2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Review: Comfortable Workhorse

by Morgan Carter

The Chevrolet Silverado was once the runt of the heavy-duty pick-up litter, trailing far behind its Ford and Ram competitors in terms of muscle and towing capacity. That changes in 2020, however, with a bold makeover and a new standard gasoline engine. The 401-horsepower V8 gives the Silverado 2500HD a lot more power under the hood, but it's still no competition for the available Duramax diesel engine, which delivers an impressive 910 lb-ft of torque. Coupled with the newly reinforced chassis and bolstered axles and joints, this powertrain allows the 2500HD tow up to 18,510 lbs in its optimal guise, making it a strong contender with the Ram 2500 and Ford F-250. But that isn't all the Chevy has going for it; the interior is far more modern than the last generation, even if the styling leaves something to be desired. With a relatively low asking price for the base model, you can afford to throw in the diesel engine and all-wheel drivetrain to optimize its performance without breaking the bank. The gas bill at the end of the month will be another story, though.

Read in this review:

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Silverado 2500HD?

The entire Silverado range was redesigned for 2020, including the 2500HD. The optional diesel engine remains unchanged from the previous model, although it does come paired with an all-new ten-speed automatic transmission, and a new 6.6-liter V8 engine replaces the former 6.0-liter variant. Other changes include a reinforced chassis, heavy-duty universal joints, and an overhauled exterior. This has resulted in a new-generation pick-up that has the towing capacity to match its aggressive looks. Some other notable changes to the exterior include a power liftgate and a sidestep to make accessing the cargo bay even easier.

Pros and Cons

  • Powerful base gasoline engine
  • Very high cargo and payload capacities
  • Competitive towing capability
  • Spacious cabin options
  • Available head-up display
  • Terrible gas mileage figures
  • Can get expensive quickly
  • Advanced safety features restricted to higher trims

Silverado 2500HD Exterior

The newest generation Silverado has received a bit of a makeover from its previous iteration. It is still a chunky monstrosity, but the particularly aggressive front fascia will appeal to those who want a truly imposing truck. The front grille is enormous, intersected by a large horizontal bar with an engraving of the manufacturer's name. The grille changes as you move up the trim levels, however, with the signature Chevrolet golden bow-tie only displayed on the top-of-the-range High Country. Halogen headlights frame the grille on the lower trims, but from the LTZ up, LED headlights, taillights, and fog lights become the standard. Three body types are available, Regular, Double, and Crew Cab, along with two bed lengths, standard or long bed. Wheel sizes differ, too, with 17-inch wheels coming standard, while 18- and 20-inch wheels are available.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Rear Angle View Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Front Angle View Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Front Angle View 1 Chevrolet
See All 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Exterior Photos

Dimensions

For 2020, the Chevy pick-up has put on a few inches and more than a few pounds. Those models equipped with the Regular Cab (RC) measure 235.5 inches in length, while the Double Cab (DC) can measure 240.5 - 256.5 inches, depending on your choice of bed (regular or long), and the Crew Cab (CC) models stand between 250 - 266 inches long. Wheelbase lengths vary, too, with the RC coming with a 141.6-inch wheelbase. The DC's wheelbase can be either 149.4 or 162.5 inches, while the CC gets a 158.9 to 172-inch wheelbase. Height varies by a fraction of an inch across the range, although it stays in the range of 79.8 inches. Similarly, width remains around 81.9 inches, with a few microns of difference between trim levels. With so many body configurations available, curb weight varies wildly. The lightest Regular Cab model weighs in at 6,105 pounds, while the heaviest Crew Cab, equipped with the long bed, can weigh as much as 7,886 lbs.

  • Length 250.0 in
  • Wheelbase 158.9 in
  • Height 79.8 in
  • Max Width 81.9 in

Exterior Colors

Nine colors comprise the palette for the Silverado 2500HD, with the entry-level Work Truck trim offering Red Hot, Summit White and Black as the standard solid options. Metallics include Northsky Blue, Silver Ice, Shadow Gray, and Oxford Brown. From the LT up, the premium paint options are made available, which include Cajun Red Tintcoat ($495) and Iridescent Pearl Tricoat ($995). The top-tier High Country is oddly restricted in color choice, with Red Hot being deleted from the palette.

