From The Horse's Mouth
By Galen Armenta
There were so many thoughts racing through my head, as I sat at the top of the ramp that leads down to the huge concrete pad covered by an inch and a half of water and silt. I kept thinking: Don't be stupid, Galen, you just got this job. What is the 13,000-pound truck going to do? And how ballistic would Mike be if the truck breaks? The next thing I knew I was picking up speed, as I got closer to the water, still trying to convince myself not to do it and not break the $80,000 truck. Once out on the skid pad, I found that it was easy to pitch the truck sideways. After a couple minutes of getting the feel of the truck and finishing up my phone call, it was time to start doing pirouettes across the water. I did find that the longer I stayed out there, making lap after lap and drifting the truck, it seemed to get a little harder to pitch sideways, and there was a lot more body roll. All in all, the truck is worth every bit of the price tag.

The Final Word
So, ultimately, is the TopKick pickup worth it? If making a fullsize impression and being able to tow or haul just about anything your heart desires are your top priorities, then this big hoss is worth a serious look. Economical or dainty, it ain't. But, neither is it a totally unmanageable beast. Thanks to its surprisingly easy-to-drive demeanor and relative refinement, it's just as comfortable, if not more so, as any other fullsize pickup. So, if you have the space in your garage or driveway, and a platinum fuel card, then this could be the next big thing for you.

The 411

Year/make/model:
'06 GMC TopKick Pickup

Base price/as tested:
$70,000/$85,000 (estimated)

Epa Fuel Economy:
8-9 mpg

Observed Fuel Economy:
Not great

Engine:
6.6L turbodiesel V-8, 300 hp at 3,000 rpm, 520 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm

Transmission:
Allison five-speed automatic