For the ninth anniversary of V&R, I began doing some clean up on the site. As I was updating the older articles to the new web template, I came across the first pickup truck I ever reviewed.
This was no ordinary pickup truck. It was a heavy-duty beast – a three-quarter-ton crew cab 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD. Instead of giving it a typical review, I wanted to explore what it is like to “live” with this beast in the urban/inner ring suburban setting I reside in and work in. It wasn’t easy, but, hey, mission accomplished, right?
Since then, I had my share of heavy-duty pickup trucks from the Detroit Three. The summation I have made over time is that the typical owner either use these trucks for work or trailering. They are designed as intended because they have the capacity to do so.
Last year, I received both of General Motors' newest heavy-duty pickups – the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and the GMC Sierra 2500HD. Both are three-quarter-ton models with excellent capacity. However, they came in with different trims and purpose.
We already covered the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD AT4 with its Duramax diesel and off-road-ready stance. But, I have not delved into the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD that came afterward.
As you can tell, this is the complete opposite of the Sierra 2500HD AT4. This Silverado 2500HD is a work truck with the gasoline engine. Yes, a gasser.
Before we talk about the gas engine, I should go through my thoughts on this work-ready Silverado 2500HD.
First off, this is the Custom trim level – second from the bottom. The differences between it, the Work Truck and the LT are in the grille, the badging and cabin. My Custom tester had the black grille inserts, but a body color painted horizontal bar with the name Chevrolet stamped into it.
You can say that the heavy duty Silverado has presence no matter what trim it has. There are parts of the cab and bed that share with the half-ton versions of the same truck. The big difference is in the frame, which is lighter than the previous generation model, but stronger. The ride height is also a visible difference – standing taller for more robust tires to be used on this truck for greater capacity and capability. For the sake of scale, this particular Silverado 2500HD is not at the level where Gabriel Iglesias would say “DAMN!”
Over the years, the pickup trucks I received have been mostly at or near the top of the line trim. It is always refreshing to get into a truck that are made for humble folks, like myself. Granted, the Custom cabin is a bit spartan, except for a few luxuries. Those luxuries include cloth seating, carpeting, remote keyless entry, and cruise control.
The layout of the instrument panel is about the same as the GMC, except for the smaller information screen with a stalk-controlled dial, more readable dials, and the smaller infotainment screen. Materials are also more industrial strength plastic, which is of decent quality.
Up front is a cloth 40/20/40 seat. The middle section can be folded down as a center storage console. I like the comfort of the front outboard seats and they did a good job keeping me focused on the road. Rear seat room is excellent with great leg and headroom. In all, you can seat six, but five would be best.
On the Silverado HD, the standard engine is the aforementioned gasser. This new 6.6-liter V8 starts off with 464 pound-feet of torque, which is adequate to haul 3,760 pounds worth of work in the box. In this Custom model, the tow rating is at 16,650 pounds. A six-speed automatic transmission is connected to this new engine, with a two-speed part time transfer case powering all four wheels.
While I had an adequate amount of power, I turned in disappointing fuel economy. All told, I averaged 13.2 MPG.
A basic heavy duty pickup should ride like one. This is not the case in the Silverado 2500HD. It is firm, but absorbent over rougher road surfaces. Cornering needs some care, as the truck needs a slower speed to even out the load. Then again, a truck person would know that – right? Still, it behaves very well in tight maneuvers, which will help non-truck people manage this three-quarter ton truck when doing a home improvement center run.
Speaking of which, the steering system is on the heavier side of things. While it can do tight maneuvers, you have to work a bit harder to do so at the wheel. Once on the highway, the steering feels relaxed and on-center.
The best part about this Silverado 2500HD is the brakes. The stopping power is superb from the pedal to the wheels. Normal stops are much surer than any of its competitors.
Pricing for the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD starts at $36,500. That gives you a Work Truck in a Double Cab, a Standard box, the gasoline engine with just two-wheel-drive. The sticker price of my Custom Crew cab tester came to $48,420. You read that right – a three-quarter ton truck under $50,000.
Before you consider buying this truck for our own purpose, let me address the elephant in the room. This is a truck that will serve businesses than the rest of us. From contractors to farm implement service staff, this Silverado 2500HD Custom has all you need to get the job done.
For the rest of us, we may want to look at a higher trim package for more creature comforts, trailer technology, and the bells and whistles a work-grade truck does not have. Watch your final price, however. Oh, and make sure you have a use for a very expensive heavy duty pickup truck with everything your heart desires – and a lot of capacity.
Overall, Chevrolet has produced another great heavy duty pickup that is built for purpose. In these times of social distancing and self quarantine,you can even say that this is the right work truck to do your essential job in – that is, if your job calls for a big truck like this.
DISCLAIMER: Vehicle provided by General Motors
All photos by Randy Stern