For many truck drivers, a good light-duty pickup has more than enough capacity to handle their needs, and some can even get by with a midsize or compact truck. But if you have tough jobs that require towing heavy trailers or hauling serious payloads, then you should consider upgrading to a heavy-duty model that has the stats you need to get down to business. Chevrolet has long had a reputation for making tough trucks that are built to last, and their HD models are no exception.
While the Silverado HD isn’t entering a new generation for the 2024 model year, it is receiving a significant refresh with improved powertrains, a redesigned front end, and more. Whether you need the extreme power of the 2024 Chevy Silverado 3500 HD or want to strike a middle ground between that and light duty with the capable 2500, these trucks are certainly worth considering. Let’s take a look at some of the changes that Chevy is bringing to the table for this mid-generation refresh.
A New Face for the New Year
The first thing you’ll notice looking at the new Silverado HD is its redesigned exterior. This makeover is fairly extensive, including a new grille and fascia, headlights that sport a different shape, and a more chiseled appearance overall, projecting strength and marrying classic truck styling with some more futuristic touches. For instance, those headlamps now have a c-shaped LED frame, and on the LTZ, ZR2, and High Country trims, they feature dual-projector technology, with the main headlights and brights split into dual functions, both providing intense light for navigating dark, rural roads. In addition to this practical function, the new headlights also provide a bit of sci-fi whimsy, running an animated lighting display when you either approach the truck with the key fob on your person or walk away from it.
The ZR2 Goes HD
Chevy’s ZR2 off-road trim has been available on the midsize Colorado for many years, giving it specialized features like skid plates, tow hooks, and durable shocks that allow it to tackle everything from loose sand and gravel to muddy OHV trails and rocky roads. For the 2022 model year, this trim was introduced to the Silverado 1500 for the first time. For the 2024 model year, the trim makes its debut on the Silverado HD. Full details haven’t been released yet, as the ZR2 will be joining the lineup later in the model year, but you can expect a lifted suspension, all-terrain wheels, and tough construction. Paired with the heavy-duty truck’s powerful engine, this will certainly be a force to be reckoned with.
More Powerful & Refined Diesel Engine
The base engine on both the Silverado 2500 and 3500 is a gas-powered V8, but both HD trucks can also be had with an available diesel powertrain. Diesel tends to provide better fuel economy than gas, which makes it appealing to long-haulers, and it provides plenty of torque, which comes in handy for towing heavy loads. Chevy’s Duramax 6.6-liter turbo-diesel V8 has been re-tuned to deliver even more power than it did in previous years, bringing its horsepower up to 470 and its maximum torque rating to 975 lb-ft. The changes also make it better at delivering low-end torque, improving performance while driving at low speeds or driving up steep hills, especially with a trailer in tow. Plus, its more efficient combustion makes for a more refined ride.
Ten-Speed Transmission Now Standard
If you’re sticking with gasoline as your fuel of choice, there’s a powertrain upgrade for you too. While the gas-powered V8 is carrying over to the 2024 model year unchanged, it’s now paired with Chevy’s Allison ten-speed automatic transmission. In previous years, this transmission came standard with the diesel engine and was an available feature for the gas powertrain, but now the old standard six-speed transmission is being dropped altogether. Having more gears means that the steps between gears are smaller, making shifting between them smoother and allowing the engine to maintain peak power for longer stretches of time.
Several changes have been made to the inside of the cabin as well. The command center has been designed to create a more welcoming open space, providing enough room for comfort and an interface that’s both practical and intuitive. New physical controls, like knobs and buttons, have been added to the layout so that the driver doesn’t have to depend solely on the touchscreen to use the truck’s tech features.
Speaking of screens, upper-level trims like the LT, LTZ, and High Country are getting bigger and better ones. The central console features a 13.4-inch infotainment touchscreen, and behind the steering wheel is a 12.3-inch driver information center, replacing what are usually analog dials with a configurable digital display. The main screen and other controls are now tilted more toward the driver’s seat as well.
Other interior upgrades include a redesigned available wireless phone charging pad, which has been re-positioned in order to reduce distraction. Some models will also get more upscale materials, like leather-wrapped accents and genuine wood surfaces. The rearranged center console also allows more room for side-by-side cup holders. Depending on which model you get, your 2024 Silverado HD can have as many as ten total cupholders. Climate control vents are now available in the second row, so backseat passengers can stay comfortable throughout hot summers and cold winters.
More Safety Tech for Towing
Heavy-duty trucks are often used specifically for towing heavy trailers, so Chevy has invested in improving safety tech that’s specifically designed for trailering. The available adaptive cruise control, which can slow down and speed back up in order to maintain a minimum following distance as traffic patterns shift, is now able to account for the extra drag and longer braking distances that come with towing a trailer. Blind zone alert is more trailer-friendly, too, with an expanded reach that accounts for the larger blind zone that exists while towing a large trailer. Transparent trailer, a feature that uses a rear camera to let you see clearly what’s behind you while towing, is now compatible with fifth-wheel and gooseneck trailers. And a GCW alert will warn you if your combined vehicle and trailer weight exceeds your truck’s Gross Combined Weight Rating.
More Driver Assistance Features Come Standard
High-tech safety features aren’t just helpful for towing; they can also help keep drivers attentive and work to prevent accidents during everyday driving. Several driver-assistance features that used to be optional for lower trim levels are now standard across the lineup. All Silverado HD trucks will now come with forward collision alert with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and a following distance indicator.
This Refresh Is a Step Up
The new Silverado HD is a step up from older models, and while the upgrades are spread out throughout the truck’s exterior, interior, and powertrains, they’re mainly focused in areas that are most important to heavy-duty truck drivers. Improving the powerful diesel engine and focusing tech upgrades on features related to towing show that Chevy really knows the audience for this powerful truck. But they haven’t skimped on overall comfort features either, making the Silverado HD both practical for hard work and pleasant for everyday driving. Overall, these changes add up to a significant improvement and should go over well with buyers who are looking for a new truck with classic roots, modern style, and the latest tech features.