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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
a true workhorse meant for big-league power
predictably poor fuel economy
Car and Driver
surprisingly pleasant, easy to drive
The 2008 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD provides enough brute strength for any towing or hauling task with either its standard V-8 or its optional Duramax diesel.
“A 6.0-liter V8 making 353 horsepower and 373 pound-feet of torque and matched to a six-speed automatic transmission is standard on all Silverado 2500HD trucks,” Edmunds reports. “Optional is the burly Duramax 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8, which boasts 365 hp and 660 lb-ft of torque.” According to ConsumerGuide, the "turbodiesel gets the nod for towing and heavy hauling thanks to its massive 660 lb-ft torque." Popular Mechanics makes note of the "6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel option, which packs 365 hp and a gravity-altering 660 lb.-ft. of torque paired to an Allison six-speed automatic." With the diesel, “the 2500HD can haul up to 3,458 pounds and tow up to 13,000 pounds,” Edmunds adds.
The editors from TheCarConnection.com have experienced the power of the Duramax diesel in the Silverado HD. Matched to the heavy-duty Allison six-speed transmission, the power seems never ending--like Niagara Falls. The gearbox is especially good, with smooth shifts. Edmunds reports that the diesel’s "standard Allison six-speed automatic is well-suited for towing and hauling large loads." ConsumerGuide states that "a manual transmission is no longer available" for the 2008 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD. However, "buyers can choose rear-wheel drive or one of two 4-wheel-drive systems with low-range gearing."
Such brute strength does not come cheap in terms of energy; Car and Driver warns of "predictably poor fuel economy." ConsumerGuide reports that 2008 Chevy Silverado HD "test results for previous models suggest overall averages of 14-16 mpg for turbodiesel versions, 10-12 mpg for gas models," adding that "GMC recommends regular-grade fuel for the gas V8."
Despite its massive size, Car and Driver praises its "great handling...an amazingly smooth ride even without a payload...the Chevrolet Silverado HD tows heavy loads like they're filled with helium." Cars.com says this is most likely because "coil springs have replaced torsion bars in the front suspension, and the recirculating-ball steering has given way to the lighter, simpler and more precise rack-and-pinion design." ConsumerGuide considers the 2008 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD "tops for comfort among heavy-duty trucks," adding that "brakes furnish stable, relatively short stops with fine pedal feel."
The 2008 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD is capable of handling titanic loads, yet drives like a smaller truck.