KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
Building on the well-received Tahoe, Suburban and lighter-duty 1500 pickups, the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD/3500HD series brings increased capabilities, refined interiors and enhanced drivability. And, in a nod to Ford's Super Duty line, there's more to differentiate this newest heavy-duty truck from its lighter-duty sibling.
You'll Like This Car If...
Whether purchasing for commercial construction, agriculture or recreational towing, if your needs are truly "heavy-duty" you'll likely find those needs met with the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado HD, which offers all of the virtues, with few of the vices, normally associated with a "heavy-duty" truck.
You May Not Like This Car If...
The 2009 Chevrolet Silverado HD's principal mission is to haul or tow big and heavy things. If you don't need this sort of vehicle and its "heavy-duty" attributes, you'll probably be happier with something not quite so robust.
What's New for 2009
Changes for 2009 include OnStar 8.0 which allows for Bluetooth capability and Turn-by-Turn navigation with Destination Download on vehicles equipped with the DVD navigation screen. A new rearview camera system is available on Extended Cab and Crew Cab models, and vehicle stability enhancement is added to the 2500 HD trucks with single rear wheels.
Given the number of drivetrain, cab and chassis variations in the Silverado lineup, it's difficult to provide one set of observations regarding drivability. However, everything Chevy's engineering team did to enhance the driving experience has worked. A more rigid frame, in combination with a widened track and retuned suspensions (Z85, standard on 2WD and 4WD models; and Z71, the optional Off-Road suspension), supplies the needed capability without imposing the typical vices of a heavy-duty platform. The ride is composed, handling stable and steering accurate with good on-center feel. With the 6.0-liter gasoline V8, performance might be described as "almost recreational." The Duramax does what diesels do, pulling a lot of load (up to 13,000 lbs.) in an authoritative manner.
This transmission has two overdrive gears to provide relaxed cruising with lower engine speeds and a first gear that's intended to enhance off-the-line response. Of importance to those towing is both Driver Shift Control (tap up and down) and standard Tow/Haul Mode. Though some may wish for an available manual transmission, the six-speed automatic's overall excellence might cure you from wanting to shift your own gears.
Gen IV 6.0L V8 (Gasoline)
For sheer day-in, day-out driving pleasure the 6.0-liter gasoline V8 is terrific, offering extraordinary response for a vehicle this large.
With the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado HD there are two available interiors. The version standard in the WT (base-model Work Truck) and LT trims is all about functionality, with an instrument panel focused on ergonomic ease, door panels offering larger door pulls and handles, a specific center console and two glove boxes. The "luxury" interior of the LTZ offers a driving environment straight out of a Tahoe or Suburban. With a distinct instrument design, large center console and other specific trim elements the end result is decidedly upscale.
"Prettied up" might be a kiss-of-death descriptive for a heavy-duty pickup, but it will work for the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado HD. The Chevy exterior was all-new for 2007 and builds on those themes established by the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado 1500. The grille is wide and tall and is flanked by large, reflector-optic headlamps. Corner lights wrap into the flared front fenders, which complement the bulge atop the Silverado's hood, and there is a sleek profile by virtue of the 57-degree windshield angle. Functionally, there are large "grab-style" door handles (for ease of operation while wearing work gloves), doors extend over the rocker panels and, on Extended Cab models, the rear doors open 170 degrees.
Notable Standard Equipment
For truck-oriented capability, few things beat power; Chevy's standard 6.0-liter Gen IV V8 delivers 360 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque, and a new six-speed automatic transmission meshes perfectly with the engine's capability. Standard safety features include seat-belt pretensioners, tire-pressure monitoring and OnStar.
Notable Optional Equipment
For many, selecting the diesel is a no-brainer; Chevy's Duramax turbo-diesel provides loads of power and is a lot quieter and smoother than diesels of the past, plus fleet models are now B20 biodiesel capable. Those carrying lots of random cargo might better organize it with GM's cargo management system, those living in excessively cold or warm climates will benefit from remote starting on certain trim levels and those wishing to be entertained will enjoy an enhanced DVD system and CD/MP3 audio. Finally, people who worry about getting lost should opt for the available touch-screen navigation system.
Under the Hood
Chevy offers two engine choices. Base power is the 6.0-liter gasoline V8 that delivers 360 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque. Although the EPA doesn't provide a rating for vehicles in this category, past experience suggests GM gasoline engines deliver competitive fuel economy. For those wanting more, the 6.6-liter Duramax provides 365 horsepower and a remarkable 660 lb.-ft. of torque.
6.0 liter V8
360 horsepower @ 5400 rpm
380 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
6.6 liter V8 Turbo Diesel
365 horsepower @ 3200 rpm
660 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
The 2009 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price starting around $26,000 for the Regular Cab WT, with the 3500HD costing a few hundred more. The diesel adds another $7,000 to the bottom line and one could easily spend $50,000 for a heavily-optioned crew cab in the LTZ trim level. These numbers are fully competitive with Ford's Super Duty and slightly less than a Dodge Ram. To be sure you make your best deal, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price which shows the typical transaction priced paid in your area. Although we expect the truck and SUV market to remain soft, the Silverado HD's resale figures should remain on par with the Ford F-250 and slightly better than the Dodge Ram 2500/3500.