How the New Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD Performed in MotorTrend’s Testing

Most full-size trucks can tow upwards of 10,000 pounds. This is suitable for most jobs, but hauling larger freight will require a bigger vehicle. Chevrolet released the 2020 2500HD and the 3500HD this year. These two trucks got a new grille design, updated interiors, and a higher towing capacity than even its most popular rivals.

When properly equipped, the Silverado 1500 has a maximum towing capacity of 12,500 pounds. This is impressive for its class, but the heavy-duty version can pull up to 18,510 pounds. Its biggest Durabed is almost 100 inches long. To see what else it had to offer, MotorTrend recently put the 2020 model to the test. Its performance definitely doesn’t disappoint.

Interior comfort

In addition to its upgraded power, the 2500HD has more technology inside than the regular Silverado. The standard Infotainment 3 system features Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and an 8-inch touchscreen. Available upgrades include a Wi-Fi hotspot, a bigger audio system, and a 15-inch head-up display.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD Z71
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD Z71 | Chevrolet

Heated and cooled front seats are also available to complement the bigger exterior of this truck. Thanks to the high cab placement and the extended wheelbase, there’s now more room for the truck’s occupants, even with the shortest bed and crew cab arrangements. The four-door model measures 250 inches long, 79.8 inches tall, and 81.9 inches wide.

Safety offerings

Each 2500HD comes with a 360-degree camera system with up to 15 different angles. It also has a host of available safety features including parking assist, lane change alerts, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and automatically-adjustable high beams.

Because these heavy-duty trucks are towing much more cargo than the standard-sized pickup, trailer safety is a must. The 2500HD has larger side mirrors with more lighting options for improved visibility. It comes with electronic stability control and Advanced Trailering System, which lets users create specific profiles for different trailers. The system’s mobile app notifies the driver of any tire pressure changes, lighting concerns, and even creates pre-departure checklists.


Because of the truck’s massive size, Motortrend’s testers found that it was a little hard to handle while driving in the city. The truck could not make sharp turns, and parking in covered areas was a challenge due to its height. Despite this, the 2500HD gives drivers a comfortable and easy drive, especially with the available 10-speed transmission. The gearbox delivered very precise movements, which only a few minor hiccups experienced at slower speeds. However, without a trailer attached, the testers found that suspension was a little bouncier without the added stability control.

Engine power

The 2500HD comes with two powerful engine options. The standard offering is a 6.6-liter V8 capable of 401 hp and 464 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

There’s also the available Duramax turbodiesel engine. It has 445 hp, an incredible 910 lb-ft of torque, and is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. When placed in the 3500HD, you’ll get a maximum towing capacity of 35,500 pounds.

Acceleration and deceleration

The high-powered engines make light work out of towing trailers, but the reviewers were also impressed with how much speed each one produced. It reached 0-60 in 6.5 seconds, half a second faster than the F-250 Super Duty and nearly as fast as cars that are half the 2500HD’s weight.

In contrast, the car’s deceleration left something to be desired. It can power down from 60-0 in 134 feet, and only after considerable force is applied to the brake pedals. This could pose a possible safety concern, but it’s one of the few downsides to an otherwise great pickup truck.