2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD Review

Chevy's Tough Trucks Get New Luster

2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD Review

GM updated its heavy-duty pickup truck line in 2011 with a host of mechanical upgrades, but now the interior and exterior styling has been thoroughly upgraded.

FAST FACTS

1. Engine: 6.6-liter Diesel with 765 lb-ft of torque and 397 hp.

2. Transmission: Allision 1000 Six-Speed Auto.

3. Max tow ratings: 23,200 lbs. fifth-wheel tow, 7,374 lbs. payload, 19,600 lbs. rear hitch.

4. Price: Starts at $32,405. Tested at $66,160.

A new look wraps the Silverado and Sierra HDs, but like all Chevy pickups, it relies on evolutionary styling and remains rather conservative. Most of the truck’s looks come straight from the half-tons, just like the innards, but there are a few key differences.

New Style

The first, and most obvious, are the two thick chrome bars that now adorn the grille of the Chevrolet HD. Although the front end appears to have more flat metal pushing through the air, this truck is actually more aerodynamic than the previous generation.

As for the GMC, the truck looks like a larger half-ton, that is to say, they look almost identical except for size.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

And one last nice touch, the Duramax badges fitted to the hood have been redesigned and now rise off the hood a good quarter-inch, giving the diesel-powered trucks a chiselled badge.

Old Engines, Same Great Power

2014 Chevrolet Silverado HD exterior 3

Engine and transmission choices carry over from the old trucks, which isn’t a bad thing. Chevrolet arranged a head-to-head comparison in the hills of Arizona against both a Cummins-powered Ram heavy duty and a Ford Super Duty with the 6.7-liter Power Stroke and GM’s HD ran away from the other two while climbing up a six-percent grade.

The 6.6-liter Duramax diesel still makes 765 lb-ft of torque and 397 hp and is mated exclusively to an Allison 1000 six-speed transmission. The base engine, which tends to be less popular, is a 6.0-liter gasoline V8 that puts out 360 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. Chevy says that it mostly sells those trucks to fleet buyers interested in base trim trucks, as anyone interested in doing any especially heavy towing simply must bump up to the diesel.

Brake pedal feel has been improved and offers confidence-inspiring stopping power. The top of the pedal travel feels light, with the meat of the pedal being found halfway down with progressively increasing resistance. Heavy-duty trucks tend to have touchy brakes and Chevrolet did a splendid job of avoiding that without giving up the feeling of serious stopping power.

Help on the Hills

2014 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD

Chevy also upgraded its auto-grade braking system to better control weight on the hills. It works by through the Allison transmission and the diesel exhaust brake to hold the truck at a constant speed while traveling downhill. During testing, the grade braking proved to be well set up and always capable of holding the truck at the desired speed, even with a 13,000-lb trailer hooked up to the back.

The updated exhaust brake, which is actually a variable vane turbocharger that acts as an exhaust brake, is among the quietest in any HD. It is also manually controllable, with a toggle switch on the center stack to activate it.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado HD exterior 7Uphill slogs are helped by the addition of hill-hold assist, which keeps the truck from rolling backwards when starting on an incline and is calibrated – like everything else on this truck – to hold back tons of weight… Literally. While I didn’t have the chance to tow with the truck at its maximum capacity, it felt strong enough with the trailer I did have to expect it would be totally capable of its rating. 

The last update that actually changes the operation of the truck is a revised steering feel, which like the brake pedal is quite progressive. At the center, there is a large dead zone, which is actually too large for my taste, but as you turn into it provides more feedback, and mid-turn it feels solid.

Interior Reinvention

2014 Chevrolet Silverado HD interior 1

Now, as mentioned, the interior of the HDs comes straight out of the new half-ton pickups and just like in those trucks, it makes these heavy duties very hospitable places to spend long trips. Chevy’s MyLink infotainment works well and is paired to a responsive eight-inch touchscreen, while connectivity is plentiful with five USB ports, three 12-volt charge ports and one 120-volt three-prong outlet.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado HD interior 2The steering wheel-mounted controls have a tactile feeling thanks to the rubber that coats them and the 4.2-inch color info display between the gauges is simple to leaf through and understand. Another thoughtful addition comes to the info screen this year, a diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) fluid meter. It is calculated in percentage, and the truck will begin warning you about low DEF 1,000 miles before it is time to fill up. It’s also worth noting that the tank is designed to be re-filled in conjunction with regular oil changes. The filler cap is underneath the hood, and isn’t particularly hard to get to, but it would be nice for it to be beside the fuel tank like in the competition.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado HD interior 11Interior changes aren’t just cosmetic, as the rear seat has been made bigger, and the cab configurations have changed slightly this year. GM is replacing the old extended cab model with what it calls the new double cab, eliminating the suicide doors in favor of new front-hinged doors. The crew cab is the other model that grows, gaining two-inches of legroom, which provides a huge backseat.

Two new bed configurations, a 6.5- and eight-foot version are now available, and they are fitted with the latest in bed tech from the general, including bumper integrated steps, LED lights in the bed, and a spray-on bed liner available right from the factory.

Comfortable and Quiet

2014 Chevrolet Silverado HD exterior 8

Thanks to aerodynamic improvements, new inlaid doors and added sound deadening, this is the quietest GM HD yet, and it is also the quietest compared to the competition. It does get rid of some of the classic diesel rumble that many of us so enjoy, but you can’t complain about the quiet ride.

Hundreds of miles melt away behind the wheel of this truck, even with 13,000 lbs hitched up to the fifth wheel. That is about half of the truck’s 23,200 pound fifth-wheel tow rating, and it feels light on the back. Pushing that weight to the limit likely wouldn’t elicit any worry either, or that is at least how confident this pickup felt while towing.

As for payload, the GM HDs can handle 7,374 pounds, while the trucks are rated to pull 19,600 on the rear hitch. Nothing we threw at the truck seemed to upset its powertrain or handling.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado HD exterior 4Base pricing stays almost stagnant for the trucks, starting at $32,405, a nice touch considering the new content. Some packages in the higher trim levels have jumped up by a larger margin, again because these trucks are packed with more technology than ever before.

For example, the four-wheel drive Silverado 3500 LTZ used to tow the trailer mentioned above costs $66,160 as tested, including delivery.

The Verdict

2014 Chevrolet Silverado HD exterior 2

The combination of a great interior along with a quiet and comfortable ride brings the Silverado’s already stellar powertrain into the modern era. Rather than catching up to the pack, it leap frogs the fray to become the segment’s best.

« Back
SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.

1. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. AGE/RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS, VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked