When our Detroit Bureau Chief Jack Keebler commented he was thinking of towing a toy for his garage home from L.A., we tossed him the keys to the One-Year Test Avalanche and told him to have fun.

Keeb flew out, and, although the deal didn't materialize, he drove the Chevy eastward anyway. Putting 1700 miles on the clock in three days, he noted: "This truck is dead quiet on the highway and it rides like a luxury sedan." Mountain passes posed no issue with the 5.3-liter V-8, "At the 5000-foot level, the Avalanche pulls like a train. It easily holds a 75-mph gallop up a grade without downshifting." The "change oil" tattletale illuminated at the 17,494-mile marker, and a trip to the dealer for fresh lube, filter, and a tire rotation cost only $28.85.

Our year with Chevy's convert-a-truck is drawing to a close, and it's been a flawless multipurpose tool: A solid camera platform, cushy family driver, and rock-quarry hauler--only a few of the reasons we named it our '02 Truck of the Year.