If you're looking for a major heavy-duty pickup, the Chevy Silverado 2500 HD is the truck to pick

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If you're looking for a major heavy-duty pickup, the Chevy Silverado 2500 HD is the truck to pick

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2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD

Heavy-duty Chevy
Heavy-duty Chevy
If you're looking for a major heavy-duty pickup, the Chevy Silverado 2500 HD is the truck to pick

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Overview
Overview

Dollar for dollar, the Chevy Silverado 2500 HD may be the best heavy-duty pickup truck on the market--and the 2011 model is its best incarnation yet. The Silverado 2500, the model we recently test-drove, and the even heftier Silverado 3500, have a new fully boxed ladder frame, beefed-up brakes and suspension, greater towing and payload capacities, more convenience and work features, and a massively powerful optional diesel engine. They're also safer and get better mileage than before. Of course, a lot of people who buy these trucks don't really need their massive capabilities. But if you have a heavy trailer or boat to tow, or big-time hauling to do, the Silverado HD is an excellent choice.

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Interior
Interior
Cabin styling is improved but still truck-like, with oversize door handles and utilitarian features. You can jazz up the crew cab with a sunroof ($995), rear seat entertainment ($1,480), leather front bucket seats ($1,795), and a navigation system ($2,250 to $2,850).
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Engine
Engine
There's a choice of two engines: a standard 6.0-liter, 360 horsepower gasoline Vortec V8 or a 6.6-liter, 397-hp Duramax diesel V8 (pictured). The gas engine generates 380 lb.-ft. of torque, the diesel an incredible 765 lb.-ft., 105 more lb.-ft. than the previous diesel.

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Powertrain
Powertrain
A six-speed automatic is the only transmission, but the diesel can be had with an optional six-speed Allison automatic transmission ($1,200) with a fuel saving "smart" exhaust brake. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but four-wheel drive is available.
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Performance
Performance
You don't buy a big pickup truck for its speediness, but GM says the 2500HD will accelerate from 0 to 60 in less than nine seconds. Our diesel-powered test truck had plenty of oomph when we punched the gas at highways speed.

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Towing Capacity
Towing Capacity

The 2500 HD can tow up to 13,000 lbs. with a regular ball trailer hitch--and nearly 18,000 with a fifth wheel hitch mounted in the bed. The figures rise to 17,000 lbs. and 21,800 lbs. in the Silverado 3500 HD with dual rear tires.

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Fuel Economy
Fuel Economy
Heavy-duty pickups don't have government fuel economy ratings, but GM says the diesel's 36-gallon tank gives it a range of 680 miles, which would be 18.9 miles per gallon. In 260 miles of mixed driving, we got 15.8 mpg in our diesel-powered test truck.
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Safety
Safety
Standard equipment includes antilock disc brakes, trailer sway control, and stability control, as well as front airbags. Head-protecting side curtain airbags ($395) are optional. We also recommend a backup camera ($450) and parking assist (part of a $370 package).
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Price
Price
Starting price is $28,960 for a basic "Work" Silverado with rear-wheel drive and a regular cab. The price hits $44,250 for a four-door crew-cab, all-wheel-drive LTZ (pictured). Add $7,195 for a Duramax turbodiesel V8 engine.
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