2014 Silverado Rumors: Truck will be Taller, Crew Cab To Have 6.5 Foot Bed, and More

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The big news from Las Vegas GM/Chevy dealers convention is the 2014 Silverado will have a 6.5′ bed on the crew cab, be taller  and have a direct-injection engine with cylinder deactivation. The truck will also offer a four-door extended cab setup like Tundra double cab. It will also have more leg room comparable to the Tundra and F-150. Will these long-overdue changes finally make it more of a competitor in the full-size truck market?

2014 Silverado Rumors

Rumors have it that the 2014 Silverado will look a lot like this 2013 with just modifications for customer convenience.

Currently Silverado crew-cab models come with a 5 3/4″ bed. This smallish bed has been hammering sales when compared to larger 6 1/2′ beds that Ford and Ram have. Silverado’s 6 1/2′ bed will be offered as an option in the next-gen models.

While, we have been hearing lots of rumors about how the next-gen GMC/Chevy pickups will be more “locomotive” in design, dealers didn’t see much of a change. Rather according to a news story in Automotive News, dealers thought the changes were more “evolutionary” than ground breaking.

As with most American-styled pickups, the trend to get “bigger” is still in vogue. The next-gen Silverado follows right along with the plan to make it 3-4 inches taller. Even though this might be a great idea for certain people, we have our doubts. The big reason? Where are you going to park this thing?

Pickups are already getting wider and now adding taller to the list is going to compound the parking issue. The reality is that a lot of people with older homes will have a tough time getting it to fit in their garage. A 2013 Silverado Extended Cab 4×4 is 73.7 inches tall. If you add 3-4 inches to that, you’re not going to fit into a lot of garages. Most garages have 6′ 8″ or 6′ 7″ of height (79 or 80 inches). However, you have to subtract 3-6″ from that figure for the bottom of the garage door (almost all of which hang down a bit in the raised position).

It could be that this “taller” promise is just going to be the 2wd trucks, but that would mean Chevy/GMC will probably use blocks to raise the 2wds…and blocks have a lot of negatives. SO, this decision to make the truck taller is a mistake, as we see it.

The new truck, while growing in stature, will get a new version of GM’s small-block V-8 engine. This engine will most likely be a 5.3L direct injection with cylinder deactivation. This engine is really just a continuation of the all automakers goal to decrease size, improve MPG (see: cylinder deactivation) while maintaining power.

Another new item is the addition of rear doors to extended-cab models. This is really just a response to customer’s needs for more convenience when using the back-seat. The hope is that with this change, the Silverado will better compete with other competitor’s comparable models. The extended-cab Silverado typically accounts for 20% of its total sales.

A small, yet convenient item will be GM’s plan to install LED light in the bed rail. These lights are simply handy when using the bed at night or when it is dark. Really don’t see this as a big selling point since after-market LED kits have been around for quite a while.

And a oh by-the-way, GM is planning on launching the “High Country” luxury package. This long-overdue package is meant to position the Silverado as more of a competitor to the luxury packages of just about everyone else.

Last, but not least, you will now be able to stretch out more comfortably when using the rear-seats in the Silverado. The plan is to add “several” more inches of leg-room. Currently, the Silverado gives up as much as 4 1/2 inches of leg room to Ford’s crew-cab pickups and 1 1/2 inches to Ram’s crew cab pickups.

Will all of these changes make a difference? Currently, the Silverado is GM’s top-selling vehicle (and probably most profitable). It seems though that it gets left behind the other competitor’s who have updated styling (2006/07 Silverado redesigned) and/or are adding many new features like in-dash navigation. Is it an after-thought or a real full-size truck option?

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  1. Terry Nonay says:

    ” = inches
    ‘ = feet

    You are using the wrong symbol for the bed size.

  2. mk says:

    The tundra better follow suite and get the crewmax in a6 1/2′ bed length or I may just be switching back to dare I say chevy silverado in 2014?

    GM’s ext. cab suicide doors totally suck and the crewcab version bed is too short as is the crewmax tundra being useless. If GM can get a Double Cab/ext.cab with 2-3 more inches of legroom like in the DC tundra, I’d consider buying it. I’d probably though go with the crewcab 4 full doors ONLY if they make a 6 1/2′ bed length.

    The picture looks pretty tall and tough, I overall like the new chevy design if this might be what it looks like come next year this time or so.

    • MK,

      The picture is of a 2013, but most believe the 2014 will look about the same.

      I’m not sure which way Toyota will go with the bed. Toyota recently ceded design control to a Michigan design/development team and this could really impact the truck. I believe this is due to Toyota Japan not quite understanding what to do with the truck and now an American team that wants to make it more competitive. Time will tell.


