There’s something uniquely American about a big Heavy-Duty Diesel truck. They are robust and able to virtually tow a house. There the muscle behind the force of moving and hauling things in America, and Chevrolet has done justice to make its latest Silverado 2500 HD pickup a force to reckon with when equipped with the Duramax Diesel engine paired with the new Allison 10-speed automatic transmission.
Receiving a redesign last year, the Chevrolet Silverado pickup takes on a literal new face, one that helps differentiate it from its not-so-distant GMC Sierra cousin. Taking such a new approach for a distinctive look may have some having to acquire taste with the new visual aesthetics of the Silverado as it is more chiseled instead of being handsome – in my opinion. However, what really matters is the extreme capability of the Silverado 2500 HD with the Diesel engine. The “extreme” part starts with the monstrous 910 lb-ft of torque from the 6.6-liter V8 Turbo Diesel Duramax engine and its 445 horsepower to keep things in motion.
I’ve had a few brushes with the proven 6.6-liter Diesel engine in many other GM Heavy-Duty trucks. However, when paired with the new Allison 10-speed automatic transmission, there’s more of a seamless transfer of all of that low-end torque. In all, the redesigned Silverado 2500 Duramax Diesel Heavy-Duty truck puts on a smoother show when accelerating, possibly preventing any upsets when towing something seriously heavy out back, as much as 15,400 pounds when properly configured (18,500 pounds max trailering for the 6.6L Diesel 2500HD Crew Cab / up to 36,000 pounds for the 6.6L Diesel WT 3500HD dual-wheels) and just over 3,600 pounds for the payload. Mindful of the GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) of 27,500 pounds, the Diesel 2500HD Crew Cab alone tips the curb weight scale at 7,467 pounds.
Having my Z71 off-road package-equipped test vehicle makes things a little rougher around the edges by incorporating a stiffer unique off-roading suspension setup with Rancho twin tube shocks, skid plates, hill descent control, body-colored front grill, and knobby 17-inch all-terrain tires that all make the ride a big louder and rougher than any other setup of the Silverado. Surprisingly, there’s assured confidence in control of the long wheelbased Silverado 2500HD even if you have to make an extra stop to backup and reposition for those tight maneuvers in parking lots and making U-turns. Of course, out on the road without towing a load you get to enjoy the ample torque of the Silverado 2500HD Diesel where it basically pins you back in your seat. When you’re not making those quick accelerations fuel economy is consistent where I saw around 15.2 mpg around town and as much as 19.4 mpg on the highway.
The cabin of the new Silverado 2500HD is much of what I’ve been accustomed to in modern-day Chevrolets without the forthcoming updates promised. Still, you get a decent 8-inch infotainment touchscreen and user-friendly interface with clear-cut menu sets and features. There’s even the addition of wireless Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay that can also be used through a USB connection – it’s your choice.
The seating areas are large up front with heating and ventilation. The rear seating area is like a couch with the unique storage cubbies embedded in the seatbacks of the two rear outboard heated seats. The spread bed and cab include the proper connections and hookups for a fifth-wheel trailer or gooseneck as well as a handy power outlet to power just about any power tool you can think of. Probably the most interesting part of the cab is the remote released and power lift tailgate, which you can power-close at the touch of a button on the dashboard, keyfob, or directly on the tailgate. Accessing the bed is done mostly the traditional methods but at the aid of integrated sidesteps at the front and rear corners of the bed.
The Chevrolet Silverado has made a new name for itself in the past couple of years as it has increased in sales figures, and rightfully so considering how it provides just the right resources for getting the job done with a pickup truck. The 2500HD Diesel takes things up a notch just before you enter into the category of the 3500HD, and my Z71 off-road package test vehicle offers something unique in a Heavy-Duty truck that can tackle rough terrains and haul a house.
Of course, just like any Heavy-Duty truck from GM with a Diesel engine, you’re going to have to pay to play. The base price of the new 2021 Silverado 2500HD before adding the 6.6-liter Diesel is $53,700. Loading it up with the rumbling torque-monster Diesel, Z71 off-road package, several active safety features (lane departure warning, forward collision warning, side blind zone alert), LED cargo bed lighting, power up/down tailgate, bed view camera system, and the LTZ plus package (ventilated/heated front seats, heated outboard rear seats, etc.), you’re looking at an as-tested price of $71,110.