Shoppers have several great options now when it comes to choosing a heavy-duty pick-up. The Chevrolet Silverado gets redesigned for 2020 and is right up there with offerings from Ford and Ram. Making your choice will boil down to the features you want and your brand preference.
Chevrolet says the new Silverado 2500 is the strongest and most capable ever. It gets a new standard engine, a nicer interior (although it’s not as cushy as some competitors), a longer wheelbase, an optional towing camera system that gives the driver up to 15 different views, and a more menacing appearance with its gigantic front grille.
The Silverado 2500 comes in five trims: Work Truck, Custom, LT, LTZ and High Country. There are—count ‘em—22 different cab, bed, chassis and driveline configurations so you can get the truck that’s right for you. Choose from regular, extended or crew cab. Rear- and four-wheel-drive are available. Starting prices range from $38,300 to $61,300.
The new standard engine is a 6.6-liter V8 with more power and torque than the outgoing engine. The V8 generates 401 horsepower and 464 pound-feet of torque, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. My tester has the optional Duramax turbodiesel 6.6-liter V8 that makes 445 horses and 910 pound-feet, paired with a new 10-speed automatic transmission, replacing the outgoing six-speed automatic.
The 2500 is surprisingly quick off the line for such a large beast. The 10-speed shifts smoothly and quickly. Merging and passing at freeway speeds is a snap, and so effortless that it’s easy to find yourself going faster than you think. Brakes require a fair amount of pressure on the pedal, which I got used to during my time with the 2500.
Of course, this is a huge rig and it was challenging at times to drive in busy traffic in downtown Portland. The side view mirrors alone are the size of small laptops. I also had a conference at PDX and had to park the 2500 in the short-term lot. Maneuvering this behemoth in that space was a bit nerve-racking!
This rig is made for hauling and a slew of trailering technologies are available to make hitching, towing and driving as easy as possible. Chevy says every component on the Silverado HD, between the transmission and the wheels, has been upgraded to provide up to a 52-percent increase in max towing capability. When properly equipped, the 2500 can tow up to 18,510 pounds.
Of course, a big pickup like this is not going to get great fuel efficiency. The EPA doesn’t rate vehicles this large so there are no official fuel economy ratings. I got about 9 to 12 mpg in the city and 15 to19 mpg on the highway during my week-long test drive. My average for the week was 14 mpg.
The new camera system provides 15 different views so you can easily keep tabs on what you’re hauling: surround-view, bed-view and the unique transparent-trailer view that turns your trailer “transparent” by stitching images from different cameras.
The cavernous interior boasts has tons of room, and it’s surprisingly quiet. But it’s plain and Spartan compared to what you’ll find in other trucks.
Standard features on the work truck include a rearview camera, infotainment system with seven-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Many other packages and optional features are available including keyless open and start, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, ventilated front seats, heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, infotainment system with eight-inch touchscreen, navigation, Bose seven-speaker audio system, Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless charging, multiple USB ports, rear camera mirror, HD surround vision, and power tailgate.
Available driver assistance technologies include front and rear park assist, lane change alert with side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, IntelliBeam headlamps, following distance indicator and safety alert seat
More towing and payload capability
Available in many different cab, bed, chassis and driveline configurations
User-friendly infotainment system
Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Huge front hood impacts front visibility
Interior looks dated compared to rivals
Love-it-or-hate-it front grille
My tester starts at $53,300. The Duramax 6.6-liter turbo diesel is $9,890. The LTZ Premium Package is $7,805 and adds front bucket seats with center console, ventilated front seats, Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Premium with navigation, eight-inch HD color touchscreen, voice recognition, Bluetooth, in-vehicle apps, Bose premium sound system, wireless charging, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, Intellibeam automatic high beam headlights, following distance indicator, safety alert seat, rear sliding power window, universal home remote, heated second row outboard seats, power up/down tailgate with power lock, Led lighting in bed, front and rear park assist, lane change alert with side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, HD surround vision with trailer camera provisions, rear camera mirror, head-up display, bed view camera, driver information center with eight-inch display, and 20-inch polished wheels. The Z71 Off-Road and Protection Package is $1,080 and adds off-road suspension including twin tube shocks, hill descent control, skid plates, Chevytec spray-on bedliner, Z71 all-weather floor liners, and Z71 badging. The Gooseneck/5th Wheel Package is $545 and adds stamped bed holes with caps and seven-pin trailer harness. LED roof market lamps are $55. LTZ Premium and Z71 discount is $1,500. Destination charge is $1,595 bringing the grand total to $72,770.
The new Chevrolet Silverado 2500 is a work horse that can sure tow and haul a lot, and comes in a wide array of configurations so you can get the heavy-duty truck that’s right for you. Some buyers, though, may be turned off by the aggressive grille and plain interior.