Review: 2011 Chevrolet Silverado And GMC Sierra Heavy Duty Page 3

June 13, 2010

These trucks don't exhibit much body roll when pushed, but there is some tire squeal--these aren't sports cars, and they aren't shy about reminding you of that fact. Adding ballast adds a little body roll and subtracts from the acceleration, but otherwise the extra weight goes almost unnoticed.

It's not a secret to say that these trucks ride like, well, trucks, but there is a variation from model to model. The Denali offers the smoothest unladen ride, while the dump truck I drove was by far the bounciest. In between, the other models rode comfortably, but you never forget your driving a truck. Adding ballast didn't appreciably change the ride. Overall, the GM trucks rode better than the sloppy Ford and the truckish Ram, although the Ram isn't far behind in terms of ride quality.

On the inside, not much changes. Interiors can be suited to the truck's purpose--for example, there is a work-truck interior that can be hosed down for easy cleaning. On models with more upscale interiors, the materials are mainly easy on the eye, although there may be too much plastic or fake wood paneling in some places.

Visibility is generally good, although the new louvers on the hood affect forward vision somewhat. Road and wind noise is generally hushed, but the engines--the diesel especially--can get loud under throttle. That said, the Duramax is still quieter, at least to my ears, than the competitors' diesels.

The Wi-Fi system works well, with fairly quick connection speeds, although coverage can be spotty when driving through mountainous or rural areas.

Work trucks are meant to do just that, and the 2011 Sierra and Silverado HDs seem more than capable. Numbers-wise, the Ford and GM trucks are about even, so buyers will need to choose based on aesthetic preferences and driving experience.

Denali buyers will likely be either fleet bosses or family-types who want a luxury truck to tow their boat to the lake. The rest of the lineup seems aimed at the regular Joe or Jane farmer or construction worker. But really, the bull's-eye here wears a blue oval on its grille.

General Motors and Ford have been shooting it out since almost day one of the auto industry, and Chrysler has never been shy about joining the party. Now that GM's entry into the fray is up to date, let the barroom arguments begin anew.

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