BangShift Road Test: The 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 4WD LTZ Crew Cab – Duramax Diesel Power Under The Hood


BangShift Road Test: The 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 4WD LTZ Crew Cab – Duramax Diesel Power Under The Hood

One of the things I always pay attention to when cruising a road test car or truck is how much impact it is having on its immediate surroundings. Is anyone paying attention to it? Anyone gawking or pointing? Well the massive red truck you see before you got LOTS of looks. Maybe it was the victory red paint, maybe it was the new 2015 Chevy front end that’s about the size of a Petetbilt’s or maybe it was the gleaming, shining nature of it all, but people were looking. Lots of people were looking. Of course a pickup truck isn’t exactly a statement vehicle but this one might be. Sitting damned near the top of the GM pickup food chain, the only thing that could have been altered on this $61,425 chariot Chevy Silverado crew cab LTZ 2500 2014 victory red013would be the addition of the one ton suspension and the dually rear axle if you wanted it. This was the most loaded truck we have had since last year’s test of the GMC 2500 Denali which also had Duramax power. That truck was $64,000 and at the time we wondered who bought these things. We still do but have a little more insight on who walks into a Chevy dealer and clicks literally ALL of the options boxes. This truck isn’t bought by the guy driving the cement mixed, it is bought by the guy who owns the company that owns the cement mixer that his employee is driving. As a business expense that can be written down and depreciated over time, these monsters make some sense. Plus they’re just plain bad ass.

I’m not normally a guy who considers a stock truck to be “huge” like some people do, but sitting at the tiller of this big boy, you did feel like a captain of industry and this truck feels absolutely monstrous as compared to a half ton variant of the same package. The elevated ride height of the three quarter ton version along with the mean hood, blunted edges of the truck, and a cab that could happily house a family of six forever all add to this feeling. The front bumper is an awesome piece and we mean that in the traditional sense of the word, as in you look at it, and express awe as to how large it is. We’re hard pressed to remember of visualize a larger hunk of chrome hanging off the front of any pickup truck from the factory…ever.

The test truck was equipped with the Z71 off-road package that adds skid plates, Rancho shocks, hill descent control, and Z71 badges/stickers all over the place. This is a $555.00 option and other than liking the looks of the badges and stuff we’re not sure it is worth the money. A truck like this is not going to be run down the trail, it is not going to be mud bogged (on purpose) and it is not going to be going rock crawling every weekend. It is too long, too wide, and way too low for any serious off roading. The Z71 stuff is not a total boy-racer type thing but it definitely doesn’t fool anyone into thinking that you’ll be off to Baja in the morning. The ride quality of the truck was good for a three quarter ton job. With its size and crazily insulated cab, it rolls over uneven roads, potholes, and whatever else comes by with little issue. You never forget that you are in a truck but at the same time your kidneys will be fine. Handling? This is a truck on narrow tires that sits pretty high, has s big diesel engine in the nose, and probably weights in at close to 7,500lbs or more. How do you think it handles? Lets just say that plan for some understeer on high speed cornering maneuvers. Also, please write us into the will before you go and do something that dumb. This is a big truck, kids….not a Bugatti.

Chevy Silverado crew cab LTZ 2500 2014 victory red034The stars of the show here live under the hood and in the transmission tunnel. The Duramax/Allison combo shines in this big monster. With a 3.73 gear ratio and six speeds in the Ally, the truck delivered almost 20 mpg over the course of the week and trust me when I tell you that I GREATLY enjoyed the accelerative power of the engine. This thing hauls the mail for such a monster rig and it is really, really fun to lean into the pedal and make it work some. The highway mileage was well over 20 when rolling at 65 on decently level stretches. Between the linear, cruise-liner torque of the engine and the ability of the mighty Allison to harness it in such a smooth fashion, those two are a match made in heaven.

One complaint I had about the driving experience is the fact that the pedal calibration on the truck was weird. I have heard others talk about GM trucks that have the same funky setup but this was my first experience. Basically there is about a 25% free play zone when you depress the gas pedal and then the power starts coming. I don’t mean the thing is slowly accelerating in that first 25%, I mean that it is doing nothing. You really have to push the pedal to do anything that while that isn’t a big deal, it was kind of strange to get used to, kind of like finding the pickup point of a clutch you aren’t used to driving.

