Does it make sense to buy this pickup truck when the extensively redesigned 2014 model, complete with three new engines, will be released very soon.
My conclusion, after learning what to expect in the 2014 truck, is an unequivocal "yes." Here's why:
The new truck will not look a whole lot different than a 2013 model, but it's a given that there will be some important upgrades and changes in the cabin.
With three new engines it should be more efficient, although no fuel mileage figures have yet been released. It will have a number of useful new features and, no doubt, it will also have have some new upscale amenities.
But a pickup truck's basic mission, to haul and tow, never changes. The new Silverado will still be what it has always been, big, strong, capable and dependable --- just like the 2013 model.
One important thing you can get with a 2013 Chevy Silverado that you can't get with a 2014 model, is a good deal. General Motors and the dealers want to clear space for the new models, which they will advertise with great fanfare in the continuing war among American manufacturers for dominance in the lucrative pickup truck market.
If you watch any tv, you probably already know about the kind of deals Chevrolet is offering on the 2013 models.
So, if you are not the kind of person who needs to be on the ground floor with every innovation, you can probably save yourself a substantial sum on a big, comfortable 2013 Chevrolet Silverado that will be able to perform all the same chores as the upcoming remake.
So, out with the new (for the time being) and on with the old.
For many years now, pickup trucks have been a lot more than simple work trucks. When they are not on duty, they can double as the family car. As a result, they can be purchased with many of the comfort and convenience features a Cadillac buyer might expect.
To see if I could enjoy combining business and pleasure in the rear-wheel-drive 2013 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ, I set out on a 100-mile journey from my personal base camp near Charleston, SC, to the resort town of Myrtle Beach, SC.
Sure enough the big pickup truck hummed along in near serenity, its 5.3-liter, 315-horsepower V-8 engine burbling quietly in the background. and its 6-speed automatic transmission slipping from gear to gear unobtrusively.
And, as I made my way north, I could enjoy the power heated bucket seats, the leather upholstery, the premium sound system with satellite radio, the dual-zone climate control, the Bluetooth hands-free phone connection, the cruise control and much more.
The leather-covered bucket seats proved to be satisfactorily comfortable, the suspension was acceptably supple even without a load in the 5.75-foot pickup bed; the steering was accurate, if not overly communicative; and the brakes, capable of hauling the truck to a stop with a1,700-pound payload or a 6,900-pound boat tagging along behind, made short work of coming to a halt with only me inside the cabin.
No, the truck was not particularly agile in the turns; the 47-foot turning circle was anything but car-like; the fuel consumption, 14 to 21 mpg of regular-grade gasoline under my watch, was a real downer; and parking certainly was no fun in tight municipal garages and mall lots.
But, hey, we're talking about a double-duty vehicle here. Compromises are necessary, and in the overall picture the sacrifices are relatively small. You certainly can't use a standard sedan to run your lawn-service business Monday to Friday and take the family of five to the beach on weekends.
One other thing to consider. Trucks usually are purchased for the long haul. They get used hard and pile up the miles over many years. I cannot predict which of the most popular trucks will outlast the rest, but I know of one solid vote for Chevy.
Neighbor Skyler Pearson, who has just begun his driving career, is the primary pilot of his dad's 1994 full-size Chevy pickup truck. It takes him to school and elsewhere and tows his dad's boat to the launch ramp on weekends.
So far it has traveled about 265,000 miles, with surprisingly little visible wear and tear, and it still runs strong and without complaint. With that kind of trouble-free longevity, who needs to worry about fuel mileage?