Though "HD" is a fixture in our digital-age parlance, rest assured that the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD does not, in fact, involve a television. In this case we're talking about the old-fashioned meaning of HD: "Heavy Duty." The Silverado 2500HD is a true workhorse meant for big-league towing and hauling tasks, even if the latest model does offer an HD-quality 8-inch touchscreen.
Indeed, the current-generation Silverado 2500HD has easily the nicest interior yet. For years, Chevy trucks were rebuked for their lackluster cabins filled with hard plastics and poor fit and finish, but this criticism now only applies to earlier 2500HD models. Nonetheless, it will always be this truck's durability and tremendous workaday capabilities that keep generations of Chevy loyalists coming back to the gold bowtie. For an intermediate heavy-duty pickup, new or used, it's hard to go wrong with the Silverado 2500HD.
Current Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
The current Silverado 2500HD has been redesigned for the 2015 model year. It borrows its vastly improved interior from the latest Silverado 1500; similarly, its numerous new features and revised exterior styling are inspired by its lighter-duty sibling. Like the previous 2500HD, the current model is available in regular-, extended- or crew cab body styles, with a long or short cargo box and rear- or four-wheel drive. Note that the extended cab is now known as the "double cab" and employs four conventional doors (like a smaller crew cab) rather than the former reverse-opening rear doors.
The powertrain options carry over from the previous generation, meaning a 6.0-liter V8 with 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque comes standard. As before, a "bi-fuel" option allows this V8 to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), with CNG output dropping to 301 hp and 333 lb-ft. Either way, a six-speed automatic transmission handles the shifting. The available diesel engine is the familiar 6.6-liter Duramax V8 (397 hp, 765 lb-ft), paired with an exclusive Allison six-speed automatic.
The double and crew cab body styles are offered in three trim levels -- Work Truck, LT and LTZ -- while the regular cab can only be had in Work Truck and LT trims. In terms of standard equipment, the Work Truck gets a few unprecedented perks, such as cloth upholstery, cruise control and an audio system with a 4.2-inch color display and USB connectivity. It also continues to provide basics like a front bench seat, steel wheels, a tilt-only steering wheel and air-conditioning. The LT adds alloy wheels, tinted glass, heated power mirrors, an "EZ-Lift and Lower" tailgate, OnStar, MyLink smartphone integration, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker CD audio system with satellite radio. The LTZ boasts larger wheels, foglights, extended chrome trim, an automatic locking rear differential, a power-sliding rear window, towing preparation, leather upholstery (with optional power front bucket seats), heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera and an 8-inch MyLink touchscreen.
As usual, some of the fancier standard features can be added to lower trims as options. Other extras include power-adjustable pedals, front and rear parking sensors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a heated steering wheel, Bose audio and the Z71 Off-Road package with special suspension components. A new offering is the High Country package, which emulates high-end rival models with saddle-brown leather and basically every premium feature in the order guide. The 2500HD also gains high-tech safety options like lane-departure warning and forward-collision alert.
With its carryover engines, the latest Silverado 2500HD offers only incremental progress on the towing and hauling fronts. Of course, the previous model was already an absolute beast, so it makes sense that Chevy would focus on other areas. In particular, the interior is a revolutionary improvement -- even the Work Truck dashboard looks respectable now, while the LTZ's leather trim and 8-inch touchscreen would do a luxury SUV proud. We used to bag on the 2500HD for its chintzy cabin, but now it's fully competitive in this respect. We also like the new double cab with its four normal doors; it's a "Why didn't they think of that before?" kind of idea. Throw in the epic, time-tested Duramax diesel, and you've got an all-around winner that's hard to beat. Things change quickly in this segment, though, so be sure to keep tabs on the latest from Ford and Ram as well.
Read the most recent 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD page.