Friday, February 15, 2008

Reviewing the Rental

My car is getting brake work done, so I'm tooling around in a Chevy Silverado today. I like it.

Overall the Silverado is just more comfortable than the midsize Colorado. The seats are off the floorboards. The dash is still plastic, but the design is better so it doesn't feel cheap. The ride is trucklike but comfy. No worse than the sport suspension in my little Mazda. The truck is big, bigger than the Colorado, but unlike the Colorado its size isn't a problem.

The red crew-cab came equipped with a 4.8L V8. It isn't the biggest engine in the lineup, but I still feel like the truck has depths of power and torque that I just don't care to use. The smaller Colorado felt like it couldn't get out of its own way. I didn't have that feeling with the Silverado. I've had all the power I want and I still haven't taken it above about two thousand RPM. If I put my foot down, I'm sure it will respond with gusto.

I can see why someone might want to step up to the 5.3L though. The 4.8 is the "base" V8. It is a good solid engine, but doesn't have any frills. The 5.3 gives you more power and GMs intelligent engine management system that lets you drop cylinders you don't need when you don't need them. I'm willing to bet the 5.3 actually gets better highway mileage than the 4.8. I just don't know whether it would make enough of a difference to pay for itself. The equipment to do intelligent management doesn't come cheap.

It is a pain to park though. Not only does it take all of Newcastle County to turn around, but it fills up a parking space, side to side and front to back. When I pull through a parking space at the supermarket, I've found that I have to pull forward about a foot past where I'm comfortable before my rear end is out of the space behind me. And pulling into the parking spot in front of our townhouse requires backing up and pulling in again because our neighbors parked on the street.

So I don't know that I would buy one, but I can see why John the Methodist did. Now I have to go think about whether I need to buy anything that requires a 5 foot bed. If I've got it I might as well haul with it.

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