Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.38/5 Average
400 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

Though "HD" is a fixture in our digital-age parlance, rest assured that the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD does not, in fact, involve a television. In this case we're talking about the old-fashioned meaning of HD: "Heavy Duty." The Silverado 2500HD is a true workhorse meant for big-league towing and hauling tasks, even if the latest model does offer an HD-quality 8-inch touchscreen.

Indeed, the current-generation Silverado 2500HD has easily the nicest interior yet. For years, Chevy trucks were rebuked for their lackluster cabins filled with hard plastics and poor fit and finish, but this criticism now only applies to earlier 2500HD models. Nonetheless, it will always be this truck's durability and tremendous workaday capabilities that keep generations of Chevy loyalists coming back to the gold bowtie. For an intermediate heavy-duty pickup, new or used, it's hard to go wrong with the Silverado 2500HD.

Current Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
The current Silverado 2500HD has been redesigned for the 2015 model year. It borrows its vastly improved interior from the latest Silverado 1500; similarly, its numerous new features and revised exterior styling are inspired by its lighter-duty sibling. Like the previous 2500HD, the current model is available in regular-, extended- or crew cab body styles, with a long or short cargo box and rear- or four-wheel drive. Note that the extended cab is now known as the "double cab" and employs four conventional doors (like a smaller crew cab) rather than the former reverse-opening rear doors.

The powertrain options carry over from the previous generation, meaning a 6.0-liter V8 with 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque comes standard. As before, a "bi-fuel" option allows this V8 to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), with CNG output dropping to 301 hp and 333 lb-ft. Either way, a six-speed automatic transmission handles the shifting. The available diesel engine is the familiar 6.6-liter Duramax V8 (397 hp, 765 lb-ft), paired with an exclusive Allison six-speed automatic.

The double and crew cab body styles are offered in three trim levels -- Work Truck, LT and LTZ -- while the regular cab can only be had in Work Truck and LT trims. In terms of standard equipment, the Work Truck gets a few unprecedented perks, such as cloth upholstery, cruise control and an audio system with a 4.2-inch color display and USB connectivity. It also continues to provide basics like a front bench seat, steel wheels, a tilt-only steering wheel and air-conditioning. The LT adds alloy wheels, tinted glass, heated power mirrors, an "EZ-Lift and Lower" tailgate, OnStar, MyLink smartphone integration, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker CD audio system with satellite radio. The LTZ boasts larger wheels, foglights, extended chrome trim, an automatic locking rear differential, a power-sliding rear window, towing preparation, leather upholstery (with optional power front bucket seats), heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera and an 8-inch MyLink touchscreen.

As usual, some of the fancier standard features can be added to lower trims as options. Other extras include power-adjustable pedals, front and rear parking sensors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a heated steering wheel, Bose audio and the Z71 Off-Road package with special suspension components. A new offering is the High Country package, which emulates high-end rival models with saddle-brown leather and basically every premium feature in the order guide. The 2500HD also gains high-tech safety options like lane-departure warning and forward-collision alert.

With its carryover engines, the latest Silverado 2500HD offers only incremental progress on the towing and hauling fronts. Of course, the previous model was already an absolute beast, so it makes sense that Chevy would focus on other areas. In particular, the interior is a revolutionary improvement -- even the Work Truck dashboard looks respectable now, while the LTZ's leather trim and 8-inch touchscreen would do a luxury SUV proud. We used to bag on the 2500HD for its chintzy cabin, but now it's fully competitive in this respect. We also like the new double cab with its four normal doors; it's a "Why didn't they think of that before?" kind of idea. Throw in the epic, time-tested Duramax diesel, and you've got an all-around winner that's hard to beat. Things change quickly in this segment, though, so be sure to keep tabs on the latest from Ford and Ram as well.

