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Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

Overview
Review
OVERVIEW

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD – Work Truck RWD 2-Dr Reg Cab V8 Auto Trans (Base Trim)

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2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD: Angularfront
RATINGS

Editors Overall Rating

What is this?
This rating is provided by our team of editors based on their extensive professional expertise on Trucks, SUVs, Vans, and Wagons.
We liked
  • Excellent Interior Quality
  • Gas, Diesel, and CNG Fueling Options
We disliked
  • Diesel’s Power/Torque Numbers Lag Behind Competitors
  • Low Front Air Dam Hampers Off-Road Performance
PRICING Fair Market Pricing
What is this?
Fair Market Price is an estimate of a “fair” price that any given new vehicle can be purchased for. This national estimate, updated monthly, reflects recent market conditions (supply and demand) plus a reasonable dealer markup.
$30,898
Finance
Estimated monthly
payment:
Lease
Estimated monthly
payment:
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MSRP
$32,630
MPG
N/A
City/Hwy
ENGINE
6.0L V8
HORSE POWER
360 hp
@ 5,400 rpm
TORQUE
380 ft lb
of torque @ 4,200 rpm
See all Photos, Ratings, Pricing and Specifications
Featuring new styling for 2015, the Chevrolet Silverado HD is a thoroughly updated version of its former self. Chevrolet has been splitting updates on its big trucks lately, refreshing frames and powertrains, then waiting a few years to update styling, and vice versa. As such, the 2015 Silverado HD still features many technical details of its predecessors.
Chief among these is its Duramax diesel V-8, which produces 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque, good for a maximum towing capacity of 23,200 pounds. While that’s a staggering amount of power and capability in and of itself, compared to other HD trucks, it’s behind the curve. Chevrolet argues that most truck owners don’t actually tow anything that’s even close to the maximum trailer rating and that for most owners, the Duramax does more than its fair share of work. That may be true, but in bar arguments, numbers count for bragging rights.
However, those who choose the Silverado HD get the same benefits over the competition as those who choose the Silverado 1500. Chiefly, a very nice, quiet interior comes standard on even base models, and Silverados are available with a wide variety of features like 4G LTE Wi-Fi and satellite radio. For a work truck that also serves as a family car and toy hauler, it’s hard to beat the comfortable Silverado HD.