      • LJC says:

        I thought it was an American design team for the current generation? Please clarify, thanks 🙂

        • LJC,

          It is. That is why the Tundra grew bigger and became more powerful. Toyota Japan probably knew they need a full-size truck in the North American market, but really didn’t know how to build one since they don’t build them anywhere else in the world. Without Toyota America’s input, the current Tundra design probably doesn’t happen. Toyota Japan has reportedly given more and more freedom to Toyota America when working on the Tundra including opening up a Toyota design center (I’m working on an article for this).


  3. LJC says:

    So, non-drive train wise GM is only catching up.
    I was hoping they’d drop a 4 cyl diesel into their half-ton to really shake things up. If their drive-train improvements are marginal, which rumor has it is the case, then GM will still be in last place as far as capabilty is concerned.

    What’s worse is GM will over-price the marginally improved truck, so once again, the Tundra will be a bargin when comparing trucks on cability.

    This will still leave the door open for a half ton to get a small but efficient diesel.

    As some may have read in the past, Nissan was testing/toying with a 4 cyl. Cummins diesel.

    • LJC,

      I think GM is working on a diesel, just not in a half-ton. A GM source has told us that the 2014 Colorado will have a diesel engine.


      Seems more likely to me that automakers will continue to develop Hybrid engines, plastic body panels and drop the weight of their trucks. If the diesel is able to develop substantial MPG gains, then and only then, would other manufactures get serious about half ton pickups. My GM source believes the diesel Colorado could get a substantial improvement in MPG. However, nobody knows for sure just yet.

      It also seems like auto manufactures are split on which way to go Hybrid, Electric or Diesel.


      • LJC says:

        A diesel in a mid-size? Wow, that certainly would shake things up!

        • LJC,

          The question is how much? It seems automakers aren’t sure whether the higher MPGs in compact trucks are going to be accomplished with a Diesel or Hybrid engine. Each manufacture is working on it.


  4. mk says:

    The colorado made by GM in the 5 cylinder is a disaster and not much pep over a 4 banger. They screwed that up by getting rid of the 4.3L V6 engine which was a good motor overall. I had one and thought it was very torquey yet still got 21-22 mpg. Totally agree that GM’s rear axle ratios are screwing their sales as far as I am concerned. Who wants a 3.08 or even a 3.42 rear axle ratio in a heavy 1/2 ton truck, not me for sure. Their 3.73 rear axle ratio was just barely adequate in the 5.3L motor and loved the 4.10 ratio I had once, very torquey motor as well even in the 5.3L engine. I hate any vehicle kicking in and out of gear constantly downshifting to get up the tiniest hills. Even the 4.30 with 6 speed tranny in the 5.7L tundra downshifts into 5th gear to get up hills and even to 4th gear up bigger hills, but the shifting is much more seemless and not as noticeable.

    I sure hope the Michigan team comes up with my 2014 tundra in a crewmax with 6 1/2′ bed length even if they screw up other things, I am getting one then for sure. Wake up Toyota, get me my truck I wanted forever and don’t make me buy a Ford. LOL!

  5. LJC says:

    I hope this design team adds an e-locker that is backward compatible. Also, I strongly feel they should keep the price of the Tundra down, because owning a new vehicle will have to take into account rising gas prices–I think it may be easier to keep the price down than to find an extra 2-3 mpg increase.

    Ford added a lot of technology into the F150 and charged extra for it, but this price increase is not worth in my opinion–gee whiz wanes but gas prices keep going up.

  6. Russell says:

    I think there’s some misunderstanding about the configurations between the Tundra and Silverado/Sierra. Though the 5.3L V8 is their volume engine, it’s not a direct competitor to Tundra’s 5.7. That would be their 6.2L, with a max towing capacity of 10,500 SAE J2807.

    The 5.7L-equipped Tundra equipped properly is rated 10,400 SAE J2807. Just as important, the GVWR of the respective trucks is 7200 for the Chevy and 7000 for the Tundra. In those respects, the Tundra has been lagging behind the GM offerings for a few years.

    As far as the 4.10 rear axle ratios, GM did away with those when they introduced their six-speed automatic. Many forget that the rear end is only one-third of the equation for gearing. The gearing of the transmission and the diameter of tires (the smaller the tire, the better the pulling power) are the other two factors in determining actual gearing of the drivetrain, also known as the effective gear ratio.

