The Silverado 2500HD is the entry-level model in Chevrolet's heavy-duty pickup lineup. Like the larger 3500HD model, it sits on a fully-boxed frame that is crafted out of high-strength steel, making it a qualified candidate for the toughest jobs out there.
The 2500HD stretches 225, 240.2 or 259.1 inches long depending on the selected body style. All versions are 80 inches wide, and height ranges from 77.6 to 78.1 inches. The tough appearance created by the imposing dimensions is accented by a power-dome hood, a wide grille and chromed bumpers on both ends. Numerous 17-, 18- and 20-inch wheels are available to finish off the look.
Under the skin, the truck boasts rear leaf springs and an independent front suspension that has a 6,000-pound front axle rating thanks in part to strong forged steel upper control arms and cast iron lower control arms. The system improves handling and ride quality while increasing strength for front end attachments such as a snow plow.
The regular cab 2500HD has room for three passengers and the crew cab can carry up to six adults. Access to the rear seat is facilitated by a set of doors that open at a 170-degree angle.
Although undeniably designed as a work vehicle, the HD packs an elegant and functional interior that features imitation wood trim on the dash and on the center console, USB connectivity and an easy to read instrument cluster consisting of six analog gauges. Navigation, mobile wifi and SiriusXM radio are available at an extra cost, but Chevrolet's touch screen-based MyLink infotainment system has yet to enter the world of heavy-duty pickups.
Under the hood
The 2500HD comes standard with a gasoline-burning 6.0-liter V8 engine that makes 360 horsepower and 380 lb-ft. of torque. Linked to a six-speed automatic gearbox, the truck sends power to a 4.10 rear axle that enables it to tow up to 13,000 pounds. Four-wheel drive and a gas-saving 3.73 axle are found on the list of options.
Buyers can opt for a modified version of the 6.0-liter V8 that is capable of running on either compressed natural gas (CNG) or gasoline thanks to hardened valve and valve seats. The mill makes just 301 horsepower and 333 lb-ft. of torque when running exclusively on CNG.
The second optional engine is a 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8 that churns out 397 horsepower and massive 765 lb-ft. of torque. The oil-burner is linked to a heavy-duty six-speed automatic gearbox built by transmission expert Allison, enabling it to safely tow 13,000 pounds when properly equipped. The mill can run on B20 biodiesel without requiring any modifications. Like the 6.0-liter V8, the 6.6-liter diesel sends power to the rear wheels unless the buyer pays extra for four-wheel drive.
Trim level breakdown
The Silverado 2500HD is available in WT (Work Truck), LT and LTZ trims.
Largely aimed at commercial and fleet buyers, WT includes a single-zone manual air conditioning system, a front beach seat, an AM/FM stereo linked to four speakers, vinyl upholstery, cruise control, two 12-volt power outlets on the center console and black exterior mirrors.
Upgrading to LT adds a MP3-compatible stereo, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, GM's OnStar system and premium Bose speakers
Range-topping LTZ adds a remote starter, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity and adjustable bucket seats up front.
Only available on LT and LTZ models, the Z71 package adds 18-inch forged polished aluminum wheels, all-terrain tires, skid plates, front fog lights, body-colored mirrors and door handles, body-colored bumpers and model-specific decals.
Standard safety features include dual front airbags in addition to electronic traction and stability control systems and a tire pressure monitoring system. Side-curtain airbags and a rear-view camera are optional.
A trailer-sway control system automatically intervenes to bring the trailer under control and keep it on its intended path, while a hill-start assist system holds the brakes for 1.5 seconds (or until the gas pedal is pressed) when the vehicle is stopped on a hill with a 5-percent or greater grade.
2500HDs powered by the Duramax turbodiesel engine feature an exhaust brake that uses the turbo's turbine control to generate back pressure, enabling the drive to slow the truck without applying the brakes. This prolongs the life of the brake system's numerous components and helps prevent overheating.
Heavy-duty, full-size pickup alternatives to the Silverado 2500HD include the Ford F-250 Super Duty and the Ram 2500 in addition to the Silverado's mechanical twin, the GMC Sierra 2500HD.