Is it 1991 or 2021?
If you're buying a new vehicle in the United States in 2021, there are a few things that are a given. For one, it's going to come with mandatory safety features like dual front airbags and a rearview camera. It's also going to have at least a basic air conditioning system. Soon, it will be difficult to find a new car that doesn't speak to your smartphone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. But Chevrolet hasn't entirely let go of the past. And no, we aren't talking about the Express van that has been on sale in the same basic form for over a quarter of a century and that only recently ditched a CD player. We're talking about the fact that in 2021, you can still spend over $40,000 on a Chevy Silverado 3500HD that has manual window winders!
Besides a few city runabouts that until recently still had manual windows such as the 2018 Kia Rio, it's a rare task to have to let in fresh air without pressing a button. We went on to the Chevrolet configurator and confirmed that you can buy a Silverado 3500 HD with four-wheel-drive for $40,500 and it will still have do-it-yourself windows. This basic feature only applies to Regular Cab models in the basic WT trim and with the base V8 gas engine. If you upgrade to another trim, the turbodiesel, or both, you get electric windows. Base versions of the Silverado 1500 and 2500 also have manual windows.
While most people would be unprepared to live without power windows when shopping for a new car in 2021, it does make sense on some level in the context of a workhorse truck that could spend much of its life on construction sites. The mechanical mechanism means that there's less to go wrong and that repair bills can be kept lower. Still, it's bizarre to see crank windows on a $40k vehicle. But these anomalies don't only exist at the lower end of the market. How else do you explain Porsche charging $2,250 for adaptive cruise control on the $189,800 Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, when the same feature is standard on a $21,700 Honda Civic? That's possibly even more shocking than the Silverado's old-school window controls.