Body styles, trims, available powertrains, payload, and towing.
Full-size pickup trucks continue to meet the needs of tens of millions of Americans, a segment that shows no sign of imploding. Ford, GM, and Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler) represent the domestics with Toyota and Nissan also with a presence.
But it’s the traditional “Big Three” that dominate the market with models from Ford, Chevrolet/GMC, and Ram holding sway. Moreover, this trio is active in the “heavy duty” segment, unlike its foreign competitors. Specifically, you’ll find variants of all four brands with “Super Duty” or “HD” offering an important distinction. As for Chevrolet, you’ll find models available under the 2500HD and 3500HD sub nameplates.
We’ll break things down to explain the differences between the various Silverado models.
Sometimes referenced as the Silverado 1500, this range covers the brand’s light-duty models. By far, this one is the volume model with seven powertrain combinations offered.
Towing and payload capacities are big deals for many owners and vary widely. The 2021 model is rated to pull from 7,900 to 13,300 pounds, depending on the engine offering. As for maximum payload, it ranges from 1,780 to 2,280 pounds.
The first of two “heavy duty” models is the Silverado 2500HD. Among the notable facts is that this one is available in Regular, Double, and Crew Cab configurations with standard rear-wheel drive and available four-wheel drive. Five trims are available: Work Truck, Custom, LT, LTZ, and High Country.
The 2500HD has a standard automatic-locking rear differential and comes with a trailering package with a 7-pin connector and hitch guidance. Standard on the LTZ and High Country and available on the LT trims is a rear vision camera system comprised of HD surround vision with a pair of trailer view camera provisions. On the safety front, available standard automatic emergency braking and forward collision alert are among the driver-assist features offered.
Silverado 2500HD shoppers have a choice of two engines. The standard offering is a 6.6-liter gasoline V8 with 401 horsepower and 464 pound-feet of torque. Power routes to the wheels utilizing a 6-speed automatic transmission. Customers can upgrade to a 6.6-liter turbo-diesel V8 engine with 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque. Here, power travels to the wheels by means of a 10-speed automatic transmission.
The maximum payload and maximum trailering numbers are impressive. Conventional towing comes in at 14,500 pounds for the gas engine and 18,500 pounds with the turbo-diesel. If you desire 5th wheel/gooseneck towing, the ratings are 17,350 and 18,500 pounds, respectively.
When it comes to payload, models equipped with the gas engine reach 3,979 (2WD) and 3,965 (4WD) pounds. As for the diesel, the limits for both drivetrain choices are the same: 3,915 pounds.
Like the 2500HD, the 3500HD is available in Regular, Double, and Crew Cab configurations. Four trims are also available: Work Truck, LT, LTZ, and High Country. This truck comes with standard rear-wheel drive and available four-wheel drive and dual rear wheels.
The 3500HD also has a standard automatic-locking rear differential and comes with a trailering package with a 7-pin connector and hitch guidance. Standard on the LTZ and High Country and available on the LT trims is its High Guidance with Hitch View camera system comprised of HD surround vision with a pair of trailer view camera provisions. On the safety front, available standard automatic emergency braking and forward collision alert are among the driver-assist features offered.
As for the powertrains, these carry forward from the 2500HD along with same transmissions and power ratings. The most significant difference, though, are the much higher payload and trailering ratings when equipped with dual rear wheels. Specifically, conventional towing comes in at 16,800 pounds for the gas engine and 20,000 pounds with the turbo-diesel. If you desire 5th wheel/gooseneck towing, the ratings are 17,200 and a whopping 36,000 pounds, respectively.
Not only is towing magnified with the 3500HD, but the same can also be said with the payload. Again, these top numbers cover models with dual rear wheels. In particular, you’ll find that models equipped with the gas engine reach 7,442 (2WD) and 7,145 (4WD) pounds. As for the diesel, the limits are 6,523 and 6,196 pounds, respectively.
2021 Chevrolet Silverado
No matter what form the Chevy Silverado is offered, it brings a strong presence to the market. Long enjoyed by families and contractors alike, the heavy-duty versions attract the interest of serious sportsmen as well as business people who need one.
See Also — Dually Prowess: 2019 Ram 3500
Photo courtesy of GM Corp.