Chevy's smallest Heavy-Duty came online for the 2001 model year and was called the 1500HD. Why stick a model in between the incredibly varied 1500 series of light trucks and the work-oriented 2500 (and dualie 3500) models? Simple. Customers clamored for more towing capacity than the 1500s could provide, but were unwilling to step up to the rougher-riding 3/4-ton 2500HD. The 1500 HD's closest competitor would be Ford's F-150, when equipped with the Max Trailer Tow Package.

Is the truck capable? You bet. The HD has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 8600 pounds versus the standard 1500 crew cab's 6800. Ideally equipped, the 1500HD can tow up to 10,200 pounds, which is a boost of 1600 pounds. What's more, Chevy didn't even offer the crew cab in the basic 1500 until midway through the 2004 model year; with that move, the HD name disappeared for 2004 only to return the next year. There are some 2007 models around, which GM rechristened as the 1500HD Classic. These were sold while Chevy brought production of the all-new GMT900 platform online. (Once the Silverado's entire half-ton lineup was on the new platform, the 1500HD model name was discontinued, but buyers could still get the max trailering package, which came with monotube shocks in the back, a different wheel-and-tire package, and high-capacity rear springs.)

It isn't quite the "equal and opposite reaction" Newton had in mind, but in 2003, Chevrolet obviously felt the need to update the Silverado lineup, which had been new in 1999, to maintain some velocity against the new Dodge Ram and upcoming, thoroughly reworked Ford F-150. Front-end styling from the Avalanche, its aggression setting turned down a notch or two, graced the Silverados (all of them, not just the HDs), while upgraded interiors and other refinements came aboard. These were heady days for full-size trucks; according to the maker's own numbers, GM sold nearly a million Silverado and similar GMC Sierra pickups in 2001. The 1500HD series gets the biggest engine available: the 6.0-liter Vortec V-8, rated at 300 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque. At the time, this engine was exclusive to the HD within the 1500 family.

Per Internet reports, the service history of the 1500HD is somewhat south of stellar. Early examples seem to have trouble with catalytic converters, crankshaft position sensors, speed sensors, instrument panels, and front axle seals on 4x4 models. Some of those problems show up less often for the 2006 model, but that year is dinged with suspension issues (idler arm failures).

If the data are correct, Chevy generally improved this truck over time. Perhaps Chevy's reputation helps: The Kelley Blue Book lists a 2001 2WD LS (the base of the two trim levels) as worth $9288 retail, and the tab is just $20,460 for a well-equipped 2006 LT. That's a lot of truck for the money.


2001-2006 Chevrolet Silverado 1500HD
Body type 4-door pickup
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD
Airbags Dual front
Engine 6.0L/300-hp/360-lb-ft OHV V-8
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS
Price range, whlsl/retail (KBB) $7588/$9288 (2001 LS 2WD) $18,160/$20,460 (2006 LT 4WD)
Recalls Too many to list. See www.intellichoice.com
NHTSA frontal impact, rating, driver/pass Three stars/four stars