Pickup Nation

“As the pick-ups roll so goes the nation” could be the watchwords of automotive analysts. Sharp looking, with swank interiors, and heavy duty but civilized suspensions, today’s pick-ups are no longer bare bones rigs.

For the manufacturers, these big-ticket, high-margin trucks ranging from $35,000 to $65,000 mean big profits.

In broader economic terms, strong pick-up sales are an indicator of brisk business activity as contractors and industry update their fleets.

While the Ford F150 has been the best-selling vehicle overall for more than two decades, the persistent number two Chevrolet Silverado, now completely redesigned and updated for 2014, is posing a credible challenge in this coveted and lucrative competition.

The exterior of the Silverado retains is earlier commanding profile with the added muscle of flared wheel wells, and an imposing new front grill and stacked headlight assembly.

Inside the Silverado achieves a breakthrough in the tactile soft trim features of a great driving experience. Even in the low-end $36,000 4.3 liter V6, 2-wheel drive 1500 crew cab edition with modest cloth bench seats, the Silverado delivered big on quiet comfort, superior handling and notable combined 20 mpg fuel economy.