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Plenty of drivers overlook the Silverado simply for its unremarkable looks and straightforward functionality, while others still snub the Silverado for its heavily checkered reliability history.The Silverado is indeed an easy scapegoat for Ford and Dodge fans to point out Chevrolet's shortcomings in the truck wars - but that is starting to change.

The generation leading up to that transition ran from 1988 to '98 with the Silverado known simply as either the 1500 half-ton, 2500 three-quarter-ton, or 3500 one-ton.

Standard and Extended cabs were offered with a 4-speed automatic or manual transmission and many engine choices, ranging from the expectedly underpowered V6 to a diesel V8 and the popular 5-liter and 5.7-liter V8 options that often outlasted the body by far. "C1500" - while 4WD models were known by a "K" throughout the trim levels, which ranged from the base Cheyenne to the chromed-out Scottsdale and luxurious Silverado.

Options include several towing packages, a Z71 Off-Road package with skid plates and off-road suspension, regional packages, up to 20-inch wheels, audio system upgrades, navigation with real-time traffic updates, rear-view camera, rear entertainment system, heated power-folding outside mirrors, sunroof, power-sliding rear window, a cargo management system and rear park assist.

Current drivers note that the actual fuel economy is not exactly as advertised, and with such limited in-cab cargo space, most end up getting a box for their bed.

All LT and LTZ body styles except the Extended Cab LTZ can be upgraded to the 5.3 - if the 4.8 is standard - or the 403-hp and 417-lb-ft 6.2-liter V8.

A dated 4-speed automatic with floor-mounted transfer case controls the V6 and 4.8, while the 5.3 and 6.2 enjoy 6 speeds of stamina and Autotrac.

Since 2002 the Silverado has become increasingly more reliable, with a few years of ugliness in between thanks to the problematic Quadrasteer system that ran from '03 to '05.

Barring that, the best oldies are the '02, '04 and '05, with the '06 as the one sure winner.

Towing up to 10,700 pounds with just a bit more than a one-ton payload capacity, the Silverado is a top-notch pick for its capabilities and ably competes on everything else - save comfort.

The ride is where this Silverado really shines, especially in the Crew Cab - although the base interior leaves room for improvement in addition to the elbow allotment, while other downsides include a large turning radius and lazy base V6.

The latest generation doesn't have much for third-party reliability testing, but it does appear that the engines have been perfected with the only common problems cited being creature comforts like the cupholders, air conditioning and audio connections.