Used Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Models
The previous-generation Silverado 2500HD was produced for the 2007-'14 model years with either rear- or four-wheel drive. The standard engine was a 6.0-liter V8 initially rated at 353 hp and 373 lb-ft of torque, while the optional 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V8 made 365 hp and 660 lb-ft. The gas V8 inched up to 360 hp and 380 lb-ft for 2010; meanwhile, the Duramax was overhauled for 2011 with 397 hp and 765 lb-ft. All 2500HD models of this generation were equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission, but the diesel got a stronger one (not that the standard unit was exactly a weakling) with manual shift control.

For 2013 and '14 only, buyers could add a bi-fuel option that allows the 6.0-liter V8 to run on either gasoline or CNG. When operating with CNG, power output drops to 301 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque.

This Silverado 2500HD offered three different cab designs -- regular, extended and crew -- until 2014, when the extended cab was dropped. The extended cab utilized a traditional "clamshell" design with reverse-opening rear doors. There were three trim levels: Work Truck, LT and LTZ. The Work Truck started with basics like manual accessories and vinyl seating, though air-conditioning was also made standard as of 2011. The LT added luxuries like chrome exterior trim, alloy wheels, full power accessories, cruise control, cloth upholstery and upgraded audio, with optional dual-zone automatic climate control and front bucket seats. The fancy LTZ threw in the LT's standard and optional features plus leather upholstery, Bose audio, keyless entry and ignition, an upgraded dashboard, heated power front seats and rear audio controls. Options included a rear-seat entertainment system, a sunroof, a navigation system and the Z71 Off-Road package.

In an Edmunds.com comparison test of heavy-duty pickups, the mechanically identical GMC Sierra HD of this generation came out on top against its Dodge and Ford competitors. Though we found its cabin less inviting than the others, the recently revised frame, suspension and diesel engine proved hard to beat. As such, a used Silverado 2500HD from this era makes for a great used truck. Its capabilities remain formidable, and depreciation can deliver one to your driveway for a fraction of what it cost new.

Even though its appearance remained largely unchanged, this 2500HD saw some significant changes during its run. The 2011 model received a stronger, fully boxed frame, beefier suspension components and additional electronic aids, so that's something to keep in mind when looking at previous years. As noted above, the engines were also updated along the way. Other changes were minor, including an optional rearview camera for 2009 and hard-drive-based functionality for the navigation system in 2011.

The preceding Silverado 2500HD was sold from 2001-'06 in configurations much like those of its successors. It lived on for one additional year in '07 as the "Classic." These trucks came in standard, Work Truck (after 2003), LS and LT trim levels. The standard engine was a 6.0-liter V8 that made 300 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque. There were two optional engines: an 8.1-liter gasoline V8 producing 340 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque and a 6.6-liter turbodiesel producing 300 hp and 520 lb-ft. This diesel was upgraded in 2006 for more power (360 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque), added refinement and fewer emissions. These engines carried over for the Classic.

A five-speed manual transmission was standard with the 6.0-liter V8, with a four-speed automatic optional. The 8.1-liter V8 and the 6.6-liter diesel came with either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic, which became a six-speed for 2006.

As with subsequent Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD models, we were impressed at the time by this generation's powerful engine lineup and substantial towing and hauling abilities. It was a reasonably comfortable truck for everyday use, but it predictably lacked the plush ride of its light-duty siblings. Any of the three available engines will provide capable acceleration and ample towing power, but the diesel V8 is the best choice for those who tow heavy loads -- especially the more powerful Duramax from '06. Our principal beef concerned the subpar interior design, materials and build quality. Chevy improved it gradually during its lifespan, including notable updates for '03, but it was never quite up to snuff.

