Chevy Silverado HD 2500 — A solid choice

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

(April 29, 2020) This is the golden age for heavy duty pickup trucks. The big three — Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra, Ram and Ford F-Series — all have new and enticing vehicles. And all come with prodigious amounts of towing and hauling capability together with all the modern comforts and technology found in luxury vehicles. The only limitations are the size of your wallet.

While there are slight differences in maximum towing capability, engine sizes, safety technology, interior design and features, and overall ride and handling — the preference for a new heavy duty truck probably depends more on loyalty. Are you a Chevy or Ford aficionado? Or has the new Ram, which has won dozens of accolades and thousands of new customers, enticed you away from the others?

For this review we drove the all-new Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Heavy Duty and discovered it has a winning combination of capability and comfort. If you are a Chevrolet loyalist then we think you will be very happy making the Silverado HD your next new truck.

The all-new truck is the strongest, most capable Silverado HD ever, offering a max towing capability of 35,500 pounds — an increase of 52 percent — along with class-leading technologies and an expanded range of customer choices.

Updates come in the form of a new powertrain, longer wheelbase and Chevy's newest towing technology, including an available towing camera system with up to 15 views. The all-new Silverado is longer, wider and taller than its predecessor, with a wheelbase that’s been stretched 5.2 inches on Crew Cab models.

Under the hood, the Silverado gets a 6.6-liter V8 as its standard engine. It has more power and torque than last year's engine, which increases payload and towing capacity. The optional Duramax turbodiesel hasn't changed, but it's now paired with a 10-speed automatic that takes over from the previous six-speed.

The Silverado HD comes in five trim levels — Work Truck, Custom, LT, LTTZ and High Country — with the 6.6-liter V-8 making 401 horsepower and 464 pound-feet of torque standard across the lineup mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. And all trim levels can be outfitted with the optional 6.6-liter diesel making 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque.

We were happy to drive the new Custom trim level that gives small contractors an alternative to the base Work Truck falling under the price point of the slightly more upscale LT. With the $1,880 Value Package it affords the owner several options that make the truck more livable including a trailer brake controller, a tailgate with lift assist and power lock, heated and power adjustable trailering mirrors, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, and Sirius/XM radio. The gooseneck 5th wheel package was another $1,000 option on our test truck. Standard features on the Custom are 20-inch wheels, a monochromatic grille, body-colored upper grille, and a blacked out grille insert and bumper.  Bottom line for our test truck was $48,420.

The Silverado HD Work Truck Crew Cab starts at $41,490 including destination charge and the Custom Crew begins at $43,990. The LT Crew Cab starts at $44,990. At the top of the food chain, the luxury-infused High Country starts at $64,290.

Base pricing is only a suggestion because there are dozens upon dozens of options available at all trim levels ranging from a few bucks to thousands of dollars. The most expensive option is the Duramax Turbo Diesel V-8, which runs about $10,000.

We cannot speak to the hauling and towing capability of the Silverado HD. But we can say after 200 miles on the streets and highways that it is a very comfortable truck on the road with a good ride, a quiet interior and a V-8 engine capable of taking the truck to highway speeds in a very expeditious manner.

Inside, the Silverado is comfortable and spacious, with the truck's increased size contributing to significantly increased passenger space. The stretch-out room in the second-row seats was particularly impressive.

Chevrolet maintained what we consider a traditional pickup truck look inside. The Silverado's switchgear looks much like the outgoing truck with big knobs and buttons including large knobs for radio volume and tuning. It's a layout that is simple and intuitive and we think just right for a working truck. The center console is huge with considerable storage, and a dual glovebox also aids in storing stuff.

The interior has been criticized as having a dated look. Maybe we are out of step, but we like the "dated look." Some critics say the new Ram truck with its big tablet infotainment center trumps the other trucks for interior supremacy, but we disagree.

The heavy-duty truck segment is more competitive than ever with excellent choices. We think the new Silverado HD 2500 makes an excellent purchase decision.

Courtesy of GM Authority

2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD crew cab


Base price: $35,695; as driven, $48,420
Engine: 6.6-liter V-8
Horsepower: 401 @ 5,200 rpm
Torque: 464 foot-pounds @ 5,200 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: four-wheel
Seating: 2/3
Wheelbase; 158.9 inches
Length: 250 inches
Curb weight: 6,824 pounds
Turning circle: 52.7 feet
Towing capacity (minimum): 18,500 pounds
Payload capacity (minimum): 3,760 pounds
Fuel capacity: 36 gallons (regular)
EPA rating: not reported
0-60: 8.5 seconds
Also consider: Ram HD, Ford Super Duty, Nissan Titan XD

The Good
• Outstanding towing capacity
• Spacious interior
• Cutting-edge technology available

The Bad
• Not parking lot friendly

The Ugly
• Gas mileage deficient