Silverado 2500HD Performance

While the base powertrain on the Silverado has seen an upgrade, it isn't the 401-hp gasoline engine that has pulled the pick-up out of obscurity. Sure the engine gives the Chevy a class-leading torque output of 464 lb-ft and impressive towing figures of 17,370 lbs, but it's the changes to the truck's chassis and joints that finally allow it to compete with segment leaders. The standard powertrain can push the Silverado 2500HD around town relatively easy, but acceleration tapers off very quickly, so don't expect to get up to speed in a rush.

The available V8 diesel engine is still the stronger of the two options, developing a whopping 910 lb-ft. Coupled with the structural changes, this allows the Chevy to tow up to 18,500 lbs of weight in a gooseneck configuration. This is just shy of the new Ram 2500's 19,780 lbs. Much like the gasoline engine, though, the Duramax powertrain doesn't offer impressive acceleration figures. But that's not what you buy a heavy-duty pick-up for. Rear-wheel-drive is standard on every model, save for the High Country, which gets the optional all-wheel drivetrain as standard.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Front View Driving Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Side View Driving Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Badge Chevrolet

Engine and Transmission

Under the hood of every Silverado 2500HD is the brand-new 6.6-liter V8 gas engine, mated to a six-speed heavy-duty automatic gearbox. The powertrain kicks out 401 hp and 464 lb-ft and sends it to the rear wheels as standard, although all-wheel drive can be optioned on every trim. No other heavy-duty truck can match Chevy's impressive torque without resorting to a diesel upgrade. But while the gas-powered Silverado can certainly pull its weight around town, even when fully-laden, it won't do so quickly. Passing on the highway should only be attempted when truly necessary.

Unchanged from last year, the 6.6-liter Duramax V8 diesel engine still develops 445 hp and 910 lb-ft of torque. However, the powertrain does get a new ten-speed Allison automatic transmission. Even with this much torque on tap, you shouldn't expect the pick-up to get you around overly quickly. The diesel powertrain is not available to the Custom trim.

  • Engines
    6.6-liter Turbo V8 Diesel, 6.6-liter V8 Gas
  • Transmissions
    10-Speed Automatic, 6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Chevrolet Silverado is a truck designed to do a job, and do it well. It isn't for thrill-seekers or driving enthusiasts. Despite having access to up to 910 lb-ft of torque, acceleration will never compete with sport trucks. Nevertheless, the Silverado 2500 isn't lazy on the road. With plenty of power from the new base gasoline engine, the pick-up is actually pretty eager.

The gas engine is mated to an efficient six-speed automatic gearbox, but it isn't as smooth and refined as the new ten-speed Allison automatic transmission that comes with the diesel powertrain. Just a few extra gears give the Chevy a more consistent climb in power, so that it never strains or feels underpowered, even when pulling heavier loads.

While the Silverado will never handle with any real dexterity, the steering is remarkably light for such a heavy vehicle. This allows the truck to maneuver around town quite well. But never fear, the steering wheel still gains some heft once you get the pick-up traveling down the highway. The wheels are also more talkative than you'd expect from a work truck, which helps to alleviate any unease you may experience when you can't really see what's going on around the bulky body. Still, the available advanced driver assistance features on the top trim can still boost driver confidence further.

As is expected from a vehicle designed to pull heavy loads, the Silverado's brakes are plenty potent, and the electronic trailer brake controller helps to keep your towed weight stable during deceleration. While the Chevy will never be athletic, it can handle itself around town or over rough terrain with the same degree of ease, even if it lacks grace.

Silverado 2500HD Gas Mileage

As a heavy-duty vehicle, the Silverado isn't designed to get particularly impressive mileage figures. The power to haul and tow heavy weights comes at a considerable cost. While the EPA has not rated the truck due to its niche nature, some real-world results have been reported. Drivers claim that the standard gasoline engine is capable of achieving a combined fuel economy of 12 mpg, while the stronger, but more efficient, Duramax diesel engine can achieve a combined figure of 15 mpg. This is on par with similar heavy-duty trucks like the Ford F-250 and Ram 2500. The gasoline tank size is standard across the range, but the diesel tank varies depending on body configuration. The maximum size of both is 36 gallons, giving the truck a maximum range of around 540 miles.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    36.0 Gallons
* 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD 2WD Crew Cab 159" Work Truck

Silverado 2500HD Interior

The Chevy pick-up is all about getting the job done, and this ethos is reflected by the design of its cabin. The styling is minimalist and functional, with durable but quality materials used throughout. Rather than opting for flashy, high-tech controls, the Silverado gets physical buttons and knobs, making it supremely simple to operate the features. But that doesn't mean you will be living in the Stone Age; the infotainment suite is as modern as you could hope for on any other Chevrolet, and even if the screen isn't as large as what some competitors offer, it comes with all the bells and whistles. The truck even offers an optional head-up display, a rare treat for the segment.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Dashboard Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Backup Camera Screen Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Backup Camera Screen 1 Chevrolet
See All 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

