Chevy’s new heavy-duty line of Silverado pickups are big beasts of burden. Short of a U-Haul, there’s not a whole lot out there that’s bigger and can still be legally piloted without a CDL. Even compared to the Silverado 1500 Crew Cab, a truck already near and dear to my heart but not exactly “compact” in its own right, the 2500 4×4 pictured here commands attention with another 2,000 pounds of girth, 4.5” of height and 9.5” of length.
Tag - ram
Though it may seem like an also-ran in a segment packed with sales heavy hitters like the Ford F-Series and Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra, Toyota still moves plenty of metal with the Tundra – about 10,000 units a month, in fact. Mazda sold about as many smiley-face 3s this year, and I see plenty of those rolling around. With a fresh redesign under their belts, Toyota corporate is probably hoping those numbers improve towards the second generation’s peak in 2007 of almost 200,000 (Toyota would like to call this revised 2014 model a new generation, but I’m sticking to my guns in calling it a 2nd-gen, given it’s mostly a fascia-and-interior reskinning).
Baffling as it is in a country where $4.00 per gallon gasoline is the norm, pickup trucks are increasingly called upon to serve double duty as both mobile workstations or tow rigs, and family haulers. Look no further than the rise to prominence of four-door crew cab body styles over the last fifteen-odd years – I’d wager the “crew” that occupies these crew cabs more often consists of a wife and kids than four flannel-clad roughnecks. Even as modern haulers become more and more gadget-laden and luxurious, fuel economy continues to rise. EcoBoost Fords and the high-feature naturally aspirated V6s powering the latest RAM and GM base trucks get fuel efficiency figures that would rival most full-size sedans from just a few years ago.
It’s rare that automotive news breaks beyond the electrified razor-wire confines of niche interest, but this week we have been favored with an event of interest to the population at large. That event involves possible breaches of journalistic ethics, an oppressive and somewhat frightening level of privacy violation, and a CEO and a major national newspaper acting like spoiled children, so “favored” is perhaps not the most apt choice of words.
Photography by Byron Hurd.
Price as tested: $44,365 (Incl. $950 destination charge)
Major equipment: Crew Cab SLT (Base Price: $38,480). 5.7L HEMI Gasoline V8, Preferred Package 25T ($1,030), Premium Cloth Seats ($900), Media Center ($1,565), Luxury Group ($680), Technology Group ($495), Roof-Mounted Lamps ($80), Remote Start ($185).
In the fleet: April 2010
B. HURD: Narrow streets. Traffic lights. Pavement. Parking lots. Trees surrounded by neatly-manicured grass and concrete curbing. This is home. So what do you do when you have a week to play with Chrysler’s highly-praised new Ram 2500 in Suburban Maryland? Well, as it turns out, you do exactly what 90% of the area’s truck-driving population does: go from stoplight to stoplight at full throttle in smug, satisfied comfort.
Now that the weather has broken and the track season is well underway in the northern half of the country, your friends here at Speed:Sport:Life have lined up a healthy dose of road and track tests for enthusiasts of every stripe. Keep an eye on this space for reviews of Suzuki’s new midsizer, Chrysler’s truck of the year, Mazda’s perpetually happy sport compact, Corvettes and BBQ, and perhaps even a Blue-Oval-branded pony or two. And don’t forget to stay tuned for our regular installments of Avoidable Contact, Racer Boy, Rational Bohemian, Lord Byron and Rich Corinthian Leather.
Have fun out there.