There's a changing of the guard this month, as we usher in the first 2000 of the Year winner, review the class of '99 at three-quarters through their 12-month evaluation, and say good-bye to the '98 champions. The '99 Truck of the Year Silverado continues to impress, making pickup converts out of even staunch car people with its civility, utility, and versatility. General ride quality is good, though the Silverado can respond to sharp, repetitive expansion joints with a bucking motion that can be downright punishing.

Naturally, handling isn't to sedan levels, and wet-weather rear traction is an oxymoron. However, strong power from the 5.3-liter V-8 makes driving fun, nonetheless, with its swift response and smooth delivery. Generous extended cab space makes running errands a cinch, and there's always the bed for gargantuan items. Easy to remove, the tailgate lifts off too easily at the wrong times. The Chevy bedliner has recently lost its grip on the tailgate. A couple fresh clips from the dealer should hold it in place. A "change oil" command on the message center display prompted an early 15K service.