The full-size heavy-duty pickup certainly has evolved over the years, transforming from a bare-bones rugged workhorse into a stylish, well-equipped thoroughbred. The 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD is a prime example of what a modern work truck should be: handsome, accommodating and filled with the latest technology, yet still tough enough to tackle the biggest jobs without hesitation. Of course, if you just need a truck for light-duty chores such as moving furniture or carrying dirt bikes, a Silverado 1500 half ton will do just fine. But if you’re looking for a heavy-duty pickup that’s right at home on a jobsite, the Silverado 2500HD is a good choice. And while it’s true that both the Ford and RAM HD trucks have better trailering numbers, the Silverado 2500HD is still more than capable of pulling up to 18,100 pounds when properly equipped.
What’s New for 2018?
The 2018 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Work Truck gains MyLink with a 7-inch touchscreen, 6 speakers and a rear backup camera. The Silverado’s tire pressure monitoring (TPM) system now alerts you when the proper tire pressure is reached. See the 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD models for sale near you
What We Like
Highly capable; impressive towing and hauling capabilities; huge engines; interior offers class-leading equipment and passenger space
What We Don’t
Doesn’t offer manual transmission like the RAM HD does; trailer tow ratings still not as good as Ford; RAM’s self-leveling suspension is compelling
The 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD offers two engines. The pickup’s standard power plant is a 6.0-liter V8 that makes 360 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. Drivers who want more pulling power can opt for the 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8, which develops 445 hp and a monster 910 lb-ft of torque. Official fuel economy ratings aren’t available because the Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t rate vehicles as big as the heavy-duty Silverado, but most drivers get around 8-12 miles per gallon in the city and 14-17 mpg on the highway, depending on the load.
Standard Features & Options
The 2018 Silverado 2500HD comes in many different body styles, trim levels and configurations. Drivers can choose from Regular Cab, Crew Cab and Extended Cab variations, as well as regular and long beds, gas or diesel engines and 2- or 4-wheel drive.
When it comes to trim levels, the Silverado 2500HD offers four: the base-level Work Truck, the midlevel LT, the high-end LTZ and the top-of-the-line Silverado High Country.
The Work Truck ($35,225) is designed for basic jobsite transportation, and as such, it doesn’t offer much in the way of frills. There’s MyLink with a 7-in touchscreen and an auxiliary port (but no CD player), Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a 40/20/40 vinyl front seat, a rear backup camera, an automatic locking rear differential, heavy-duty engine and transmission oil coolers, air conditioning, power locks and cruise control. It’s so basic that items most drivers take for granted, such as keyless entry and power windows, are optional.
Next up is the LT ($40,115), which includes a much more generous list of standard equipment. There are power mirrors, for example, and tinted glass. Silverado 2500HD LT models also include alloy wheels, cloth seats, an EZ Lift and lower tailgate, MyLink with an 8-in touchscreen, a CD player, OnStar and satellite radio.
Above that is the LTZ ($47, 885), which is not available on Regular Cab models and adds luxuries such as leather seating, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lights, power-folding mirrors, larger alloy wheels, chrome trim, remote vehicle start, integrated trailer brake control, a power-sliding rear window with a defroster, and a 110-volt outlet.
Topping the range is the High Country ($56,805), which is similar to GMC’s Denali trim and only comes on Crew Cab models. The High Country adds primarily appearance upgrades, including 20-in alloy wheels, body-color bumpers, chrome side steps, full leather front bucket seats, a spray-in bedliner, carpeted floor mats, special trim and a unique interior design with a center console. It also adds a navigation system, a Bose sound system, front and rear park assist and a wireless charging system.
When it comes to options, the Silverado 2500HD offers the 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel engine, power adjustable pedals, front and rear park assist, a heavy-duty trailer package and 4-wheel drive. Optional safety features include forward-collision alert and a lane-departure warning system that vibrates the driver’s seat if the truck starts to drift from its lane.
All 2018 Silverado 2500HD models include side airbags, side-curtain airbags, StabiliTrak electronic traction and stability control with trailer sway control, daytime running lights and a tire-pressure monitoring system. Optional features include park assist and upgrades such as forward-collision alert and a lane-departure warning system.
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have tested the Silverado 2500HD since its redesign. Earlier models earned average ratings, but we expect the updated truck to perform better given its brand-new construction from the ground up.
Behind the Wheel
There aren’t any surprises behind the wheel of the Silverado 2500HD. Yes, it was recently redesigned, with a new look and a handsome new cabin that’s a huge improvement over the old one, but any heavy-duty Silverado is still a big pickup truck. That means light steering, huge dimensions and a king-of-the-road driving position. In the Silverado’s case, it also means a surprisingly quiet ride: We’re impressed with just how well the pickup manages to cancel out road noise, wind noise and even the churning of the truck’s optional diesel engine.
Inside the cabin, the Silverado 2500HD’s dashboard brings a touch of modernity to the heavy-duty truck world, a segment that’s usually the last to gain any of the latest features and equipment. We’re also impressed by the rear-seat room, especially in Crew Cab models. While we don’t recommend it for city drivers, the Silverado 2500HD could easily be used as family transportation. In fact, it’s just as adept at offering a comfortable ride to passengers as it is on the jobsite, where it can tow and haul better than nearly any pickup on the market.
Other Cars to Consider
2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD — The highly similar Sierra 2500HD is worth a look, especially if you prefer the GMC’s more aggressive styling. Even if you don’t, check out the Sierra to see if you can get a better deal.
2018 RAM 2500 — The heavy-duty RAM offers impressive capabilities, especially given its self-leveling suspension, available manual transmission and optional torquey 6.7-liter engine. The Ram can also tow more than the Chevy, but its resale values are not as good.
2018 Ford F-250 — The F-250 was recently redesigned, offering more luxury, more high-tech features and better towing numbers. The F-250’s engine choices are the equal of the Silverado 2500HD’s, but its aluminum bed may not be as rugged.
There are too many trim levels and configurations to pick a Silverado 2500HD model that stands out above the rest. Instead, we suggest choosing the pickup that best suits your needs. For example, shoppers looking to tow large trailers will want the 6.6-liter turbodiesel engine. Drivers who need to cart around the whole family will want a Crew Cab. And those who want luxury will want a high-end LTZ or High Country model. If it were us choosing a Silverado 2500HD, we’d opt for the diesel because it’s just so capable, and we’d skip the base-level Work Truck model, since its sparse options might make it hard to resell. But the Silverado’s wide range of configurations means there’s something for everyone.