The 2500 and 3500 have a standard 6.0-liter V8 engine, though a 6.6-liter turbo-diesel V8 is available. All Silverados come with a heavy-duty 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2500 and 3500 can be had as either a regular, extended or crew cab, with a standard or long bed, and two- or 4-wheel drive. Dual rear wheels are available on some models. There are several trim levels, depending on which basic set up is selected, including WT, LT and LTZ.
The standard engine is a 6.0L V8 engine that is capable of 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. A 6.6L turbo-diesel engine capable of 365 horsepower and 660 pound-feet of torque is also available. With the diesel engine, the trucks are capable of towing 13,000 lbs.
Some features cross all Silverado lines, such as driver and passenger air bags, 4-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock brakes and tire pressure monitoring. GM's OnStar system is standard on the LT trim and better. It includes crash response, roadside assistance and remote door unlock services. There are two suspension packages available for the 2500: the Z85 handling and trailering suspension and the Z71 off-road package, which adds high-performance shocks and a bigger stabilizer bar.
Whether equipment is available or standard depends on which truck you're looking at. Pretty much anything you'd want in a pickup is available on a Silverado -- power everything, remote keyless entry, heated mirrors, privacy glass, bed liner, front tow hooks and chrome or aluminum wheels. Navigation is available as is rear-seat entertainment for the crew cab models. Heated power seats are available, as is cruise control, sunroof and a rear window defogger.
High-tech touches such as a rearview camera and rear parking assist are optional, too, and would probably come in handy on a big truck like the Silverado. MP3-compatible stereo with XM satellite radio can be found on some models and a Bose system with USB interface is available.
SUVs aren't the only ever-growing cars consumers are obsessed with -- pickup trucks are a part of that fray, too. But a heavy-duty truck, like the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 at the center of this review, is not a truck you buy for stuff like that. This is the pickup you pick up when you need to live the real-deal truck-stuff life, pulling horse trailers or assembling lumber to raise a whole barn. If in the course of your cowboy cosplay, you decide you want to move beyond the 1500s and up to this tier of truck without actually needing to, you'll be doing yourself -- and everyone around you on the road -- a disservice.
Equipped with my tester's 6.6-liter V8, which puts out 401 horsepower and 464 pound-feet of torque, the Silverado 2500 can pull up to 17,400 pounds. Upgrade to the 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V8, which puts out 445 hp and 910 lb-ft, and that figure will rise to a whopping 35,500 pounds., former reviews editor Jon Wong praised the Duramax's effortless hauling ability, but he pointed out that the 6.6-liter gas V8 really had to huff to keep the pace. As it turns out, GM estimates some 70% of buyers will drop the coin on the diesel, so my tester's V8 will largely end up with fleet purchasers and not single consumers, making this not that big of an issue.
Chevrolet also has a bunch of new tech reinforcing the Silverado HD's newfound capabilities. Equipped in the right way, the Silverado HD can show up to 15 different camera angles on the infotainment screen, including an "invisible trailer" mode that stitches camera feeds together to show the driver what's happening behind the trailer itself. An additional trailering app can monitor tire pressures and lights for trailers or water tank levels and HVAC for recreational vehicles.
The Good ~ Will tow a house ~ Solid standard infotainment ~ Commanding driving position
The Bad ~ Is the size of a house ~ Lacks standard features ~ Middling interior
The Bottom Line If you're regularly towing north of 10,000 pounds, the Silverado 2500 is ready to rumble, but make no bones about it, this truck is for work and not play.
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