Only three passengers can be accommodated within the Regular Cab on a front-row bench, which comes standard on the WT and LT trims. The Double and Crew cabs increase capacity to six, except in the High Country. The top-tier trim replaces the front-row bench with a pair of bucket seats, reducing maximum capacity to five. Head- and legroom in any of the cabin options are generous, easily accommodating even six-foot-tall adults. The back seats in the Double Cab are a bit cramped, but this is remedied in the Crew Cab, which provides a few extra inches of legroom. Four-way manual front seats come standard on the pick-up, while the upper trims get ten-way power front seats with lumbar support. Thanks to the truck's overall height and the natural position of the seats, visibility is quite good. Unfortunately, these same factors can make ingress and egress a little difficult.

  • Seating capacity
    6-seater
  • Front Leg Room 44.5 in
  • Front Head Room 43.0 in
  • Rear Leg Room 43.4 in
  • Rear Head Room 40.1 in

Interior Colors and Materials

The base-level Silverado Work Truck comes upholstered in vinyl, although cloth-appointed seats can be optioned at no additional cost. Regardless of material choice, Jet Black is the color available. The LT also comes with the same standard upholstery, but leather is available with specific upgrades, which increases the price by $4,560. Both materials can be had in Jet Black or Gideon/Very Dark Atmosphere. The LTZ and High Country come standard with perforated leather upholstery, but instead of Gideon/Very Dark Atmosphere, the High Country offers Jet Black/Umber hues. The cabin shows its ruggedness through its construction and materials, so there are quite a few hard plastics on display, and the interior is trimmed in natural wood accents.

Silverado 2500HD Trunk and Cargo Space

With a choice of two cargo beds, maximum cargo capacity varies quite a bit on the Silverado 2500HD. The standard bed is 6.8 feet long, while the longer bed measures 8.2 feet in length. Width and height are the same regardless of bed choice, with an inch difference here and there when measured between the wheel housings. Overall width and length are 71.4 inches and 21 inches respectively. Given these figures, the standard bed's maximum cargo capacity is 69.5 cubic feet. The long bed increases this capacity to 83.5 cubic feet. This is more than enough space for most applications, light or heavy, and is more generous than what the F-250 or Ram 2500 offer. The side steps and EZ liftgate make it even easier to load cargo, and the pick-up can handle payloads of between 3,536 and 3,979 lbs.

Small-item storage around the cabin isn't lacking, but it isn't overly generous either. A pair of glove compartments are present in the front dash, and the center armrest offers a relatively large cubby. Two cupholders are provided up front, with an additional two in the rear of the larger cabs. The door pockets are sadly on the small side, though. The rear seats can be folded down in a 60/40 split to store some items inside the cabin, but there is no traditional trunk space.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Trunk Space Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Front Angle View 2 Chevrolet
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Rear Angle View 1 Chevrolet

Silverado 2500HD Infotainment and Features

Features

Despite its workhorse aspirations, the Chevy Silverado doesn't lack when it comes to modern tech and conveniences. Still, the lower-tier trims only get the bare minimum, with cloth upholstery and four-way manual front seats as standard. Other features include air conditioning, a rearview camera, a 3.5-inch driver information display, rear-seat reminder, and a teen driver system. The LT replaces the information display with a larger 4.2-inch model, while adding keyless entry and cruise control. Leather upholstery comes standard on the LTZ, while the now ten-way power front seats get heating functionality, as does the steering wheel. Keyless ignition and remote engine start improve convenience. Ventilated front seats and heated rear seats are added when you upgrade to the High Country, and the driver information display is once again upgraded, this time to eight inches. Blind-spot alert, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear sonar, and lane change alert are all added to the safety suite at this premium level.

Infotainment

The latest generation Silverado comes with the latest generation infotainment suite, too. A seven-inch touchscreen comes standard, but many of the features can be accessed via the physical buttons and knobs around the console. The operating system supports Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. A 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot is available with Chevrolet Connected Access from the LT up. This offering is further expanded when you upgrade to the LTZ, which adds HD Radio and SiriusXM. The standard sound system comprises only two speakers, but an extra four speakers are added with the larger Double and Crew cabs. The High Country upgrades this to a seven-speaker Bose premium sound system and adds a wireless charging pad for your smart devices.

