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2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Work Truck

There’s something alluring about a base-model pickup—maybe it’s all the old Chevy C-10s, Ford F-100s, and assorted Dodge trucks we troll the internet for, or maybe it’s that modern trucks are pricier and more tech-laden than German luxury sedans. A 2015 Ford F-150 we ran through our How We’d Spec It online configurator test was a moderately equipped four-door that cost nearly $50,000. Having already rebelled against ever-climbing truck prices with our stripper F-150 build (under $30K!) and built a near-fifty-grand Silverado 1500, it’s time again for some cheap subversive action. Enter our latest base-model truck fantasy build, a 2015 Chevy Silverado Work Truck.


Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab Short Box 2WD (base price: $27,300)

For just under $30,000, Chevy’s base Silverado comes in regular-cab “Work Truck” form that, like Ford’s base F-150, rocks black-colored plastic trim, steel wheels, and a standard vinyl bench seat. GM’s all-new 4.3-liter V-6 is included, and it makes a healthy 255 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque and even features cylinder deactivation and direct fuel injection. The cabin is austere but not a complete penalty box, with a four-speaker audio system with USB and auxiliary ports; a center fold-down armrest; a 3.5-inch driver-information display; power door locks; cruise control; and air conditioning. Sure, the floor is vinyl and the windows are manual windup types, but looking at it from a glass-half-full perspective, the thing’s easy to clean and you burn calories at every tollbooth and drive-thru.

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Work Truck


Summit White ($0)

Dark Ash cloth seat upholstery with Jet Black accents ($0)

5.3-liter V-8 engine ($1095)

3.42:1 rear axle ratio ($0)

Trailering package ($770)

Rear window defogger ($175)

Borla cat-back exhaust ($1249)

If you’re a little confused looking at our choice of options, let us explain: Base trucks are awesome, and the base-er they are, the better. Also, being the lightest and most compact members of their respective families, short-box regular-cab pickups hold the greatest dollar-per-speed potential. Of course that ratio doesn’t make any sense at all, but what we’re trying to say is that there is a lot of performance to be had for not a lot of money when dredging the depths of the trim-level hierarchy.

As such, we immediately checked the box for the Silverado’s optional $1095 5.3-liter small-block V-8. The engine packs 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque—a hearty bump over the V-6’s 255 ponies and 305 lb-ft—and it sounds great. Next we grabbed the no-charge 3.42:1 rear axle ratio (stock is a taller, fuel-economy-oriented 3.08:1) for better off-the-line acceleration, as well as the $770 Trailering package for its trailer wiring harness, hitch, and automatic locking rear differential.

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Work Truck

For some beautiful reason we won’t question here, Chevy offers an array of Borla cat-back exhaust systems on the option sheet. We selected the $1249 dual-side-outlet setup, which clusters a pair of tailpipes near the stock exhaust location. As enticing as dual exhausts poking out from below the rear bumper would be, we decided to keep our low-spec speed machine as sleepy-looking as possible. As such, we stuck with the oh-so-commercial Summit White paint; as cool as it is that the Silverado comes with a vinyl bench, we prefer not to stick to things in hot weather, so we swapped it for a cloth unit for no charge. Oh, and because we like to see out of our windows, we opted for the $175 rear window defogger.

2015 Ford F-150 3.5L EcoBoost 4×4 SuperCrew Tested: Ford’s Aluminum Gamble Pays Off 2015 Chevrolet Colorado V-6 4×4 Testing: Little Big Truck Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Research: Full Pricing, Specs, Reviews, Photos, and More

The Ford-versus-Chevy guys out there may have noticed that our unicorn base Silverado’s price tallies up to $30,778—a little over $1K more than the stripper F-150 we built to similar spec. The two are literally the same truck—V-8, rear-drive, manual crank windows, towing package—meaning the Chevy’s Borla exhaust is the difference-maker. Leave off the exhaust, and the Silverado Work Truck’s price dips below $30K. That said, the exhaust probably sounds sweet, and given how even a crew-cab, four-wheel-drive Silverado with the same V-8 we tested hit 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, the lightweight, cheater-axle-equipped Silverado pictured here should be even quicker. We just wish the manufacturers’ press fleets had trucks equipped this way, because we’re thinking a cheap-truck comparison test is in order . . .

2014 Chevrolet Silverado LT Z71

2016 Renault Kadjar
The model portfolios of Renault and Nissan keep converging, and thanks to their extensive technology and platform sharing. The latest evidence is in the compact-SUV segment, which is growing not just in North America but in Europe as well, where Renault is welcoming yet another entry: the Kadjar, a close relative of the ever-popular Nissan Rogue.

If you wonder what Kadjar means, we’ll save you the trouble of Googling: The word has no meaning. Which means it fits perfectly into a lineup that includes the Captur and the Koleos. Moreover, it is the sister model of another tongue-twister: The European-market Nissan Qashqai.

