GMC Sierra, Chevy Silverado 2500-3500HD First Drive

Heavy Duty truck owners are real men, that do real men stuff. By comparison, everyone else is just a bunch of  puny wimps that cry when we watch “The Notebook.” Ok, that might be a bit of an extreme, but the SUV has given way to the crossover and the light duty pickup has become quite domesticated. Thus, the heavy duty market is the one place where contractors and fleet purchasers can look for a vehicle and know they won’t have to option up to get the power and capability they need– it’s brawny right out of the box.

GMC Sierra, Chevy Silverado 2500-3500HD First Drive: Crazy Power, Newfound Refinement

But even heavy duty pickups are succumbing to the endless march of buyers expecting more creature comforts out of their car. That is the impetus behind the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Heavy Duty truck lines. The 2500 and 3500 models for each respective brand are as powerful and capable as ever, but are also quieter and have received more upscale features than ever before. Auto industry insiders call full size trucks a “profit center,” which is PR speak for “we make a ton of money on ‘em.” $50,000 used to be the upper limit for a pickup truck, but you can option up a Silverado 1500 LTZ for more than $50K. Now trucks like the GMC Sierra 3500HD Denali–essentially a luxury pickup– are carrying sticker prices upwards of $70,000. For a pickup.

GMC Sierra, Chevy Silverado 2500-3500HD First Drive: Crazy Power, Newfound Refinement

According to Chevrolet, two thirds of HD buyers opt for diesel, which comes as no surprise. Every contractor and landscaper I know runs a fleet of diesel pickups. But these guys are not factored into GM’s figures, be...