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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A white 2017 used Chevy Silverado 2500HD LTZ is parked in a car repair shop.

The Chevy Silverado 2500: An Evolution in HD

Over the past three generations, the Chevy Silverado 2500HD has made a name for itself not only as a quality new truck but as a reliable and affordable option for those looking at the used lots, as well. While not everyone needs a heavy-duty half-ton pickup truck for a daily driver, there are plenty of drivers whose lives are made infinitely less stressful by adding a massive, highly capable truck. If you need a truck with a bit more power than the average pickup, you should look for a used Chevy Silverado 2500HD.

The first generation of the Silverado 2500HD appeared in 1999, and by 2007, it was ready for a total overhaul. Given the rapid-fire changes in technology within the 21st century, Chevrolet made many updates to the Silverado 2500HD between 2007 and 2015, when another reissue was due. According to Chevrolet insiders, 2021 will be the last model year of the current generation, leaving many to wonder what the future of heavy-duty trucks such as the Silverado will be. Perhaps a few clues lie in looking at some of the features of used Chevy Silverado 2500HDs.

Updates in Power: The Engines of the Used Chevy Silverado 2500HD

Traveling back in time to learn more about the first generation of Chevrolet’s Silverado 2500HD takes us back to an entirely different time and place. However, even a look into Chevrolet’s spartan pre-millennial press releases indicates that the release of the 1500 and 2500 models in 1999 was a very big deal, and not just because the trucks are huge.
Two engines were offered at the outset: a 5.3L V8 and a 6.0L V8. The 5.3L engine is paired with a four-speed automatic transmission and provides 270 horsepower. The 6.0L engine could be paired to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission and offered 300 horsepower.

Times have truly changed. With the 2007 redesign came a whole lot of new, including two pepped up engine options. The base engine remained a 6.0L V8, but it could now tow a lot more, given its updated 353 horsepower and 373 lb-ft of torque. The second engine offered in 2007 was a 6.6L V8 turbo diesel, which provided an even mightier 365 horsepower and 660 lb-ft of torque with a 13,000-pound towing capacity.

Flash forward to 2012, and while the engine sizes haven’t changed, the power specs have been tweaked and upgraded for even more power. The 6.0L V8 of 2012 features 360 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque, thanks to cam-in-block variable valve timing. The 6.6L V8 turbo diesel was paired to an Allison 1000 6-speed automatic transmission in 2012 and included B20 biodiesel compatibility for the first time with an emissions reduction system built-in. As a result, it powers out with 397 horsepower and 765 lb-ft of torque.

By 2017, Chevrolet had a keen eye on the need for power in a heavy-duty truck. The 6.0L V8 was offered for 2017 Silverado 2500HDs for use with regular gasoline or compressed natural gas. The standard option provides 360 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque for a towing maximum of 14,500 pounds. The compressed natural gas version is slightly less beefy, with 301 horsepower and 333 lb-ft of torque.

The 6.6L turbo diesel V8 received a massive overhaul for 2017, however, with “massive” being the keyword. Now with 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque, the towing maximum of the diesel engine increased to 18,100 pounds when properly equipped. While the compressed natural gas engine has been retired, Chevy continues to power the Silverado 2500HD with the same engine options as in 2017. However, tweaks for efficiency and power are added each year.

A black 2017 used Chevy Silverado 2500HD Z71 is driving in the dunes kicking up sand.

Fantastic Features Over the Years

Early Chevy Silverado 2500HD trucks included a few of the features modern drivers would consider “essential.” In all fairness, 1999 was an entirely different time, and those looking at used Silverados should be aware that in the previous century, CD players were still very exciting, and manually operated windows were standard. In 2021, all Silverado HD trucks include power windows as standard equipment, for those wondering.

By 2012, Chevy had given the heavy-duty trucks more comfort and convenience than ever before, as a nod to the loyal drivers who are deeply invested in the brand. This includes a driver information screen, adjustable tilting steering wheel, automatic headlamps, and front tow hooks. Cruising up the trim levels– or purchasing one of the many optional packages– adds even more fun features like power locks, windows, and mirrors. You can also see cruise control, remote keyless entry, a rear window defroster, leather upholstery, a multi-disc CD changer, and a rear seat DVD entertainment system, along with a sunroof and remote start.

Compare that with a used Chevy Silverado 2500HD from 2017, and the differences reflect a change in vehicle use and technology. The 2017 version comes standard with AM/FM radio with USB and auxiliary ports, air conditioning, a locking tailgate, and a more plush basic cloth interior. Again, higher trims offer more features, with the Chevrolet MyLink audio/display system appearing on the LT trim, along with Bluetooth connectivity, a CD player, OnStar with 4GLTE WiFi, and power windows.

The previous tilt-only adjustable steering wheel gained telescoping ability for a more customizable positioning. The heated leather seats and pedals also became power-adjustable, making it much easier for drivers to feel comfortable and safe within their heavy-duty truck. The top High Country trim of 2017 added integrated navigation, a premium Bose sound system, perforated heated-and-ventilated leather seating, and a continuation of entertainment features, such as DVD players and sunroofs.

A red 2017 used Chevy Silverado 2500HD Z71 is parked in a barn with hay bales in the bed.

Staying Safe in a Used Chevy Silverado 2500HD

Driving a heavy-duty truck means that your vehicle is larger than most of the other folks on the road, but that doesn’t mean you’re automatically impervious to trouble. Just like with every other one of their cars and trucks, Chevy made sure to pack the 2500HDs with all of the safety features they need. Chevy is a leader in safety technology, and they have not been known to skimp out when it comes to equipping their vehicles with the latest tech.

The standard safety features on a 2012 Silverado 2500HD included front-seat airbags and a high strength steel construction. Drivers could add additional airbags, as well as a rear backup camera and a built-in trailer brake controller. 2017 models include these basics but add the option of adding newly-available driver assistance features, such as blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, and forward collision alerts. OnStar communication appears on LT trims and above for users to subscribe to.

By 2019, Chevy’s commitment to safety added standard cruise control and a rearview camera with a 7-inch touch screen. The Driver Alert Package is standard on the High Country trim but optional on lower trims, and hosts such features as lane departure warning, forward collision alert, and parking sensors. Today’s Silverado 2500HD includes 6 standard airbags, hitch guidance, and a rear vision camera as standard safety equipment but offers loads of optional features and packages.

Technology upgrades include everything from following distance indicators to front and rear parking assistance. You can also find forward collision alerts, surround vision cameras, lane change alerts, blind zone alerts, lane departure warnings, and rear cross traffic alerts. Now, the 2500HD can be equipped with a full array of driver assistance technology to keep everyone on the road safer than ever.

The Chevy Silverado 2500HD is a Worthwhile Investment

The Chevy Silverado 2500HD has enjoyed many tweaks, updates, and changes over the past twenty-plus years, but at its core, it has always been a powerful heavy-duty work companion. When shopping for a used Silverado 2500HD, there will likely be a myriad of options and accessories in the available inventory. Still, there can be no doubt that the 2500HD has been created as a very capable, reliable vehicle and likely will be for years to come. When you own a Chevy Silverado 2500HD, you own a truck that is not only going to do the work but will last you a long time.

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