GM redesigned the heavy-duty versions of its full-size pickups for 2007. The 2500HD Series is the three-quarter ton model and the 3500HD Series, which includes "dually" models with four rear tires, takes the one-ton slot. The Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and nearly identical GMC Sierra 2500HD sister rig have a beefed-up frame and mechanicals compared to their light-duty 1500 pickup counterparts. Though not as differentiated from the light-duty Silverados as the regular Ford F-150 is from its Super-Duty cousins, the 2500HD gets a wider, taller dual-port grille, brawnier fender flares, a power dome hood, bigger work-glove-size door handles, big chrome bumpers, larger front recovery hooks, deeper cargo boxes and reinforced bed walls to handle an optional cargo management system. Inside, legroom, headroom and hiproom are more generous and the fore/aft travel and recline angle of the front seats are increased.
Why you want it
HD Silverados are work tools, pure and simple. They're designed to haul big loads, and properly equipped, can tow several times their own weight. Urban cowboys need not apply. Of course, you can't find an LTZ version of the 2500HD with amenities such as leather seating, touchscreen navigation, a Bose premium sound system and more. But the 2500HD is more about the rig. Its no-nonsense durable goods, right down to the optional Duramax diesel, heavy-duty Allison transmission, built-in trailer brake controller and available E-Z Lift torque-rod-assisted tailgate.
The 2500HD's capabilities are impressive. It'll tow up to 13,000 lbs with a conventional hitch or a maximum of 16,700 lbs with a 5th wheel hitch in the cargo bed. All in all, it features a segment-leading 18,500-lb gross combined weight rating with the standard engine.
Notable features and options
Silverado 2500HD is available in a two-door Regular Cab that seats two or three passengers, a five- or six-passenger four-door Extended Cab with no center pillar and 170-degree rear-hinged half rear doors as well as a five- or six-passenger four-door Crew Cab with an SUV-like full-width back seat and four conventional doors. All trims can offer optional four-wheel drive systems. The Regular Cab is matched to an eight-foot bed, and the Extended and Crew Cabs can be had with a choice of the same long bed, or a six and a half foot short bed.
A high percentage of 2500HDs are sold for commercial use, so you'll find a large number of rigs with the base WT (Work Truck) trim. Standard WT fare includes vinyl/rubber flooring, a choice of a vinyl or cloth-covered 40/20/40 front bench seat, a black "pure pickup" instrument panel with dual glove boxes, 16-inch steel wheels, base Z85 "smooth ride" suspension, tire-pressure monitoring, A/C, tilt steering wheel, AM/FM stereo, folding side mirrors, rear step bumper, six-speed heavy-duty automatic transmission with tow/haul mode and four-wheel ABS discs with Hydroboost. If the WT is a 4WD version, the transfer case control is the old-fashioned floor lever. Moving up to LT trim nets carpeting, power driver's seat with premium cloth, nicer wheel coverings, power door locks, windows and mirrors and in the later years, standard OnStar and XM Satellite Radio. The transfer case control on LT 4WD versions is a dash-mounted rotary dial. LT options include the Z71 Off-Road Package, dual-zone auto A/C, foglamps, and an EZ-Lift locking tailgate. The range-topping LTZ nabs standard 17-inch alloy wheels, power heated front leather bucket seats, Bose premium audio, a remote starter and the luxury "low and away" instrument panel from the Tahoe SUV with wood accents.
Key options available on the 2500HD include a bed-mounted cargo management system with available dealer-installed accessories such as toolboxes, an integrated trailer brake controller, rear park assist, rear seat entertainment, power adjustable pedals, running boards, a soft tonneau for the bed and a foldable tubular aluminum bed extender. The 2007 and 2008 models were also available with a "Hot Shot" windshield washer system that heated the fluid to make the cleaning of dirty and icy windshields easier, but electrical issues led to a recall and deactivation of the system and GM dropped the option for 2009.
2008: XM Satellite Radio is now standard. A power bench seat becomes optional on Regular Cab. Some versions of the Duramax diesel get B20 biodiesel fuel capability.
2009: OnStar 8.0 with turn by turn navigation and destination download debuts. Bluetooth connectivity with hands-free calling is available. NavTraffic feature added to XM. Optional on Extended and Crew Cabs is a rearview camera. Stability control is standard.
2010: USB outlet added to console.
Engines and performance
Standard on all 2500HDs is a 6.0-liter gas V8 rated at 353 horsepower and 373 lb-ft of torque in 2007-2008 and 360 HP and 380 lb-ft for 2009-2010. This Chevy small-block V8 has variable valve timing for improved performance and efficiency. The gas-thirsty big-block 8.1-liter V8 optional on 2006-and-earlier HD Silverados is dropped. The 6.0-liter V8 is teamed with a Hydramatic 6L90 six-speed automatic gearbox featuring tap-up/tap-down gear selection on the column shifter. It also has tow/haul mode which the driver can select for better flexibility and control of transmission shift points when dealing with heavy loads. During their 2008 Truck of the Year testing, Motor Trend magazineachieved a 7.7-second 0-60-mph time with a 6.0-liter V8 2500HD 4WD Crew Cab.
A popular choice for the Silverado 2500HD is the optional Duramax 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8. While its 365 horsepower is nothing to sneeze at, the Duramax produces an earth-rotating 660 lb-ft of torque at just 1600 rpm, so it barely works up a sweat handling big loads. The turbodiesel is mated to the well-respected Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission, a heavy-duty unit also used in school buses. An exhaust treatment filter removes 90 percent of diesel particulate matter.
Silverado HD 2500 trucks have a gross vehicle weight rating over 8,500 lbs, so they are exempt from EPA fuel economy testing and do not receive a label estimate.
Recalls, safety ratings and warranties
NHTSA has announced the following safety recall on the 2007-2010 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD:
2007-2009: On trucks equipped with the optional heated windshield washer system, a short circuit may overheat the washer system's circuit board, possibly affecting other electrical features and creating an odor and smoke. After an initial inline fuse fix failed to solve the problem, GM recalled and deactivated the systems.
NHTSA and IIHS did not rate the 2007-2010 Silverado 2500HD for impact performance.
All 2007-2010 Silverado 2500HD pickups receive a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage. Roadside assistance is included. GM Certified Used Trucks also have a 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty that's in addition to whatever is left on the transferable original 3-year/36,000-mile coverage.
Word on the web
Silverado 2500HD owners must have been spending more time working with their trucks and less time ranting about them on the web because we haven't seen a lot of complaints.
Pickuptrucks.com gave the 2007-2010 Silverado 2500HD good marks for Duramax diesel performance, the Allison six-speed automatic, integrated brake controller, integral steel cargo box, large towing mirrors and 4WD independent front suspension, but didn't like that the base 6.0-liter V8 isn't E85-capable, that side impact and roof curtain airbags were not available and rear bucket seats weren't offered in the upscale LTZ model.
Ford Super Duty is the big seller and has the most interior trim combinations but beware of the 2003-2007 6.0-liter Powerstroke diesel (built by Navistar) which had a lot of issues with white smoke and is the subject of a class-action lawsuit. The Dodge Ram 2500 also has enticing interior design as well as the legendary Hemi gas V8 and big-rig-proven Cummins turbodiesel, but ride quality is on the rough side.
With proper maintenance, a 2500HD Silverado should have a service life in excess of 200,000 miles, so when shopping actual condition is just as important as the odometer reading. Because many are used as work trucks, most of the miles are local. Those equipped with the fuel-thrifty Duramax diesel are desirable but harder to find because fewer were sold originally. More numerous are Crew Cabs with the 6.0-liter gas V8, with prices ranging between $20,000 for high-milers and $35,000 for low-mile certified units. Four-wheel drive is a necessity for buyers in the upper Midwest or mountain country. Stay away from customized trucks with lift kits, especially those with oversized aftermarket (20-inch or above) wheels as the trucks were not designed to use these. Also remember that this truck's step-in height is more than two feet off the tarmac, so shorter statured drivers might want to look for one with running boards.