• 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition: Dissecting The Name

    2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition
  • Midnight Edition brings blacked-out look, upgraded tires
  • Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires
  • Bumper steps
  • Spray-in bed liner
  • Towing Package
  • Seating for five
  • 0-inch MyLink Infotainment
  • Handy center console
  • Fold-up rear bench seats
  • 3-liter V-8
  • 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque
  • 4WD with Auto mode
  • Automatic locking rear differential
  • 15 mpg city / 20 hwy / 17 Comb
  • 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds
  • Impressive handling for a truck
  • Feels more powerful than horsepower suggests
  • Easy to drive but hard to park
  • Comfy interior makes long drives fun

What the heck is a 1500 LTZ Z71 Midnight Edition, anyway?

Vehicle names can get incredibly long and confusing, especially when adding option packages or special edition trims. A perfect example is the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab LTZ Z71 Midnight Edition. Yeah, that’s a long name for a pickup truck. Since I’m driving this truck for the week, I wanted to break down the name. Each piece means something and is essentially the DNA that determines the truck’s existence. This is especially important for a prospective owner trying to decipher Chevy’s convoluted naming system.

Let’s start at the top. Of course, this is the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado. It’s one year past a mid-cycle refresh that’s brought a new grille and… not much else. Still, the Silverado is aging well. The 1500 part is Chevy’s way of calling this a half-ton truck. It competes with things like the Ram 1500 and Ford F-150. Of course, there’s also 2500 and 3500 versions of the Silverado. Basically, it boils down to the truck’s weight class and how much it can tow and haul.

Now to the fun stuff – splitting out the LTZ from the Z71 and decoding what’s in a Midnight Edition. Keep reading for that.

LTZ

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition: Dissecting The Name Exterior
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The LTZ is the second-highest trim offered on the Silverado, making it rather packed with features

So, the LTZ is a trim package for the Silverado. Chevy offers a ton of other choices here, including the base WT, the LS, the Custom, the LT, the LT Z71, the LTZ, the LTZ Z71, and the High Country. In other words, the LTZ is the second-highest trim offered on the Silverado, making it rather packed with features. It can be had with or without the Z71 package, but more on that in a second.

Now, the LTZ package brings upgrades to both the outside and inside of the truck. You get all the goodies found in the lower LT trim, plus upgraded 18-inch wheels, chrome on the door handles, the mirror caps, the side moldings, the lower bumper, and chrome mesh in the grille. Basically, it takes a ho-hum-looking Silverado and gives it class.

You also get full LED projector-beam headlights and fog lights and the trailering package, which includes the hitch and wiring connectors, and automatic locking rear differential.

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition: Dissecting The Name Interior
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Inside, the lovely 8.0-inch MyLink system comes standard, along with satellite and HD radio and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The nice 4.2-inch driver information screen in the gauge cluster is present, too. Comfort features include leather seats that are heated up front with a 10-way powered driver’s seat and a dual-zone climate system. Remote starting is standard, as well. Optionally, the LTZ offers the updated to front bucket seats with the super nice console that has tons of power ports and room for hanging file folders.

Z71

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition: Dissecting The Name Exterior
- image 739893
The name “Z71” is simply the RPO option code, or regular production option designator

Okay, so the Z71 name has been around since 1988 when Chevy launched it as an off-road suspension package for its K1500 pickup. The name “Z71” is simply the RPO option code, or regular production option designator, used internally to label the package. Of course, General Motors has a long history of using RPO codes as marketing tools, tool. Think Z28, ZL1, Z06, ZR1, and ZR2.

As in the past, the Z71 package includes upgraded shock absorbers tuned for off-road use, skid plates, recovery hooks, a locking rear differential, and more aggressive tires. Specific to the 2017 Silverado 1500 Z71, the truck gets Rancho monotube shocks, a high-capacity air clearer, hill descent control, a spray-on bedliner, and the Z71 appearance package. The appearance package visually separates the Z71 apart by adding the body-colored grille with horizontal bars, body-colored bumpers, Z71-branded sill plates in the doors, and a Z71-branded gauge cluster.

Midnight Edition

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition: Dissecting The Name Exterior
- image 739905
15 mpg city / 20 hwy / 17 Comb
The Z71 package might add some cool upgrades to the Silverado’s exterior, but the Midnight Edition makes the truck look sinister

The Z71 package might add some cool upgrades to the Silverado’s exterior, but the Midnight Edition makes the truck look sinister. The special edition package adds black door trim, a black front skid plate, black Chevy bowties, and the big chrome Z71 badge on the door. Also included is the Front and Rear Park Assist feature with sonar sensors. Best of all, you get the black, five-spoke, 18-inch wheels and the aggressive Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires sized in 265/65. They are a good split between on-road comfort and off-road traction, plus they have the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake, meaning they are rated for winter driving. They have a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty in this size and are listed at $220 a piece on Goodyear’s website.

That price brings up a really good point; Chevy charges $1,050 for the Midnight Edition package. Of that cost, the tires along take up $880, meaning the black wheels, front and rear park assist, and all the black trim accounts for only $170. Of course, Chevy doesn’t pay retail prices for the Goodyears, and you can bet it’s making a healthy profit off the package, but for consumers, the Midnight Edition makes descent financial sense. That’s especially true if they plan on swapping on more aggressive tires anyway.

Conclusion

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition: Dissecting The Name Exterior
- image 739864
Bumper steps
The hefty price is comparable to similar builds from Ford and Ram, so Chevy isn’t pricing itself too high.

So, that’s what this Silverado’s full name means. Each little part plays a significant role in how this truck looks, drives, and costs. You might have guessed the price would be high, and you’d be right. A 2017 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab with the 5.3-liter V-8 and 4WD with the LTZ Z71 package lists for $48,890.

My tester then adds $5,415 worth of options, which includes the LTZ Plus Package for $770; the power sunroof for $995; the Enhanced Driver Alert Package for $945; heated and vented front seats for $650; front bucket seats with the full center console for $510, the navigation upgrade to the 8.0-inch MyLink infotainment system for $495; and the Midnight Edition for $1,050. Tack on the $1,295 destination charge, and this truck sits at $55,600. Still, the hefty price is comparable to similar builds from Ford and Ram, so Chevy isn’t pricing itself too high.

Be sure to stick around to TopSpeed as I’ll be having a ton more information on this truck in the coming days.

References

Chevrolet Silverado

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71: An Overview Exterior
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Read more about the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 in our previous overview.

2016 Chevrolet Silverado
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Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado.

2015 Chevrolet Silverado Midnight Edition Exterior
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Read our full review on the Chevrolet Silverado Midnight Edition.

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