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NBC Tests 2020 Silverado 2500: Good and Bad

While 2019 was the first year for the all-new Silverado 1500 Chevy chose to wait to apply the all-new platform to its heavy-duty 2500 series. For 2020 the 2500 shares its lighter sibling’s architecture, so it’s all-new. Unfortunately, according to NBC who tested it, the Silverado 2500 is not up to its competitor’s pickups. Let’s see why.

Combined sales of the Silverado and the nearly identical GMC Sierra beat Ford and Ram. But taken individually Ford always took the number one spot, with the Silverado at number two. For 2019 Ram also debuted its new 1500 pickup, while Ford’s F-150 won’t be all-new until 2021. 

Ram Passes Silverado Sales

In spite of the Silverado being new, the F-150 still topped it for 2019. But the real news was that the Ram 1500 passed the Silverado to become the number two best-selling pickup truck. This has never happened before. To help shore up market share and try to win back the number two spot Chevy has introduced the 2020 Silverado 2500.

NBC tested a 2020 Silverado 2500 4 x 4 Custom Crew Cab with the 6.6-liter gas engine. The list price on one of these is $48,420, which is close enough to $50,000. For many, one must think twice about making a new truck purchase when prices hit 50-Gs. But, Chevy is not alone at this price point.

The diesel version gives you a bit more towing capacity, but if one needs a lot more the 3500 kicks up the maximum towing capabilities to 35,500 lbs. Still, they felt the gas engine was a comparable power plant and has certain advantages.

“Transparent Trailer” Was A Hit

One thing they really liked was the “transparent trailer” option which, through cameras positioned around the truck, gives you the impression of seeing through your trailer to aid parking. It also gave the testers the impression it could handle lots of abuse with how the interior controls and features are designed. Also, hitting potholes and train tracks the 2500 absorbed them easily.

They were equally impressed with how quiet the cabin was. With a diesel engine, there would have been more engine noise so they were happy for having the gas engine in this case.

The Silverado 2500 Not-So-Good

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD Custom
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD Custom | Chevrolet

But a lot of the good was outweighed by the not-so-good. The ride was harsh, though with heavy-duty trucks this is a given. Don’t forget, the 2500 is rated at 16,600 towing capacity, even with a gas engine.

The interior looked dated, even compared to the F-150 which is in the last year of its cycle. It was proposed that for a more luxurious and up-to-date interior the GMC Sierra would be a better pick. And, that might be the real problem. 

New 2500 Doesn’t Feel New

The reviewers feel that the Silverado does not feel current. They say the Ram 1500 changed the game with nicer interiors, details, and technology. Also, all of the capacity metrics are better. Even Ford’s Super Duty line bests the Silverado’s towing capacity. So, there’s really nothing “best of” to market. In comparing specs the competition has better numbers and better interiors.

Then there’s the front end styling. Many potential customers have complained about the front end. Anecdotally, two buyers local to Motor Biscuit’s offices complained. One purchased a new Ram while the other got a super deal on a new leftover 2018 Silverado. But whether from the press or in conversation, it seems that nobody likes the new front ends. Granted, a lot of them are flying out of the dealerships, just with less buzz and enthusiasm.

Complaints About Front End and More

We are old enough to have been through a few new Chevy truck cycles and there always seems to be a little pushback to the new styling. But we’ve never seen it so universal. And it’s not just the front end. Others have complained about the stilted character of the rear quarters. Some say the taillights look like they came from another manufacturer’s truck. 

Chevy may have some improvements, including for the front end, in the works for 2021. We honestly don’t know. If they do it shows that they are listening to truck buyers and want to build trucks you want to buy, instead of building trucks they want you to buy.