The cab of this truck, like the 2014 Chevrolet half ton we tested, is absolutely enormous. You’ll see some photos below where my son Tom is sitting in the back seat to demonstrate leg room and it is virtually never ending. Chevrolet has prided itself on the quietness of the cabs and they should because these things are vault-like. Road noise is virtually non-existent, the engine is barely audible (which is not BangShifty), the Bose stereo is good, the driver and passenger both roll in seats that are heated as well as air conditioned, and the storage space is such that you could hide more than a couple bodies in the compartments alone….if you cut them up right. If you are someone who works daily out of your truck, you’ll want to kiss the engineers who worked on the cab. From places to store you lap top to plugs galore, this is a workspace that beats the crap out of every cubicle ever built…by lots.

So the big question that always comes up is, “Would you buy it?” The answer at this point is that we’d drive the Ford and the Ram as well to compare, but unless either of them had some real whiz-bangery happening, the Chevy would get our vote. Chevy has a serious threat coming with the next generation Super Duty trucks from Ford so we cna only imagine what this whole scene will look like in a couple of years. If we had to buy a $60,000 truck and had the means to do it, we’d take ours just like it sits in torch red but we’d add the steeper rear gear, maybe ditch the running boards, and go for a more aggressive looking optional wheel. Other than that, this is perfection with a bed and the ability to move mountains.

 

WE’RE GOING TO TELL YOU THE REST OF THE STORY ABOUT THIS HUGE RED TRUCK BELOW – DURAMAX AND ALL THE OPTIONS…YES PLEASE!

Chevy Silverado crew cab LTZ 2500 2014 victory red019

Thar she blows! This big three quarter ton Chevy with Duramax power had people gawking wherever we went. Perhaps it was the victory red paint or maybe the giant front end that was grabbing their attention. We can tell you it was not the noise. This is one quiet beast.

Chevy Silverado crew cab LTZ 2500 2014 victory red013

People split two ways on the looks of new trucks. We dig ’em. Less curvy than the Rams and a little less angular than the Fords, the Chevy announces it presence with lots of shined up chrome and that massive bumper.

Chevy Silverado crew cab LTZ 2500 2014 victory red034

The Duramax is the engine series that dragged GM into the horsepower and torque war with the likes of Chrysler and Ford and the engine has been updates several times along the way. With 375hp and 765 lb/ft of torque it is a contender, but with Ford’s announcement that they’ll be bringing 880 lb/ft to the table we’re anxiously awaiting GM’s next play in the Duramax rating game.

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While the truck is a Z71 package machine we picture this as the typical level of off roading that it will do. Maybe loose dirt and stuff at a job site but never the Rubicon and frankly that’s a good thing. The truck doesn’t gave the clearance to do it anyway.

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While long and wide, the truck is maneuverable and It didn’t take me long to establish where the corners were for parking lot navigation. The running boards are normally a fail for us but we liked them on this truck.

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The step corner bumper is one of the neater things that Chevrolet has added to their trucks over the last few years. Handy and slick, I like them.

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Typical stock “arse high” rake for the 2500 in this photo. You can see in this photo how designers broke up the slab sided nature of the body with the mild flares around the wheel openings.

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As mentioned above, the Z71 package sets you back about $555 and gets your mostly stickers, some shocks, and a skid plate or two. Hey, the running boards are $750 so that’s probably a bargain.

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These optional 18″ wheels were snappy looking and while Chevrolet considers the tires to be “all terrain” pieces we’d like to see something a little more aggressive on a Z71 truck.

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See all that length in the cab area? That translates into miles and miles of room. The cab rules and it is where GM has spent a LOT of development money over the last few years.

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We cannot think of a bigger factor pickup truck bumper…ever. Can you?

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The spring assisted tailgate is pretty neat and made it a snap even for a seven year old kid to raise and lower.

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The spray on bedliner is listed as a $475 option and we think it should be checked by any truck buyer. It just makes sense.

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Here’s where the fun starts, inside the cab. Both the driver and passenger seats were power and both had a heating and air conditioning function.