    The effective gear ratio in first gear with GM’s new six-speed tranny mated with a 3.08 rear end is almost identical to the old four-speed mated to the 4.10 rear end (12.41 effective ratio with the 3.08 6-speed and stock tire diameter, 12.55 effective ratio with the 4.10 and 4-speed). The 3.42 mated to the new transmission has considerably more pulling power than the old 4.10 with the old four-speed (12.55 overall first gear with the old 4.10 vs. 13.78 with the new 3.42) and give far better highway ratios, going all the way up to an incredibly-tall 2.06 effective ratio (off of a 0.67 tranny ratio) in the 3.08 overall ratio.

    Also, GM has designed their trucks to be different than the offerings of Ford and Toyota–which are, quite simply–bruisers. It’s well-suited as a highway truck with a linear powertrain and acceleration, and a smooth ride with comfy seats. The Rams come right down that pipe.

    The Tundras and Fords are geared lower, but not by as much as you may think. Where they make their money, however, is with the gobs of low-end torque they produce and their ability to transfer that to the pavement. Great for towing up hills and getting a large load started, while the Silverado would be more pleasant and capable on a long road trip loaded down with a travel trailer.

    My grandparents’ farm is in the southwest corner of Texas just outside of Del Rio. Because they drive through the Texas Hill Country to get to market, they’re (well, we’re–I need that low-end grunt too) better off with a Ford or Toyota half ton because of their capabilities and power in the low RPM range. That said, if I was going to buy an urban crawler or something for traveling with a travel trailer, I’d choose the GM.

    When it comes right down to it, nobody should tow 10k pounds with a half ton pickup unless absolutely necessary. Never more than 80% of capacity. That’s four tons anyways, and more than most of us would ever tow. If you’re up in the 10k+ range on a regular basis, go get a heavy duty with the larger brake rotors and calipers and stiffer frames.

    Furthermore, the difference in capacities is negligible (100 lbs. towing, 200 lbs GVWR) at best, especially considering how overbuilt the Tundra is from the base offering all the way up to their most capable models. You’d have to buy the GMC instead of the Chevy (heavier duty suspension–evidenced by the way the nose sits at a pronounced downward angle in the Chevy) to get a comparably-well-built suspension in a base model. The Silverado’s current model lineup simply doesn’t offer it unless you get the max tow package.

    In the debate about diesels’ MPG benefits, go look at the Jeep Wrangler’s European offering with the 2.8L CRD. The American gas engines are rated up to 22 mpg in a two-door 6-spd configuration, while the European diesel has ratings of 35+ MPG with 339 lbs-ft of torque. The diesel’s slow burn enables it to do far better in MPG numbers with comparable drivetrain setups than gas engines. GM’s now-deceased project of dropping a 4.5L Duramax in a half ton was aiming for 25 MPG with 510 lbs-ft of torque. Nissan’s now-deceased partnership with Cummins was aiming at a smaller 2.8L Cummins that could get 28 MPG while putting out 350 lbs-ft of torque (the original 1994 5.9L Cummins turbodiesel that’s still a hot item put out 400 lbs-ft). The Titan/Cummins prototype, a stock 2009, mated to a five-speed automatic, reportedly achieved roughly 25 MPG without any powertrain and bodyweight advancements. The 28 MPG target looks achievable considering how close they are with decade-old technology.

    All these projects were dropped following the economic collapse due to the costs associated with diesels. Manufacturers have to pay for the emissions testing, the R&D, and then they’re not sure how the already-soft US diesel market will respond with a $6k-$7k premium for a diesel. Considering the new 2013 Ram achieved 25 MPG with their 300 HP Pentastar V6 and eight-speed auto, it’s a technology that might be shelved indefinitely considering advancements in automotive technologies.

    • Rick says:

      I agree with your carefully construed data regarding the GM 5.3 vs. the Toyota 5.7 ( i.e.: Gearing, tire size, rear etc ). Allow me to add the inherent advantage of a free breathing, modern DOHC motor like the 5.7 and even Ford’s new 5.0 in their F-150 and Mustang.

      What GM is unable to match is the volumetric efficiency of their cam-in-block design to an efficient DOHC. GM has to add cubes to make their motors produce power to pull the weight of their trucks. Whether it be gearing or otherwise, GM trucks need throttle to make their trucks move when a Tundra equipped with a common 4:30 gear will easily out-accelerate and pull harder than a GM truck. Direct injection will no doubt help GM, but that motor will still have to work harder to make power like the 5.7 Toyota and those RPMs will cost dollars.

