Chevrolet Silverado Midnight Edition: Perfect for El Nino

With El Nino’s inclement weather predicted for the area one can never be too prepared, and that is where Chevrolet’s Silverado 1500 4WD LTZ Crew Z71 Midnight Edition could well come in very handy. This all black beauty, and we mean all black, is ready for bad weather with the Z71 off-road package, 4WD, locking rear differential, hill descent control, locking rear differential, skid plates, tow hooks and trailering package. Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac all-terrain tires, spray-in bedliner, rear park assist, and heated, power adjusted outside rear-view mirrors all could come in handy. Plus, there’s plenty of room for a family with the cavernous cabin.

Chevrolet priced the Midnight Edition package for $1,300 and is limiting this model to a production run of 5,000. The truck is named for its paint package that includes black 18-inch rims, side moldings, grill, bumper, headlight bezels, tow hoods and fog lamps. Our fully loaded test vehicle came with the potent 6.2 liter Ecotec3 engine and eight-speed transmission. Other options included a power sunroof, driver alert package, heated and cooled seats, Bose stereo system, Chevrolet’s Mylink Audio System, and a few smaller options adding about ten thousand dollars to the base $46,200 price.

Mom’s view: Thank goodness for the side tubular assist steps that made it easy to enter and leave. The crew cab option provided ample room for four adults, but limited the cargo bed to 5′ 8” meaning that hauling plywood sheets would require leaving the tail gate down. By the way, the tailgate is extremely easy to lower and raise. I found it difficult to get used to parking the Silverado due to its length, but eventually mastered it. On the other hand, I found that people tended to give me the right-of-way when they saw this large pick-up approaching. When I drive a small car I frequently find drivers feel that your lane is their land. Not so with the Silverado. It also has such safety features as six air bags including curtain side air bags, rear-vision camera, stability control, rollover mitigation, trailer sway control, and we had the option that vibrated the seat when the Chevrolet detected a car approaching as you were backing up. Chevrolet calls it the safety alert seat. There was also front and rear park assist, lane departure warning, and forward collision alert, among others. If you drive a pick-up you will find this Silverado easy to master. I liked the elevated ride height, reassuring feel of the Silverado in the rain, and the steps in the rear bumper that made it possible to climb into the bed without embarrassing myself.

Dad’s view: The large 6.2 liter engine provided exceptional torque and made freeway merging easy. The brake pedal feel, steering and ride are all above average, but the real treat for me was how enjoyable it was to drive in all situations. The interior is truly well done for work or play. The seats are power adjustable and the heating element works well. The large monitor is easy to master, and you can change the instrument panel layout to suit your needs. The ride is smooth, but speed bumps and rough roads were a different story. The transmission works well and the Silverado wasn’t difficult to maneuver despite its size. A lot of pick-up owners commented favorably about the Midnight’s unique tire and rim package and exterior look. Overall, this is an excellent pick-up truck that provides a secure feeling whether going to work, taking the family on an outing or stopping El Nino in its tracks.

Young working woman’s view: This isn’t a sports truck and I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to keep clean, but it was easy to use, even for me. I could see it being the only vehicle for a family with two kids and a dog in the rear seats and the latest garage sale items in the bed. The interior has two glove compartments, an abundance of storage areas in the doors and a center console that can swallow up the largest purse or laptop. Visibility is excellent in all directions and the power sunroof and rear window are convenient and simple to master. However, living in the city finding a parking place for the Silverado wouldn’t be easy. I would much prefer the smaller and niftier Colorado.

Young working male’s view: There are power outlets everywhere. The center console is the size of a small desk, and you have OnStar, 4G LTE wi-fi and an above average stereo. The Silverado also offers a Bose audio system, Chevrolet MyLink audio system, a very clear 8-inch touch and navigation monitor, and even USB ports, LED lighting, and an option I found very rare in a truck: a power sunroof. This is a truck that is well-suited to tow a trailer, take the family skiing, or just drive on the beach sand with equal aplomb. It is a tough truck and the all black of the Midnight edition suits it well.

Family conference: An excellent family truck with a great many special features that make it handy. The 17-mpg average is fairly typical for all wheel drive trucks, but the 26-gallon fuel tank means a range of over 400 miles, and on the highway it could go to over 500 miles with an EPA 21-mpg average. This isn’t your average pick-up truck. It is loaded with features and allows buyers to have an extremely popular and handy vehicle that would be ideal for the El Nino season ahead.

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