Off-road Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT Trail Boss 2021 review

The things we like

  • Spacious and feature-packed interior
  • Towing power plant
  • Solid suspension setting

Not too much

  • Steering is a bit slow
  • Shocking payload capacity
  • Great for bush tracks

TThe increasing availability of American pickup trucks in Australia really made their popularity soar with buyers. Specifically, the 1500 trucks from Chevrolet and Ram have attracted buyers at a more affordable price.

Ram had the upper hand in the 1500s with its Express model selling for less than $100K, while GMSV only offered the higher-spec Silverado 1500 LTZ here which retails for $115,990. Now, local importers have a new entry-level Silverado on the market and not only is it a cheaper option than the LTZ, but we think the $106,990 Silverado LT Trail Boss is the better rig in every way.

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POWERTRAIN & PERFORMANCE

The only powertrain offered in the 1500 trucks by GMSV is the L86 6.2-liter OHV petrol V8 powered by a 10-speed automatic transmission. The engine produces 624Nm and 313kW, which makes a no-load Chevy perform well.

This is a new generation of GM small block engines featuring direct fuel injection and cylinder deactivation, for increased efficiency. Officially rated at 12.23L/100km fuel usage, we managed 13.1L/100km on our way – pretty good for a 2.5 ton V8 petrol truck with Besser block aerodynamics.

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ON-ROAD RIDE & HANDLING

If you have fond memories of American cars and wallow in the suspension department, then the Trail Boss will change your mind. This variant gets a set of Rancho monotube shocks and a 25mm ride height increase, and rides firmly without being hard at all. The angles are even and precise; though, steering is a bit slow when compared to the smaller ute. Overall, this is a surprising package for all road conditions.

While we appreciate manufacturers installing heavier-duty all-terrain tires for any vehicle expected to be driven off-road, the Goodyear Duratrac tires on the Trail Boss are noisier than most other A/T style tires we’ve driven, and can be quite annoying. on the road.

As a marker; we got into the Trail Boss straight from a Ranger Raptor riding on BFGoodrich All Terrain tires, and it didn’t show any road noise like that. The all-terrain worn Cooper S/T Maxx in my own car, which I drove straight after the Trail Boss.

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OFF-ROAD

The LT Trail Boss is by far a better off-road option than its LTZ stablemate, thanks to upgraded suspension and tires. The 18-inch alloy wheels instead of the 20s on the LTZ not only improve ride quality but are also better suited for off-road and rough track use. Rancho shock absorbers increase ride height and better control the body when going over bumps, and an underbody guard is in place to prevent scratches.

Four-wheel drive on the Silverado comes via a transfer case that offers 2WD (rear), 4×4 on-demand (automatic), and 4×4 locked in the high and low range. With the selector in automatic mode, you can leave the vehicle in a 4×4 on all road surfaces and drive only to the front axle when needed, and then you can switch to one of the locked 4×4 settings for off-road use.

The rear axle is equipped with an auto-lock differential (unselectable) which works well when cutting as it detects wheel slippage across the axle. It’s not as instant as if you could manually lock it yourself, but it’s always there and you don’t have to think about it.

Having a rear locker is a win for Chevy over the Ram 1500, as it wasn’t offered with one on the new DT series Ram truck.

You have to be wary of the size of the Silverado on off-road tracks. Less than six meters long and a little over two meters wide, it takes some getting used to positioning on the track so as not to scratch or damage the paint job. There’s a handy rear view camera, plus front and rear parking sensors that tell you what’s behind you – plus, the front bumper is made of metal to limit damage.

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CABIN & ACCOMMODATION

If you like a spacious cabin, then you’ll love driving a full-size pickup truck like the Silverado. These things take interior space and features to a whole new level, compared to almost anything else available in Australia.

While there’s plenty of room for front-seat passengers to feel comfortable in the Chev, it’s the rear seats where one will notice a huge difference when compared to a regular one-ton car. There’s plenty of head, shoulder and legroom, and you can travel comfortably with three adults in the back seat.

