Driving all-new vehicles before they hit the pavement or just as they come to market, it’s easy to attract attention and become the subject of rubbernecking. It’s always interesting when this happens, to see who looks at what new model and for how long they stare, and, when I park or fuel a new vehicle, who will ask questions. And, I must admit, that as a new-car test driver, it’s also fun to see who I become when I drive a high-performance sports car, an everyday sedan, or a Rubicon-ready sport-utility vehicle.
Recently, when I drove the new Chevy Silverado 2500 HD (stands for “Heavy Duty”) with a V-8 diesel engine, I became a construction worker, housebuilder, and mechanic – but, then, I also conjured up an image that I was a retiree with time on my hands and the lust for travel in my heart. I imagined carrying loads of cement, lumber and tools and ferrying horses, boats, and RVs to locations both near and far.
And, in case you’re wondering, who took a look at this corpulent heavy weight? It seemed like nearly everyone I passed noticed. But, then, this new dualie truck, painted
bumblebee yellow, with an extended cab and an eight-foot box in the back, is no shrinking violet.
Its vital stats? It stands six feet tall, is 25 feet long and is six feet wide. The best news of all? It was a comfortable ride and an easy drive.
For those who truly use their trucks as workhorses, General Motors has updated its heavy hitters and upgraded them from also-rans to best in class. The 2001 versions of the GMC Sierra HD and the Chevrolet Silverado HD are brawny, brisk taskmasters that will pull large loads, carry a passel of people and parcels, and now do the job with more performance, comfort and style.