First Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD

The only way you could have avoided the massive pickup truck war that has been raging in Detroit for the past few years is if you happened to be living under a rock. If one automaker unveils a new truck, the other two must respond immediately. Last year Dodge, er, Ram unveiled new heavy duty trucks and only held the spotlight for a few months before Ford showed off a revised Super Duty. Now the truck world has come full circle as GM's revised Sierra and Silverado HD twins are starting to arrive at dealerships.

Same old face
While Ram performed a pretty comprehensive facelift on its trucks, Ford and GM's makeovers were much more subtle. The Super Duty received fairly minor changes to the front sheetmetal, but Chevy and GMC hardly changed a thing on the outside of their trucks. The hood stampings are somewhat different (and the GMC gains a fake louver), the front bumper now sports a bigger opening for cooling, and the bow tie (or GMC logo) grows accordingly, but that's about the only way to tell the trucks apart from the early GMT 900 HDs. We love the look of GMC's Sierra Denali (currently only available as a 3/4-ton truck, although soon to be offered in more configurations) because of the body-color bumpers. It's amazing how much cleaner these big trucks look with a little less chrome up front.

Familiar interior
If you're underwhelmed by the minor exterior changes, don't get your hopes up for the interior. This is the same basic interior we've seen since GM's full-size light duty trucks launched in 2007. We loved the current interior a few years ago, but now even the HD truck market is evolving at an incredible rate. Some other members of the media likened the truck's interior to day-old doughnuts. We just want to point out something is askew in the world when Dodge has the nicest interior in the segment. To be clear, GM offers virtually all the same equipment as the other two big trucks -- navigation, Bluetooth, leather seating, and upgraded stereos are all on the options list, but the material qualities and fit and finish are lacking in comparison.

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