2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Expert Review

You'll Like The 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD If...

If you are a satisfied past or current Silverado HD owner, you will love these much-improved new ones despite their mostly carryover styling. Their performance, capabilities, refinement and fuel efficiency have improved, especially with their new, surprisingly quiet available Duramax turbo diesel V8.

You May Not Like The 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD If...

If you are a loyal and satisfied Ford or Dodge (now Ram) HD pickup owner, you may not find sufficient reason to switch to a new Chevy. The Ram was new for 2010, the F-250/350 for 2011, and both are fully competitive in most areas.

What's New

The 2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD's Duramax turbo diesel's power, torque, maximum conventional and fifth-wheel tow and payload ratings are best in class. Its fifth-wheel tow capability is 21,700 pounds, it can tow up to a 17,000-pound conventional load with its factory-installed hitch, and the Duramax is fully B20 biodiesel compatible.

Interior Features

The 2011 Silverado HD Work Truck and uplevel LTZ interiors are little changed in appearance but more refined in quietness and attention to detail. A variety of useful compartments provides out-of-sight storage for everything from work gloves to laptops. These new trucks can be highly capable mobile workplaces with mobile WiFi, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, XM Satellite Radio and GPS navigation, plus multiple charge points for multiple devices to operate simultaneously. XM NavTraffic, which comes with the available navigation system, provides real-time traffic updates (in selected areas) that can help plan the most time-efficient routes.

Exterior Features

The 2011 Chevy Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD models sport a bolder, tougher, flashier version of the signature Chevy truck face thanks to a new grille, full-width chrome steel front bumper and a new louvered power-dome hood. A new lineup of 17- (dually), 18- and 20-inch wheel/tire combinations is available, and 20-inch polished forged-aluminum wheels are available on the 2500HD.

Driving Impressions

We found towing a 9,500-pound trailer with a 2011 Silverado 3500HD relatively easy due largely to its new 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V8 and Allison transmission powertrain. Its massive (segment-best) 765 pound-feet of torque got that hefty rig rolling with ease, and its (segment-best) 397 hard-muscled horses kept it moving surprisingly smoothly and quietly. The ambience inside the Silverado's nicely-appointed cabin was a pleasant surprise – so quiet at any speed that we could easily chat with passengers in the crew-cab's back seat. Another plus is the highly-effective, engine compression-assisted brakes. New for 2011 is "smart" exhaust braking that progressively restricts the diesel's exhaust, depending on speed and grade, to help slow the rig with added compression braking – especially useful on down-hills. Other Silverado HDs we sampled also showed marked improvements in ride, handling, steering and brake feel due mostly to their new, much stiffer frames and redesigned suspensions.

Pricing Notes

The 2011 Silverado HD is offered in work truck, LT and LTZ trim levels with prices starting at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just under $29,000. The available Duramax turbo diesel V8/Allison transmission combination lists for just over $8,000 – unchanged from 2010 despite substantial upgrades in power, torque and fuel efficiency and new B20 biodiesel capability. MSRPs of the popular 2500HD crew-cab models are slightly higher than those of comparable 2010 (Dodge) Rams and slightly lower than 2011 Ford Super Duties. To get the best deal on your Silverado HD, check Fair Purchase Prices to see what buyers are actually paying in your area. Five-year resale values should be roughly comparable to the Fords and better than the Rams.

Notable Equipment

Four-wheel-disc brakes with ABS and Intelligent Brake Assist and six-speed automatic transmission are standard on all 2011 Chevrolet Silverado HDs, while StabiliTrak electronic stability control, Trailer Sway Control and Hill Start Assist (but not Hill Descent Control) are standard on single-rear-wheel (non-dualie) models and new "smart" exhaust braking comes with the Duramax diesel. Also standard are chrome front and rear bumpers, engine and transmission oil coolers, a driver information center, tilt steering wheel, automatic headlamps and front tow hooks. Standard safety features include front-seat airbags and a new high-strength tubular steel frame crossmember that improves crashworthiness.

Notable Options

Optional (or unavailable) on the base Work Truck are such basic amenities as cruise, power locks, windows and mirrors and a rear window defroster. The next-level LT trim provides most of those, plus remote keyless entry, a CD player and more, but the rear-window defroster remains optional. The top-of-the-line LTZ trim (available on Extended and Crew Cab models) adds that plus leather trim, power seats and much more. Option packages are available, and other major options include navigation, a CD changer, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, remote start, premium wheels, a sunroof, a rear backup camera, an integrated trailer brake controller and pelvic/thorax and head-curtain airbags.

Favorite Features

Exhaust braking

This system progressively restricts the diesel's exhaust – depending on speed and grade – to help slow the rig with added compression braking.

Remote starting

A favorite on any vehicle, this available feature is especially appreciated on working trucks that operate in hot and cold weather extremes.