      Forget the incredible diesel offerings that Gm and Ford built before the economy died. They won’t bring them back soon in respective 1/2 ton classes as GM is now beholden to an anti-fossil fuel government and Ford is tied up with Ecoboost (not a bad motor) and hybrids. If Toyota does go to DI on the 5.7, that would just further project them to the lead as Ford’s naturally aspirated 5.0 needs more cubes and GM won’t betray its maligned alliance with the cam-in-block. The latter issue is interesting because GM’s 5.3 and 6 liter is very narrow and will fit in a car but in a truck engine bay, space is a premium. So sharing platforms here is not an advantage. Why bother then?

      All manufacturers need to examine the 8spd as Chrysler has. WIll Toyota pair their motors with an 8 spd remains to be seen, but I can’t see a manufacturer disregard cavalierly the benefits of more gearing with even a stable curb weight ( Chrysler subtracts weight! ). If Toyota does both ( lose weight and add gears ), they would again easily position themselves as segment leaders.

      Your post underscoring GM’s 6.5′ bed makes a case for the Tundra that soldiered on with a smallish 5.5′ setup and has been soundly rejected on this forum. On my CrewMax, I have to lower my tailgate for most lumber, but I do that willingly knowing my drivetrain is second to none. However, I wouldn’t turn down a slightly longer bed in my truck and welcome its introduction.

      Lastly, I noticed car mags are ignoring the Tundra’s enormous rear seat room, cavernous compared to any truck other than the MagaCab. My father-in-law loves to sit back there when I pick him up from the airport and drive him the long way (50 mins) to my house. He cannot believe the comfort of the reclining seats and the room he has to sprawl.

      That immense room and the drivetrain, is the principle reason I stayed with my Tundra. No one offers a steel crankshaft, a 10.5″ ring gear, massive aluminum driveshaft, 14.5″ rotors with 4 piston calipers, DOHC 5.7, ad nauseam, in a 1/2 ton truck!

      It’s a simple as that.

      • Rick and Russell,

        I am very impressed with both of your well thought out and reasoned comments. Thank you for your most excellent responses!


      • Rick – Lots of great points here. You should write for us. 😉

      • Russell says:

        Just getting back to this. Didn’t even notice a response had been posted until just now.

        I definitely agree with you on the DOHC. The difference in displacement (5.7L vs 6.2L, 4.6L vs 5.3L, etc.) is astronomical and GM will eventually have to leave their pushrod design just to keep up with Toyota and Ford.

        But where you and I differ–and it’s a significant difference–is that I think GM is doing just fine as of right now. Despite the larger displacement and the antiquated design, they’re still managing fantastic fuel economy and power numbers. That 6.2L is a different animal than the tired, old 5.3L. I’ve pulled with a 6.2L Sierra double cab and it does great loaded down with 7500+ lbs. The throttle was every bit as responsive as a Tundra 5.7L under a full load. Also gets better fuel economy. Acceleration from a stop, however, along with trailer stability wasn’t quite as good as a Tundra under load. That’s where the 4.30 gears and overbuilt running gear/suspension/brakes you mentioned come into play. Also, the suspension of the GM, though fantastic on long drives, tends to wear down quicker than the Tundra, especially when punished with a load. That’s where the Tundra excels.

        Here are the power curves of each motor:



        To your other points:
        1. It’s OK to say the Ecoboost is a bad motor. It is. I know two owners who pull on a regular basis that have already traded them in. It wouldn’t surprise me if Ford’s having as many issues with that motor as they did with the 6.0L and 6.4L Powerstrokes. FoMoCo’s 5.0L and 6.2L, however, are supposed to be fine engines.

        2. I didn’t see where I posted about the full size bed, but it’s something I’d love to have in mine. The ability to pull a gooseneck with my half ton (which is why I’ve had to borrow that 6.2L Sierra double cab in the past) would be very welcome.

        3. Even though I can’t see oil burners dotting the roadways anytime soon, I can’t imagine holding them off too much longer when we’re staring at 54.5 MPG CAFE Standards by 2025. No matter what type of gas-saving technology we come out with, I can’t imagine manufacturers sticking with gas engines in half tons for the duration of the next 12 years. Simply a much more efficient fuel. Better for towing, too.

        4. Those last two paragraphs are exactly why you buy a Toyota. You get half ton ride comfort and fuel economy in a heavy duty package.

    • Man I don’t know what happened, but keep the awesome comments coming! Thank you!!

  7. Mason says:

    I’m surprised you knew about the “High County” package back in September. Pickuptrucks.com didn’t get the memo till late April – early March 2013; long after the new Silverado debuted. Kudos on you’re throughout research Tim.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:



      I told a local GM dealer about it too and he didn’t believe me. 🙂


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