This is a truck that can go nearly anywhere, which we proved over the yearlong loan, and did so while providing a comfortable ride in a spacious, attractive cabin. The interior received high marks, as did the driver-information center. The biggest complaint: the four-speed automatic. There were times when the truck seemed held back by the transmission, that two more gears could've made better use of the 367 horses. In addition, a six-speed would make a big difference with fuel economy. By the time the year was up, many staffers had plunked down more than $75 to fill the tank, with one paying nearly $100. It would've been nice to squeeze the most out of every gallon, and during some hard work and play, the Silverado was guilty of single-digit fuel economy. It did get a high of 20 mpg, but it took some babying to achieve that number. We realize a high-horsepower V-8 isn't the most fuel-efficient engine, but it takes torque and power to tow and carry as much as the Silverado can, and this V-8 uses cylinder shutoff, which helps. We hear the Silverado is supposed to get the six-speed next year and with that should come better mpg.

Overall, the Silverado easily fulfilled its duty as workhorse and trustworthy chase vehicle. It used to be that owning a truck came at a price: harsh ride and poor handling in exchange for fantastic utility. Now that trucks have become viable daily drivers and family haulers, the price is paid at the pump. But if you're willing to invest more when you fill up, this pickup provides a big payoff for the money.

From the Logbook
"I made a great trip up to Big Bear and beat the snot out of the truck prerunning some trails on the west side of the lake. The Silverado is definitely a tough truck and seems to like getting dirty."
- Mark Williams

"Its smoothness, refinement, and fit and finish are impressive for a rig that's clearly still built to do a hard day's work. But what won me over was its friendly, big-hearted, can-do personality: It's like your best buddy, favorite hunting dog, and Trigger, all rolled into one."
- Angus MacKenzie

"It's not much to look at on the outside, nothing groundbreaking, but holy cow! The interior of this truck is enormous."
- James Dryden

Our Car
Base Price $32,515
Options Vortec 6.0L V-8 ($1695); 40/20/40 split bench seat ($800); LT1 convenience package ($895); electric sunroof ($795); safety package ($715); Z71 Off Road package ($615); power camper-style mirrors ($238); XM radio ($199); cargo- management system ($175); E-Z Lift locking tailgate $95; P265/75R17 tires ($55)
MSRP, as tested $38,802
Total mileage 19,027
Avg fuel economy 14.0 mpg
Problem areas Service airbag light, loose pass mirror, camper shell strut breakage
Maintenance cost $419.05
Normal-wear cost $0
3-year residual value $19,789
Recalls Battery rundown *Automotive lease guide data