A lot of hype surrounded the introduction of the all-new 2007 Chevrolet Silverado, and it was with some impatience that we finally got behind the wheel. Once we cut through the marketing spiel and the omnipresent ad campaign, we were left with one hell of an impressive truck, with a smooth ride, powerful engine, and immense capability. No surprise then that it ran away with the Truck of the Year honors. As the victor for 2007, the Silverado was welcomed with an extended stay in our garage to determine how the pickup would perform in the long run.

We ordered our GMT900 Chevy with all the tow, haul, and work goodies, focusing more on checking the boxes that pertained to labor than those for a cushy commuter. The 1500 four-wheel-drive crew cab started with an MSRP of $32,515, which included StabiliTrak, a tire-pressure monitoring system, Autotrac transfer case, split bench seats front and rear (in front, the center console folds up to accommodate the sixth passenger), dual gloveboxes, and more. To this, we added the 367-horse, 6.0-liter Vortec V-8, leather seats, sunroof, a cargo-management system, the EZ Lift tailgate package, the Z71 off-road suspension package (locking rear differential, skidplates, and high-capacity air cleaner), XM Satellite Radio, Safety package (head curtain side airbags, adjustable pedals, rear-parking assist), and the LT1 Convenience package (dual-zone HVAC, remote start, foglamps, aluminum wheels), bringing the price to $38,802. Choosing a 4WD pickup slightly reduced towing capacity (8500 pounds, compared with the 2WD's 8700) and added some aggressive tires, but increased the overall versatility of the truck, a compromise we were happy to make. The work-truck interior (one of two offered in the Silverado) gave us room for six, something that's already come in handy on a few occasions. This isn't the most attractive interior choice (the more upscale option has an SUV center stack), but it makes the cabin more capable of handling people and gear.

The Silverado's only been with us a short amount of time, and already the staff has racked up more than 3500 miles on the tough half-ton. It's been up north, serving as go-anywhere photo vehicle for a 10-car comparison story. It's hauled furniture for one staffer and a motorcycle for another. As time goes on, the Silverado is guaranteed to get quite a workout, but we're confident it won't even break a sweat. It's ready to tow, explore off-road, and romp in the snow. We'll keep you posted on discoveries we make along the way.

2007 Chevrolet silverado 4wd Z71 Crew Cab
Price $38,802
Engine 6.0L OHV 16-valve V-8
Miles 3575
EPA city/hwy, mpg 15/19
Observed average, mpg 13.4
Observed worst, mpg 11.1
Observed best, mpg 19.4
Average distance per fill-up 203.4
Average cost per gallon $2.87
Average cost per fill-up $43.37
Number of services 0
Overall service cost None