Prior to this, Chevrolet heavy-duty pickups ran from 1988-2000 and were simply known as the 2500 (3/4-ton) and 3500 (1-ton). In keeping with tradition, one could choose either rear-wheel drive (indicated by a "C", e.g. "C2500") or four-wheel drive (indicated by a "K"). Trim levels for these C/K2500 trucks included the base Cheyenne and top-line Silverado, which changed to base and LS for 1999. Strengths of these trucks include strong, durable powertrains, while weaknesses center on sketchy build quality and materials within the cabin.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 400.00
  • HD-2500 - 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
    By -

    The 2002 Chevrolet HD 2500 is pure pleaseure to drive! I love the raw power it delivers from the 6.0 engine. The interior is roomy,and the layout of the gauges and radio/ CD player is very functional.The interior does not have a inexpensive look as some reviewers state.The paint is very nice, with no orangepeel as with some vehicles. I really like the body style with the raised lines in the hood of the HD's, and the honeycomb grill.The trucks stance is also a plus, riding high above the rest of the traffic on attractive polished aluminum wheels. I have no criticism for the Chevrolet line of trucks.

  • Front end shaking Between 40-50mph - 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
    By -

    Silverado 2500hd diesel 2006. From the day I bought it there was a shaking in the front left side only noticeable between 40/50 mph.They said it was the tires,but have put two new sets on and problem is still there. Seems like a shake in the frame or chasie posiblely,due to lack of weight in the rear end of truck.Can feel it in the wheel and also in the seat while driving.Shaking not as noticable at other speeds but still there.Could be something in the drive shaft also. Looking for some answers.

  • tankers - 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
    By -

    gas mileage could be better,great stereo system,ride quality could be a little softer,a/c could be a little colder.

  • Great truck - 2008 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
    By -

    I chose this model as it could be converted to also use CNG and now I get about 20 mpg (CNG) on the freeway at 65 - 70 mph. With gasoline it would be 3 mpg better but CNG is $1.53/gal I use it in the mountains (+9000 feet) and it just goes anywhere. Upgraded to 285/75/16 tires for a snowplow (clearance) - Plow works fine with the 160 amp alternator. Replaced the catalytic converter in first year but otherwise no problems and I now have 34K miles and 2 years on it. I enjoy driving this truck. Its comfortable and rides easy. I tow a 8000 lb back hoe trailer with ease.

  • No problems - 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
    By -

    Purchased vehicle 2 years old with about 32000 miles. I have had zero problems with the truck. It has fifth wheel for pulling gooseneck trailers. Long bed has plenty of room for large tool box and extra gear. Normally carry 3000-4000lb payloads when needed, it does this effortlessly.

  • 2004 chevy 2500 HD - 2004 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
    By -

    I've owned this truck for almost one year and I am thoughly impressed with it. The only complaints I have beside the poor mileage 6.0 L. motor is that the sheet metal is way too thin. This is supposed to a heavy duty truck! They're great trucks to drive or pull with, but for working out of with guys loading tools in the back and especially over the sides they are too easily dented. The only mechanical issues I've encountered is a irritating wind noise on the passenger side at the windshield and an annoying rattle inside the steering column. I drive off road daily on construction sites and the rattle developed quickly. This the second HD I've had with this problem. But overall a great truck.

  • The Real King Of the Road - 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
    By -

    This is the real deal when it comes to working trucks. It can haul serious heavy loads as well as run like the wind. It does all of this in a Cadillac comfort zone. Keep up the pace Chevy, the'll never catch you..

  • good truck - 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
    By -

    no problems better than any ford ever built

  • Fuel hungry Duramax - 2005 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
    By -

    My '05 crew cab,short box,4x4,Duramax is a pretty good truck, except for the fact that it gets 10-11 mpg @75 mph.Seems all '05's are having this problem while the '02-'04's are enjoying 18-19 mpg.The worst thing is that after spending over $44,000, Chevrolet admitts they have a problem but have no fix and don't seem to be to worried about fixing the problem.

  • Great truck! - 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
    By -

    Does everything as expected. Plenty of power, plenty of room. I am very happy with this truck. Just the typical minor maintenance stuff. It pulls my boat like it's not even there. 13 mpgs isn't bad for a 7000 lb. truck.

Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Reviews By Year:
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