Full 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Review
What's New for 2015
Redesigned for 2015, the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD offers an improved interior, updated styling, new safety features and a new double-cab body style.
Riding a wave of praise for the redesigned Silverado light-duty pickup, Chevrolet follows up with its revamped 2015 Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD heavy-duty pickups. The same interior upgrades found in the 1500 migrate to the big workhorses. Chief among these improvements are higher-quality cabin materials, larger touchscreens to control entertainment and hands-free phone functions, new sophisticated safety features and a quieter cabin.
The heavy-duty trucks share the same square-jawed exterior poise seen on their light-duty counterparts. A new, roomier double cab model with conventional front-hinged doors replaces the former extended cab and joins regular and crew cab configurations. The new heavy-duty pickup also offers 6.5- and 8-foot bed lengths, although regular cab models are available only with the long bed. Loading and accessing cargo in those beds is eased via bumper corner steps and the EZ Lift and Lower tailgate.
Engine selections carry over from the previous generation, meaning up to 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque worth of diesel-powered grunt are available to handle most anything you could throw at this truck. Properly equipped, the Silverado 2500HD can haul up to 3,760 pounds and tow up to 17,900 pounds. And features such as integrated cruise control, automatic grade braking, trailer sway control and, on diesels, diesel exhaust braking all help make towing smoother and easier.
The heavy-duty pickup segment has become as hotly contested as "The World's Strongest Man" competition. In addition to their ability to perform heroic feats of brute strength, these trucks provide levels of comfort and refinement unheard of years ago. The 2015 Ford F-250 Super Duty and the Ram 2500 are also worth a good look. Within that select group, the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 stands proud and deserves consideration from consumers looking for one of these very capable workhorses.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD is offered in regular cab, double cab and crew cab body styles with a choice of two- or four-wheel drive. The regular cab is available only with a long bed (8 feet), while the double cab and crew cab models 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 regular cab Work Truck, or WT, trim comes with chrome bumpers, 17-inch steel wheels, rubber floor covering, a choice of cloth or vinyl upholstery, a 40/20/40-split front bench with a fold-down center armrest, power door locks, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel, a 4.2-inch color display and a four-speaker audio system with USB/iPod integration and an auxiliary audio jack. Double cabs and crew cabs get six speakers as standard.
The LT trim adds alloy wheels, tinted rear windows, an upgraded tailgate, keyless entry, full power accessories, carpeting, Chevy's MyLink interface, smartphone integration, voice controls (cell phones and music), OnStar, a CD player, satellite radio, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The LTZ trim adds 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, power-folding mirrors, an automatic locking rear differential, a heavy-duty trailering package (with integrated trailer brake controller), power-sliding rear window with defogger, a rearview camera, 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 110-volt power point and an upgraded MyLink system with an 8-inch touchscreen.
Some of the extra standard features on the upper trims can be added to the lower trim levels as options. Other option highlights, depending on trim level, include 20-inch wheels, different axle ratios, a protective bedliner, a bed storage box, various tonneau covers, trailering mirrors, a sunroof, a Driver Alert package (includes front and rear parking sensors, lane-departure warning, forward collision alert and a safety alert driver seat), power-adjustable pedals, a telescoping steering column, a navigation system, a Bose audio system, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and a rear-seat entertainment system.
Also available is the Z71 Off-Road package, which includes 18-inch polished alloy wheels, hill descent control, skid plates, specially tuned shock absorbers, a different front stabilizer bar and unique styling tweaks for the grille, bumpers and door sill plates.
Powertrains and Performance
Engine choices start with a 6.0-liter V8 making 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Buyers can add a bi-fuel option to this engine, 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. The optional turbocharged 6.6-liter diesel V8 makes 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque, sent through a beefier six-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive is standard for all models, with four-wheel drive optional.
Properly equipped and depending on body style, the Silverado 2500HD can haul up to 3,760 pounds and tow up to 17,900 pounds with a fifth-wheel hitch.
At the Edmunds test track, a Silverado 2500HD LTZ Crew Cab 4WD with the diesel-powered V8 sprinted from zero to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds. That's impressively quick for a heavy-duty pickup, let alone one that's a crew cab with 4WD.
Standard safety features include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control (with trailer sway control), front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Upper trims also include OnStar (includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation).
Optional safety equipment includes front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and the Driver Alert package (includes lane-departure alert, forward-collision alert, safety alert seat and front and rear park assist).
During Edmunds' testing, a Silverado 2500HD LTZ Crew Cab 4WD came to a stop from 60 mph in 135 feet, which is about average for this segment.
Interior Design and Special Features
The overall quality and design of the latest Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD's cabin is noticeably improved. Materials are of high quality, and the gauge cluster's crisp graphics are a snap to read day or night. The design is attractive, and top trim levels boast handsome accent stitching atop the dash. Frequently used controls, such as those for the radio's volume and tuning as well as those for adjusting the cabin's climate, are large and well-placed.
The central information display located between the tachometer and the speedometer is intuitive to navigate, and its graphics are simple and easily interpreted. On the center stack, both the 4.2- and 8-inch MyLink color infotainment displays feature sophisticated (and in some cases reconfigurable) graphics options. Unfortunately, MyLink can sometimes be slow to respond to your touch inputs.
Seats up front are amply sized, supportive and fairly comfortable. The lack of a telescoping steering wheel option in the WT trim, however, may make it harder for some people to get an ideal driving position. In the crew cab, there's no need to call "shotgun," as the comfortable backseat is well-bolstered and angled appropriately for solid leg and back support.
After driving the 2015 Silverado 2500HD over many miles through city streets, on open highways and in mountainous areas, we give it top marks for its civility. Compared to the Silverado 1500, there's a bit more road noise from the HD's beefier tires and wind noise from its larger mirrors, but it amounts to small potatoes and overall, the cabin is quite serene.
Around turns, the big truck's steering has a light, precise feel, and body roll is decently controlled. Tight maneuvering situations, such as when parking or negotiating a multi-point turn, can take a hefty amount of wheel turning. But this isn't unexpected from a heavy-duty pickup.
Even when towing a 17,000-pound horse trailer, the 2500HD is composed and stable. The beefed-up suspension underpinnings are intended specifically for these kinds of loads, so a bit of mass helps take some of the stiffness out of the ride. Yet even when the truck is unladen, it's still pretty livable.
Also minimizing stress on long trips with a trailer in tow is the Silverado's cruise control system. Linked into the transmission calibration, it does a fine job of holding your target speed as downshifts happen more readily on descents, providing additional engine braking and keeping speed in check.