We drove a short-bed crew cab, equipped with a mid-level interior package complete with climate control and leather seats. In short, it was a truck like any other. Although we must say the new 900-series interior styling is top-notch, even in the lower option selections — it just feels right and looks great.
We climbed in and set about our test in what turned out to be high style. Similar to the Silverado Hybrid we tested, the XFE rides more like a Cadillac than like our old ’90 model shop truck. It handled well around town and cornered like a well-mannered car.
The GM engineers said the changes to the drivetrain wouldn’t dog the truck any, but I was very curious to see if the new 3.08 rear end and six-speed gearbox would pass the highly scientific stick-your-foot-in-it test. So I waited for a light to change, and I dug in. Just as they said it would, the truck came on strong without the slightest hint of hesitation. To sum up — it hauled ass.
Highway driving was the same story, spinning up to well over the speed limit without any issues and cruising at 70 mph as effortlessly as could be expected for a large truck. The six-speed transmission was also completely transparent during normal driving. Only if you counted the gears from a dead stop would you know anything at all was different than normal. When you need power, the truck grabs one or two gears and gives it to you, but it remains at the high-end if grunt isn’t needed.
Read on to page three for our conclusions.