The Silverado and Sierra, both based on the GMT910 platform, are stars among heavy-duty pickups. Admittedly, the Ford and Dodge offerings are also strong performers, but there’s no good reason not to look at these when buying a pre-owned 3/4 or 1-ton truck.
Since both Chevrolet and GMC brands are virtually identical in terms of engines, options, equipment, and talents, the decision for buying one over the other might just boil down to availability or preference. There could be a sweet Chevy example for sale 50 miles away, but a comparable GMC truck a couple of miles down the road.
The 2500HD versions come with regular, extended, and crew cabs. The extended cab has rear-hinged back doors that open out 170 degrees. Long (8.2 feet) beds are offered with any cab, but extended and crew variants can come with the regular (6.6 feet) bed.
Gasoline-fueled propulsion comes from a 6.0L V-8 developing 353 hp and 373 lb-ft of torque. Output rose to 360 hp and 380 lb-ft in 2010. Also, there’s the turbocharged 6.6L V-8 Duramax diesel, good for 365 hp and 660 lb-ft. A new Duramax debuted in 2011, making 397 hp and a considerable 765 lb-ft.
A bi-fuel option for the 6.0L V-8 was available for 2013, offering the choice of gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG). However, output dips to 301 hp and 333 lb-ft while running on CNG.
All versions come with a six-speed automatic transmission. The diesel truck has a beefed-up Allison unit (the gasoline truck’s trans is no wimp, though) and features a manual shift option. Rear-wheel drive is standard; four-wheel drive is optional. The newer diesel engine is paired with an Allison 1000 transmission, a combination claimed to improve fuel economy and emissions by 11 percent over earlier versions.
The Silverado’s trim levels are Work Truck, LT, and LTZ (the latter for extended and crew cabs only). The entry-level trim is really basic, with manual windows and vinyl seat covering. Air conditioning became standard in regular WT cabs from 2011, although it was always part of the deal in extended and crew versions. Things get fancier with the LT,, offering powered accessories and cloth upholstery, while the LTZ goes for leather, heated front seats, and a Bose audio system.
GMC Sierra trims are Work, SLE, and SLT (2007 to 2010). The upscale Denali trim came on stream in 2011, packing items that would be options on lower trim levels, such as skid plates, EZ-lift tailgate, parking sensors, and chrome trim pieces.
A revision in 2011 also brought a stronger boxed frame construction. This stiffer frame enabled a finer tuning of the toughened-up suspension. Additionally, the diesels were blessed with an exhaust braking feature, which is a boon when towing on downhill stretches.
At some point, there’s going to be a decision regarding whether to buy a gasoline or a diesel version. Which should be fairly easy. Since these are “heavy-duty” trucks, then they will probably have to work for a living and contribute to the general financial well being of the company. So, if situations requiring high mileage and/or high torque are expected, then it’s diesel all the way, but be prepared to pay a substantial premium for the diesel, even on the used market.
The package of capable suspension, upgraded frame, and strong diesel engine is a winner. And depreciation from new makes a pre-owned version a bargain. If internet forums are to be believed, then owners of Duramax-powered HD models are a generally happy bunch, glad to get some bearable mileage from their engine and occasionally checking their mirrors to make sure their trailer is still attached because such huge torque results in effortless pulling.
Kelley Blue Book puts a rear-drive 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD LT regular cab with the 6.0L gasoline V-8, in good condition, at $18,008. A comparable Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT with a 5.4L V-8 is valued at $15,971.
A diesel-powered, rear-drive 2010 GMC Sierra 3500HD SLE regular cab in good condition is rated at $22,130. Compare that with $24,411 for a similar Dodge Ram 3500 SLT with a 6.7L inline-6 turbo diesel.
|2007-2013 Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 2500HD/3500HD|
|Body type:||Pickup truck|
|Drivetrain:||Front engine, RWD/4WD|
|Airbags:||Driver, front passenger (side-impact and side curtain optional from 2011)|
|Engine:||6.0/353hp OHV V-8, 365 hp from 2010; 6.6/365hp OHV V-8, 397 hp from 2011|
|Brakes, f/r:||Disc/disc, ABS|
|Price range, whlsl/retail (KBB):||$6,812/$8,468 (2007, RWD Chevy Work Truck 6.0 V-8, regular cab), $42,837/$45,895 (2013, 4WD GMC Denali 6.6 V-8)|
|Recalls:||Too many to list; see motortrend.com|
|NHTSA frontal impact rating, driver/fr pass:||three stars/three stars|