There are a lot of trail roads around Los Angeles where you can enjoy your 4x4. Some take you to small pine forest, others to the solitude of the desert, and a few to the top of the mountains where the views are spectacular. I have traveled a few of these road is Jeeps, Toyota 4Runners, and Ford Ranger with the Adventure package but I was really surprised by my latest test drive.
Chevrolet has been making pickup trucks since 1918. They know the segment well and have created a very loyal following. The Silverado name started in 1998 and it has become a synonym for a tough working truck. Lately though, the car maker has transformed the Silverado into a truck of niches. From luxurious interiors, to powerful towing machines capable of up to 13,000 pounds. But I had the chance to drive the Silverado Z71 Trail Boss 4x4 build to tackle the trails.
This Chevy comes with the Z71 Off-Road package which includes a 2 inch lift, 18 " wheels, Rancho (off-road) shocks, a two speed transfer case, a locking rear differential and special Wrangler DuraTrac mud tires. There are red tow hooks in the front and a large side skid plate on each side of the truck. This package gives almost 11 inches of ground clearance. The 4x4 system is controlled from the dashboard by just pushing a button. They included an electronic automatic "Hill Descend" feature that helps bring the truck down safely on steep roads. I was impressed by all this.
The truck that I drove was a four door (Crew Cab) that had the 6.2 liter V8 with plenty of torque to climb the trails. It can also tow up to 9,400 lbs so there are plenty of applications for this versatility. I headed towards the 138 Hwy and noticed that while driving on asphalt the tires are quire noisy, but once on the dirt roads I could feel how much more secure and stable the truck was. I drove up on Forest Rd 3N24 and made it to its summit above 4000 feet. The view is grand at any time of the day or season.
The Trail Boss drove better than I anticipated. It handle the ruts and sand without any issues. And in spite of it physical size it was agile and compliant. Over the rocks, the suspension is a bit stiff, but overall was a good compromise. In fact I was surprised that a package like this cost less than a Jeep Gladiator . I found a few dealers that, after applying some discounts , the price came down to $46,500. And that includes the leather interior, bed protection package, advance trailering package, and a complete infotainment system with navigation. I also like that there are 120 Volt outlets inside and outside the truck. You could connect a laptop and use the WiFi hotspot anywhere.
If there is negative, it is its size, because many trails are narrow and you could be scratching the sides easily when going through them. The height of the hood is also an issue driving on the trails because you can not see what is in front of you. But if you are not going into narrow trails, the Trail Boss is a good option. It will take you to 90% of the trails without much effort and it has power to take a full trailer to camp with friends. Definitely an option to consider to the Jeeps and 4Runners.