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Chevrolet Silverado 2024 review: 2500 HD - GVM test

Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler)

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The combined sales of GMSV’s 1500 and 2500 HD Silverado offerings currently represent more than 36 per cent of the Over $100K pick-up segment, in which extensive local remanufacturing of US-sourced vehicles to RHD ensures six-figure price tags.

Clearly, these large Chevrolets, which are primarily designed for carrying and towing heavy things, have established a strong foothold in Australia.

We recently trialled the latest MY24 version of the biggest Silverado from a tradie’s perspective, to see if this giant could be a superior alternative to local one-tonne ute offerings in the dual roles of weekday worker and weekend leisure machine.

Price and Features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with? 8/10

Our test vehicle is available only with GM’s 6.6-litre 'Duramax' turbo-diesel V8, 10-speed automatic transmission and dual-range 4x4 system for a list price of $163,000.

Our example has optional 'Slate Grey' prestige paint ($1250) plus GMSV accessories including a powered roller tonneau cover ($3970) and rear under-seat storage ($455) which adds more than $5600 to the price. So, with on-road costs, it's drive-away is more than $170K.

Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler) Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler)

MY24 upgrades include styling, performance, towing and safety enhancements. There’s also a redesigned interior, with its most notable feature being upsized dash screens comprising a 12.3-inch configurable driver’s info display (paired with a colour head-up display) and larger 13.4-inch multimedia touchscreen. 

There’s also a premium Bose sound system, Apple/Android connectivity and wireless phone-charging, plus USB ports front and rear, dual-zone climate control, heated leather-rimmed steering wheel (with four-way adjustment), a power sunroof and power sliding rear window.

Leather-appointed seating offers 10-way driver and front passenger power adjustment, heated/ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, rear privacy glass, a power tailgate, tubular side-steps, 360-degree camera (and up to 14 different camera views), full LED lighting including fog lamps and DRLs plus heaps more. It’s what you might call fully-loaded - even without a load.

Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler) Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler)

Design – Is there anything interesting about its design? 8/10

MY24 brings a freshened front-end appearance with new fascia, headlights, body-coloured bumpers and grille garnish, black body highlights and more.

With a traditional ladder-frame truck chassis and sprawling 4036mm wheelbase, this behemoth measures almost 6.4 metres in length (6387mm) and more than 2.2 metres in width (2263mm).

It also stands more than 2.0 metres tall (2039mm) and has a vast 16.1-metre turning circle. So, multi-storey car parks, drive-thru takeaways etc are best avoided. And domestic driveways (if wide and long enough to accommodate it) may suffer under its weight over time.

Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler) Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler)

It rides on 20-inch high-gloss black alloys with LT275/65 R20 Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tyres and carries a full-size spare.

New Z71 off-road suspension includes skid plates and Rancho twin-tube dampers, offering 251mm of ground clearance and 28.5 degrees approach/19 degrees ramp breakover/23.6 degrees departure angles.

However, its 4x4 capabilities would be better suited to accessing rugged worksites, pulling a large caravan out of a boggy campground or towing a large boat trailer up a slimy boat ramp, than hardcore bush-bashing on narrow tracks.

Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler) Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler)

The Silverado’s extensive remanufacturing to RHD, performed on a dedicated production line in Melbourne, exudes OEM standards of fit and finish. The dashboard module is particularly impressive, in providing a mirror image of the LHD original in appearance and function.

The leather-appointed cabin is a highlight, offering palatial space and comfort for all. It features a tasteful blend of contrasting materials and surface treatments, including silver-grey woodgrain inserts on the doors, dash and centre console plus exposed stitching along seams and subtle splashes of chrome.

The entry pathway to the rear seat is expansive, thanks to wide-opening doors and a flat floor with no transmission hump to straddle. There’s executive-lounge rear head and legroom, even for tall people, combined with enough shoulder room to ensure a crew of five can travel in comfort.

Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler) Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler)

Practicality – How practical is its space and tech inside? 8/10

With its towering 3762kg kerb weight, the 2500 HD offers a choice of ADR load ratings (NB1 or NB2) which must be specified by the customer at the time of ordering (at no extra cost) to ensure the correct certification for vehicle registration.

The NB1 category allows up to 4500kg GVM/733kg payload, which can be driven by car licence holders. NB2 allows up to 5148kg GVM/1386kg of payload, but requires a truck licence. Our test vehicle is certified for the lower NB1 rating.

The 2500 HD is rated to tow up to 3500kg of braked trailer with a 50mm ball and up to 4500kg with a 70mm ball. These trailer weights are well within its capabilities, given that its GCM rating (how much it can legally carry and tow at the same time) is an eye-popping 12474kg.

  • Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler) Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler)
  • Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler) Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler)
  • Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler) Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler)
  • Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler) Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler)

Yep, that’s more than 12 tonnes, which allows for trailers weighing more than 4500kg using heavy-duty connections like pintle hooks, goosenecks/fifth-wheel turntables installed and certified by specialist aftermarket suppliers.

The enormous load tub offers almost 2.0 cubic metres of cargo volume and has large external steps front and rear for easier access. The load floor is 2089mm long, 1814mm wide and 533mm deep, with 1317mm between the rear wheel-housings allowing Aussie or Euro pallets to be carried.

It’s protected by a tough spray-on liner, plus there are 12 load-anchorage points, LED lighting, power tailgate and a camera to keep an eye on loads when driving. Our test vehicle was also fitted with adjustable and removable load-dividers, which are part of the GMSV accessories range.

  • Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler) Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler)
  • Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler) Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler)

Cabin storage for driver and front passenger includes two bottle/cupholders and a large bin in each door plus a single glove box. The centre console has a large open tray up front, two bottle/cupholders in the centre and an Esky-sized box at the back with padded lid that doubles as a plush elbow rest.

Rear seat passengers get a bottle/cupholder and bin in each door plus two more bottle/cupholders in the rear of the centre console and another two in the fold-down centre armrest. There are also large storage pockets on both front seat backrests and compartments cleverly hidden behind hinged upper backrest cushions.

The 60/40 split rear seat base can swing up and be stored vertically if more internal load space is required. This also provides access to the under-seat storage accessory fitted to our test vehicle. You’d seriously struggle to run out of cabin storage!

Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler) Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler)

Under the bonnet – what are the key stats for its engine and transmission? 9/10

The 6.6-litre Duramax turbo-diesel V8, with driver-switchable exhaust brake, is tailored for heavy-hauling with an external engine oil cooler and functional bonnet scoop feeding fresh air to the engine’s intake system.

In the latest MY24 specification, it produces 350kW at 2800rpm and 1322Nm of torque at 1600rpm. That’s 18kW and 98Nm more than the previous model.

The refined 10-speed torque converter automatic with column-shifter is also fitted with an external oil cooler, while closer gear ratios and revised final-drive ratios for MY24 enhance all-round performance.

A dual-range transfer case offers a choice of four drive modes comprising 2WD, 4WD high-range, 4WD low-range and Auto (traction-sensing full-time 4WD). Also new is an automatic-locking rear differential.

Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler) Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler)

Its armoury of advanced towing hardware and technology includes a 4500kg tow-bar with 12-pin wiring harness and integrated trailer brake controller.

Plus, there’s a rear-view camera with hitch guidance, automated trailer lighting test, in-vehicle trailering app with trailer profiles, trailer theft alert, trailer tyre pressure/temperature monitoring and lots more.

New MY24 features include adaptive cruise control which can be used when towing (detecting the additional weight behind the vehicle to automatically increase braking distances). Others are 'Trailer Side Blind Zone Alert' (TSBZA), which extends the blind zone area when towing, plus 'Gross Combination Mass Alert' (GCMA) which alerts if you exceed the GCM.

Efficiency – What is its fuel consumption? What is its driving range? 8/10

The dash readout was claiming 17.5L/100km at the end of our 351km test, which comprised mostly city and suburban driving plus some highway running with a full payload.

Our own figure, calculated from fuel bowser and tripmeter readings, came in slightly lower at 16.8, which is decent economy for a vehicle weighing more than 3.7 tonnes unladen in ‘real world’ driving.

So, based on our figures, you could expect a realistic driving range of around 800km from its big 136-litre tank.

Driving - what’s it like to drive? 8/10

Side-steps and large handles on the A- (and B-) pillars assist climbing aboard. It’s a very comfortable driving position, given the multiple seat and steering wheel adjustments along with plush elbow rests on both sides.

The large door mirrors, combined with numerous camera angles including the central rear view mirror's pin-sharp image, provide commanding all-around vision.

The steering is nicely weighted and surprisingly communicative for such a giant, providing good feel and response at all speeds.

The suspension tuning is supple enough to provide a smooth ride, yet retains enough firmness to minimise the ponderous feel inherent in vehicles of this size and weight.

Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler) Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler)

Braking response is also reassuringly strong, without requiring huge pressure on the brake pedal to achieve it.

The 6.6-litre turbo-diesel V8 and 10-speed auto provide effortless performance. With maximum torque tapped at just 1600rpm, the engine is barely ticking over at city and suburban speeds.

And it requires less than 1500rpm to quietly maintain 110km/h on the highway, which combined with its low tyre and wind noise results in a supremely relaxed long-haul cruiser.

With its NB1 GVM rating, we loaded more than half a tonne into the load tub, which combined with our crew of two was just under its 733kg payload limit.

Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler) Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler)

It simply didn’t notice the added weight, storming up our 13 per cent gradient, 2.0km-long set climb with acceleration unmatched by any loaded vehicle we’ve tested on this ascent.

Its engine-braking on the way down using the exhaust brake also set a new benchmark, never exceeding 50km/h and 2000rpm on overrun without once touching the brake pedal.

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What is its safety rating? 8/10

ANCAP star ratings are not applicable in this vehicle class, but it does come well equipped with six airbags including side-curtain protection for all outboard seating positions.

There’s also forward collision alert with low-speed AEB, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring (including when towing trailers), rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking assist, up to 14 camera views including 360 degrees ‘birds-eye’ and more.

There are three top tether points across the second row seat for securing baby capsules/child seats with ISOFIX anchors on the two outer positions.

Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler) Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD (image: Mark Oastler)

Ownership – What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs? 6/10

The Silverado is covered by a three year/100,000km warranty with three years roadside assist.

Scheduled servicing is every 12 months/12,000km, whichever occurs first, and there's no capped-price servicing. This ownership package falls short compared to rivals like Ford's RHD F-150.

This is a serious truck with load-carrying and towing capabilities far beyond Australia’s ubiquitous Ranger/HiLux-sized one-tonne utes. However, those vehicles thrive in urban use due to their relatively compact dimensions so, in that context, this pick-up is simply too large to be a practical alternative. However, if you have more specialised work and recreational requirements, like GCMs as high as 12 tonnes with spacious comfort for a crew of five, this big American would be tough to top.


Based on new car retail price

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