Silverado 2500HD Problems and Reliability

J.D. Power has not yet rated the brand-new Silverado for dependability. It is also too new to the market to have received many complaints. Nevertheless, a recall has already been issued for the 2020 model, for the possibility that the seatbelt pretensioners may cause a fire. The truck is covered by Chevrolet's standard warranties, which include a 36,000-mile/36-month limited warranty, while the powertrain and roadside assistance are covered for 60,000 miles/60 months.

Warranty

  • Warranty Note:
    Preliminary 2020 Warranty Note \ 
  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain Note:
    HD Duramax Diesel: 5 Years \ 100,000 Miles; Qualified Fleet Purchases: 5 Years
  • Rust-Through:
    6 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance Note:
    HD Duramax Diesel: 5 Years \ 100,000 Miles; Qualified Fleet Purchases: 5 Years
  • Maintenance Note:
    1 Year \ 1 Visit

Silverado 2500HD Safety

As is often the case with heavy-duty trucks, the Silverado 2500HD has not been rated for crash-test safety by either the NHTSA or the IIHS.

Key Safety Features

The standard safety offering is not overly comprehensive, but it comes with the basics like stability and traction control, ABS, and six airbags: dual front, front side, and side curtain. Advanced safety features comprise a rearview camera with Hitch Guidance, and a teen driver system. The upper trims gain access to blind-spot monitoring, lane change alert, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision avoidance tech, and front and rear parking sensors.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD a good Truck?

While not the strongest Silverado available, the 2500HD is still a powerhouse in its own right. Where the Ford and Ram mid-range heavy-duty trucks once dominated the market with their unrivaled towing and hauling capacities, the newly redesigned Silverado has finally muscled its way onto the podium. The reinforced chassis and strengthened joints allow the Chevy to nearly match its more established rivals from Ford and Ram with a maximum towing capacity of 18,500 lbs. These rivals had to make some last-minute adjustments to their heavy-duty pick-ups to stay ahead of the curve, but the new Silverado is certainly worthy of a place on any buyer's shortlist.

The Chevy isn't just a workhorse, though. The interior is spacious and comfortable, with plenty of available tech and convenience features. You could certainly use the truck as an everyday vehicle, if you were so inclined, but the poor fuel economy could make that a pricey decision. Still, this is nothing out of the ordinary for the segment.

The Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD is designed to serve a very specific purpose, and insofar as it does that, it is a very capable and good vehicle.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD?

The entry-level Silverado 2500 doesn't carry an overly hefty price tag, with a starting MSRP of $34,100 for the Regular Cab model. The LT, also with the RC, will cost you $38,000. The Custom is only available with the larger cabs, with the Double Cab model costing $39,000. The similarly-configured LTZ will set you back $48,700, while the top-tier High Country, standard with the Crew Cab and all-wheel-drive, has a hefty price tag of $61,100. Most of the lower trims allow for some customization in cab and bed length, at additional cost, while all-wheel-drive is available across the range for an additional $2,800. Upgrading to the available diesel engine will add around $10k to your final bill, too. These prices exclude tax, registration, licensing, and the manufacturer's $1,595 handling fee.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Models

With a choice of three cabs and two bed lengths, the Silverado 2500HD is available in five trim levels. The Work Truck and LT models can be had with the Regular, Double, and Crew Cabs, while the Custom and LTZ lose access to the Regular Cab. The top-tier High Country is available only with the Crew Cab. Under the hood of every trim, there's a 6.6-liter V8 gasoline engine that develops 401 hp and 464 lb-ft, which comes mated to a six-speed heavy-duty automatic transmission. Apart from the Custom, every model also gets access to a 6.6-liter Duramax diesel engine that develops 445 hp and 910 lb-ft. Rear-wheel-drive is the standard drivetrain on all but the High Country, which comes standard with the otherwise optional all-wheel drivetrain.

Riding on 17-inch alloys, the Work Truck comes equipped with halogen headlights and daytime running lights. The infotainment suite comprises a seven-inch touchscreen display that supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth, played back through a two-speaker sound system (six on the larger cabs). The seats are upholstered in vinyl and manually adjustable, with air conditioning being the only creature comfort. The Trailering Package is equipped as standard, though, which comprises a hitch platform, trailer hitch, and hitch receiver.

The Custom focuses on aesthetic improvements, equipping the truck with the largest 20-inch alloy wheels, black-accented exterior mirrors, deep-tinted glass, and LED taillights. Inside, it gets cloth upholstery, carpeted floor covering, and remote keyless entry.