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There’s Tommy again. This time he’s illustrating the leg room in the rear of the cab. It is huge.

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Up front there is room for days and as you’ll soon find out, enough storage space to laden the truck down with another thousand pounds of stuff.

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In case you thought we were kidding on the seat deal.

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Power plugs abound. You could literally run your whole office out of this truck…at once.

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These little switches are pretty cool and they control everything from the bed light to the adjustable pedals and traction control.

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The center section where the radio is also chock full of buttons. Well laid out and easy to use, this is a fine system.

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The reality is that the 1969 Lunar Landing Module had less buttons and switches than this truck so if that is a problem for you, seek another option. We love buttons and switches so it was like heaven in there.

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A look in from the driver’s side tells much the same tale. Shaq would be comfy in this truck.

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The clamshell glove compartment is a brilliant idea to maximize the available room. Plus it looks like it is saying NOM, NOM, NOM when you are putting stuff in it.

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The Z71 dash has a full compliment of gauges to keep you informed and up to date on the truck’s health.

               


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9 thoughts on “BangShift Road Test: The 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 4WD LTZ Crew Cab – Duramax Diesel Power Under The Hood

  1. GuitarSlinger

    Ahhhh yes . The ubiquitous ‘ new ‘ Chevy Silverado . Which isn’t in fact ….. ‘ new ‘ that is . With some 85% of the former Silverado being underneath all that ‘ new ‘ body work . Something else it definitely is not is ….. American !

    With the Siverado having the least amount of US sourced parts and systems of ANY full size P/U sold in the US

    The Toyota Tundra being a good 60% more ‘ American ‘ than the Silverado has been going on ten years now

    Changing the lyrics to the old Chevy jingle to ;

    ‘ See the USA .. in your Chevrolet … and send your money to China and Mexico too ….. ‘

    So buy American . Get an F150 … or a Tundra … and keep your money in your own backyard

  2. wingedwarrior

    That’s a great review! I have a body shop and do repair work for the local Chevy/Dodge dealer. These are really nice trucks. Even though they are pricey, people still buying them. Thanks.

  3. TheSilverBuick

    The Silverado’s have a deceptive amount of ground clearance. We used the Suburban’s back in college and though this thing is going to get the under carriage tore out out of it, but incredibly enough it takes ruts, sage brush and ditches pretty well. A little rubbing on the front air dam but the rest never had an issue. Likewise in my ’07. Now of course we were bouldering up in buggy territory, and we had no issues putting some desert pin striping on the sides.

    My only complaint is lack of a “no center console” option. I like my bench seats, and dislike my knee rubbing the console.

  4. trailerqueen73

    Not real cracked about the new body style, like the “classic” a lot more!
    Power wise they are awesome, now if they could bring the prices way way down more people could afford them!

  5. Patrick u

    I had a brand new 3500HD with a Duramax in 2009. 10 injectors in less than 100k miles, the Allison slipped like hell with anything more than about 12000lbs behind it, and it cracked 4 fuel filter housings. The truck as a whole felt cheap, countless times I had pieces of plastic fall out from under the dash. The ride quality was terrible compared to the Ford and Dodge heavy duty trucks I had driven in the past. Possibly by biggest bitch about them is the TERRIBLE light duty IFS front suspension under the truck. It ate hub bearings and tie rod ends like they were candy, and I could never get it to stay aligned. I will never give another dollar of my money to GM because of it.

  6. trailerqueen73

    I have a 2002 2500hd with the 8.1l with just over 40,000 original miles, I have done some upgrades to it, programmer, exhaust etc. I love the way it runs and its a great truck but what happens when Im ready for another truck and dont want a diesel? What is current on the market that will haul my truck camper, car trailer and 1961 oldsmobile that isnt a diesel? I realize diesels are the future but not all of us want or need them!

    1. Nick D.

      There’s still the big 6.0L. My co-worker has a ’14 2500HD with the 6.0L. All he did was tweak the ECM/TCM programming and it hauls his big Fountain offshore boat with ease.

  7. raw

    Nice truck, But $61k…….wow!
    I don’t even kill time on a sundays. kicking the tires no longer at the dealerships.
    As $50k and up is what it takes to get a nice new truck…….Oh well!

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