac Transfer Case
- 360 Degree HD Camera with up to 15 Camera views
- Head-Up Display
- Rear-View Camera Mirror
- Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Alert
- Lane Keep Assist
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- Forward Collision Alert with Low Speed AEB
- Front Pedestrian Braking
- IntelliBeam® High Beam Assist
- Front LED Lights with Fog Lights
- Adaptive Cruise Control – Camera
- Reverse Camera
- Rear & Front Park Assist
- Driver’s Instrument Cluster Display 8”
- StabiliTrak® Stability Control with Proactive Roll Avoid
- Z71 Suspension Tune Rancho® Twin tube Shocks
- Hill Decent Control
- Apple CarPlay & Android Auto Wireless
- Bose® Premium Sound System with Richbass® (7-Speaker)
- Power Driver Seat Adjustment 10-way
- Power Front Passenger Seat Adjustment 10-way
- Driver Seat Memory
- Power Sliding Rear Window
- Power Sunroof
- Seats Leather Cloth Heated Seats – Front
- Ventilated Seats – Front
- Heated Leather Steering Wheel
Our Review Vehicle’s Optional Equipment
- Bonnet Protector – $420
- Weather Shields / Monsoons – $385
- Rear all weather mat – $285
- Tow bar 70mm – $520
Including the optional equipment our review car’s retail price is $132,600.
For a full list of specs and options available for the 2022 GMSV Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Premium jump on over to the GMSV New Zealand website
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How Does The 2022 GMSV Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Premium Compare To Its Competition?
As I mentioned before, the competition when you go above the 3.5-ton towing line is not a crowd, with only two brands battling it out. Ram and Chevrolet. Both brands are really only focusing on these big heavy trucks. Chevrolet has 3 options, the LT Trail Boss, LTZ Premium and the HD LTZ Premium. Ram has 6 options, 1500, Express V8 Hemi, 1500 Warlock V8 Hemi, 1500 Laramie, 1500 Limited, 2500 Laramie and the 3500 Laramie. The direct model to the Silverado LTZ Premium is the 1500 Laramie Crew Cab.
SUV Comparison Chart
|Deck payload kg||Price|
|Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab||5.7-litre Hemi V8||291/556||5||13.8||750/4500||1043||$132,990|
|ChevroletSilverado LTZ Premium||6.2L EcoTech V8||313/624||5||12.8||750/4500||760||$130,900|
First Impressions Of The 2022 GMSV Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Premium
America, Oh Yeah. There are not many vehicles that fully embrace the larger than life feeling that you get from The United States of America. The Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Premium is a big unit, it looks big when it’s on its own, even bigger when it’s parked beside other typical New Zealand vehicles.
The front of the Silverado is like a chrome bulldozer, emphasizing the size of the vehicle and how tough it is. Overall I really like how it looks which is probably down to being a large child that sees a huge toy truck.
What’s The Interior Like In The 2022 GMSV Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Premium?
In the front of the cabin, it feels like you’re on the bridge of a ship. There is a lot of space up there, so much that you could easily exchange the center console for another seat. The dash is very American, buttons for everything. Unlike most European or Asain brands who aim for less buttons or multifunction buttons to reduce clutter. American vehicles tend to need a single use button for everything. Even with that in mind, as the cabin and dash is so big it does not feel overly cluttered. But there are buttons everywhere.
The front seats are very comfy, well shaped and have a great level of adjustment to get that right fit. Cramped is not how it feels, there is so much room that I even had to pull the driver’s seat forward to find the right seating position. Both front seats have heating and cooling, while the two outer rear seats have heating.
In the rear of the Silverado, it feels just as big as the outside. There is a lot of room in the back, 3 adults across without being squashed and enough legroom that their knees will never touch the seats in front of them, no matter how tall they are. Like the front, there are grab handles on the pillars so that you can use these to help with access to the vehicle. Our review car had heated seats, a 12v car socket, and a standard USB and USB C port for the rear passengers. One thing that was noted from the rear passengers, was that there is no way to shut off the air to the rear of the cabin. The second row of seats also folds up out of the way allowing for a lot of storage space in the back. The floor is not entirely flat, as there is a bump in the floor which creates a small cubby area just under the rear of the seat, where the jack is stored.
The central console is where all the action is inside the cabin. The US market does not seem to be going in the same clutter-free direction many of the European vehicles are going, there are buttons for everything. It starts from the top with an 8” touch screen display, which is where the majority of standard features can be accessed. Audio, Phone, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Camera and Settings.
Below the screen, you have the typical array of air distribution controls, air conditioning temperatures and audio volume controls. Then a line of buttons which include lane assist on and off, parking assistance on and off, engine start-stop, tailgate open and close, hazard lights, traction control on and off, 220v plug power, and hill descent control. Under that, there is another line of things, with trailer braking controls, USB and USB C ports, and a 12v socket. Last but not least you have the tray at the bottom which is split in half, with one area to store coins, pens etc, and the other side is a wireless charging pad for your phone.
Android Auto was nicely integrated into the LTZ Premium via bluetooth, unlike the Trail Boss which only works when connected via usb cable. Within Android Auto you are able to control a wide range of phone features, navigation, communication and the best was the ability to talk to Google Assistant and request songs or locations on the map or to read out and verbally reply to text messages.
The one thing that I really did like, that I mentioned in the launch event article, 2022 Chevrolet Silverado Launched in New Zealand, is the handy feature they have set up for when you are using the phone. Once you make a call, the air conditioning automatically sets itself to a low setting, still on but very quiet so it does not interrupt or cause you to talk over the sound of the unit working. You might think this is only needed for hot countries, but we all know if a car is left in the sun during summer in New Zealand, it becomes an oven and we all crank the AC up as soon as we jump in.
Visibility all around the cabin is great, you are high up and the windows are huge so you have a great view of almost everything. Visibility out the back is good, however, it does take a bit of time to get used to how high the vehicle is compared to other vehicles. Vehicles can seem closer as you only see their roof in the rearview mirror, but they are still a safe distance away. The only area that is hard for the driver to gauge is the area between the front left wheel and the passenger door as the vehicle is so wide. But this is where the camera system steps in and offers a huge range of different views, 15 in total. When parking you now have a 360-degree camera view of the entire truck so that you can be confident that you know what’s all around the vehicle.
The vehicle itself suffers from a lack of storage cubbies and spaces. Yes, the rear of the cabin can be used for storing things, but the rear seats suffer from that. The only real storage space in the cabin is under the centre console armrest, which is a huge space, easily twice or three times the normal space in other cars. You can however purchase a storage bin for the rear deck which will allow for additional space which can also be locked.
The rear deck is a very large space, fully lined with a coated deck-liner for heavy-duty use. The tailgate is powered, one click of the button and down it goes, and one press of the button again and it closes up. A rather nice feature to have as it takes away the issues of the tailgate dropping too fast due to its weight. There are a lot of tie-down hooks around the deck which is great to see, something that I feel most utes do not have enough positions as standard. The deck itself is limited to 760kg, which I thought was a little on the light side for such a big truck. The weight might be limited, but the space is big enough for a full pallet to be loaded in.
What’s The 2022 GMSV Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Premium Like To Drive?
The Silverado is a bit of a beast, which is clear from the 6.2-litre badge on the bonnet. Yes, it’s a big motor, the 6.2-litre petrol engine is naturally aspirated American muscle. This engine pushes out 313kW of power and 624Nm of torque. It’s also paired with an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission, which is good news for those long-haul drives.
On the road the Silverado is so much bigger than you expect, almost a lane wide and a carpark and a half long, you need to be aware of your surroundings. But even with that in mind, this is not a hard truck to drive. The engine is effortlessly smooth, with a lovely low gurgle when you apply the power. The truck itself is heavy, but the engine power offsets this making it as easy to drive as a midsize SUV. Even on the open road, I thought it would have a level of drift to it, needing continuous correction. But I was wrong again, the drive felt really good, which gave you a very strong level of confidence while driving this massive unit. The ride quality was decent too when empty it was a little on the hard side, but when there was some weight in the back, like most utes the ride improved as there was more weight on the suspension.
A big part of the selling factor for the new Silverado is its towing ability and towing features. I towed a few vehicles with this truck, using a fully enclosed vehicle trailer on loan from The Surgery in Tawa so we could see what the Silverado was all about. As standard, the Silverado comes with a 70mm ball for its 4.5-ton towing limit, as we didn’t have any trailers with a 70mm ball I swapped over my hitch tow ball from my Discovery to the Silverado, which now let me tow with a standard 50mm ball.
Over the course of a few days, I was able to tow several vehicles in the enclosed trailer, from an old Skoda Trekka to a 1957 Chevy Bel Air, all of which put the Silverado through a good test.
The weight of the trailer caused the Silverado no problem in pulling any of the loads as they did not exceed the 3.5 ton towing limit of the tow ball. The Bel Air was the heaviest but really made no difference thanks to the huge torque available from the 6.2-litre V8. The engine however is not the best feature of the Silverado when towing, it’s the trailer tech and new camera system, which is very much like the eyes in the skies.
