I recently sold my 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser and purchased a 2015 Chevy Silverado from Jim Glover Chevrolet in Tulsa. I have always been a Ford truck fan but the technology and pricing from the bowtie company convinced me to try and eventually buy GM’s popular truck.
My choice of Chevy started when I rode and sometimes drove my hunting friend’s 2015 Chevy Silverado on a pheasant hunting trip to South Dakota. I was very impressed with the big screen display in the dash and the comfort and luxury of his truck. Much of the trip I spent in the back seat of the truck and enjoyed the spacious room available to back seat passengers. When he told me how much he paid for the truck I was floored! I had been looking at Ford trucks off and one for a couple of years and he paid substantially less money than what I was expecting to pay for a new Ford F150 or F250 Superduty. I really had my eye on a Ford F250 Superduty Crew Cab 4×4 with the Powerstroke diesel engine, but those trucks basically start at $48K and go up – quickly – from there. Even F150’s begin around $40K nicely equipped and go up from there. My friend informed me that he paid $36,600 for his truck, which was equipped with navigation, leather, 4WD, backup camera, stability control, downhill assist, and a host of other features. Humm, that sounded like a great price.
I stopped by a local OKC metro Chevy dealer but couldn’t get the deal I was hoping for. So I contacted my pheasant hunting friend and he turned me on to his high school friend that sold him his truck, Vance Gaut at Jim Glover Chevy in Tulsa. I wasn’t wild about driving all the way to Tulsa to purchase a truck, but Vance worked out a fantastic deal on a new 2015 Silverado. Below are the numbers:
Factory Invoice – $46,600
Window tint – $199
Paint Protection (whatever) – $200
Spray in Bedliner – $599
Leather Seats – $1,000
Total = $48,598
GM was offering $12,500 in end of year factory rebates, plus I was able to get a $1,000 credit because my brother-in-law worked at General Motors. That put the price at $35,098.
I made a deal to trade our 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, which Kelly Blue Book values at $20,400, plus $15,000 cash for the truck. Kay and I were both very happy with the deal.
What I am most impressed with is the technology in my Silverado. I opted for the in-dash navigation system with On-Star. I had played a bit with the in-dash system of my friends truck and was impressed, and had read up on the capabilities, but really didn’t understand all the truck would do until after I owned it and had a chance to play with the technology a bit.
The Silverado has two LCD screens – an 8” navigation screen in the middle console, and a 4” screen in the instrument cluster. I can use both screens to display various information. The 8” screen is primarily for navigation and radio control, while the 4” screen is used primarily as an information display – speed, cruise control speed, tire pressures, engine oil life, fuel mileage, etc. It can also display other information such as turn-by-turn directions.
WIFI Hot Spot
The first cool thing I discovered was that my truck was an actual WIFI hot spot. When I first got the truck I pushed the ONSTAR button and it set up up with a support person. She told me that the truck could act as a WIFI hot spot and I could pay for the data plan through my AT&T account for only $10 per month. The first 3 months are free and then it goes on my bill just like an iPad. Pretty cool
Kay put the hot spot to use recently while I drove her to a real estate appointment. She was able to connect her laptop to my truck and access the MLS to schedule showings as I drove to her client meeting. I can see many uses for this feature, although I don’t plan to connect my phone to the truck wifi since the phone has it’s own data plan.
Remote start is not really anything new with late model vehicles, but remote start from my phone is pretty darn cool. As I am getting dressed to head out on a cold morning, I can grab my iPhone, open the OnStar app, and easily start my truck – which is parked 150 yards away in my shop. No need to be within range of the key fob – it can start the truck over the telephone system.
Send Destinations from Phone to Truck In-Dash Navigation
One of my favorite features is the ability to send one or more destinations or GPS waypoints from my phone to my truck’s in-dash navigation system. Often when I schedule an appointment in my phone, I will paste in the address if I am unfamiliar with the location. Of course I can just click on the address in my phone and follow the directions in Google Maps on the phone, but now I can simply copy the address from any application in my phone and paste it into OnStar, then send the destination via OnStar to my 8” in-dash navigation screen. When I get in the truck, the destination is up on the screen and all I have to do is confirm that is where I want to go and now can use the much nicer in-dash navigation system rather than my iPhone navigation. Turn by turn directions are given over the speaker, and also I have the truck programmed to give turn-by-turn directions on the smaller 4” screen in the instrument cluster.
Like many newer vehicles, my Silverado is equipped with a backup camera that plays on the 8” center console. This takes a bit of getting used to but is a nice feature and should be especially handy when backing up to a trailer.
As part of my Sirius XM radio subscription that comes with a new truck, my 8” center console will also display weather information on the screen. I normally get this weather from my phone, but it is nice to have the ability while driving to just punch a couple of buttons on the console and see the weather, including radar precipitation overlays. My only complaint is the radar overlays are not very detailed – you can get a state-wide view but can’t zoom into detail on the route you are actually driving.
Overall I am extremely pleased with the technology in my 2015 Chevy Silverado 1500 truck. It works well with my iPhone 6+ and is very easy to use, especially when compared to the UConnect system in our 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. The bluetooth works as it should, I can easily switch between hands free and my iPhone while on a telephone call, voice recognition works quite well, and the system is well integrated with the vehicle. We seldom used hands-free calling in the Jeep because the bluetooth functionality was a pain to use, not to mention the Jeep was noisy. The Silverado works flawlessly and is much better than the Jeep system we had.
I would like to see a few features added. The system needs a bit more integration with my iPhone. It would be nice to display info or apps from my iPhone onto the dash of my truck – for example, to search for gas stations with my Gas Buddy app on my phone. I also don’t want to be paying for several different subscriptions – OnStar, XM Radio, XM Weather, etc. I don’t really need the OnStar concierge services but I like the weather and XM traffic updates on my screen. I REALLY like the WIFI hotspot and the ability to start my truck from my iPhone.
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