The year 2003 brought only minor style and comfort upgrades for the Silverado . The most significant exterior changes were made to the front fascia. The interior was also slightly redesigned and the most striking modification is the new steering wheel which looks much better than the old one and gives the cabin a modern look.
There was also introduced the innovative Quadrasteer four-wheel steering system that was available on 1500 Extended Cab models and 1500 Heavy-Duty Crew Cab models. Other new optional features include an XM satellite radio and a more performant audio system. The engines lineup is the same as the previous one and consists of both V6 and V8 units.
The dull face of the old Silverado was replaced by a more aggressive front fascia. However, the 2003 model kept the old shiny horizontal bar which traverses the grille and headlights.
Chevrolet has sculpted a set of new dynamic lines into the hood while the entire bumper has also been revised. The main lights lost their dated style and now come with a more contemporary design which looks pretty good.
Along the sides there are new front fenders and new body side moldings. The vehicle is also fitted with wide opening doors to offer easy aces into the cab. The extended cabs come standard with four doors, while the bed comes with built-in tie-down brackets near the four corners.
The Chevrolet Silverado’s load floor sits 31.6 inches above the ground for 2WD models and 33.7 inches on 4WD models. Short boxes are 78.7 inches long, while the long boxes are 97.6 inches long.
Besides the exterior changes, the 2003 Silverado has also received a few interior upgrades which make its cabin slightly more comfortable.
The most significant changes were made to the dashboard and instrument panel which look slightly different. The steering wheel is also new and comes with integrated controls and some useful adjustments.
The 2003 instrument cluster is fitted with big round gauges for the speedometer and tachometer, while other smaller gauges display oil pressure, water temperature, fuel quantity, battery charge. There is also a small Driver Information Center is located in the instrument cluster that provides various information, including an available engine hour meter.
Up front there is room for three people while at the back of the crew cab models there is space for another three passengers. Both front and rear occupants have plenty of head room, but the rear ones would complains about knee and leg room.
The old materials have been replaced with new ones and there are also some new plastics which make the cabin look and feel slightly more upscale than the previous one.
The overall ergonomy continues to be top notch and every control is placed within easy reach.
You won’t have any complains about the driver’s seat either, as there are enough adjustments to help you get cozy behind the steering wheel in no time. Moreover, the front seats are available in both cloth and vinyl. The middle part of the front bench folds down and transforms into an armrest, while the back seats in crew cab models can be flipped down to provide a big cargo area.
There are also available bucket seats for the front row which are fairly comfortable as well. The bucket seats are separated by a deep center console that can be used as a storage space.
The Chevrolet Silverado stays pretty high from the ground which gives you a great all around visibility that is also enhanced by the generous glass area that surrounds you.
Engines and performance
The entry level engine available for the regular cab models continues to be the 4.3 liter V6 which comes with a maximum power of 200 hp. The rest of the engines are also the same as the previous Silverado including the 4.8 and 5.3 liter V8s which develop 275 and 285 hp, respectively. All engines can be married with five-speed-manual or four-speed automatic transmissions.
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 model comes with a strong 6.0 liter V8 which cranks out 300 hp and is combined with a standard four speed automatic transmission. The Sierra 1500HD Crew Cab pickup has a 3,094-pound payload and can tow a maximum weight of up to 10,200 pounds.
For heavy duty jobs, Chevrolet offers a stronger 8.1 liter gasoline V8 engine which delivers 340 hp and 455 lb.ft of torque and is available for the Silverado 2500 and 3500 models. This engine is offered with either six-speed-manual or Allison 1000 Series five-speed-automatic transmissions.
Ride and handling
Silverado’s ride is pretty good for a utilitarian work horse and when loaded its suspension can absorb most of the road shocks and bumps without affecting the passengers comfort. When the truck is empty however, the ride is more on the bumpy side. On the other hand, the cab is pretty well isolated and there’s little road and wind noise at high speeds.
The Silverado’s cab is stiffened by a magnesium beam behind the instrument panel and a lateral steel beam between the magnesium beam and the right side of the dash. Thanks to these reinforcements the vehicle won’t squeak and rattle like other utilitarian pickups.
The innovative Quadrasteer four wheels steer is a pretty useful system which will be especially appreciated during low-speed maneuvers. The truck’s steering is also pretty responsive and rewards you with a reasonable road feedback.
The Chevrolet Silverado continued to be one of the best pickups from the streets and the 2003 upgrades made it even more enjoyable for the day by day driving.
The cab is roomy and comfortable and it’s fitted with a lot of premium features designed to make your life on board easier. There is also a healthy range of engines, so it will be fairly easy to find the perfect choice for your needs. The ride and handling are part of the first class as well.