2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD LT 4X4 Road Test Review

Jason McLoughlin - CAP staff
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I was truly excited when General Motors told me they had a new 2011 Chevrolet Silverado for me to test drive. Having been a truck person most of my life, I can appreciate the more rugged aspects of this form of transportation.

When I was picking up the massive Silverado 2500 HD 4X4 in stunning "Victory Red" it brought back memories of my days on the Fire Department. Though there have definitely been some upgrades to trucks in general since then, I assure you.

With Luxurious leather seating throughout the big crew cab layout, a spacious elegance all around, it's hard to believe this stallion is actually a workhorse. But this new beauty from Chevrolet has brains too. With technological upgrades focused on the work environment this truck was meant for, you'll be feeling safe and secure, never even realizing the possible dangers that could otherwise be around you.

With features like Trailer Sway Control (TSC) that can sense any sort of deviation from a trailer's intended direction of travel, the Silverado can apply the brakes accordingly to keep you heading in the right direction. Working with the Stabilitrak feature, the vehicle can sense any sort of instability in the chassis and can also apply the brakes or electronically control the suspension to keep the vehicle in it's designated tracking. All this takes place in the blink of an eye, so you'll never even notice it's happening.

Other cool features that Chevy has incorporated is Auto Grade Braking (AGB) and Hill Start Assist (HAS). Anyone who has had to stop at a light with a load knows how stressful if can be when you have a little sports car tucked in right behind you and a long incline out front. With Hill Start Assist, the truck will keep the brakes engaged long enough for you to get the truck in motion. Going in the other direction, with Auto Grade Braking the onboard computer can sense the truck on a downgrade and apply the brakes slightly to keep you in a controlled descent.

The vehicle that I had tested was upgraded to the 6.6-litre V8 Duramax Diesel that is matched with the 6-speed Allison automatic transmission with overdrive. This upgrade option also comes with a 3:73 rear gear ratio axle and massive 20-inch aluminum wheels. It's not a cheap upgrade at over $12,000, but definitely worth every penny if you plan to tow or haul heavy loads.

On that note, the Silverado 2500 HD is good for a tow rating of between 4,218 kilos (9,300 lbs) and 5,897 kg (13,000 lbs), depending on body style/wheelbase configuration. Maximum payloads range from 1,185 kg (2,613 lbs) to 1,901 kg (4,192 lbs).

The standard truck comes with a 6.0-litre SFI V8 Flex Fuel engine, running a 125 Amp Generator, ABS on all four corners, complemented with front and rear discs.

Some of the specifications on the new 2011 Silverado HD 2500 are staggering, such as the 6.6L Duramax Diesel putting out 397 horsepower and a neck breaking 765 lb-ft of torque that can run on B-20 Bio Diesel. Not only that, it achieves an 11-percent increase in fuel economy and a 29-percent reduction in engine noise. Its increase in engine output beats out the Ford Super Duty at 390 horsepower and 735 lb-ft of torque.

For eliminating harmful diesel emissions, a few manufacturers have gone to injecting a chemical downstream into the catalytic converter called UREA. What this does is assist in the burning process of the harmful NOX chemicals in the exhaust emissions. General Motors uses this method in the new 2011 Silverado, and therefore has reduced harmful emissions by 63-percent.

Some additional upgrades I had on this ride was the HD trailer package, the trailer braking package, power sliding rear split window, XM satellite radio, and a rearview camera that came in handy for parking this friendly giant.

For day-to-day driving, this truck was surprisingly a joy, meaning I never felt like I was in a work truck, but rather a large luxury vehicle that could take on any task I could throw at it.

The exterior of the truck is a simple smooth shape, not to many extreme curves, keeping it sleek yet still modern looking. The large front end of the vehicle, referring to the high raised engine bay to incorporate the massive power plant, gave a bit of an obstructed view, making it challenging for any type of tight maneuvering. For new truck owners or less experienced operators of larger vehicles, General Motors may want to think about putting a camera up front as well.

All in all the Chevy Silverado 2500 HD is a well-sorted pickup that should easily meet the needs and wants of truck buyers in its heavy-duty class.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Pickup, Chevrolet, 2011, Silverado 2500, $30,000 - $39,999,

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