REVIEW

CNG Bi-Fuel Ford and Chevy Pickups - Dual Fuel Duel

Clean Burning and Locally Sourced

Mar 23, 2015
Photographers: Jason Gonderman, Robert Guio
We are living in an era of change, and there’s no way around it. Everywhere you look people are trying to live greener. We’re more focused on saving money now than in generations past. And as a society, we have begun championing the cause of decreased dependence on foreign oil sources. Those are all good things, in and of themselves. However, it would seem that a lot of time and resources are being diverted into energy sources that are either highly expensive, give little return in the way of reducing environmental impact, or are still heavily dependent on foreign manufacturing. Fortunately, there is an alternative that’s been hiding in plain sight all these years.
Compressed natural gas (CNG) is cleaner burning than conventional gasoline or diesel, oftentimes costs significantly less—and the majority of what we use is sourced right here in North America. CNG-powered vehicles are nothing new. People have been converting internal-combustion engines to run on the fuel for decades, along with a select few manufacturers who have offered factory-installed systems (such as the Honda Civic CNG). The newest trend has become the bi-fuel option, which allows a vehicle to run on either gasoline or CNG. Fortunately for us, the largest market utilizing this technology is pickups. Currently, all three of the U.S. pickup manufacturers offer a CNG option, and we were recently handed the keys to two of them.
The ½-Ton Player
Ford has offered a gaseous engine prep package for the 6.2L V-8 engine equipped in the F-250 and F-350 for several years now. This allows upfitters to install either a CNG or propane (LPG) fuel package, along with being bi-fuel capable. The big news, however, comes from the ’14 F-150. Ford has entered the market as the only company with a ½-ton capable of running on CNG.
Photo 2/18   |   2014 Ford F 150 Cng Fueling Up
Ticking the box for the CNG option means you’ll be limited to the entry-level 3.7L V-6 engine. This mill churns out 302 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque and, unlike other models, doesn’t de-rate engine power when running on CNG. Enabling the engine to last while running on the gaseous fuel are a set of hardened intake valves and valve seats. The bi-fuel hardware is provided and installed by one of several Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifiers (QVMs)—in this case it was Altech-Eco.
During our time with the truck, we made it a point to burn multiple full tanks of both gasoline and CNG, for the best comparison. The biggest takeaway was that while the 3.7L V-6 has more horsepower than the previous generation 5.4L (302 versus 300), the lack of torque makes the truck feel very sluggish off the line and when passing. True to Ford’s word of not de-rating power output when huffing CNG, the engine’s power delivery felt no different between the two fuel sources. For light-duty work and mostly highway cruising, the powertrain is more than adequate. When comparing fuel economy, we were able to consistently best that of gasoline when running on CNG.
Photo 3/18   |   2014 Ford F 150 Cng Fueling Up
Switching between the two fuels is simple. The Altech-Eco kit comes with a switch (mounted near the headlight knob) and a CNG level gauge, which gets placed where the coin holder on the two-wheel-drive dash is located (the same spot as the transfer case selector knob on four-wheel-drive models). Flipping the switch from “GAS” to “ALT” puts the system into CNG mode, which is indicated by a green light on the switch (it sometimes takes a minute or two for the fuel system change to occur). The switch from one fuel to the other is seamless, only noticeable to the driver and occupants as a very slight change in engine sound. If the CNG tank should happen to run empty, the system automatically switches back to gasoline.
Overall, the Ford F-150 is a perfect candidate for the bi-fuel conversion. Fuel economy is excellent, giving a great return for the investment, and power is not affected by switching fuel sources. If you don’t need the size or capability of a ¾-ton in your CNG fleet, the F-150 is the perfect option.
2014 Ford F-150 XLT 4x2
Base Price: $34,955
Price As Tested: $47,369
CNG System Cost: $7,779
Engine: 3.7L V-6
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Horsepower: 302 hp at 6,500 rpm (gas & CNG)
Torque: 278 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm (gas & CNG)
Fuel Capacity: 26 gallons
CNG Capacity: 15.7 gasoline-gallon-equivalent (3,600 psi)
Observed Fuel Economy: 15.37 mpg (gas)/18.23 mpg (CNG)
The Heavy Hitter
Much like its competition, Chevrolet isn’t new to the CNG bi-fuel game. Fortunately for us, it has continued to offer the upfit on the new-body-style ’15 Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD (single-rear-wheel only). The bi-fuel HDs are equipped with a special version of the 6.0L V-8 gasoline engine, featuring hardened valves and seats. When running on old-fashioned 87-octane, the engine churns out 360 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. However, unlike the F-150, when the fuel source is switched to CNG, power output is reduced to 301 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque.
Photo 10/18   |   2015 Chevy Silverado 2500hd Cng
The biggest downside to running on natural gas with the Silverado is the reduction in power. On a truck as big and heavy as this, that 59 hp is dearly missed. However, we did notice the same phenomena as the Ford wherein fuel economy actually increased in real-world driving conditions while running on CNG—and quite significantly, we might add.
Integration of the activation switch and fuel level indication was the best we had seen. One of the instrument panel toggles serves as the fuel selector, and fuel level is indicated either in the digital information display or on the physical fuel gauge, depending on the mode. When in CNG mode, its level is displayed on the physical gauge while the gasoline level can be found in the DIC, and when running on gasoline, the gauges switch places.
GM uses members of its Tier-One supplier network to install the bi-fuel system on its prepped trucks. The work is done at a secondary location, and when complete, the vehicles are delivered by the dealer network to the customer, as would be the case with any truck. Also, all the major CNG components carry GM part numbers, making replacements available through the GM dealer network parts departments.
If you need a big CNG truck that can do work, this is it. Whether running on CNG or gasoline, its conventional tow rating is unaffected and remains 13,000 pounds (when the 4.10 gear ratio is selected). Combine this with the excellent fuel economy and superb integration, and you’ve got an instant winner.
Photo 11/18   |   2015 Chevy Silverado 2500hd 6 0l V8
2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD 4x4
Base Price: $42,655
Price As Tested: $58,800
CNG System Cost: $9,500
Engine: 6.0L V-8 (LC8)
Transmission: 6L90 six-speed automatic
Horsepower: 360 hp at 5,400 rpm (gas)/301 at 5,000 rpm (CNG)
Torque: 380 lb-ft at 4,200 rpm (gas)/333 lb-ft at 4,200 rpm (CNG)
Fuel Capacity: 36 gallons
CNG Capacity: 17 gasoline-gallon-equivalent (3,600 psi)
Observed Fuel Economy: 10.35 mpg (gas)/14.90 mpg (CNG)
The Downside
Not everything about CNG is rosy. For starters, the tanks are quite bulky, taking up about half of the pickup’s bed space (precluding fifth-wheel and gooseneck towing). This is true for all current models. In the future, underbed storage may become a reality, but for now, we must deal with the lost bed space. Then there’s the matter of fueling. While more mainstream than any of the other alternative fuels, CNG is still relatively hard to come by. Stations are often hidden in dark industrial alleys, well off the beaten path. If you do happen to find a good filling station, there’s always the chance the pump will either not work or give an incomplete (lower pressure) fill. We found this to be the case about 50 percent of the time. And if you’re outside of a well-populated urban area, all bets are off.
We can’t forget about the cost, either. While CNG typically runs between $1 and $2 a gasoline-gallon-equivalent (GGE) less than regular unleaded (depending on the cost of gas at the moment), the conversions themselves are very expensive. The trucks need to remain in service—racking up hundreds of thousands of miles—to see the initial purchase price recouped. This solution is definitely not intended for lighter-duty consumers.
It’s our opinion that CNG usage is only going to expand in the coming years, and it just might be the internal combustion fuel of choice in the future. However, we’re easily half a century away from having the infrastructure in place for this to become a reality.
Photo 18/18   |   Ram 2500 Cng Cutaway
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SPECIFICATIONS
$32,630
N/A
6.0L V8
VIEW ALL SPECIFICATIONS
See all Photos, Ratings, Pricing and Specifications
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