2008 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Expert Review

You'll Like The 2008 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD If...

Whether purchasing for commercial construction, agriculture or recreational towing, if your needs are truly "heavy-duty" you'll likely find those needs met with the 2008 Chevrolet Silverado HD, which offers all of the virtues, with few of the vices, normally associated with a "heavy-duty" truck.

You May Not Like The 2008 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD If...

The 2008 Chevrolet Silverado HD's principal mission is to haul or tow big and heavy things. If you don't need this sort of vehicle and its "heavy-duty" attributes, you'll probably be happier with something not quite so robust.

What's New

XM Satellite Radio is made standard on all models, while dual-rear-wheel versions receive 17-inch wheels. Regular Cab models now offer an available power driver's seat.

Interior Features

With the 2008 Chevrolet Silverado HD there are two available interiors. The version standard in the WT (base-model Work Truck) and LT trims is all about functionality, with an instrument panel focused on ergonomic ease, door panels offering larger door pulls and handles, a specific center console and two glove boxes. The "luxury" interior of the LTZ offers a driving environment straight out of a Tahoe or Suburban. With a distinct instrument design, large center console and other specific trim elements the end result is decidedly upscale.

Exterior Features

Prettied up might be a kiss-of-death descriptive for a heavy-duty pickup, but it will work for the 2008 Chevrolet Silverado HD. The Chevy exterior was all-new for 2007 and builds on those themes established by the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado 1500. The grille is wide and tall and is flanked by large, reflector-optic headlamps. Corner lights wrap into the flared front fenders, which complement the bulge atop the Silverado's hood, and there is a sleeker profile by virtue of the 57-degree windshield angle. Functionally, there are large "grab-style" door handles (for ease of operation while wearing work gloves), doors extend over the rocker panels and, on Extended Cab models, the rear doors open 170 degrees.

Driving Impressions

Given the number of drivetrain, cab and chassis variations in the Silverado lineup, it's difficult to provide one set of observations regarding drivability. However, everything Chevy's engineering team did to enhance the driving experience has worked. A more rigid frame, in combination with a widened track and retuned suspensions (Z85, standard on 2WD and 4WD models; and Z71, the optional Off-Road suspension), supplies the needed capability without imposing the typical vices of a heavy-duty platform. The ride is composed, handling stable and steering accurate with good on-center feel. With the 6.0-liter gasoline V8, performance might be described as "almost recreational." The Duramax does what diesels do, pulling a lot of load (up to 13,000 lbs.) in an authoritative manner.

Pricing Notes

The 2008 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price starting around $25,000 for the Regular Cab WT, with the 3500HD costing a few hundred more. The diesel adds another $7,000 to the bottom line and one could easily spend $50,000 for a heavily-optioned crew cab in the LTZ trim level. These numbers are fully competitive with Ford's Super Duty and slightly less than a Dodge Ram. Resale values for all three trucks are expected to be similar.

Notable Equipment

For truck-oriented capability, few things beat power; Chevy's standard 6.0-liter Gen IV V8 delivers 353 horsepower and 373 lb.-ft. of torque, and a new six-speed automatic transmission meshes perfectly with the engine's capability. Standard safety features include seat-belt pretensioners, tire-pressure monitoring and OnStar.

Notable Options

For many, selecting the diesel is a no-brainer; Chevy's Duramax turbo-diesel provides loads of power and is a lot quieter and smoother than diesels of the past, plus fleet models are now biodiesel capable. Those carrying lots of random cargo might better organize it with GM's cargo management system, those living in excessively cold or warm climates will benefit from remote starting on certain trim levels and those wishing to be entertained will enjoy an enhanced DVD system and CD/MP3 audio. Finally, people who worry about getting lost should opt for the available touch-screen navigation system.

Favorite Features

Six-Speed Automatic
This transmission has two overdrive gears to provide relaxed cruising with lower engine speeds and a first gear that's intended to enhance off-the-line response. Of importance to those towing is both Driver Shift Control (tap up and down) and standard Tow/Haul Mode. Though some may wish for an available manual transmission, the six-speed automatic's overall excellence might cure you from wanting to shift your own gears.

Gen IV 6.0L V8 (Gasoline)
For sheer day-in, day-out driving pleasure the 6.0-liter gasoline V8 is terrific, offering extraordinary response for a vehicle this large.

Under the Hood

Chevy offers two engine choices. Base power is the 6.0-liter gasoline V8 that delivers 353 horsepower and 373 lb.-ft. of torque. Although the EPA doesn't provide a rating for vehicles in this category, past experience suggests GM gasoline engines deliver competitive fuel economy. For those wanting more, the 6.6-liter Duramax provides 365 horsepower and a remarkable 660 lb.-ft. of torque.

6.0 liter V8
353 horsepower @ 5400 rpm
373 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

6.6 liter V8 Turbo Diesel
365 horsepower @ 3200 rpm
660 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

Editors' Notes

Building on the well-received Tahoe, Suburban and lighter-duty 1500 pickups, the 2008 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD/3500HD series brings increased capabilities, refined interiors and enhanced drivability. And, in a nod to Ford's Super Duty line, there's more to differentiate this newest heavy-duty truck from its lighter-duty sibling.

Road Test Video Reviews

  • 2007-2010 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD - Truck | AutoTrader Used Car Review | AutoTrader
  • 2007 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Review | 2007-2013
  • 2008 Chevrolet Silverado Review - Kelley Blue Book
  • 2007-2009 Chevy Silverado 2500HD review
  • 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 review
  • Short Takes: 2008 Chevrolet Silverado LT Crew Cab (Start Up, Engine, Full Tour)

Owner Reviews


21 Reviews

62% 29% 10% 2 star 0% 1 star 0%

Owner reviews are verified by our team and cannot be altered or removed.

Summary of a 2008 heavy duty truck.

Cracked dash is the major problem, it cracked for no reason and I see a lot of other people with the same problem. Performance and reliability seems to be good for the most part. But when something does go wrong and it gets fixed it seems like something else goes wrong. So it's a never ending battle. It could be a lot of comfortable, seats are a little stiff. Features are good tho.

- Sam S

It is not just a truck, it is family!

Totally reliable, never had a problem. Chevy's have the best comfort of all vehicles. The instruments are easy to read and understand. I drive my vehicle everyday and love it. I would recommend a Chevy to all. My truck always gets comments on how beautiful it looks. Its quality from start to finish. It performs and never lets me down.

- James F

Great truck, but very expensive.

Hard to get to glow plugs and if they go out it is very expensive to replace. For 4 glow plugs it will cost me in excess of $700 after taxes. The truck's diesel regen feature is excessively frustrating due to it wasting precious fuel. Overall, I really like the truck, but the features are easy to break and are insanely costly.

- I A