The LT comes standard with cloth upholstery, while cruise control enhances the convenience offering. The 3.5-inch driver information display is upgraded to a 4.2-inch model and the infotainment touchscreen display gains an inch, too. A 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot is also added to the infotainment.

Leather upholstery is standard on the LTZ, and dual-zone climate control improves comfort around the cabin. The front seats are upgraded with ten-way power-adjustability and heating, and keyless ignition and remote engine start make your life more convenient. The infotainment suite gains access to HD Radio and SiriusXM. The penultimate trim rides on 18-inch alloy wheels, and comes equipped with LED head- and taillights, as well as LED fog lights.

The premium High Country trim gets 20-inch alloy wheels and boasts the Chevrolet golden bow-tie on the front grille. It also gets the larger eight-inch driver information display, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear parking assist. Navigation is added to the infotainment suite, and the front seats gain ventilation while the rear seats get heating.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Work Truck (WT)
6.6-liter V8 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$34,100
LT
6.6-liter V8 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$38,000
Custom
6.6-liter V8 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$39,000
LTZ
6.6-liter V8 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$48,700
High Country
6.6-liter V8 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$61,100
See All 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

The Silverado 2500HD is highly customizable, with a host of available packages and standalone options. The WT Safety Package ($1,090) for the Work Truck adds front and rear parking assist, lane change alert, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Similarly, the WT Convenience Package ($1,185) adds cruise control, keyless entry, and power lock and release to the EZ liftgate. The Texas Edition ($3,330) for the LT adds a ten-way driver seat with lumbar settings, keyless entry and ignition, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, and all the features of the aforementioned Safety and Convenience packages. The High Country Deluxe ($3,065) adds a rear camera mirror, a head-up display, an HD surround-view camera, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, and a safety alert seat.

🚗What Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Model Should I Buy?

The best model for you will depend on your specific needs. Luckily, you can just about reach the maximum towing capacity on the Silverado 2500 with even the Crew Cab models (minus ten pounds), so you are spoiled for choice. Since the lower trims are almost devoid of any convenience or comfort features, we suggest aiming somewhere in the middle. The LTZ comes quite a bit cheaper than the top-tier High Country, and it gets most of the basic creature comforts, like a ten-way power heated front seats, heated rear seats, and dual-zone climate control. It does lack the advanced safety features on the High Country, but that can be remedied by equipping the LTZ with the optional Safety Package. It's a small price to pay for peace of mind, especially if you want the pick-up to double as a family vehicle.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Comparisons

Ram 2500 Ram
Ford F-250 Super Duty Ford
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD401 hpTBC$34,100
Ram 2500 410 hpTBC$33,895
Ford F-250 Super Duty 385 hpTBC$34,035

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD vs Ram 2500

Much like the Chevy Silverado, the Ram line of heavy-duty trucks has recently undergone an extensive redesign, and 2020 sees the range further tweaked to better compete with pressure in the segment. The Ram 2500 maintains its lead over the Silverado with a maxing towing capacity of 19,780 lbs when equipped with its 850-lb-ft diesel engine, but in most other regards it is very much like its rival. Both pick-ups offer similar cabin and cargo bed options, but the Chevy is slightly more spacious inside and offers modern amenities such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. If power is all you care about, then the Ram 2500 certainly looks like the better buy, especially with the available 1,000-lb-ft diesel engine, but the Silverado 2500HD isn't much weaker, and its more advanced tech features are certainly appealing. It's a close call, and will likely come down to personal taste, but we believe the Chevrolet Silverado is the winner here.

See Ram 2500 Review

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD vs Ford F-250 Super Duty

The F-250 Super Duty hasn't been redesigned since 2017, but Ford has made adjustments over the years to keep up with the competition, and 2020 is no exception. The latest F-250 models get new engine and transmission options, with a 475-hp, 1,050-lb-ft diesel engine allowing the pick-up to tow a class-leading 22,800 lbs. When you take into account that the Ford is available with the same modern features as the newly redesigned Silverado, such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and multi-contour heated front seats, it's plain to see that the manufacturer is resolute in its desire to remain king of the heavy-duty segment. The Chevrolet certainly has its appeal, and brand loyalists will most likely still choose it over the stronger F-250 Super Duty, but the latter looks to be the smarter buy for those who value performance above all else.

See Ford F-250 Super Duty Review

Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Popular Comparisons

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Video Reviews

$34,100 - $61,300
Price Range (MSRP)
Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
Popular Tags Cars