The chances of diesel power gaining a foothold in the U.S. light-vehicle market probably died for good when the Volkswagen scandal erupted three years ago.
But diesels have maintained a substantial fan base in the pickup truck market where Ram, Ford and General Motors all offer diesel versions of their trucks and have developed loyal customers, who like the vehicles for their combination of power and efficiency.
Indeed, the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 with a Duramax engine that I got to drive recently was a most impressive vehicle. The cab was very comfortable and well-furnished and the truck itself was quiet, surprisingly quiet, and maneuverable for a large vehicle that was purposely built to be at home in wide open spaces and on chaotic construction sites where parking is probably catch as catch can.
But the heart of the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD is the 6.6-liter, turbo-diesel V8, which GM has re-tuned and rebuilt in ways that make it quieter and more responsive when the truck gets rolling. This 6.6-liter diesel will produce 445 horsepower and 910 foot pounds of torque.
(GM leads Ford in pickup sales at midpoint of 2018. Click Here for the story.)
I didn’t get do any towing but I have no doubt that the Silverado HD can pull 13,000 pounds or six and half tons of heavy equipment, horse trailers or a very large boat when it needs to move from one anchorage to another.
Four-wheel-drive and an automatic locking differential are also available on the Chevrolet 2500 HD and GM also has added a cap-less filler neck to the fuel tank, which will certainly help reduce the size of gas cap collections at gas stations.
GM engineers estimate the engine noise at idle is reduced 38% when the Duramax was rebuilt with stronger cylinder block and cylinder heads, increased oil- and coolant-flow capacity, a new EGR system with single cooler and integrated bypass and a new electrically actuated/electronically controlled turbo-charging system and an all-new advanced solenoid fuel system and electronic controls
A full-length damped steel oil pan that contributes to quietness and the rocker cover and fuel system all got acoustical treatments.
I was also impressed by the overall drivability of Chevrolet 2500 HD, which is a factor in easing the fatigue during a long work day.
The trucks “Digital Steering Assist” power steering enables easier handling and maneuverability, greater steering response, greater road-holding capability and greater stability control assistance. GM has also worked to make steady, incremental improvements in the suspension, which bolsters the overall ride quality, which in the past has been one of the weaknesses of almost any pickup truck.
(Click Here to check out our first drive in the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado Redline.)
However, as the price of pickup trucks have moved beyond $50,000, the Silverado High Country 2500 HD Crew Cab costs more than $60,000, luxury has become part of the lexicon of the designers and engineers. So the High Country version of the Silverado 2500 comes with special such as a unique black mesh grille with two-bar chrome insert, 20-inch chromed aluminum wheels, all-terrain tires, body-color bumpers and more.
Inside, it features premium leather, heated-and-vented front bucket seats with High Country logos on the headrests and brushed metal sill plates with the High Country logo. Heated and vented perforated leather-appointed front bucket seats and heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel are standard on High Country and available on LTZ
Chevrolet’s “MyLink” system with an 8-inch screen is standard on LT and LTZ trim levels and 8-inch system with navigation is standard on High Country and available on LT and LT. Also 4G LTE connectivity with Wi-Fi hotspot is standard but requires a subscription to operate and remote vehicle starting and tailgate lock are also available.
The tailgate on the 2500 HD. doesn’t operate automatically and has to be brought down by hand.
Automotive engineers long ago learned that size alone won’t protect the vehicle’s occupants in an accident and the GM uses high-strength steel in the construction of the cabin. In addition, there are also air bags throughout to protect driver and passengers against frontal and side-impact. A Standard rear-vision camera system along with a standard StabiliTrak stability control system with rollover mitigation technology, trailer sway control and hill start assist
On optional driver assistance package is also available on the Chevrolet 2500 HD that includes features such as Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Safety Alert Seat and Front and Rear Park Assist.
(To see more about Chevrolet’s popular Centennial truck line-up, Click Here.)
Pickup trucks are part and parcel of motoring lore in United States and occupy an important niche in the country’s economy. The Chevrolet 2500 HD with its diesel engine was specifically designed to handle heavy work and I sure it does it well and with a good measure of style as well.