• The Handiest Feature on the 2017 Chevy Silverado

    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

Dignified help for getting into the cargo bed

Pickup trucks have gotten bigger and taller over the years, and an unfortunate side effect is the height of the cargo bed. For anyone less fit than a teenager or Olympic gymnast, climbing into the bed can be difficult. Automakers have combated this with various step designs like Ford’s fold-out tailgate step and Nissan’s adoption of aftermarket-style pop-out steps that hide under the fenders. But it’s Chevrolet that wins the simple-is-better prize with its integrated bumper steps.

I recently spent a week with the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab LTZ Z71 Midnight Edition and found the steps to be an essential tool for using the cargo bed. My week included hauling coolers, folding lawn chairs, and Lacrosse equipment. Thanks to the Chevy’s nose-heavy rake, everything tended to gather around the bulkhead, making getting into the bed to retrieve things a necessity. The bumper steps proved absolutely invaluable.

Now, I’ve used Ford’s fold-out tailgate step plenty of times on several different F-Series trucks, and though it works, it’s just not as effective as Chevy’s bumper step. Ford’s obvious downfall is its step requires action to use it. I have to stop what I’m doing, empty my hands, and lower the step. It’s just not as slick, though, in Ford’s defense, I can climb up its step without using my hands – something I can’t say about the Chevy’s bumper step and stake pocket hand-grab.

Still, the Chevy’s bumper step takes the cake for the simplest design and one that isn’t going to break. The bumper step is also seen on General Motors’ other pickups, including the mid-size Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Sierra and Canyon. GM fans will remember the bumper step making its debut with the 2001 Chevrolet Avalanche.


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 High Resolution Exterior
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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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