It can be hard to fathom at this cold, dark time of year, but it’s true: At long, long last, winter is almost over. Just try saying it aloud—it can do wonders for your psyche. Winter is ALMOST OVER. The days are slowly getting just a little bit longer, and the ice on the lake is getting papyrus-thin. That awful gray-brown mountain of roadside snow and sludge with a dented soda bottle sticking out of it is gradually shrinking its way out of existence, making way for bright sprigs of daffodils and scores of amorous bunny rabbits. And the brand new, fully redesigned 2020 Chevy Silverado HD, fresh off of its Chicago Auto Show debut last month, will finally be available for purchase.
Say it one more time, Winter is ALLLLMOSTT OVVVERR.
A Good Thing is Worth Sharing
Chevrolet couldn’t wait ’til 2020, or even late 2019, to start delivering its 2020 Chevy Silverado HD models. Orders will start being filled by late spring/early summer of this year. And there is plenty of exciting new improvements worth rushing the calendar for. Though it may share a name with its smaller sibling, the light-duty Silverado 1500, big brother has never stood apart as its own entity more than the upcoming 2020 model does. In fact, the 2020 Chevy Silverado HD, available as a 2500 or 3500 model, is now clad entirely in a high-strength sheet metal not found on the 1500, and the lone body panel that the two pickups share is their roof.
“The new HD is taller, wider, and longer than the 1500,” declared Hugh Milne, Chevy Silverado’s Marketing Director, from a press conference on the floor of the Chicago Auto Show. “With a more aggressive stance and commanding presence.”
All of the major players in the heavy-duty pickup game are either new or refreshed this year, and the 2020 Chevy Silverado HD has gone to great lengths to make sure its looks get some extra recognition. And while early reviews of its aesthetic appeal have been met with mixed feelings online, one thing is for certain: it has a distinct look. Most of that notoriety is owed to the new oversize grille and squared off front end, a stylistic decision that has bifurcated the masses of bow tie believers. Top-of-the-line Silverado High Country trim notwithstanding, the 2020 Silverado HD breaks with years of tradition, forgoing the signature Chevy logo badging for bold, all-caps ‘CHEVROLET’ lettering stamped across the front. Black, chrome, and body-color grilles are all in the mix, depending on the trim level.
Putting the Heavy Duty in HD
However exciting the new look may be, it’s what’s behind the Silverado HD’s grille that keeps the Chevy-faithful a satisfied and continually growing group. And that is raw power.
The standard offering for the HD is a 6.6-liter small block V-8, paired with a 6L90 six-speed automatic transmission. This setup produces an impressive 401 horsepower and 454 lb-ft of torque—41 horsepower and 84 lb-ft improvements over the Silverado HD’s 6.0-liter predecessor.
The diesel version is a familiar GM favorite, a 6.6-liter Duramax V-8 turbo-diesel, making 440 horsepower and a rumbling 910 lb-ft. It is mated with a highly-respected 10-speed Allison automatic transmission. It’s true that the torque number falls just south of the newest insane 4-digit figures from RAM, but most are quick to point out that those numbers are rarely, if ever, called upon in actual driving conditions. And what’s more, Chevy has everyone beat in a figure that might come in even more handy. The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD is the world leader in towing capacity, maxing out at 35,500 pounds. That equals 50 percent more towing capability than the outgoing HD that it replaces, and 400 pounds better than the nearest competitor.
Chevrolet appears to be leaning into their role as the worldwide King of the Tow Hitch. There are plenty of tech-forward features that help make that towing experience as smooth and safe as it can be. Driver-selectable engine brake, automatic grade braking, and trailer-sway control are all either included or available. There are up to 15 available camera views available, and powered and illuminated towing mirrors (low-mounted for improved forward visibility) come standard. And perhaps most impressive is Chevy’s new “transparent trailer” view, an industry-first technology that stitches together multiple camera angles from tailgate and trailer-mounted cameras to make whatever you’re towing virtually see-through.
Maintaining Creature Comforts
The 2020 Chevy Silverado HD tows plenty of cargo, sure. But it also toes the company line, offering plenty of features that longtime Chevrolet owners have come to expect from these heavy-duty, American-made work trucks. The fully boxed ladder frame is composed almost completely of high-strength steel. The most functional bed in its segment offers up to 21 different tie-downs, more cargo room than any other heavy duty, enhanced cargo lighting, and a 120-volt outlet located at the rear of the box. And of course, the trademark bedside cutout steps that can hold up to 500 pounds have been beloved since the moment they were introduced.
Inside the cab, the 2020 Chevy Silverado HD is still quite a bit like the 1500, sharing the same center stack with an available 8-inch touchscreen. The dashboard and instrument clusters are also very much alike. The HD is available in five trim levels (a few less than its smaller Silverado counterpart) but with plenty of options to get drivers into the truck that’s just right for them. Between the multiple trim levels (Work Truck, Custom, LT, LTZ, and the aforementioned High Country), and 22 different cab, bed, chassis, and drivetrain configurations, there are endless choices to make sure you get the right truck to get your job done. And better still, the HD is available as a dualie in every trim level. “We’re offering a variety of different personalities for customers to choose from,” says Milne.
Sunnier Days Ahead
Winter can seem like the bad guy in a crappy Steven Seagal action movie. Somehow just when you’re positive the dude is dead, he’s rising out of nowhere in slow motion, screaming and indiscriminately spraying everybody around him with a hail of lead. But brighter days are ahead of us friends, with the 2020 Chevy Silverado HD prevailing as one badass legend in its own right.