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2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Preview

  • Better interior comfort
  • Bigger tow rating
  • 10-speed automatic on diesel engine
  • Better competes with rivals
  • Divisive styling
  • How much will it cost?
  • Interior seems too conservative
The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD is the truckmaker’s toughest heavy-duty pickup yet.

Don’t be fooled by the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD’s wall-o’-chrome grille, brick-in-the wind styling, and muscular 6.6-liter V-8 engines—this jock is a better mathlete.

That’s because the heavy-duty pickup arms race among crosstown rivals Ford, Ram, and General Motors is about numbers. And the newest heavy-duty Chevy truck figures among the top.

When properly equipped, the new heavy-duty Silverado can tow up to 35,500 pounds with a 6.6-liter turbodiesel that makes 910 pound-feet of torque and mates with a new 10-speed automatic transmission with up to 15 cameras watching the action around the truck. And that’s just in one of up to 22 powertrain specs.

When it goes on sale later this year, the 2020 Silverado HD will be available in Work Truck, Custom, LT, LTZ, and High Country trims. Chevy hasn’t yet said how much the truck will cost. (Another number that matters, too.)

Like last year, the truck will be available in three-quarter ton 2500HD configuration, or one-ton 3500HD spec. The latter is available in dual-rear-wheel setup. Rear-wheel drive is standard on every pickup and four-wheel drive is available. A new transfer case offers automatic four-wheel drive that can be used on dry roads (previously a GMC-only feature) and there are multiple rear axle configurations available, depending on need.

Chevy Silverado 2500HD styling and performance
The newest Chevy heavy-duty pickup made a splash when it was unveiled in 2018, and its styling is still growing on us. Depending on configuration, the large grille moves a wall of air up front or moves our lunch around in our stomachs.

Work Truck trims gets a black plastic grille that’s tough and presumably cheap to replace, top trim High Country versions get more chrome than Google computers.

The sides largely follow the Silverado 1500 truck’s look, which was new last year. The heavy-duty and light-duty truck share multiple parts, including basic cab designs.

Around back, a big “Chevrolet” embossed tailgate closes a bigger bed this year that’s exclusive to the heavy-duty pickup. A bigger bumper step and more room in the box appeal to work buyers.

Under the hood is where the new Chevy heavy-duty will make its bones. A 6.6-liter gas V-8 is standard on all trucks and is rated at 401 horsepower and 464 lb-ft of torque, up last year from 360 hp and 380 lb-ft. Compared to the outgoing 6.0-liter V-8, the new 6.6-liter V-8 offers direct injection and higher compression. It’s paired exclusively to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

An optional 6.6-liter turbodiesel returns from last year and makes 445 hp and 910 lb-ft. Its trick this year are injectors that vary fuel delivery for better refinement and a diesel-exhaust fluid tank that’s better tucked into the truck’s body. A new 10-speed automatic transmission is paired with the diesel engine for long-haul comfort—and presumably mileage.

This year, the Silverado HD better competes with the Ford Super Duty and Ram heavy duty in max towing figures: 35,500 pounds from the big Chevy. That increase of more than 50 percent is due to tougher driveline components including bigger ring gears, beefier front and rear axles, a propshaft that’s 30 percent larger, and better cooling.

The diesel engine offers a chain-driven Power Takeoff System from the engine that can run farm machinery, compressors, pumps, and other equipment.

Chevy Silverado 2500HD comfort, safety, and features
Like the Silverado 1500, the new heavy-duty Chevy offers more room in most cab configurations and an updated interior. Four-door crew cabs will be the most popular and are nearly 3 inches longer than the outgoing cabs. Regular cab and double cab configurations are available as well.

The heavy-duty Silverado sports a new bed that’s unique to the big rigs. An 8-foot and 6-foot-9 bed are available on most trucks and are more spacious. The 8-foot bed offers more than 80 cubic feet of storage beneath the rails, up more than 7 cubic feet from last year. The 6-foot-9 bed offers nearly 70 cubic feet of storage, which is up more than 8 cubic feet from last year.

Between the wheels, the heavy-duty Chevy boxes offer more than 50 inches of space to lay building materials flat.

Chevy didn’t specify the new heavy-duty’s available options or standard equipment, including safety equipment. We expect to hear more closer to the truck’s arrival in dealerships, which is this summer.

Fuel economy for the Chevy heavy-duty truck (or any heavy-duty truck, actually) wasn’t specified, but the new Silverado heavy duty is equipped with a 36-gallon gasoline tank or up to a 36-gallon diesel tank on long-bed versions.

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