Full 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Review
What's New for 2014
For 2014, the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD lineup drops the extended cab body style.
Choosing among the mainstays in the heavy-duty pickup truck segment can be tough, but in a good way. They are all solid choices and probably all have quite a bit more capability than you'll likely ever need. As such, your decision may be heavily influenced by your styling preference or brand loyalty.
For those who fly the bowtie flag, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD neatly splits the difference between the 1500 light-duty pickup and the 3500HD ultra-heavy-duty workhorse (which can be had in a dual-rear-wheel configuration). Those considering the Chevy 2500HD have plenty of variety as far as powertrains and options go. Whether you want a basic, utilitarian work truck or a plush, six-passenger tow vehicle for your luxury RV or horse trailer, there's a rig for your needs here. Indeed, with a maximum towing capacity approaching 18,000 pounds, this Silverado should be able to handle most tasks with ease.
One other interesting aspect about the Silverado 2500HD is its option to use either traditional gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG) to power its 6.0-liter V8. Given America's increasing natural gas production, this engine option is perhaps even more compelling this year. But this flexibility comes at a cost beyond the considerable price of this option. You see, the natural gas tank is mounted in the bed, using up about as much space as a large cross-bed toolbox and thus reducing payload capacity.
Apples to apples, the 2014 Ford F-250 Super Duty matches the Chevy (or its twin, the GMC Sierra 2500) in just about every regard, while the updated 2014 Ram 2500 has an edge thanks to its more powerful V8 and a new, smoother-riding rear suspension. Both have newer interior technology features as well. But as we said earlier, you really can't go wrong with any of these trucks, and the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD earns our praise for its compliant suspension, smooth powertrains and strong overall performance.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD is offered in regular cab and crew cab body styles with a choice of two- or four-wheel drive. The regular cab is only available with a long bed (8 feet), while the crew cabs can be mated to either a standard bed (6.5 feet) or a long bed. Trim levels start at the base Work Truck, step up to midlevel LT and then top out at the upscale LTZ, though the LTZ is not available with a regular cab. Unlike its 3500 big brother, the Silverado 2500HD is not available with a dual-rear-wheel (DRW or "dually") axle.
The Work Truck or WT trim is equipped exactly as its name implies. Rather than carpeting, it has a rubber floor covering, dark vinyl upholstery, a 40/20/40-split front bench with a fold-down center armrest, 17-inch steel wheels, a tilt steering wheel and, depending on the cab style, a four- or six-speaker AM/FM stereo.
The LT trim adds alloy wheels, tinted rear windows, keyless entry, full power accessories, carpeting, cloth seats with a locking storage console, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, driver-side lumbar adjustments, cruise control, OnStar, satellite radio and a CD player. Many of the LT features are available on the Work Truck as options.
The LTZ trim adds 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, an automatic locking rear differential, a heavy-duty trailering package (with integrated trailer brake controller), dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote ignition, leather upholstery, heated front seats, eight-way power front bucket seats (with power lumbar), driver memory settings, a front center console, Bluetooth and an upgraded Bose stereo system with a USB port. Some of these features are available as options for the LT.
Additional options for the LT and LTZ models include 20-inch wheels, different axle ratios, an aluminum bed extender, a protective bedliner, a sliding or stationary tool box, a cargo rail, a sliding bed divider, a sunroof, power-sliding rear window, power-adjustable pedals, rear parking sensors, the EZ-lift tailgate, a navigation system, a rearview camera and a rear-seat entertainment system. Also available for 4WD models is the Off-Road Suspension package (Z71) that includes skid plates, specially tuned shock absorbers and a different front stabilizer bar. The Z71 Appearance package adds a body-colored grille surround and lower fascia, chrome mesh grille and 18-inch polished alloy wheels.
Powertrains and Performance
The standard power plant for the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD is a 6.0-liter V8 backed by a six-speed automatic. This engine is rated at 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. Buyers can add a bi-fuel option, allowing the truck to run on either gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG). When operating with CNG, power output drops to 301 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque.
An optional turbocharged 6.6-liter diesel V8 is the favored engine choice for those who plan on towing or hauling on a regular basis. It produces 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a beefier six-speed automatic transmission. In Edmunds performance testing of a mechanically identical GMC Sierra 2500HD with this engine, we recorded a 0-60 time of just 7 seconds, which is quick for a heavy-duty pickup.
Rear-wheel drive is standard for all models, with four-wheel drive optional.
Properly equipped, a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD can haul up to 3,670 pounds of payload (4,212 pounds when equipped with a special high-payload Performance package). It can tow up to 13,000 pounds with its standard ball hitch and 17,800 pounds with a fifth-wheel connection.
Standard safety features on the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, trailer sway control and hill-start control. Driver and front passenger airbags are standard, with front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags optional in all models, as are rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. OnStar subscriptions include automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and stolen vehicle assistance.
In government crash tests, the Silverado 2500HD crew cab received an overall score ranging from two to four stars out of a possible five. The highest scores were earned by models fitted with the optional front-seat side and side curtain airbags.
In Edmunds brake testing, the mechanically identical GMC Sierra 2500HD came to a stop from 60 mph in 144 feet, which is a long distance, but typical for a heavy-duty truck.
Interior Design and Special Features
Chevy offers two different dash configurations on the 2014 Silverado 2500. The WT and LT design is simpler and includes dual gloveboxes, while the LTZ offers more of a luxury SUV feel that flows down to a center console and features wood-grain trim. It's also sleeker on the passenger side, with a single glovebox.
The WT remains very utilitarian, with easy-to-clean rubber flooring and vinyl upholstery. The LT offers a more inviting cabin with cloth seating and floor carpeting, but both models come standard with a three-person front bench seat -- hence the more trucklike dash. The LTZ features leather-stitched bucket seats as standard.
The front seats are supportive and comfortable, though some drivers might find the driving position a bit awkward because of the tilt-only steering wheel (it's too close to the dash), while the gas and brake pedals are far apart in order to accommodate work boots. We're also not particularly fond of the small and fussy buttons on the center stack found in the higher trim levels.
The crew cab features a fold-up rear seat that allows some taller items to be carried within the cabin. It also provides decent room for those seated in back, although it still falls short on most passenger space dimensions when compared with the competition.
When stacked up against the heavy-duty trucks from Ford and Ram, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD stands out with its smooth ride, confident steering response and tight turning circle. We also like the authoritative yet soft-spoken acceleration provided by the diesel V8. Performance on mountain roads is quite responsive, as the transmission offers well-timed shifts, while the diesel exhaust brake helps maintain a steady ride down steep grades.