We've said it before: Automakers can no longer go 20 years between pickup-truck redesigns. Faced with fierce competition from the new Dodge Ram and coming from a heavily facelifted 2004 Ford F-150, Chevrolet and GMC have refreshened the Silverado and Sierra, respectively for 2003, including Heavy-Duty models. Sierra's changes are under the skin, so you're looking at the 2003 Silverado. It gets a toned-down Avalanche-look grille, front fenders and hood, plus new body side moldings, taillamps, and bed rails. And the 1/2-ton extended-cab Silverado will be available with the revolutionary Quadrasteer four-wheel-steering system that debuted to accolades on the Sierra Denali this year.
Both Silverado and Sierra get a redesigned instrument panel and cluster, with space for a standard Driver Information Center. GM also has redesigned some switch controls, a response to constant press criticism that the current trucks' controls look cheap. A center console now is standard with bucket seats.
Further underneath the sheetmetal, both trucks eliminate many wires and connection junctions for better quality and reliability. About 40 wires went into the door on the outgoing model (it's down to 15 for 2003). The trucks get dual-zone heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems, and a bevy of new stereo options, including XM Satellite radio. To paraphrase an old GM slogan, this is not your father's pickup truck.--Todd Lassa
Price $18,600-$43,000 (est)
Vehicle layout Front engine, RWD, 4WD, or AWD, 2-, 3-, 5-, 6-pass
Engines 4.3L V-6, 4.8L V-8, 5.3L V-8, 6.0L V-8, 6.6L diesel V-8, 8.1L V-8
On sale in U.S. Fall 2002