Chevy Trucks’ 1500 Z71 4WD Redline edition that we tested this summer turned heads with 20-inch black-painted aluminum wheels, blacked-out grill and silver ice metallic paint with red highlights, including wheel stripes, emblem outlines and red tow hooks. Inside the roomy crew cab is a posh leather-appointed interior.
Tow the Line
The four-wheel-drive pickup looks slick, but the real concern for trailer boater is how it tows. Based on our trailering evaluation with a 6,000-pound boat/trailer with 600 pounds of tongue weight, this 2017 model matches its bling with top-notch towing performance. The rear-park-assist video camera eased the task of hooking up our trailer, putting the tow ball right under the coupler every time. Our vehicle also featured a front-park-assist, so you see what’s low and forward of the truck while parking.
Power to Spare
The Z71’s power train figures mightily in its towing performance. A 6.2-liter EcoTec3 420 hp V-8 delivers plenty of oomph, especially when coupled with the 8-speed automatic transmission and 3.23 axle ratio. That translates to an 11,700-pound maximum towing capacity, nearly twice that of our test boat/trailer.
Strong and Efficient
While towing, we clocked a 0-to-55 mph acceleration time 12 seconds and averaged 8.5 mpg. Non-towing 0-60 mph was close to 4 seconds, with mpg averaging 16.5. To boost mileage in stop-and-go city driving, the 6.2 V-8 uses a cylinder deactivation feature that shuts down half of the cylinders when not needed to generate power. This results in an EPA fuel economy rating of 15 mpg city and 20 mpg highway.
Our truck was also equipped with a towing package that include a tow/haul mode (that we use continuously while towing) and StabiliTrack with trailer sway control and hill start assist. Four-wheel drive came in handy while retrieving our boat/trailer on a slick launch ramp at low tide. Our test vehicle came with standard side view mirrors, not the wider towing mirrors, but the smaller mirrors did not seem to affect our ability to see to the side while backing up or changing lanes.
We took a few extended drives, and everyone loved the comfortable interior. The back seat of the crew cab offers plenty of leg room. The Bose audio system keeps everyone entertained during long trailer-boating road trips.
MSRP for the Chevy Silverado 1500 Z71 four-wheel-drive Redline edition that we tested is $59,610. To learn more, visit chevrolet.com/trucks.