Nothing too revolutionary here – the new 2015 Silverado HD has been on the roads since mid-summer. But even so, took the chance to snap this flagship of sorts in Florida.
A flagship truck? Yes, when it is the top Z71 LTZ 4WD with the stump-pulling DuraMaz diesel option! This truck might not be as flashy as the lighter-weight 1500 models, but is a major force of nature on any work site. The sticker price proves how far trucks have come in the ranges of General Motors: this $71,000 Silverado HD is one of the priciest non-Corvettes available with a bow-tie grille in front.
2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Z71 6.6L DuraMax Diesel
The first Silverado HD trucks are rolling into dealers nationwide this month — with the High Country topping things nicely via a monochrome exterior and a Denali-level cabin overhaul.
The 2015 Sierra HD will offer a Denali pack — which, if we’re not mistaken, is a new flagship equipment level for GM’s 2500HD and 3500HD rigs.
The Silverado HD’s updates are actually much deeper than a facelift, with the largest changes coming from the way the truck body is mounted to the chassis.
Chevrolet is using a new type of welding process that is claimed to bring large increases in all rigidity measurements, cabin quietness and ride comfort.
The new nose looks pretty great, actually. Chevy’s truck styling really seems to be very sharp these days. Projector beam lamps update the nose nicely, and a very dramatic chrome grille has far more shaping and structure to its surfaces. Improvements to cooling and aerodynamics are hoped to increase highway fuel economy, where these big trucks really start to chug whatever fuel they are using at anything over 65 mph.
Drag is a real issue for these machines, and any HD owner will tell you that an 80 mph cruise with a trailer can switch the usual miles per gallon into gallons per mile.
Other changes include a totally-redesigned cabin, seats, infotainment and the whole vehicle’s electronic architecture. Under the hood, the engines are carryover but have a new engine management that integrates all the towing and stability safety features into its work flow.
What this boils down to for buyers is better economy, higher payload and towing stats, and a cruise control that now claims to be able to maintain a set speed even with a heavy trailer out back. Previous cruise controls for many cars will pop off and fail to keep a speed if doing so might make the engine stall.
So it is truck-a-palooza at Chevrolet this month. Are buyers swayed by the new looks and vastly superior cabin?
The new 2015 Silverado HD trucks look better than ever. There are virtually no panels carried over except the windshield and roof, which is a pretty extensive makeover.
The most defining change is to projector beam headlights versus halogen reflectors, which look terrific next to the gaping appearance of the Ford Super Duty trucks. The grille’s wide chrome bar is now much larger than before in both length and width, extending out through the headlights for a tough and butch appearance.
The grille is now chopped slightly at all its edges, with a beveled shape that looks premium. The top part of the chrome grille is pretty interesting because it makes more of a crown for the tall HD hoods. Overall, a far more successful nose job than the Ram HD’s unnoticeable styling updates since the 1990s.
To the sides, both the 2500HD and the 3500HD have huge a sculpted boxed wheel flares. They really help the HD trucks look the part of an unstoppable workhorse of the future, and almost seem wide enough for a dually front wheel option as well.
In back, the changes are more subtle, but do add some nice new creases to the tailgate and the rear flares to match the front. Cut-outs in the back bumper corners (a la Xterra) make it easier to climb into the bed when carrying something heavy, but the taillights seem to lack LEDs in the initial press photos.
2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD – Key Updates
—All-new exterior styling with enhanced cooling air flow, which enables Silverado’s 6.6-liter Duramax turbo diesel and 6.0-liter Vortec V-8 to better maintain full power, even under heavy loads and high ambient temperatures
—Integrated cruise control, Auto Grade Braking and Diesel Exhaust Braking (on diesel models) that help make tough towing easier
—A 6.0L bi-fuel V-8, which can run on either gasoline or compressed natural gas, will be available on regular-cab, crew-cab and new double-cab Silverado 2500 and 3500 models.
—Standard StabiliTrak with Trailer Sway Control on all models including 3500 duallys.
—All new cabs and interiors that provide increased space and comfort, with extensive storage space tailored to the way customers use full-size trucks.
—Chevrolet MyLink, which provides powerful connectivity for work or family with simple, intuitive controls.
—New 6.5- and 8-foot boxes with standard CornerStep bumpers, EZ Lift and Lower tailgates, and other features that make cargo handling easier.
The 2015 Silverado HD trucks are all almost completely transformed by greatly enhanced comfort and technology. The dashboard also looks less bland than before, with a new multi-function steering wheel a particular highlight. Huge, huge improvements inside these big trucks.
The LTZ spec is the one to get, with better everything from carpets to speakers to headliners to seat cloth.
Last week’s review of the 2014 Silverado HD models (so, the current year not these new 2015 trucks) uncovered an alarming gap in the Chevy HD trucks interior roominess versus the best-selling F-Series Super Duty. The Chevy is down a few inches in hip room, and almost seven inches in shoulder room. Most interior dimensions for such fierce competitors are much closer than this. Generally, anything more than two inches makes a big difference in comfort.
No news from Chevy on the hip or shoulder room measurements, which probably answers the question of whether these stats will grow for 2015. (Shorthand: No, probably not any wider inside).
The similar Suburban and Tahoe gain 2.5 inches of head room and a whopping four inches of legroom versus the current cars, which is another big improvement.
Sharing the best infotainment with the more consumer-focused models means the HD Silverado’s are far more up-to-date and entertaining over the long haul.
No big changes under that monster hood. The HD trucks just received the latest engines for 2013, so the current performance will largely continue unchanged for 2015.
Better breathing and cooling is the most notable improvement, which increases the trucks’ already-incredible stamina when towing heavy loads in really extreme hot or cold weather, or altitude.
A gasoline V-8 comes standard and is the normal FlexFuel engine setup that can safely run E85. The middle option is the same V-8 but with hardened and fortified valves and other components to allow a bi-fuel option. Bi-fuel basically means being able to jump between gasoline and natural gas at the flip of a switch. The HD trucks are not yet sold as full CNG vehicles, but the up-fitting and room for the CNG tank is designed right into the core platform of all models.
Lastly, the legendary DuraMax V-8 chug chug chugs into 2015 with only detail tweaks to smoothness and a new standard final drive ratio that delivers increased payload and tow maximums. The 3500HD can now tow a barely-believable 19,600 pounds.
A bit of a question for guys who will tow anything above 10,000 pounds: what is back there? Most drivers will never know what it is like to pilot a rig of that kind of mass, so Chevy’s changes to comfort and safety also seriously improve the HD’s ability to get the work done.
The engines are already class-leading, so the only two questions most people will have are: When and How Much?