The Advanced Trailering tech flaunts an impressive list of features: Auto grade braking, tow-haul reminder, trailer theft alert, auto & cruise grade braking, stabiliTrak electronic stability control, automatic locking rear differential, hill start assist, trailer sway control and tyre and temp trailer monitoring. Many of these features can be accessed via the central display in the Trailering App. This app pops up once you hook up a trailer, which you edit and save as individual trailer profiles settings to be recalled later. You can also do a full trailer light test on your own, with the trailer light test feature. Which turns on all lights while you do a walk around of the trailer. This app also helps with the pre-departure checklist and service reminder dates.
The trailering camera system is what really impressed me, you have 15 unique views around the vehicle, which is pretty epic if you think about it. These views include;
- Surround-view (360 around the vehicle)
- Hitch view (straight down on the tow hitch)
- Rearview (reversing rear view)
- Bed view (the rear deck of the ute)
- Front view, (right in the front of the front bumper)
- Rear side views (shows down the side of the vehicle for reserving and or lane changes),
- Front side view (showing each front wheel)
- Front top-down view (a close up top-down views showing the right confront of the vehicle)
- Rear trailer view (looks through a camera on the trailer)
- Inside trailer view (looking at a camera inside the trailer)
- Transparent trailer view (allows the driver to see through the trailer from the rear of the car if paired with an onboard camera trailer)
- Picture in picture (overlaying multiple camera views in the same view)
There were so many views and options that there is something for every situation. I also really liked the rear side views which would come on when indicating. These were especially handy when going around corners at intersections, which allows you to keep an eye on the path of the trailer, making sure you don’t come too close to the kerb or side of the road.
From the driver’s seat, most areas are clear to see, with the exception of the area around the front left wheel, which is hard to see from the driver’s side, and the areas behind the A-Pillars, which are rather thick, and on many occasions they hid a complete car from my vision. I had to make sure to lean both ways to just check there was nothing there on a roundabout. Thankfully there were no issues, which is also helped by the range of driver’s aids and blind-spot monitoring.
The really impressive thing about the Silverado is how quiet it is. For a big American truck with a 6.2-litre V8, I was expecting it to be rather loud and droney inside the cabin. I couldn’t be further from the truth, it’s really quiet, so quiet that, unless you floor it you don’t even know when the engine start-stop is cut in and starts the engine up again. The cabin had really great sound insulation which was also great when on the open road, as the condition of the road was not transferred via sound into the cabin. Very impressed with this, as there are many luxury vehicles on the market that do not offer this level of sound insulation.
Nighttime driving the Silverado has a few pros and cons. On the exterior and in the deck itself, there are a lot of lights that help to illuminate the big vehicle. There is also a strip of LED lights around the tow ball, which is great when you hitch or unhitch at night. In fact, I found all of the exterior lighting very good and practically thought out for everyday situations. Inside the cabin is the only place where I came across an issue. The central display in the cabin I found to be very bright at night, even in its night mode. I found that as you drive along and your eyes try to get used to the dark outside the car, there is a glow in the side of your vision inside the cabin, coming from the central display. I found it best to just turn the screen off in these situations, which is not ideal.
The big question many of you want to know is what fuel consumption is like. Well let’s all be honest, it was never going to be great, as that’s not the type of vehicle it is. This vehicle is not designed for someone to just cruise around in, it’s a truck with a purpose, and that purpose is towing big loads. I drove the Silverado for just over 950km over 3 weeks. During this time I towed a few vehicles on trailers for maybe 100km in total. My average fuel consumption during the full three weeks was 14.9-litres per 100km. Which is ok: it’s not great and it’s not bad either.
However to do that 950km, it requires 2 full tanks, which added up to 180ish litres of petrol, give or take $500 at current fuel prices. I will be honest it did freak me out refilling it, as a 91-litre tank is a big tank, but I was also expecting the Silverado to score much worse on the consumption test. If you have the need to tow big loads, fuel bills like this should not be a surprise to you.
2022 GMSV Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Premium Specifications
|Price as Tested||$132,600|
|Engine||6.2L EcoTech V8 with Dynamic Fuel Management|
|313 / 624|
|Transmission||10-speed automatic transmission|
|Spare Wheel||Full size|
|Kerb Weight, Kg||2,540|
|Length x Width x Height|
|5931 x 2063 x 1933|
|Fuel tank capacity, litres||91|
|Advertised Spec – Combined – 12.8|
Real-World Test – Combined – 14.9
Low Usage: 0-6 / Medium Usage 6-12 / High Usage 12+
|750 / 3500 / 4500 (70mm ball)|
|Turning circle, metres||14.1|
Small: 6-10m / Medium 10-12m / Large 12m+
|Warranty||3 years or 100,000 km|
|Safety information||ANCAP Rating – Not yet tested|
Rightcar.govt.nz – 5 Stars – NHG374
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