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by Steve Siler

Chevrolet Silverado / GMC Sierra
2003 Chevrolet Silverado

There is so much to report when it comes to full-size trucks (there are 122 combinations of bodystyle and drivetrain on the Silverado alone, and even more on the Sierra), it's impossible to tell the whole story in the space we have here. One sentence synopsis: they come in every conceivable configuration.

So we'll concentrate on the more interesting details, such as the favorable ergonomics on the interior and the comfortable seats with integrated inboard armrests. Other good stuff includes the availability of the much-lauded OnStar system, automatic climate control (with two zones in extended cab models and three zones in Crew Cabs) and a new available DVD entertainment system. (also for Crew Cab models). The dashboard places all controls within easy reach of the driver, and there is plenty of space in the cab for people and things.

One particularly nice feature is the rear seatback in extended-cab models, which is angled as in normal cars, thus making it a comfortable compliment for the generous legroom-even for adults, even for the long haul.

Four-wheel steering is a new option for extended and crew cab versions in higher trim levels for 2003 (albeit at about $4500, it's an expensive option). Still, the feature makes maneuvering through parking lots a breeze, and as you might imagine, will absolutely transform the task of towing.

Each model received a minor facelift this year, butching up the GMC a bit and bringing the Chevy more in line with the aggressive lines of the Avalanche pickup/SUV hybrid (which is also worth a look if this is going to be a family vehicle). A sporty SS model also has joined the lineup, featuring monochromatic paint, 20-inch wheels and an extra helping of thrust style for true truck drivers.