2018 Silverado 2500HD New Car Test Drive
The Chevrolet Silverado HD heavy-duty pickups come in a broad choice of configurations and trim levels, in 2500 (so-called three-quarter ton) and 3500 (one-ton) versions, the latter with single or dual rear wheels.
Not much has changed for the 2018 model year, following a moderate reworking for 2017 that includes a fresh hood and bumpers. A rearview camera is now standard on all models, along with a 7.0-inch touchscreen. The tire-pressure monitor includes a tire-fill alert. High Country and Z71 editions get a new mesh grille.
Closely related to the GMC Sierra, Silverado HD trucks come in four trim levels: WT (work truck), LT, LTZ, and High Country. Chevrolet offers several special editions, led by the popular Z71 package as well as Texas and Midnight options.
Three cab configurations are offered: Regular, lacking a back seat; Double Cab, with narrow half-doors for access to the truncated rear seat; and Crew Cab, which has four conventional front-hinged doors. High Country models come only in Crew Cab form.
Cargo beds come in two sizes (6.5 or 8 feet). Rear-wheel drive is standard, with four-wheel drive a popular option.
Base engine is a 6.0-liter gasoline V8, developing 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. Sole transmission is a 6-speed automatic. Gas-engine models promise payload ratings as high as 3,534 pounds. Peak towing capacity with a conventional hitch can top 14,000 pounds.
The optional engine is a 6.6-liter, 445-horsepower turbodiesel V8, releasing a vigorous 910 pound-feet of torque. Working with an Allison 6-speed automatic, diesel-powered Silverados take the prize for towing/hauling prowess.
Crash protection isn't the finest. In crash-testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 2018 Silverade 2500HD earned only a four-star rating overall and for frontal impact. Side-impact testing yielded a five-star score. Rollover protection (a calculated figure) got only three stars, not unusual for tall vehicles.
2018 Silverado HD trucks cannot match Ford's Super Duty for high-tech safety. A modest suite of advanced safety features is standard on High Country models and available for LT and LTZ trim levels. Included are forward-collision and lane departure warnings, plus a reminder to check for presence of an infant or child in the back seat. A standard Teen Driver feature can rate young drivers based on their driving behavior.
Silverado HD Work Truck models come with vinyl upholstery, 17-inch wheels, power locks and windows, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, and a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen. LT trim adds upgraded cloth upholstery, a 4.2-inch driver information display, 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and keyless entry with remote locking tailgate. LTZ includes leather upholstery, heated seats, dual-zone climate control, remote start, a power sliding rear window, and 18-inch wheels. Crew Cab High Country sports 20-inch wheels, heated and cooled front seats, Bose audio, wireless cellphone charging, heated steering wheel, spray-on bedliner, and front/rear parking assistance.
Several special-edition packages are available for LT and LTZ models. Z71 trucks are geared toward off-road duty with heftier shocks, a front stabilizer bar, underbody shielding, hill descent control, and bigger 18-inch wheels.