- - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The first thing you will notice about the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 are the many options to choose from on this full-size pickup truck. Choices, choices, choices with three different cab selections and a smorgasbord of trims to consider when you are eyeing this heavy duty driving machine.

Strong acceleration and a tough hauling and towing package also make the Chevrolet Silverado stand out in the crowd. The competition is certainly meaty from the Ram 1500, the Nissan Titan or the Ford F-150, but the Silverado still manages to lead the charge.

New on the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, there are a few tweaks here and there to make for a better driving experience. There is the active grille shutters that save on gas, a rearview camera standard on most of the trims, a driver mode so you can make sure your teenager is staying out of trouble and emergency braking is available with the new tech safety package.

The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 offers three cab styles from the regular two-door option to the four-door extended choice that has the double cab or the crew cab. If you go for a regular cab, you can seat up to three passengers and you can opt for a 6.5-foot standard bed or the longer 8-foot bed.

For the double cab, you can fit six folks inside, but that one only comes with the standard bed. If you opt for the crew cab you get rear doors and more legroom in the back and a choice of a standard bed or the shorter 5-foot-8-inch option.

On all the cab and cargo choices there is a selection of either the two- or four-wheel drive.

On the regular cab, you get to choose from the basic WT trim or the LS and LT. For the extended version there are the WT, LS, Custom, LT and LTZ trims, and for the crew cab, it is the same trims with the exception of the Custom. If you plan to do some heavy duty driving the Z71 package will take you off road without a care. You can have this package added to either the LT or LTZ trims with the four-wheel drive option only.

On the most basic WT work drive, you get 17-inch steel wheels, xenon headlights, LED running lights, grille shutters, manual mirrors, tinted glass, cruise control, power door locks, a tilt-only steering column and vinyl floor and seating. There is a 40/20/40-split front bench seat and for technology you get a 4.2-inch screen, port for USB and, if you want to make it just a bit nicer, the cloth upholstery option is a must.

As you move up the trim levels, you can mix and match and get a diverse range of configurations. There is everything from a full-width folding rear bench to front tow hooks.

Do note that the information system on most Silverado trims can be upgraded to include a seven-inch touchscreen and the Chevrolet MyLink, always a good feature.

From the LS with its chrome bumpers and grille to the LT with an EZ Lift and Lower tailgate each trim and cab configuration choice is a lesson in what you need and what you just can’t live without. On the LTZ, there is a heavy-duty locking rear differential with a seven-pin wiring harness connector and trailer hitch. Or consider the upscale High Country with 20-inch chrome wheels and chrome side step rails.

For the outdoor package on the Z71, there is the appropriate off-road hardware like special shocks, recovery hooks and a different type of exterior and interior look.

If you see something you like on the upper trim, you might also be able to mix and match it with the lower trim – just like putting a puzzle together to get all the pieces in place to suit you.

There are special style packages like the Midnight or Rally 1 or 2, but again it depends on the trim and cab you opt for to determine if these packages can be added.

Under the hood, the standard engine is a 4.3-liter V6 offering 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque with a six-speed automatic transmission. Whether you want rear-wheel or four-wheel drive both are available.

On the LTZ and High Country trims, you get a 5.3-liter V8 engine that will give you 355 horsepower and 383 pound feet of torque with either six-speed or eight-speed automatic transmission.

If you still don’t think it’s enough power, the LTZ and High Country can be had with a 6.2-liter V8 engine that comes with the eight-speed automatic transmission. You will get the power you are looking for with 420 horsepower and 460 pound feet of torque, but remember the fuel economy goes down in both city and highway driving.

The standard safety on the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear seat side and side curtain airbags as well as the Teen Driver feature. OnStar comes on all trims, but the basic WT. With Onstar, you get the automatic crash notification, roadside assistance and remote door unlocking.

As with all things on this Silverado, there are additional safety options to add like the rearview camera front and rear parking, lane departure warning and intervention and forward collision warning.

As for the interior of the 2017 Chevy Silverado 1500, expect comfort. The materials are good quality and well thought out. At every turn, you will find a storage spot here or a cupholder there and plenty of technology goodies to keep you pushing buttons and adjusting everything just to your liking. The plus side to this is that the buttons and knobs are easy to use so you can spend more time driving and less time scratching your head. The interactive screen is user friendly and you will find Apple CarPlay and Android Auto easy to figure out and use regularly.

The different seating configurations will mean different types of comfort. The bench is not as comfortable as the bucket seats, or for example, with the lower trim you won’t have the heated and air-conditioned seats like in the luxury trim levels.

The Silverado is a good road trip vehicle, and even in the back seat in most cases, there is plenty of room for the passengers to spread out and relax.

The ride is quite smooth and the outside noise has been improved for 2017. When driving you will feel the power as needed when getting on the highway or out of a tough spot and coupled with the size of this full-size truck it’s safe to say you have nothing to worry about on the road.

So whether it is off road or a daily commute you are thinking, the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 takes the bends and curves and handles so well that surely driving will be a delight no matter the road conditions.

Should You Need to Know: New on the 2017, the Teen Driver system is a great feature on the Silverado 1500 offering a way for you to set maximum speed limits and emergency safety mechanisms when a younger family member takes to the road.

Miles Per Gallon: On the 4.3 liter engine the miles per gallon is 18 in the city and 24 on the highway.

Cost: The starting cost for the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is $28,000.

For more auto tips and information, follow Rita @RitaCook13.

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