The seats on the Trail Boss are trimmed with fabric compared to the leather seats on the LTZ, but the front seats remain 10-way power adjustable and are heated, but not cooled. The Trail Boss doesn’t have the Bose audio system from the LTZ, but it’s not bad and the screen is still a good eight-inch unit with Apple and Android connectivity. The Trail Boss also lost the LTZ power sunroof.

With all that interior space, comes plenty of storage options. In addition to the large center console, the Trail Boss also features an optional under-seat storage system. This space is very spacious and has a slot in the bulkhead to carry your rifle – Chevy really knows its domestic market.

The space for the center console comes from the absence of a gearshift down there. It’s on the right side of the steering column and, while it’s not as easy to use as a Mercedes-Benz in the same location, it does a good job. Manual shifting is a bit awkward, as it’s done using the swing switch on the column shift handle – not as simple as with a button or paddle behind the wheel.

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PRACTICAL

The LT Trail Boss may be the choice of the Silverado 1500 duo, but it loses a bit of capacity over the LTZ. The towing is rated at 4260kg (on a 70mm ball) compared to 4500kg on the LTZ, while the payload is 725kg compared to 760kg. It seems crazy that this full-size truck doesn’t have the payload of a mid-size truck like the Ranger and Hilux, but that’s just how it is.

The 18-inch wheels and A/T tires are much more practical and comfortable than the LTZ 20s. The cargo area is the same size with plenty of fastening points, and there’s a handy ladder on the rear bumper that makes it easy to climb into a bed protected by a spay-on liner.

As mentioned, the truck comes with several factory accessories and these include swing storage bins on the outside of the bed, a full length storage compartment on the near side, a roll-up tonneau cover and a Silverado-branded sports bar. Storage bins do limit your access to binding points.

While the storage option is useful, the side ladder, which is also an optional addition, hangs very low and limits ramp-over angles when off-road. In addition to these factory options from GMSV, the Silverado is heavily supported by aftermarket accessories to tailor it to your needs.

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SUMMARY

While full-size pickup trucks aren’t for everyone, they tick a lot of boxes, especially those looking to tow long distances with the family in them. Think of a buoy or a big horse boat with all the gear you normally take to play on the weekends. The space in the cab and the equipment is suitable for long travel times on any and all roads.

The Trail Boss works well on the road and on the highway, though you want to be careful where you put it on the bush track if you want to keep it looking pristine. The size of the truck will make it very easy to bang its side against a tree or rock in tight corners.

The petrol V8 engine will put many users off because of its fuel consumption when compared to the diesel engine, but, for now, that is all the GMSV has to offer in the 1500. You can always switch to the diesel powered Duramax V8 Silverado 2500, which will be reintroduced by GMSV. to his showroom.

CHEVROLET SILVERADO LT TRAIL BOSS SPECS

MACHINE OHV petrol direct injection V8
CAPACITY 6162cc
FULL POWER 313kW at 5600rpm
MAXIMUM TORQUE 623Nm at 4100rpm
TRANSMISSION 10 speed auto
DEVICE RATIO 40.69:1
4X4 SYSTEM Part time/on demand with multiple spans
CONSTRUCTION 4-door cab and body on ladder chassis
FRONT SUSPENSION IFS with wishbone and coil spring
REAR SUSPENSION Live axle with leaf spring
WHEEL/TIRE 18 inch alloy / 275/65 AT . tires
WEIGHT 2469kg
GVM 3210kg
PAYLOAD 752kg
WITHDRAWAL CAPACITY 4260kg
GCM 6804kg
SEAT CAPACITY 5
FUEL TANK 91L
ADR FUEL CLAIMS 12.23L/100km
FUEL USE TEST 13.1L/100km
DEPARTURE ANGLE 23.3°
ANGLE OF APPROACH 30°
SOIL CLEANING 260mm

The things we like

  • Spacious and feature-packed interior
  • Towing power plant
  • Solid suspension setting

Not too much

  • Steering is a bit slow
  • Shocking payload capacity
  • Great for bush tracks

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