First Drive: 2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid and GMC Sierra Hybrid  

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The more things change, the more they stay the same. Once again, this time-honored dictum is proving true as pickup trucks regain their rightful place at the top of the U.S. sales charts following a precipitous fall from grace last summer.

As you've undoubtedly noticed, the cost of gasoline has dropped to a more manageable level, with an average gallon of regular-grade fuel going for half the price it was less than a year ago. So is it back to business as usual? Not quite. As we found out (again) in 2008, the volatile nature of gasoline stocks means that the market price for a barrel of crude can and will change on a whim. Does anyone really think fuel is going to stay cheaper than bottled water forever? Not likely.

However, America's love affair with the pickup truck will continue to burn bright even though the status quo is changing. All vehicles, regardless of type, must travel more miles on each gallon of gasoline. Enter GM's latest duo of fuel-saving pickups: the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra Hybrids.

These two workhorses were first announced at the LA Auto Show in late 2007, though the 2009 editions are just now beginning to show up at dealerships across the country. For the new model year, GM has made a few tweaks to its range of heavy haulers, most notably switching to a new set of hydraulic body mounts to compensate for the extra weight of the large battery pack. Are there any good reasons to consider these hybrid trucks over their highly-respected standard siblings? To find out, we strapped ourselves behind the wheel of each, followed a route through the streets of San Antonio, Texas, and recorded our mileage along the way.
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