One big, useful, diesel truck |
A serious work truck with an engine and transmission combination that is simply legendary.
I tend to confuse some of my fellow automotive enthusiasts when I start to ramble on about pickup trucks. See, while I love the intoxicating allure of the powerful and dynamic sports cars we get to drive here at DoubleClutch.ca, I am equally attracted to the rugged grunt of an honest and hardworking pickup. There’s just something appealing to me about the broad mix of functionality built into today’s trucks; they truly have become engineering marvels. Their capability, luxuriousness and relative efficiency are all a testament to the fact that competition really does bring out the best innovations. Plus, sports cars don’t pay the bills! Naturally, when I learnt that our friends at GM had put a fully loaded 2015 Chevy Silverado 2500HD on their media fleet, I had to get some time with it.
Knowing that the Silverado 2500HD is absolutely not a commuter vehicle, I booked my week with it to coincide with a week of vacation I’d taken to complete a landscaping project at home. This meant I’d have the opportunity to put the capabilities of the Silverado HD through some real life challenges and see how it performed.
Firstly, my Tungsten grey tester with an MSRP just a touch over $80,000, came fully equipped with just about everything a truck guy could dream of. Most notably, the legendary Duramax 6.6L Diesel awas on board and mated to the equally renowned Allison 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine and transmission upgrade alone came to a combined total of $11,111. That’s a pricey venture, but I quickly learnt that going diesel could very well be worth the money – more on that later. As expected at this price tag, my tester’s 8 foot bed came attached to a crew cab that represents the utmost in functional luxury. Everything from ventilated front seats, radar park assist, a Bose sound system and a heated seating wheel round out the ‘LTZ’ luxury package. Additionally, the ‘Z71’ off road package adds a gorgeous and informative gauge cluster, underbody protection and beefed up off-road suspension.
So, with the king of all work trucks at my disposal and a week away from the office I set to work. I actually used some of the payload capacity of the Silverado, but the suspension nor drivetrain never showed the slightest hint of strain – pretty impressive. The Silverado easily tackled moving a friend’s race motorcycle across town. While the sheer length of the crew cab truck and 8 foot bed initially seemed like overkill to me, after spending a few days with it, the size really began to make sense. The bed even easily handled some sheets of 4’x8’ drywall, and I was still able to close the tailgate and comfortably transport 4 adults in the cab.
Clearly the Silverado HD could handle anything a DIY homeowner like myself could put it through, yet the grace and ease with which it tackled the tasks give me the confidence to say with certainty that this truck could handle much more, day in and day out, without so much as a whimper. As I worked with the truck in a variety of situations over the week I began to appreciate many of the smaller details built into it that truly do help make a tough job easier. Features like the LED lighting underneath the bed rails to help you find the tie down hooks in the dark, the step built into the end of the rear bumper and even the flat step built into the rear wheel tubs in the bed – all a testament to the fact the GM has been building pickups since the dawn of time.
Beyond the heavy lifting and hard work, I did take some time out to have a little fun on my week off and surprisingly the Silverado proved to be a perfect companion. The Bose sound system, comfortable leather bucket seats and power moonroof made for a perfect evening with my better-half at the local drive-in theatre. Even my elderly grandmother appreciated the Silverado’s soft and quiet highway ride as I picked her up for dinner on a stormy evening. If I do have any gripes with this truck it boils down to two minor features that I can’t help but feel are missing. Firstly, at $80,000 this truck really should have high intensity Xenon headlamps and not simple projector beam halogens. Secondly, rear passengers should have their own climate control interface.
This iteration of the Silverado 2500 HD is the truck that can work as hard as you need it to during the week, and yet still cleanup into a luxurious weekend ride when the work is done. But, let’s not forget it still has an ace in its sleeve, that Duramax diesel engine. In my humble opinion, this Duramax is the best engine I’ve experienced in a pickup truck, period. Throttle response is surprisingly sharp and the Diesel’s monsterous 765 lb-ft of torque and 397 horsepower easily propel the truck to highway speeds. Additionally, the sound of the massive turbo winding up combined with the signature diesel growl is simply infectious. Despite the inherent roughness of diesel power, the Duramax feels incredibly smooth and under normal cruising conditions it’s nearly impossible to tell you’re in a diesel from inside the cab. Best of all however, is that despite doing an unusual amount of city driving, and about 40% of my driving with a load in the bed, my test truck still managed to average a very impressive 13.8L/100km. In my mind that is simply outstanding for a truck of this size and caliber.
If you read my review of the 2014 Silverado 1500 from last year, you know I absolutely fell in love with that truck and to this day I still find myself eyeing every one I encounter on the roads. The new 2015 2500HD is everything I loved about the 1500, but with the additional capabilities of a serious work truck and an engine and transmission combination that is simply legendary. If you need the capabilities of a heavy-duty truck, I don’t see how you could go wrong with the Silverado 2500 HD.
2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Z71 Gallery