2016 Renault Kadjar
Conceived by Renault’s Design team under former Mazda chief designer Laurens van Acker, the great differentiator for the Kadjar is its styling. The flowing, muscular shapes and rounded surfaces provide a marked contrast to the angularity of some of Nissan’s more recent models. The Kadjar is feminine and smooth, where the Rogue, which has a longer wheelbase, and the Qashqai look technical and masculine.

Info and Specs: 2015 Nissan Rogue Instrumented Test: 2014 Nissan Rogue SL AWD Nissan’s smart rearview mirror

Viewed from the side, the French SUV even appears to be lifting its skirt. But alas, there isn’t much of interest hiding below. The Kadjar will be powered by same off-the-shelf four-cylinder engines that propel the European-market Qashqai with little enthusiasm. Front- and all-wheel drive versions will be available.

The Kadjar’s features, though, help set it apart from the competition: such as an available large glass roof, LED headlights, and 360-degree parking sensors. But mostly, it looks good. In fact, we’re thinking it wouldn’t hurt if Nissan borrowed some inspiration from its corporate sibling’s styling department and took advantage of its French connection.

2016 Renault Kadjar
2015 Geneva auto show full coverage

The BMW i3's Designer Gets Philosophical About Its Interior

From the March 2015 issue of Car and Driver

Designed from the inside out, BMW’s i3 is all sustainable natural fibers, hand-rubbed eucalyptus wood, and avant-garde design. The electric hatch bears ­little resemblance to any other BMW—or any other car, for that matter.

Benoit Jacob, head of design for BMW i products, breaks it down for us.

C/D: The i3 is built around carbon fiber. Why isn’t carbon fiber featured in the interior?

BJ: The purpose of the carbon fiber is structural, not design. We tried to use it in a very authentic manner. You do see it, for example, in the doorsills where it’s exposed structure. We wanted to remain authentic to the purpose of the material.

C/D: There is a sort of catch-all wood trough atop the dash that recalls earlier BMWs like the 2002. Was that intentional?

BJ: I’m very passionate about cars, and I believe there is no future without history. Sometimes, if there’s a way to echo the past a little bit­—without any sort of retro design, because that’s absolutely not the point—why not? It just came by chance. But you mentioned the 2002, and I believe in the 1960s or even earlier that wood was used in a much more authentic manner. There was also a function: It was a board that held all your instruments. With the i3, instead of little bits of wood throughout the interior, we used only one piece. But it’s a really nice one, giving it a little bit of function where you can store a few things.

The BMW i3's Designer Gets Philosophical About Its Interior

C/D: Was there an overall theme for the i3’s interior?

BJ: We were designing an electric car. And of course electric cars, with their batteries, are limited in range. I wanted the design department to understand and make its contribution to increasing the range. Sometimes those solutions are technology, but sometimes those solutions are people. What if the interior would inspire a more relaxed driving behavior? It’s Zen, in a way. From a higher design level, that was quite an interesting challenge.

The car is quick . . . but we don’t want to actually motivate that. If we take an M car, with all its dials and the way you sit in the car, of course you’re going to want to drive quickly, and you’ll probably waste more energy.

BMW i3 Tested with Range-Extending Engine: Something Completely Different All About the Batteries, Baby: 2015 BMW i8 Battery Pack Dictated Its Entire Design BMW i3 Full Coverage: Tests, Pricing, Specs, Reviews, News, and More

C/D: Will these design elements filter into mainstream BMWs or BMW brands?

BJ: If we have the feeling that something out of i makes some sense to another brand, why not?

Free Review:

If you are looking to increase your insurance coverage on your vehicle, the insurance company may require you to obtain a certified auto appraisal.   If you have a custom car, truck or motorcycle, the insurance company won't pay you more than book value. Get a stated value appraisal to cover money spent customizing your vehicle.  Have a collector or exotic vehicle?  Book value does not justify the vehicle value  In case you are in an accident, have a certified auto appraisal done.  Contact us today for a Free Evaluation!

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Pinnacle Auto Appraisers prides itself on quickly handling large amounts of vehicles. We routinely handle fleets for: vans, trucking, limousine, shuttle, buses, SUV, corporate, taxi, dealership, clubs, rental, and delivery companies. We handle large national chains, small family businesses, and car club appraisal(s).

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If you were involved in an accident and the insurance company deemed your vehicle a total loss, we can help.  If you don't agree with the insurance company's offer, you have the right to hire an independent certified appraiser to determine the actual cash value of your vehicle.  Our certified appraiser will go to the vehicle location, conduct the inspection and complete a certified total loss appraisal on your vehicle.  Total loss claims do require a negotiation phase which we will take care of for you at no additional charge!

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Let Pinnacle Auto Appraisers Help After A Crash!


Our Appraisers are repair shop and car club fanatics! We enjoy when local and national clubs invite us out to their local gatherings. We recently offered an appraisal discount that lasted all month. We love everything that has an engine and drives on the road. We do our best to help everyone in need of an appraisal!

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Pinnacle Auto Appraisers - We Value Car Clubs and Repair Shops!