When a half-ton pickup just won’t do the trick, the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD and 3500 HD (Heavy Duty) are the go-to vehicles for those needing maximum towing and hauling abilities. A new Duramax diesel engine improves the Silverado HD’s conventional tow ratings, although it still lags behind Ram and Ford when using a fifth-wheel setup.
You'll Like The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD If...
If you need more towing and hauling ability than a half-ton Silverado can offer, but you want to remain a GM loyalist, the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD with the new Duramax diesel engine is the perfect solution.
You May Not Like The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD If...
If you need only the power, towing and fuel economy of diesel engine, you can get one in a Ram 1500, or in the Nissan Titan XD that straddles the fence between half-ton and quarter-ton pickups. Both the Ram HD and Ford Super Duty best the Silverado HD’s 5th-wheel tow ratings.
The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD gets a vastly improved Duramax 6.6-liter diesel engine with a new air-induction system that helps boost both horsepower and torque. Teen Driver is added this year helping parents keep track of their kids’ driving habits.
As mentioned, the interior of the Silverado HD is among its highlights, at least in higher trims. At the low end, the WT (work truck) is basic but functional, with a 3-passenger 40/20/40-split bench with vinyl upholstery and a small, 4.2-inch color display for audio functions. We recommend stepping up to the LT or LTZ trim, which comes with a more advanced infotainment system and flashes of bright work to complement cloth or leather seating. Double-cab versions can accommodate up to three passengers in back for a total of six (or five if you opt for bucket seats in front).
The 2017 Chevy Silverado 2500 and 3500 HD pickup exteriors stand out with a big, boxy front end that's even more pronounced thanks to a sleek air intake on models equipped with the Duramax. Regular-cab models are fitted with an 8-foot bed (long box), while double-cab and the roomier crew-cab models are available with the long box or a 6-foot-6 standard box. All 2500 and 3500 Chevy trucks have the helpful CornerStep bumpers for a better foothold when loading and unloading. The Chevy Silverado 3500HD is available as a dually with two pairs of rear wheels.
The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD is built for hauling and towing, but it also proves a very capable cruiser. We spent the first half of our day cruising the freeways at high speeds. Despite its obvious size and weight, the Silverado HD surprised us with its comfortable ride and adept steering and suspension setup. The new Duramax diesel is more refined than the previous version, with less clatter and a more responsive throttle. When we finally got the chance to do some towing, the Silverado didn’t disappoint. With fifth-wheel in service, the Silverado lived up to all the promises made by our Chevrolet rep. Towing a 10,000-pound trailer up to a 6,000-foot elevation proved child’s play for the Duramax. Trailer-sway control kept wag to a minimum, and the diesel exhaust brake and trusty 6-speed Allison transmission insured a drama-free descent.
You can get a 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD regular-cab work truck for a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) around $35,000. Plan on spending a few thousand more for an LT version, or 10 grand more for an LTZ. A diesel-powered High Country Silverado 3500 HD with options can kiss $70,000 or more. Believe it or not, that price is in line with other maxed-out heavy-duty pickups. At the bottom end, a base Ram 2500 starts a couple of thousand below the Chevy, while a Ford Super Duty starts a touch below. The new Nissan Titan XD with a 5.0-liter Cummins diesel V8 is slated to start around $38,000. Check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their 2017 Silverado HD. The resale value of the Silverado HD is impressive, and springing for the diesel engine will help keep the value high.
Being that it is a work truck at its core, a base Silverado HD won’t spoil you much. It will, however, bring you a beefy V8 engine, anti-lock disc brakes, air conditioning, locking rear differential, locking tailgate and stability control. The basic audio system in the Silverado HD WT (work truck) is an AM/FM radio with USB and auxiliary ports. We recommend at least stepping up to the LT model, which includes the Chevrolet MyLink audio system with 8-inch display, Bluetooth connectivity, CD player, GM's OnStar communications system with built-in 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity, cloth interior and power windows.
Stepping up to the LTZ model adds further amenities such as heated leather seats, a steering wheel that telescopes as well as tilts, power-adjustable pedals, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, rearview camera, and power front seats. Top-line High Country models -- available only in crew-cab form -- include navigation, heated and ventilated front seats, Bose audio system and perforated leather seating. The Duramax diesel engine is available on all models, as is 4-wheel drive. Also available, depending on trim, are a rear-seat entertainment package, sunroof, power-adjustable pedals, and active safety features like blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and front-collision alert.
Chevy’s 2017 Silverado 2500 HD and 3500 HD may be work trucks on the outside, but their interiors are every bit as plush and accommodating as the nicest Chevy Suburban or Tahoe. Chevrolet’s MyLink, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, an 8-inch color touch screen and wireless charging permit 21st -century living on the go.
6.6-LITER DURAMAX ENGINE
GM’s 6.6-liter Duramax diesel receives a number of enhancements this year including a new air-induction system, stronger cylinder block and heads and a new electronically controlled turbocharging system. Output increases to 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque, and the engine is now B20 compatible.
Under the Hood
Three V8 engines are offered in the 2017 Silverado 2500 HD and 3500 HD. Standard is a 360-horsepower 6.0-liter gasoline engine. This same engine can be had for use with compressed natural gas (CNG). For bigger jobs and more towing ability, there is the 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel engine, a roughly $8,400 option. All three engines are mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The gasoline engine is rated at 380 lb-ft of torque while the 6.6-liter V8 Duramax diesel churns out 910 lb-ft of twist. Maximum conventional trailering for the gasoline V8 is 14,500 pounds, or 14,800 when using a fifth-wheel/gooseneck. The Duramax V8 diesel models increase those numbers to 20,000 and 23,300 pounds, respectively, and feature an exhaust-braking system.
6.0-liter CNG V8
301 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
333 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
360 horsepower @ 3,000 rpm
380 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
6.6-liter turbodiesel V8
445 horsepower @ 2,800 rpm
910 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
Feeling the sting of playing catch-up to Ford’s Super Duty and Ram’s HD trucks, Chevrolet has given its 2017 Silverado 2500 HD and 3500 HD a significant boost in power and ability. Thanks go to a greatly improved Duramax diesel engine that pumps out 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque. Conventional tow ratings vary depending on configuration, but max out around 18,100 pounds for the 2500 HD and 23,300 for the 3500 HD. However, when it comes to using a fifth-wheel, the Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty still triumph over the Chevy. All this goodness doesn’t come cheap, with a fully decked-out Silverado 3500 HD easily pushing past $70,000. In fairness, the same holds true for the competition.