2016 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Review
Pros & Cons
- Impressive hauling and towing capabilities
- refined and quiet ride
- strong diesel engine
- available CNG fueling for regular V8
- solid build quality.
- Limited availability of telescoping steering column.
Edmunds' Expert Review
The 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD is a fully modern heavy-duty pickup truck with serious strength and a surprisingly refined demeanor.
Following a full redesign last year, the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD burnishes its appeal with some features that make this workhorse feel like less work to drive. There's a newly available Digital Steering Assist system, for example, that adapts the power assist to different driving scenarios. Chevrolet has also added an intermediate infotainment option in the form of a 7-inch MyLink touchscreen that mirrors the features of last year's premium 8-inch system (which remains available). Moreover, both touchscreens receive Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality for full smartphone integration.
The 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD is just at home in the city as it is out at the ranch.
Unchanged, thankfully, is the Silverado 2500HD's pleasant driving character. This big rig is unexpectedly smooth and quiet on the road. Moreover, it offers a pair of outstanding engines that can really haul the mail, whether you choose the gasoline (or bi-fuel) V8 or the monstrous turbodiesel V8. Throw in a nicely appointed interior and you've got a remarkably well-rounded vehicle, especially by the traditionally utilitarian standards of this segment.
In a class where every entrant is built to move mountains, the competition is predictably fierce, including the Ford F-250 Super Duty and the Ram 2500. Both of these beasts offer gasoline and diesel engine options, as well as competitive payload and towing capabilities. With the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 2500's fundamental goodness and added equipment, however, it's a more attractive choice than ever for shoppers who need this kind of strength.
2016 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD models
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 offer either a standard bed (6.5 feet) or a long bed. If you're looking for a truck with a dual rear axle ("dually"), you'll want to check out the beefed-up Silverado 3500HD. Trim levels start at the base WT (Work Truck), step up to the midlevel LT and LTZ and top out at the upscale High Country.
The Silverado 2500HD's available MyLink touchscreen interface adds a contemporary touch to this beast of burden.
Standard equipment for the regular-cab WT trim includes chrome bumpers, 17-inch steel wheels, an auto-locking rear differential, rubberized floors, vinyl upholstery, a 40/20/40-split front bench with a fold-down center armrest, power door locks, manual crank windows, cruise control, a tilt-only steering wheel, a 4.2-inch central display and a four-speaker audio system with a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack. The double- and crew-cab WT models get six speakers as standard.
The LT trim adds those optional infotainment features plus an upgraded 8-inch touchscreen, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, tinted rear windows, a remote-locking EZ-lift/lower tailgate, remote keyless entry, full power accessories, cloth upholstery, carpeting, a CD player and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.
Above the LT, the LTZ trim includes 18-inch chrome alloy wheels, foglights, power-folding mirrors, a 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 tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a 110-volt power point.
At the top of the ladder, the High Country adds several luxury touches, including front and rear parking sensors, a unique grille, 6-inch chrome side-assist steps, cargo box tie-downs, a spray-on bedliner, a navigation system, wireless phone charging, heated and ventilated front seats, upgraded leather upholstery and a Bose audio system.
Some features on the upper trims can be added to the lower trims as options. Other extras, depending on trim, include a hard or soft tonneau cover, a sunroof, a Driver Alert package (includes the front and rear parking sensors plus lane-departure warning, forward collision alert and a safety alert driver seat), power-adjustable pedals and a rear-seat entertainment system. The Z71 Off-Road package comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, hill descent control, a transfer-case skid plate, specially tuned shock absorbers, a different front stabilizer bar, a trim-specific gauge cluster and unique Z71 styling flourishes.
Performance & mpg
The Silverado 2500HD's base engine is a 6.0-liter V8 making 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque, while the optional 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 makes 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are paired with six-speed automatic transmissions, though the turbodiesel gets a stouter Allison 1000 unit.
When the beefy turbodiesel V8 is specified, an exhaust-brake function is included for enhanced engine-braking capability.
Buyers can add a bi-fuel option to the 6.0-liter engine, allowing it to run on gasoline or clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG). However, CNG power output drops to 301 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque.
All models come standard with rear-wheel drive and offer four-wheel drive as an option. Properly equipped, the Silverado 2500HD can haul up to 3,534 pounds and tow up to 18,000 pounds. Although these numbers vary slightly from last year, they are a reflection of newly adopted SAE standards and not any updated hardware.
These trucks clearly aren't built for speed, but at the Edmunds test track, a diesel-powered Silverado 2500HD LTZ Crew Cab 4WD hit 60 mph from a standing start in 6.6 seconds. That's very quick for a heavy-duty pickup.
Standard safety features for the Silverado 2500HD include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control (with trailer sway control), front and front-side airbags and side curtain airbags. All trims above WT also come with 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 (parking sensors plus lane-departure warning, forward-collision alert and a safety alert seat).
In Edmunds brake testing, the above-mentioned turbodiesel Silverado 2500HD LTZ Crew Cab 4WD came to a stop from 60 mph in 135 feet, which is about average.
Having driven the 2016 Silverado 2500HD over many miles of city streets and highways, we give it top marks for 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 that's splitting hairs considering how quiet and serene the cabin is overall. Even if you opt for the larger diesel engine, the distinctive clatter from under the hood is never obnoxious.
The Z71 Off-Road package gives the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD a formidable off-road skillset.
Around turns, the big truck's steering has a light, precise feel, and body roll is decently controlled. Negotiating a multi-point turn can require a lot of wheel work, but the variable Digital Steering Assist system (available on all except the WT) can help make such situations easier to navigate. 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; nonetheless, the truck still rides pretty agreeably when it's unladen.
The Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD's cabin is considerably more modern and pleasant than before thanks to a redesign in 2015. Materials quality is satisfactory, and the gauge cluster's crisp graphics make it easy to read day or night. Switchgear is generally sized and placed well, while nice large grab handles along the front window pillars help with ingress and egress. The top High Country trim level adds exclusive saddle brown leather and handsome accent stitching atop the dash for a cabin that blurs the line between business and luxury.
If you want an upscale interior in your heavy-duty truck, the 2016 Silverado 2500HD obliges with available leather upholstery and a host of convenience items.
The 4.2-inch color information display located between the tachometer and the speedometer is intuitive to navigate, though the WT trim makes do with a monochromatic 3.5-inch display. On the center stack, both the 7-inch and 8-inch MyLink touchscreens include intuitive menu structures and plenty of features.
The seats up front are amply sized, supportive and fairly comfortable. However, the lack of a telescoping steering wheel in the WT trim (it's optional on LT and standard on higher trims) may make it harder for some people to find an ideal driving position. In the four-door crew cab model, passengers need not argue about who sits up front, as the rear cabin provides ample space along with solid leg and back support.