While vans, minivans, sport Utilities and smaller-size pickups have spurred soaring light-truck sales, the backbone of the market remains in the full-size pickup arena. Since the '60s and perhaps even earlier, the full-size segment has been a battleground between Ford with its F-Series trucks and Chevrolet with what it now calls its K Series. The two have been playing "Can You Top This?" for years. Chevrolet dominated the market through the '70s, but Ford has made continuing progress, finally finishing ahead of Chevy in 1993 sales.
Chevrolet and its sister-GMC full-size pickups (called Sierras) were restyled for the 1993 model year. Like most players in the light-truck field, Chevrolet's major activity in full-size pickups for the 1994 model year involves safety features to comply with federal standards that will come into play in the next few years. The 1994 pickups now boast steel side-guard door beams and center high-mounted stoplights. Chevrolet also added two engine variations to its offerings, which now include a V6, two V8s and three diesel V8s.
Variety is a must for success in the full-size segment. Chevrolet offers many combinations of body styles, load capacities, interior trim packages and power trains. We chose to test a 1994 Extended Cab Sportside Silverado, Pickup. In the 4x2 configuration, it was well-equipped with options such as high-back reclining front bucket seats, a 5.7-liter V8, air conditioning, four-speed automatic transmission and more. With a base price of $16,266, our truck dressed out at a final sticker $22,457-about that of a decently equipped full-size sedan.