Under the Hood

The standard heavy-duty Vortec 6.0-liter gasoline V8 has a cast-iron block, aluminum heads and cam-in-block variable valve timing (VVT), which allows the engine to use late intake valve closing to improve efficiency and achieve an optimum balance of low-rpm torque and free-breathing, high-rpm horsepower. The 2011 Duramax turbo diesel offers significantly more power and torque, 11 percent better fuel efficiency, 30 percent less engine noise, improved strength and durability, new "smart" exhaust braking with the Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission and full B20 biodiesel capability. Its NOx emissions are reduced by some 63 percent via a selective catalyst reduction after-treatment system that uses urea-based diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) in a 5.3-gallon tank that needs to be replenished about every 5,000 miles.

6.0-liter V8

360 horsepower @ 5400 rpm

380 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

6.6-liter turbocharged diesel V8

397 horsepower @ 3000 rpm

765 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1600 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

Editors' Notes

Chevrolet's Sliverado 2500HD and 3500HD heavy-duty pickups are all-new and substantially improved for 2011, yet they don't look much different from the 2010s they replace. Most of the available investment budget went into all-new, much stiffer and stronger frames (fully-boxed, high-strength steel) and suspensions (front independent, rear asymmetrical leaf-spring) and the new Duramax turbo diesel V8/Allison 1000 six-speed transmission powertrain, and little was left for styling changes. But these new Silverado HDs boast an impressive array of segment bests, beginning with that new Duramax diesel, which is not only more powerful but also 11 percent more fuel efficient than its predecessor. Given the new standard 36-gallon tank, you can theoretically drive up to 680 miles between fill-ups, which equates to almost 19 mpg on the highway (unloaded).

Road Test Video Reviews

2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Owner Reviews

19 Reviews
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Haven't replaced one part yet very reliable that's why the parts are expensive.

I own a 2011 Chevrolet 2500 crew cab I love it I added a K&N air filter system and flowmaster exhaust the truck is a power house I highly recommend getting your hands on one if your looking for a real truck a truck that lasts it's a Chevrolet Silverado iv never had any problems or performance issues thanks for your time.

- Johnny J

Great truck, would definitely recommend.

I have had no issues with the truck. It is very reliable in any weather condition. Pulls anything I put behind it. Comfort and fuel mileage are what I expected out of a heavy duty truck. I always keep up with regular maintenance and as such the truck has never left me sitting. I expect to have many more years out of it.

- Patrick H

Dependable and rugged. Performs when called on.

Only problem is an intermittent traction control warning. Otherwise truck has been problem free and very reliable other than regular maintenance. It rides like a truck so it's not the smoothest ride ever but it serves its purpose as a utility vehicle and regularly tows a twenty two foot trailer.

- Brandon R

King cab, dependable, lot of room, air & heat, & radio.

My Chevrolet truck, makes a dinging noise every so often, it's like the door is open, but its closed. Its a golf king cab truck, leather bed liner. It has air condition, heat. Factory radio, & a chip. I just had 4 brand new tires put on, it's a very good dependable truck, with a lot of room.

- Jessica O

Strong and dependable. Overall a very solid truck.

Overall my truck is a very reliable vehicle. I have had it a couple years now and have had very few if any problems(Can't exactly think of any off the top of my head). I would strongly recommend anyone looking for a reliable truck. Great dependable and I am very satisfied with my truck.

- John S

My Duramax is a powerhouse and can pull anything. I even get 25 mpg highway.

I have had very minor reliability issues. And very minor performance issues. All were very simple fixes. Somewhat expensive to fix however the products I bought improved fuel economy and horsepower while making my truck much more reliable. I will most likely never get rid of my truck.

- Chris S

This truck gets exceptionally great fuel mileage.

This vehicle is very comfortable to drive. With good tires, it rides very smooth. Additionally, it has enough room for a party plus a long bed to haul a great amount of stuff. It has a tow package and a hideaway gooseneck hitch, allowing me to haul or pull anything I need to.

- James B

2011 Chevy 2500 - awesome towing truck

Great truck! Over 100,000 miles and still runs like a champ! Comfortable cloth interior. Pulls a fifth wheel trailer like nothing behind it. Suspension works good. Decent gas mileage even when pulling a trailer. About 13-14 miles to the gallon. Overall good solid truck.

- Clayton B

It is very reliable and we have few problems arise with it.

I like how the seats flip up in the back, the console in the front seat can be flipped up for more seating, and the way it drives. I dislike how the truck is slanted (higher in the back and lower in the front), and that the fan that cools the engine is so loud.

- Kara B

My Chevy Silverado has been very dependable and reliable.

I really like my Chevy silverado. I have always had good experiences with Chevys. I like that it gets good gas mileage, doesn't have many engine problems and just runs smooth. It is very dependable and holds up to the job. I don't have any complaints

- Lindsey A

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