Not a looker, but hugely capable.
The Silverado HD is entering its fifth year since its last redesign, but thanks to the comprehensive engine and chassis updates it received in 2011, it remains one of the most capable heavy-duty trucks on the road. The HD’s Duramax 6.6-liter, twin-turbocharged diesel V-8 produces 397 hp and an incredible 765 lb-ft of torque; it comes equipped with an integrated exhaust brake that, through a complex network of sensors, allows the use of cruise control while trailering a load. To handle the engine’s massive torque, the turbo-diesel is fitted to an Allison six-speed automatic transmission. For added versatility and safety, the transmission includes a function that allows the driver to select gears manually depending on driving conditions. The Silverado HD can be had with a bifuel-compatible or standard 6.0-liter V-8, with two- or four-wheel drive, and in 2500HD (three-quarter-ton) and 3500HD (one-ton) flavors. The Silverado 2500HD extended cab can be optioned with a natural gas fuel system that allows it to run on gasoline or compressed natural gas. The interior is where the big Chevy falls short: it lacks the cohesive design and materials quality of the class-leading Ram HD or the Ford Super Duty. For the most part, though, heavy-duty trucks are judged by capability and performance, and the Silverado HD lacks neither.
Ford F-series Super Duty
GMC Sierra Heavy Duty
Ram Heavy Duty
new for 2013
A bifuel version of the 6.0-liter V-8 and a natural gas fuel system are newly available on 2500HD extended-cab models. Silverado 3500HD chassis cab and pickup-box-delete models can now be optioned with the V-8 turbo-diesel. Ruby red metallic and blue topaz metallic exterior colors have been added for 2013.
ABS and front air bags are standard. Side and side curtain air bags are standard on 2500HD models. A tire-pressure monitoring system and stability and traction control are standard on single-rear-wheel HDs, and electronic trailer-sway control and hill-start assist are included to aid in towing. A backup camera is optional.
Long list of mobile-office options
Single-rear-wheel model can tow 17,000 pounds
Interior falls short of competitors
Base Price Range: $30,295–$44,980
DRIVE: Rear-wheel, 4-wheel
TRIM LEVELS: WT, LT, LTZ
BODY STYLE: Pickup, 2- to 6-passenger
ENGINES: 6.0L V-8, 301/360 hp, 333/380 lb-ft (CNG/gasoline)
6.6L turbo-diesel V-8, 397 hp, 765 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
CAPACITIES: Towing 9300–21,700 lb; payload 2765–6635 lb