Feb 7, 2020 - Economy & Business

What we're driving: The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500

Your author with the Silverado 2500, to scale. Photo: Bill Rapai/Axios

My ride this week is a 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500, a heavy-duty pickup truck with a hood that's almost as tall as I am.

The big picture: Heavy-duty trucks are meant for people doing serious work, like towing a large boat, a horse trailer or a camper — not for driving to the health club or supermarket, like I did.

Bigger all around: The 2020 Silverado HD is longer, wider and taller than its predecessor, with a gaping grille that reminds me of James Bond's steel-toothed nemesis, Jaws.

  • The engine is bigger, too — a 401-hp, 6.6-liter V-8 replaces the previous 6.0-liter V-8.
  • But the 2500 HD I'm driving comes with a 445-hp Duramax 6.6-liter V-8 turbo-diesel, paired with a new Allison 10-speed automatic transmission that boosts the towing capacity by an amazing 52%, maxing out at 35,500 pounds.
  • It's a pricey add-on, though: $9,890.

This truck's so big you really need the 15 surround-view cameras, including an innovative transparent trailer view (using an accessory camera mounted on the rear of the trailer).

  • It allows the driver to "see through" and alongside the trailer, which helps in parking lots, merging into traffic or when making tight turns.
  • Also handy are the driver-assistance features like lane-departure warning, front- and rear-parking assist and rear cross traffic alert.
  • The interior feels dated, though, especially up against the impressive Dodge Ram Heavy Duty with its 12-inch touchscreen.

The bottom line: The Silverado 2500 starts at $53,300. Mine came with a hefty $73,265 price tag.

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What we're driving: The 2020 Hyundai Sonata

2020 Hyundai Sonata. Photo: Courtesy of Hyundai

This week I'm driving the 2020 Hyundai Sonata, a car that purports to park itself.

Reality check: The heavily advertised "Smaht Pahk" feature has limited capability. Sure, it can pull itself head-on into a tight parking space and back out too, but that's about it.

What we're driving: 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe

2020 Hyundai Santa Fe. Photo: Courtesy of Hyundai

This week I'm driving the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe, an underrated mid-size crossover SUV.

The big picture: There are so many crossovers on the market these days, it's hard to tell them apart. But I like the styling of the Santa Fe, whose athletic lines help distinguish it from the rest.

Here's why we should hope self-driving tech is ready soon

Waymo's self-driving minivans. Photo: Courtesy of Waymo

This week during several automated driving demonstrations in Arizona I was reminded why we should all hope self-driving technology is ready soon.

Why it matters: Self-driving cars don't get drunk, tired, distracted — or do things that are just plain stupid — behaviors I saw in spades on the roads in and around Phoenix and Tuscon.