2015 Chevrolet Silverado Tow Ratings Revised After SAE Switch

General Motors has officially adopted the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) J2807 tow ratings, a more stringent set of guidelines for measuring vehicles’ towing abilities. Although the maximum tow ratings for the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 are unchanged at 12,000 pounds, the ratings for certain other truck models have been revised under the J2807 standard.

GM highlighted several popular configurations of the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and 2015 GMC Sierra that see tow ratings decline by 300-400 pounds, as seen in this table:

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  • Regular cab 2WD 4.3L V-6 6.5’ box 3.43 axle
  • 6,400 lbs.
  • 6,100 lbs.
  • Double cab 2WD 5.3L V-8 6.5’ box 3.08 axle
  • 6,900 lbs.
  • 6,500 lbs.
  • Crew cab 2WD 5.3L V-8 5.7’ box 3.42 axle
  • 9,800 lbs.
  • 9,400 lbs.
  • Double cab 4×4 5.3L V-8 6.5’ box 3.42 axle
  • 9,600 lbs.
  • 9,200 lbs.
  • Crew cab 4×4 5.3L V-8 5.7’ box 3.73 axle
  • 11,200 lbs.
  • 10,800 lbs.

The highest tow ratings of 12,000 pounds remain unchanged for the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and 2015 GMC Sierra models with the 6.2-liter V-8 engine, the Max Trailering package, and rear-wheel drive. With the SAE J2807 standards in effect, the truck configuration with the lowest tow rating is 5500 pounds, for a Silverado or Sierra 1500 Crew Cab with rear-wheel drive and the 4.3-liter V-6 engine.

The most important change compared to old truck tow ratings is that SAE J2807 calculates towing ability with the assumption the truck has two occupants, each weighing 150 pounds; and 70 pounds of tow-hitch equipment if not available from the factory. The testing regiment requires not only acceleration, handling, and braking safety checks, but also an evaluation of how the truck’s cooling system performs during heavy-duty towing. It’s important to note that the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 have not physically changed, only the mathematics and tests used to calculate their tow ratings.

The SAE J2807 standard was approved in 2008 for vehicles for model-year 2013 and newer, but until now several major automakers had delayed switching to the guidelines. However, in February, representatives from Ford, GM, and Chrysler confirmed the three companies would soon adopt the SAE ratings standard for their pickup trucks.