Trucks & SUVs

Why Chevy’s New Heavy-Duty Truck Can’t Compete With Ford or Ram

The Chevrolet Silverado HD has been fully redesigned for 2020 following the redesign of 1500 in 2019. While GM trucks like the GMC Sierra and the Chevy Silverado usually beat Ram in sales, competition is heating up. Ram got a redesign last year, and Ford is redesigning its F-150 and Super Duty trucks in the near future.

What are reviewers saying about the new 2020 Silverado HD? Is it better than the redesign the Silverado 1500 got last year? How does it compare with Ford and Ram? 

The Silverado HD’s pros

The 2020 Chevy Silverado HD on display at the Annual Chicago Auto Show
2020 Chevy Silverado HD | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

CNBC recently evaluated the new 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD with a Silverado 2500 4×4 Custom Crew Cab that cost $48,420.

The truck features a 6.6-liter gas engine. While it doesn’t offer the same type of low-end power or towing capacity that you’d get from a diesel engine, there’s still a lot of power. With a goose-neck trailer, it can tow 16,000 pounds, which is more than the best in the 1500 class. Their configuration was on the low-towing end, so if you need to do a lot of towing, the premium model might just be worth your while.

With the right configuration, the Silverado 2500 HD can pull up to 18,500 pounds. The 3500 HD can pull up to 35,500 pounds. Either way, it’s more powerful than most people need.

The Silverado HD offers several towing and hauling options to make such jobs easier. Chevrolet’s “transparent trailer” technology utilizes cameras that give you a see-through view of your trailer. It also gives you a variety of camera angles to help you with parking.

The 2020 Silverado 2500 HD is built to endure. It easily handles potholes, big sways and fluctuations. The controls are sturdy, and the interior has the essentials. The CNBC truck had the optional front bench seat, which helped them fit six passengers in the massive cabin.

The new Silverado HD, according to the CNBC team, is also very quiet. The gas engine has been improved and refined for 2020, and the ride on the highway is relaxed and comfortable.

The Silverado HD’s cons

Since many use trucks as family and everyday vehicles now, the CNBC team did mention that lower speed rides are rough. That’s going to be the case in most heavy-duty trucks, though, because they need a tight suspension to haul those big payloads. That’s probably why those who can afford the luxury trim levels go with those. 

The top-tiered Silverado HD’s interior looks outdated. The team recommended going with the GMC Sierra if a luxury truck is what you’re looking for.

In today’s market, the pickup truck is hot property right now. It’s hugely competitive between the “Big Three” truck manufacturers. While the new 2500 HD is a great truck, it’s not enough to push it past both Ford and Ram. Sure, its 35,500-pound towing capacity made it best-in-class – until Ford updated its Super Duty to put it back on top.

And Ram really did up the ante. From their basic 1500 model to the Ram HD, it has trucks that provide impressive capability while striving to perpetually improve their product. They consistently improve in quality, refinement, and value.

Most capabilities these trucks have will never be needed by most people. It’s more about bragging rights at this point.

In the end

At the end of the day, the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD isn’t enough to beat out Ram and Ford. It isn’t the best ride of the three, and it isn’t leading in capability. But perhaps with an update to the interior and an effort to consistently improve, a future model may take the truck segment by storm and be the HD truck to beat.

Chevy fans will love that while the new design isn’t enough to blow away the competition, it’s still the best Silverado HD to date. The new look may take some getting used to for some, but otherwise, it’s a solid, quality truck with a lot to offer.