Deceleration, however, is less impressive. The brake pedal is soft, squishy, and long; approximately nothing happens for the first quarter of its travel, followed by a slight reduction in speed. “This is not confidence-inspiring in the least, as if the pedal is not connected to the brakes,” Walton said. Has a more troubling test note ever been written? Stopping requires firmness on the halters, and I doubled typical following distances to allow plenty of pasture to slow down. Still, despite significant bouncing and vibration under ABS, Walton accomplished a best 60–0 stopping distance of 134 feet. That’s improved over the 2017 Silverado 2500HD, which stopped fully in 146 feet, and dramatically better than our F-250 long-termer’s 160 feet. Nonetheless, when laden weight pushes from behind, the more space ahead, the better.
Any stability the 2500HD possesses results from sheer mass, less so the driver’s control.
Posting a 28.3-second figure-eight lap at an average of 0.60 g, Walton was able extract slight drifts on corner exit, but he noted significant understeer as the burly-treaded tires gave up. Obviously, high grip was never going to be this bovine’s forte. On the street, handling is predictably trucklike, with vague sensation transmitted through the large-diameter steering wheel. Unladen ride quality is springy and bouncy, with a suspension that can’t help but allow major keel through bends.
Despite that, the cabin is comfortable and cavernous—no surprise given those exterior measurements. LTZ trim plushes it up with heated and cooled front bucket seats, LOUD upgraded audio system, and extended soft-touch trim spanning the dashboard. The 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen is clear and responsive but looks tiny given the dashboard’s acreage. And it is tiny compared to the 12.0-inch unit now available in Ram pickups. The screen between the gauges is equally high-definition and shows almost any data point the driver might want to know—brake pad life, DEF level, engine hours, and more. Less informative is the 15.0-inch head-up display, which is huge and clear but doesn’t show much beyond speed, speed limit, and basic driver assist info.
A multitude of cameras let me keep an eye on this monster’s edges. The top-down system stitches together a cohesive view of the surroundings; marker lines show the corners’ trajectory, making it a cakewalk to corral the truck in a parking space. Other views show the bed, straight down at the trailer hitch, side blind spots, and an angle of the front as if there’s a camera a few feet ahead of the grille. The digital rearview “mirror” is superior to the real thing, providing an accurate depiction unobstructed by the bed. Driver assist features include blind-spot monitors and a following distance indicator showing seconds between the vehicle ahead, but adaptive cruise control is a notable omission, perhaps due to inadvisable use while trailering. Otherwise, the forward collision alert, which flashes on the HUD and vibrates the driver’s seat, is a boon—it’s a bit hyperactive, but occasional gluteus buzzes are preferable to an actual crash.
There’s a reason Angelenos don’t own cattle: There simply isn’t space. Beyond the urban sprawl, where there’s room to roam, is the proper home for such large stock. The Silverado 2500HD isn’t meant to be a metropolitan pet. Like a stout ox, it’s a mightily capable tool bred to get work done. Still, my days with the truck proved less daunting than expected. Its comfort, technology, and gobsmacking power helped negate challenges presented by its size. Although I didn’t test an ounce of its heavy-duty potential, those who do will have a savvy companion that can go from tame to terrifying with a flex of the ankle. Toro!
|2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD 4X4 LTZ|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$74,470|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door truck|
|ENGINE||6.6L/445-hp/910-lb-ft turbodiesel OHV 32-valve V-8|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||8,353 lb (NA%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||250.0 x 81.9 x 79.8 in|
|0-60 MPH||6.5 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||15.0 sec @ 91.3 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||134 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.71 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||28.3 sec @ 0.60 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||Not Rested|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||Not Rested|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||Not Rested|
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