This is a 1999 model year truck which I purchased new in the November of 1998. So far, it has been one of the most trouble free vehicles that I have ever owned. Other than a problem with the clutch master cylinder, the only work required on the truck has been routine maintenance (oil/lube, tire rotation, radiator flush). It has not yet required brakes, tires or engine tune-up (though I suspect it will require all of these within the next 5-10k miles), and runs perfectly.
The 5.2L V8 is very strong and is extremely responsive, but uses too much gas (I average about 15 mpg). This is the biggest downside of the truck.
This truck is equipped with the tire and handling group option, which I strongly recommend. The 31 inch tires deliver long tread life and good traction, and the extra handling components provide very pleasant handling characteristics on twisty roads. Steering feel is excellent... firm and not at all twitchy on the highway.
This truck also has the limited slip rear differential. I think it is somewhat helpful, but I find that in wet weather (in two wheel drive mode), both rear tires can easily lose traction and spin if even a little too much throttle is applied. Two rear tires spinning is scarier than one tire spinning, but I have learned with practice how to avoid this.
The interior has remained tight with absolutely no rattles or buzzing from dash or other parts of the cabin, even on rough roads.
Other than poor gas mileage, the only other drawback is rear-side visibility. I find it difficult to get a clear view of traffic from the right side of the vehicle when turning left onto a busy road. This is my wife?s biggest complaint as well.
Although the bed might be a touch small for professional contractors, I find it to be just right, and a noticeable improvement the Chevy S-10 I previously owned. It is big enough to carry my garden tractor with room to spare.