By Trevor Dorchies
The heavy-duty truck crowd isn’t a particularly tough one to satisfy. If you haul heavy objects, you’re going to need some muscle and that’s exactly what the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and 3500 HD trucks offer. Like its corporate sibling – the 2015 GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 HD – the Silverado HD is General Motors’ response to Ford’s F-Series Super Duty and Ram HD trucks. Both the Silverado 2500 and 3500 HD offer your choice of a 6.0-liter V8 gasoline engine and a 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8, the latter being legendary in its own right. The choices go on from different cab configurations to bed lengths to trim levels. While it’s not the brawniest in class, the Silverado HD has plenty of brute strength to get the job done.
If your livelihood requires towing heavy objects long distances, or you just need some extra muscle around the farm, the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD is ready and more than able.
There’s no ultra-lux trim offered on Chevy’s heavy-duty model like on the Ford F-Series, Ram HD, or even the Sierra Denali HD. If you need to go bed every night knowing that your truck can haul the most, you’ll want to look elsewhere, too.
Both the interior and exterior design catches up to that of the Silverado light-duty truck that was released for 2014. Other styling tweaks include the rear bumper CornerStep and LED lights that illuminate the bed.
During our time with the 2015 Silverado HD, the drive route consisted mostly of long highway stretches, and the miles slipped by thanks to the spacious cabin and a drivetrain...
... that did its part to keep quiet. After a few hours of seat time with and without a trailer in tow, we never felt worse for wear. After we had our fill of towing everyday things like the fifth wheel, we hooked the Duramax diesel up to a trailer carrying 10,000 pounds and drove it up and down a steep grade, rising to an altitude as high as 5,000 feet above sea level at one point. The Silverado HD demonstrated that it can control just about anything you'll ever need to tow. Each trailer had minimal wag and the 6-speed Allison transmission – working in conjunction with an exhaust brake – kept everything under control while going downhill.
An all-new upright instrument cluster features six gauges and a slew of large, easy-to-use rubberized knobs responsible for various things like climate control and radio volume. Ambient lighting illuminates all of the vital switches in the cabin making each easier to locate when driving at night.
6.6-LITER DURAMAX ENGINE
The cheapest way to feel like you’re driving an 18-wheeler without actually buying one. Paired with a 6-speed automatic Allison transmission, the Duramax turbodiesel engine is the strong, silent type as it operates quietly and pours on the power in an even fashion.
It was achingly necessary to get the restyling done on the 2015 Chevy Silverado HD interior. The base WT model sports a vinyl bench and doesn’t bring much else with it. The WT model is exactly what its initials stand for: Work Truck. The upper-echelon LT trim comes with features like an EZ-Liftgate, Sirius XM radio, leather seats, and a 4.2-inch display screen for the driver. The top-flight LTZ trim brings all of the aforementioned features plus a heavy-duty locking rear differential.
The other major restyling point on the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD is its exterior, which catches up to that of its light-duty Silverado 1500 sibling. Now, a boxy front-end with chrome accents, a raised power-dome hood, and sculpted taillights set the 2015 Silverado HD model apart from those before it. A rear bumper CornerStep has also been added for the latest model year. The same two models, the 2500 and 3500, are still offered.
Being that it is a work truck at its core, the Silverado HD won’t spoil you too much. It will, however, bring you a beefy V8 engine, antilock disc brakes, air conditioning, and stability control. Climbing up the trim ladder brings you leather seats, steering-wheel-mounted controls, Bluetooth, and a heavy-duty locking rear differential. An all-new electric assist heater, standard on all Silverado HD models equipped with a Duramax engine, helps to warm the cabin quickly. The new CornerStep bumper seen on the 2014 Silverado light-duty makes the jump to the 2015 HD models. A locking tailgate is also standard.
Perhaps the easiest option to spring for on the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD is the 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8. The robust Duramax engine and the 4-wheel drive are two options we recommend going for. Other notable options include a touch-screen navigation system, Bose audio, an EZ-Lift tailgate, and a snow-plow prep package.
There are two choices of V8 motivation under the hood in the form of a 360-horsepower 6.0-liter gasoline engine and a 380-horsepower 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel engine, both mated to 6-speed automatic transmissions. The gasoline engine is rated 397 lb-ft of torque while the 6.6-liter V8 Duramax diesel churns out an awesome 765 lb-ft of twist. Maximum conventional trailering for the gasoline V8 goes up to 13,000 pounds when properly equipped and has a Gross Combined Vehicle Weight of 20,500 pounds. The Duramax V8 also has a maximum conventional trailering weight of 13,000 pounds and a Gross Combined Vehicle Weight of 24,500 pounds. An exhaust braking system comes along with the diesel engine to help control the truck and its load’s speed while descending a hill.
6.0-liter V8 with 6-speed automatic transmission
360 horsepower @ 5,400
397 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
6.6-liter turbocharged diesel V8 with Allison 6-speed automatic transmission
380 horsepower @ 4,200 rpm
765 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
If you want the bare essentials, you can get out the door with a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD for as low as $31,310. A well-equipped 4-wheel-drive 3500 crew cab LTZ can cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $48,000. Adding the $8,400 Duramax engine/Allison transmission combo (our recommendation) and checking every option box means you’ll be looking at forking over more than $60,000. At first glance, that figure may be a little shocking for a pickup truck, but when you look at its closest competitors in Ram and Ford, that number falls right in line. Before buying, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for a 2015 Silverado HD. The resale value of the Silverado HD is also in line with the competition, and springing for the diesel engine will help keep the value high.