2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Duramax Test Drive

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Note: At the end of this review, I will give you some casual thoughts on this truck versus the Ford F-250 I had just two weeks ago. 

This week I bring you the 2017 Chevy Silverado 2500 Duramax diesel truck.  As you may recall, I had the 2017 Ford F-250 PowerStroke recently, so it is easy to make comparisons between the two.

The big news for the Chevy is the all-new diesel engine under the hood, most of the truck otherwise is unchanged for 2017.

The new 6.6-liter Duramax is putting out a class-leading 445-horses, and 910 pound-feet of torque.  It is mated to the terrific 6-speed Allison automatic, and my test vehicle is 4-wheel drive.  Towing capacity on this truck with the 3.73 rear axle is 13,500 pounds.

My tester is the High Country edition, Chevy’s top of the line. 

Like all ¾ ton trucks, the 2500 Silverado is large and tough-looking with 20” wheels, and pay particular attention to the new functional hood scoop.  This is one of the key factors in the much improved performance numbers of the Duramax turbo diesel.

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The High Country has a terrific interior with stitching throughout the seats and dash areas.  The High Country logo is embroidered onto the back of the seats.

When seated behind the wheel, the gauges are easy to read, and between the tachometer and speedometer you can get a lot of driver information that is controlled from the large, heated, leather wrapped steering wheel.

This truck has a huge center console with a built-in cell phone charger, handy cup holders and a large storage area.  Chevy opted to leave the transmission shifter on the steering column to allow for all the front seat storage.

To the left of the steering wheel are light controls, a knob to engage the 4-wheel drive system, and the built-in trailer brakes.  To the right is the color screen to operate the Chevy MyLink system. 

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Apps there include the Bose Audio system, your phone interface, navigation system, real-time weather info, and current traffic.  The system will allow you to text by voice, and you can turn the entire interior into a 4G LTE hot spot.

Just below the screen are your radio controls, the climate-controlled air conditioning, and controls for the heated and cooled seats.  Below that is a row of buttons that operate the adjustable pedals, the traction control, the exterior cab lights, parking sensors, lane departure warning, and the exhaust brake.

So what’s an exhaust brake you might ask? 

Simply put, when towing, especially downhill, the truck uses the engine and transmission instead of the brakes to slow the rig.

2017 Silverado HD 2500 HD

Notable standard features on the High Country include:  forward collision alert, bed liner, running boards, leather heated and cooled seats, remote start, power sliding rear window, rear camera, and the safety alert seat, which vibrates if the truck senses a collision.  It also has the rear seat reminder system.

A few other neat features at no charge are: USB ports, 110-volt power outlet, front and rear park assist, digital steering assist, and easy-lift tailgate that remotely locks.  The rear bumper has built-in steps to make getting in and out of the bed easier.

Total options on my test truck add up to $12,715.

This includes $9550 for the Duramax Plus package and includes the chrome power trailer towing mirrors.  This one also has the rear DVD player, power sliding sunroof, and the prep package for a 5th wheel gooseneck hitch.

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This truck is actually very comfortable to drive, and you don’t feel like you are fighting it.  I suspect you would get that same sensation even when towing a trailer.

The cab is quiet and you barely hear the engine. 

The torque under heavy acceleration will pin you to the seat.  Overall driving in this truck is quite enjoyable.

Although not officially rated by the EPA, the Duramax got me 13 in the city and 20 on the highway running 75 miles per hour.

Total sticker price on this truck is $70,785 as equipped, and in an unbelievable coincidence, that is the exact price as the 2017 F-250 I reviewed recently.

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Duramax Diesel
  • What I liked most:  The ride, drive, torque, and exterior looks.       
  • What I would change:  Nothing I can think of.          
  • MSRP: Base price $57.715. As equipped $70,875.
  • Fuel Economy:  I got 13 in town, just slightly more than 20 on the highway.
  • Official Color:  Graphite Metallic.  
  • Odometer reading when tested: 2200 miles.
  • Weight:  7462 pounds.
  • Length-Width-Height:  239” long/80.5” wide/77.9” high.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 36 gallons with the filler on the driver’s side.
  • Towing Capacity: 13,500 as equipped.
  • 2017 Silverado 2500 in a few words:  Great truck, great engine improvement.     
  • Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with roadside assistance, 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty and two free maintenance visits.    
  • Final Assembly Location: Flint, Michigan.     
  • Manufacturer’s website: Chevrolet

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Duramax vs 2017 Ford F-250 Powerstroke

As promised, I wanted to share some thoughts between the Silverado 2500 Duramax and Ford PowerStroke.  As I say on the air, today all the ¾ ton and larger diesel trucks are exceptional and I am often asked to choose between these two trucks.

Mechanically, they are very closely matched.  The Chevy has 5 more horses under the hood, but the Ford has 15 more pound-feet of torque.  Size wise, the F-250 short bed is 10” longer, 1” narrower, and roughly the same height.  Due to the use of aluminum, the F-250 weighs almost 600 pounds less than the Silverado did.  Ford holds a 1500 advantage when you look at towing capacity.  The Silverado has a two-gallon larger fuel tank.

Both vehicles are quiet in the cab, the PowerStroke is actually quieter at idle, and the F-250 seemed to me to have a tighter turning radius. I really like that you could lower the tailgate of the F-250 from your key remote.

One huge advantage the F-250 has is the trailer towing mirrors that telescope out.  The 5th wheel prep package on the Silverado is a very nice touch, and the exhaust brake could be a great tool for towing.

As I said above, it was ironic that the Ford and Chevy had the exact same window sticker price.  Bear in mind, from a value standpoint, the Silverado holds an advantage.  It was better equipped with options like the rear seat entertainment system.  My Chevy tester was the top-of-the-line High Country, and the Ford was a Lariat, which is not the most expensive model.

Bottom line:  both are exceptional trucks and you can’t make a mistake with either one.

 

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