By: Alex Law
© 2003 PickupTruck.com
the fact that it delivers better handling while towing, at highway speeds,
and in various parking lot tangos, GM's four-wheel-steering system is
the most useful technological advance in the pickup market in decades.
reality, pickup buyers haven't really taken to the Delphi-designed system,
which is called Quadrasteer.
had more to do with what Quadrasteer cost, however, than what consumers
thought of it; on top of the price of the truck itself, the system added
about $5,600 to the sticker price.
won't discuss the sales record of Quadrasteer to date, but the company's
decision to more than halve the retail price of the technology on 2004
models of its pickups and SUVs suggests things have not gone as well as
This is all
good news for people looking at the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra
models, since Quadrasteer moves the full-size pickup experience to a whole
other level of utility and ease.
get to that, however, a look at those new prices and some packaging changes
that make it less expensive.
For the 2004
model year, GM has indeed reduced the price of Quadrasteer -- from $4,495
On top of
that, Silverado and Sierra buyer no longer have to add the 5.7-litre V8
and the heavy-duty trailer package to get Quadrasteer, which saves another
$1,100. They must, however, add the Autotrac Active Transfer Case, for
drive Quadrasteer equipped trucks can be ordered with an optional traction
assist system for $225.
it now costs about $3,225 less to get Quadrasteer in a Chevrolet or GMC
pickup, which means it now costs $2,370 to add to a new pickup.
the roof marker lamps, limited slip diff, ride control suspension and
a 145 amp alternator -- which had been bundled with Quadrasteer at additional
cost -- are now included in the package at no extra cost.
So, it's a much better bargain than it previously was, and available on
more models than it used to be on. It can now be ordered on the 1500 Extended
Cab short-box and 2500 Crew Cab pickups, marking the first time this system
has been available on a ¾-ton truck.
aside, Quadrasteer still works essentially the same way -- for now, and
more on that in a moment.
speeds, Quadrasteer allows the rear wheels to turn slightly in the same
direction as the front wheels, which greatly improves tracking with or
without a trailer. That was the primary goal of the engineers at GM when
they started working on four-wheel-steer (at the time, Delphi was a part
of GM), and it was reached.
at low speeds that any four-wheel-steering system has its most dramatic
affect, since it enables the rear wheels to turn 12 degrees in the opposite
direction of the front wheels. That lets the vehicle make tighter turns,
such as when cornering or getting into a tight parking space. The turning
diameter of 2500 models with Quadrasteer is reduced 21 percent, from 49.6
feet to 37.4 feet, which is in the same range as a small car like the