The Car Connection Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Overview
The Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD is the automaker's full-size, heavy duty pickup truck also available as a one-ton pickup (Silverado 3500HD). Both are related to GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickups.
The Chevy Silverado heavy-duty truck range is powered by a standard 6.6-liter V-8 gasoline engine, or an optionally available 6.6-liter turbodiesel V-8. The Silverado is available in regular, double, or crew cab configurations with rear- or four-wheel drive.
MORE: Read our review of the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
The Silverado is mechanically related to the GMC Sierra HD range, but whereas the GMC heads upmarket in Denali trims, the Chevy version skews more toward professional or fleet buyers willing to trade some creature comforts for a lower price tag.
The Silverado HD competes with the Ford Super Duty lineup, the Ram heavy-duty roster, and perhaps the GMC Sierra HD lineup. It was redesigned for 2020.
The new Chevy Silverado HD
The latest iteration of the Chevrolet Silverado HD series made its debut as a 2020 model year, complete with upgrades to the bed and body, infotainment and advanced driver assistance systems, stiffer high-strength steel, and upgraded power plants.
The only shared sheet metal with the Silverado 1500 is the roof. Silverado HD grows in length, width and height over the outgoing HD generation, adding nearly 3 inches of rear seat leg room in Crew Cab models. Silverado beds in standard (6-foot-9") and long (8 foot) boxes are a bit wider, the corner steps are larger, and new bed steps near the cab and bed make it even easier to get gear in and out. Chevy improves on what it was already good at it with the most spacious cabin and bed in the market. The available trailering technology provides 15 different angles, which makes even first-time haulers feel capable enough. The standard 7.0-inch touchscreen is the only small thing in the truck.
Chevy offered the Silverado HD series with a 6.6-liter V-8 gas engine with 6-speed automatic transmission as standard, or an optional 6.6-liter turbodiesel V-8 with Allison 10-speed transmission. It comes in five trims, topped by the High Country trim with creature comforts and options packages that are not quite as opulent as the GMC Sierra Denali HD models.
The 6.6-liter turbodiesel V-8 with the Allison 10-speed automatic transmission makes 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque at just 1,600 rpm. When equipped with rear-drive dual rear wheels the 3500HD can tow up to 35,500 pounds. The standard 6.6-liter V-8 makes 401 hp and 464 lb-ft of torque can tow 14,500 pounds with a payload capacity of nearly 4,000 pounds in some models.
Chevy Silverado HD history
The Chevy Silverado HD's history reads similarly to the GMC Sierra HD's tale—the two have been mechanically related for more than five decades.
Chevy's heavy-duty truck range goes back longer, but direct predecessors can be traced to the 1960s when Chevy offered "C" and "K" models in 20 and 30 series for three-quarter and one-ton configurations, respectively. The "C" denoted "conventional" trucks that were rear-wheel drive; "K" confusingly stood for "four-wheel drive," which was newly available from the factory.
The next generation of heavy-duty trucks from Chevy still tended to focus on commercial and professional users; no four-door models were offered in the 1970s, and most of the heavy-duty range used a solid front axle when equipped with four-wheel drive.
The third generation of Chevy's heavy-duty lineup carried them all the way into the late 1980s and marked the first appearance of the word "Silverado," which was used on top-trim pickups. Chevy still didn't offer a four-door version of these heavy-duty trucks, although crosstown rival Ford started offering the types around this time.
After 1987, Chevy began offering its heavy-duty trucks with more features including independent front suspension, automatic four-wheel drive, and improved gasoline V-8s.
The C/K moniker was dropped in the late 1990s, and Silverado was introduced in 1998 as the new name for Chevy's trucks.
Three generations of the Silverado have been on sale in the U.S. since 1999, and while light-duty variants have come and gone (performance, hybrid) the heavy-duty range has stayed relatively work focused. The manual transmission was finally quietly killed from the Silverado 3500HD in 2007.