GM's Chevy Silverado tops Consumer Reports' truck list

DETROIT (REUTERS) - General Motors' Chevrolet Silverado was the top-scoring full-size pickup truck in a road test, edging Chrysler's Ram 1500, which was the preferred vehicle to drive on a daily basis, according to Consumer Reports.

Who has bragging rights in tests such as those released by the influential consumer magazine is critical because the big trucks generate profits of more than US$12,000 (S$15,000) per vehicle in a growing segment that has always been dominated by US automakers. Consumer Reports is one of the most heavily consulted sources of information by car shoppers.

Sales of large pickups in the US market were up 24 per cent to almost 1.3 million vehicles so far this year and make up about 12 per cent of overall demand. The top-selling vehicle in the United States is Ford Motor's F-150 full-size pickup.

The 2014 Silverado 1500 with a 5.3-litre V8 engine scored 81 out of 100 points, or "excellent", while the 2013 Ram 1500 with a 5.7-litre V8 engine scored 78, according to the test results released on Tuesday.

The 2014 Silverado is GM's most important vehicle launch since the US automaker's 2009 bankruptcy. The vehicle's design had not been overhauled since 2006. The 2013 Ram was a less extensive redesign.

"The reality is that you can't go wrong with either one," Mr Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports, said in a statement. "Both are capable trucks that get decent gas mileage and are as quiet inside as a good luxury car."

The GM and Chrysler trucks scored higher than two versions of Ford's F-150, which each scored 70 points. Rounding out the testing were Toyota Motor's Tundra (69 points) and Nissan Motor's Titan (66 points).