In the hugely competitive truck market there are almost too many options to choose from. While the 2500HD starts out quite affordably, it soon grows to become very expensive when you add the necessary options. The only real reason to take the 2500HD as an entry level model is that you need to tow serious loads, because the $34,000-odd starting price can also be a very well optioned Silverado 1500. If money is no object you can have a 2500HD with all the bells and whistles for in the region of $80,000, but then you start playing in the pricing territory of the 3500HD too.
In the Chevrolet Silverado range, the 2500HD sits in the middle of the lineup, above the 1500 and under the 3500HD and 3500. The middle child is also available in two and four-wheel drive but this time engines are bigger in the form of a Vortec 6.0-liter V8 or a Duramax 6.6-liter turbo diesel V8. Being a step up from the 1500 means the entry model starts at $33,610. Options are available in most areas of the truck, the top of which sees a tag over $70,000.
The Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD also features various cab options with the resulting interior space matching and the four-door makes for the best option when packing in your large friends. For the driver, things are good in optional leather-covered bucket seats with a good position; controls are within easy reach and have a simple and easy operation. To make parking the mammoth truck easier, a range of optional cameras can be had to monitor the exterior dimensions. There’s also great storage space inside and the center console can be even bigger if needed. As with the rest of the range, the High Country option is where the trucks can be almost considered as luxury transportation. This isn’t cheap and to get the best of the available options you’ll need some combinations that include things you don’t really need.
It’s not hard to drive a 2500HD, but it will take some getting used to. There’s a lot of bulk to control and braking distances must be monitored, even electronic aids can only help so much. Both engines offer smooth operation. The diesel lump is the one with all the torque on board and as a result is also the one you’d want to do tow duty with. The Allison 6-speed automatic transmission is also slick in operation and has the right ratios with the right shift points. Steering is good, devoid of feel but easy to use thanks to Digital Steering Assist that makes turns easier and keeps the truck straight and stable on the highway. Towing is aided with cameras that monitor loads as well and on the diesel option the brakes are assisted by the diesel exhaust brake system and trailer sway control keeps the load where it should be.
The Silverado 2500HD has just two engine options, the Vortec 6.0-liter V8 is the gasoline option that produces 360 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque, with the added bonus of it being able to run on E85 fuel. This affords the 2500HD a towing capability of 14,800 lbs. The bigger option is the Duramax 6.6-liter turbo diesel V8 that produces a best in class of 445 hp with great torque that measures in at 910 lb-ft, enough for an 18,100 lbs. towing payload. It’s the most powerful Silverado to date. The Silverado 2500HD was pitted against a Ford Super Duty in a head-to-head quarter-mile drag race towing 10,000 lbs. trailers and it comes out ahead every time.
The Silverado range has good tech and spec available, thanks to the last update to the model run. Convenience features like Chevrolet MyLink audio system with an 8-inch color screen heading up the infotainment system can be had, and to keep eyes on the road there’s also a 4.2-inch driver information screen. For safety there’s the usual bits along with forward collision alert, front and rear park assist (much needed), hell descent control and for those with kids, there’s the Teen Driver function that allows you to track how the kids drove the truck and allows set parameters to control silly driving urges.
The Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD is a brute of a machine that’s a firm favourite with the buying public. It makes for a great workhorse as well as a comfortable daily driver no matter if your roads are back and forth to the city or along winding farm roads. There are enough options to make the interior a place you actually might want to spend time in, and the optional rear entertainment package can keep passengers as quiet as the rest of the cabin on longer trips. The choice is tough though, there are great offerings from Ford, GMC and even Toyota and Nissan, but the closest competition makes for the hardest choice because it comes from Chevrolet too and also wears the Silverado badge.