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2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 4WD LTZ Crew Cab

Since the GVWR of the Silverado 2500HD is so high, General Motors isn't legally required to post fuel economy figures on the window sticker. That's too bad, as it may well be a selling point. I piloted this long-bed, crew-cab, four-wheel-drive diesel monster between Howell and Alma, Michigan, averaging about 75 mph on all roads. According to the on-board computer, I averaged just above 18 mpg; a bout of city driving brought that figure to the high side of 16 mpg. That's quite impressive for such a capable machine.

Evan McCausland, Web Producer

Does this truck have a dual-clutch automatic transmission? Of course it doesn't, but it certainly feels like it -- so quick is the Allison six-speed automatic. The Silverado 2500HD is quick, too, as the 6.6-liter Duramax's 765 lb-ft of earth-moving torque is very evident from the push of the accelerator pedal.

The bulging hood and the forged-aluminum wheels are very attractive. My Chevy-loving brother-in-law ogled the rims so much that I feared he would remove them from the snazzy 2500HD and install them on his ten-year-old half-ton Chevy pickup. This fully loaded test vehicle features all kinds of other cool stuff, too, such as navigation, heated leather seats, satellite radio, a power sliding rear window, and a sunroof. Still, $60,000 seems a bit steep for a vehicle whose interior is merely adequate (and almost identical to that of our 2007 Four Seasons Chevy Suburban).

Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

I drove the Silverado 2500HD back from the airport late at night and found it relatively easy to drive for a vehicle the size of my apartment. Steering is a bit heavy at parking lot speeds, but I suppose that's to be expected with so much weight and twenty-inch wheels. As Rusty notes, the transmission is very quick, although it swapped gears with a very noticeable "clunk" on a few occasions.

As far as the interior goes, it's amazing that the Silverado can be this good and still not be the best in class (that honor likely would go to Dodge). It's easy to forget that five to ten years ago, most domestic passenger cars didn't have cabins this well finished, let alone big work trucks like this.

David Zenlea, Assistant Editor

I put the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD to work during a recent weekend as an official race vehicle for the Traverse City Triathlon. It wasn't heavy lifting, but we definitely needed the bed space to move a 7-foot-tall stack of plastic crowd-control barricades, a dozen 5-gallon water coolers, kayaks, and countless cones. It's also nice that flipping up the rear seats creates a large, virtually flat area for dry and safe transportation of electronics and more expensive equipment.

While the Silverado took care of its hauling duties without complaint, it was when it was unloaded that I was most impressed with the heavy-duty Chevy. That's because I made two four-hour trips in the empty Chevrolet between southern and northern Michigan and found it to be the best driving heavy-duty truck on the market. The ride is absolutely stunning for such a large hauler. After a long weekend, I was hardly looking forward to the late-night drive home, but with such a gentle ride, smart and smooth transmission, and torquey diesel, the Silverado delivered comfort and a relaxed demeanor on par with some car-based crossovers. I was thrilled to find that the heated seats offer a back-only setting for my aching back while remaining comfortable in the summer heat. And while the interior isn't up to the style of the Ford Super Duty or the fantastic cabin of the Dodge Ram, that's hardly a reason to stay away from the Chevy. Instead, I'd say the Silverado's compliant ride and strong powertrain are more than enough reason to put this truck at the top of the heavy-duty pecking order.

Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor

2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 4WD LTZ Crew Cab

Base price (with destination): $45,055
Price as tested: $60,175

Standard Equipment:
6.0-liter Vortec V-8 engine
6-speed automatic transmission
Fully-boxed frame design
125-amp alternator
Heavy duty trailering group
Locking rear differential
Electronic shift transfer case
4-wheel ABS brakes
Stabilitrak stability control with trailer sway control
Hill start assist
Tire pressure monitoring system
Bluetooth connectivity
18-inch polished aluminum wheels
Front recovery hooks
Power-fold heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals
Remote vehicle start
Front fog lamps
Automatic dual-zone climate control
Power locks/windows
Leather wrapped steering wheel
Auto-dimming rearview mirror
Power and heated bucket seats
60/40 split rear seat
AM/FM stereo with CD player
Bose premium speaker system
USB port
Steering wheel audio controls
XM satellite radio
12-volt auxiliary power outlet
Tilt steering wheel
Cruise control
Carpeted floor mats
Options on this vehicle:
Duramax 6.6-liter V-8 turbo diesel -- $7195
Navigation system -- $2250
Touch screen
CD player
XM nav traffic
20-inch forged polished aluminum wheels -- $1395
Allison 6-speed automatic transmission -- $1200
Power sliding sunroof -- $995
Rear vision camera system -- $450
Head curtain air bags -- $395
Convenience package -- $370
Adjustable pedals
Rear parking assist
Off-Road suspension -- $275
Off Road skid plates
Power sliding rear window -- $250
LTZ plus package -- $235
Locking tailgate
EZ lift tailgate
Rear wheel housing liner
Radiator cover -- $55
Mirrors, camper style, heated, power adjustable -- $55
Key options not on vehicle:

Fuel economy:
NA / NA / NA mpg

Size: 6.6L Duramax diesel V-8
Horsepower: 397 hp @ 3000 rpm
Torque: 765 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm


6-speed automatic

Curb weight: 7208 lbs

Wheels/tires: 20 x 8.5-inch forged aluminum wheels
265/60R20 Goodyear Wrangler SR-A tires

Competitors: Dodge Ram 2500 HD, Ford F250