It really doesn’t matter the brand of truck. Whenever guys are standing around talking about heavy duty pickups, it’s all about what’s under the hood. Hemi… Powerstroke… Duramax… Cummins… you know the names, and probably have a favorite too. Well, we don’t play favorites here. We just deliver the facts. And here’s some about gutsy ones about the all-new Chevrolet Silverado HD.
It only makes sense that the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD would be the most capable Heavy Duty Silverado ever; that’s just how things work in the pickup truck world. This constant escalation of horsepower, torque, cargo and towing capabilities may end at some point; but that day is not today.
Our test truck is a 4-wheel-drive 2500 Crew Cab, outfitted in LTZ trim with the Z71 Off Road package.
Standard Heavy Duty engine is a new 6.6-liter gasoline…direct injection V8, making 401-horsepower and 464 lb-ft. of torque, and mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The available Duramax 6.6-liter V8 diesel returns unchanged, cranking out 445-horsepower and 910 lb-ft. of torque; but it does mate to a new Allison 10-speed automatic transmission.
Max towing, with the diesel of course, is a stout 35,500-lbs; yes, that’s 400-more than Ram. But, following the same philosophy as they have with the standard duty Silverado; Chevrolet feels that the Heavy Duty game is not so much about chasing numbers, but about delivering a truck that makes performing your daily tasks as efficient and easy as possible. Working smarter, not necessarily harder, if you will.
So they’ve focused more efforts on elements such as their Advanced Trailering System with up to 15-camera views, easy access engine block heater outlet, integrating multiple steps into the bed, giving it a power tailgate, and vastly improving the interior environment.
Bigger in every dimension, a 5.2-inch wheelbase stretch on Crew Cab models, allows for a lot more rear seat space; now your crew can be much more comfortable back there, whether on the way to the job site or camping site.
Between a stiffer frame, and the significant updates made to the independent torsion bar front, and leaf spring rear suspension, ride quality is also improved greatly.
Steering also feels less like a bus and more like the standard duty Silverado; with an available Enhanced Digital Variable Steering Assist system that actively keeps you tracking straight and true regardless of the road surface, or how much wind is blowing your trailer around behind you.
Drive shaft and rear axles are beefed up to handle heavier loads; and possibly our heavy foots as well.
Leaving our Duramax diesel’s transfer case in auto is pretty much a necessity if you want to get off the line without boat loads of wheel spin. In auto, it gets the front tires involved, hooks up right away, and takes off, hitting 60 in a pretty amazing 6.6-seconds.
Now, direct comparisons are difficult, with the almost infinite number of HD pickup configurations, but we did recently have a Heavy Duty Ram Diesel here at the track, and this Silverado is almost a full 2-seconds quicker to 60.
The smooth Allison 10-speed was primarily responsible for that; and the Silverado felt plenty stable at 90 miles-per-hour. We finished out the ¼ in 15.1-seconds at 91 miles-per-hour.
Brakes, quite impressive as well, just 122-feet to stop from 60; but there’s so much pedal travel, your foot may need a passport.
“Truck-talk” eventually turns to styling, and for the first time, the Silverado HD gets its own rugged, and may we say polarizing look. All sheetmetal, except for the roof, is now unique from the Silverado half-ton.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings aren’t required for HD trucks; but we clattered our way to 16.6 miles-per-diesel-gallon. Here, the Ram Diesel was better with an average of 19.7 miles-per-gallon.
Even with countless configurations; all progress from 5 trim levels, starting at $35,695 for a basic Work Truck. Top shelf High Country begins at $62,695, with our heavily optioned LTZ Crew Cab going for $72,770.
More than any other segment, the Heavy Duty truck arena is a numbers game. And, depending on which numbers you’re looking at, the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD may either fall short of its rivals, or be far superior to them. But, numbers alone don’t get the jobs done, nor do they get you home to see your family at the end of a long workday. Much like any other pursuit, it’s all about having the right tool for the job. We’ve all bought tools that had all the right numbers, only to be disappointed when put to use. No buyer’s remorse with this Silverado HD; and that’s a fact!
Engine: 6.6 liter / 6.6 liter (diesel)
Horsepower: 401 / 445
Torque: 464 lb-ft. / 910 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 6.6 seconds (diesel)
1/4 mile: 15.1 seconds @ 91 mph