2011 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Base price: $27,965

“BRING IN A TANK, I’LL SELL THE (!) THING!” – Frank Rizzo, Jerky Boys, 1992


You are what you drive whether you know it or not, and when you navigate the Silverado 2500, with its Duramax Diesel engine, miles of metal and guttural engine, you’re the Hulk.  Man or woman, your vocabulary boils down to grunts and head-nods.  Your sleeves fall off, stubble appears on your mug, and you squint.

 

Haul it, tow it, pack it - it's all good in the Silverado 2500.

 

You’ll be tossed around like the shot in a maraca when driving with an empty bed over rough roads, but since the purpose of this machine is to haul and tow stuff, that’s no sin – this thing can tow up to 17, 800 pounds, and a 36-gallon tank allows you to travel up to 680 highway miles on a single fill-up. Yet it’s quiet, and smells not – I wasn’t even aware my test vehicle had a diesel engine until I felt it in my feet, and checked the press materials.  (There’s a certain “numb” feeling in the accelerator of many diesel-powered cars and trucks…and, yes, sometimes I deliberately don’t read anything about what I’m testing until I’ve had it a few days, so I can form opinions unencumbered by hype.)

An all-new chassis features a high-strength, fully boxed steel frame that’s five times torsionally stiffer than previous models and lets the Silverado 2500HD shoulder up to 4,192 lbs.of payload.  That’s a lot of pianos, pal.  Or debris from a construction job. Or your lawn equipment, building materials or what-have-you.

 

Members of United Auto Workers Local 598 make an adjustment to the chassis of the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD pickup at the Flint Assembly Plant.

 

The truck also comes with a lot of stuff you wouldn’t know about unless you read up, including:

Hill Start Assist On uphill inclines greater than a 5% grade, Hill Start Assist automatically engages to hold the truck stationary for about a second after the brake is released. This gives the driver time to accelerate before the truck can roll backward.

Trailer Sway Control Working in conjunction with StabiliTrak, the Trailer Sway Control feature senses trailer sway and automatically applies the truck’s brakes to help reduce sway and help maintain control.

Bigger, stronger brakes Larger rotors and calipers improve brake pedal feel and result in shorter pedal travel. With Intelligent Brake Assist, the calipers are preloaded. When the system senses a panic-braking situation, the brakes can be fully applied more quickly.

Obviously, none of the above really applies to a week-long test with nothing towed, hauled, climbed or clobbered.  But you can feel it in your hands and feet – this Hulk gets ‘er done.  For the driver, there’s goodies galore, like:

  • Heated, leather-appointed front bucket seats with dual-density foam.
  • Driver Information Center displaying engine hours, fuel range, fuel used, transmission temperature and more
  • Dual glove boxes (WT and LT models) providing nearly 9 liters of combined cargo space
  • Humongous storage areas for front-seat passenger, including lockable underseat storage space on LT
  • Room for up to three in Regular Cab and up to six in Extended Cab and Crew Cab
  • There’s also satellite radio, blue-tooth hook up, and a pretty decent sound system. The optional, dealer-installed Chevrolet Wi-Fi by Autonet Mobile turns the Silverado HD into a mobile hotspot. 

    There are nooks, crannies, pockets and storage spaces galore.

I put two pals in the back seat – hauling about 300 pounds between the two.

“What do you think?” I yelled.

I couldn’t hear ’em because they were being tossed all over the place.

“WITH A FULL LOAD, IT’S A SMOOTHER RIDE!” I shouted.  They staggered like drunks when I dropped them off.

Bottom line? GM makes ferocious trucks.  I’ve known that since I was 5, when the GMC school bus would roll up in front of my driveway, its badge bigger than my entire body.   I’ve never forgotten the feeling of getting into that mammoth spaceship, and climbing into the Silverado evoked the same feeling.

Base price is $27,965, but that’s nude, dude. Spring for the options, it’s a lot more coin, natch.

For loaded prices, trim levels, and more, click here.

-Josh Max, Auto Gigolo