- Superior heavy-duty towing and hauling capability
- class-leading design
- powerful engine lineup
- wide variety of configurations
- available 4-wheel drive
The 2500 and 3500 come with a 6.0L V8 engine standard, though a 6.6L turbo-diesel V8 is available. All Silverados come with a heavy-duty 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2500 and 3500 can be had as either a regular, extended or crew cab, with a standard or long bed, and with either a 2- or 4-wheel drivetrain. Dual rear wheels are available on some models. There are three trim levels, WT, LT and LTZ.
The standard engine is a 6.0L V8 engine that is capable of 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. A 6.6L turbo-diesel engine capable of 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque is also available. A new fully-boxed chassis was introduced last year, which GM says is 125 times stronger than the unit it replaces and allows for a smoother ride as well as a much greater towing capacity. When equipped with the diesel engine, the trucks are now capable of towing up to 20,000 lbs.
In addition to the redesigned frame, new stronger front and rear suspension systems have also been added, yielding a 25% increase in strength on 4-wheel drive models. Now rated at 6,000 pounds, all 4-wheel drive front suspension systems can easily support a snow plow when properly equipped. Rear leaf springs have also been updated, with the 2500 utilizing 2-stage leaf systems and the 3500 making use of 3-stage springs.
Some standard features cross all Silverado lines, such as driver and passenger air bags, 4-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock brakes and tire pressure monitoring. GM's OnStar system is standard on the LT trim and better. It includes crash response, roadside assistance and remote door unlock services. There are two suspension packages available for the 2500: the Z85 handling and trailering suspension and the Z71 off-road package, which adds high-performance shocks and a bigger stabilizer bar.
Equipment availability is dependent on trim. Pretty much anything available in a pickup is available on a Silverado -- power everything, remote keyless entry, heated mirrors, privacy glass, bed liner, front tow hooks and chrome or aluminum wheels. Navigation is available as is rear-seat entertainment for the crew cab models. Heated power seats are available, as is cruise control, sunroof and a rear window defogger.
High-tech touches such as a rearview camera and rear parking assist are optional, too and would probably come in handy on a big truck like the Silverado. MP3-compatible stereo with XM satellite radio can be found on some models and a Bose system with USB interface is available.
The heavy-duty Silverado pickup carries into 2012 mostly unchanged, but a few new options have become available. The LT trims gain, depending on the region, a Texas Edition and Custom Sport Truck package, essentially identical, that include 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, power-adjustable camper mirrors, heavy-duty trailering, locking rear differential, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, steering wheel audio controls, power seats, fog lamps, running boards and chrome accents.
On the LTZ, a new Z71 Appearance Package is available that includes 18-inch aluminum wheels, fog lamps, body-colored trim, off-road suspension. An LTZ Plus Package is also new, which includes a universal garage door opener, powr-adjustable pedals and rear park assist.
The Silverado range is always one of GM's biggest sellers. This means GM is always endeavoring to innovate and continue to improve the truck's design. As a result, the consumer wins--whether hauling equipment to a job site, working a farm or towing a boat, the Silverado 2500 and 3500 are built for tough work, and are some of the best-designed trucks available from any manufacturer. Made in either short or long bed form, with 2- or 4-wheel drivetrain, optional dual rear wheels and with a choice of several impressively powerful engines, the Silverado can be set up do just about anything asked of it. The 2500, even simply configured, is capable of towing over 10,000 pounds and base prices start around $25,000.