Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A black 2022 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Carhartt Edition is shown from the front at an angle while parked in a barn.

Read This if You Think You Want An HD Pickup Truck Instead of an SUV

Non-commercial heavy-duty truck buyers don’t give much consideration to the basics, like capability and performance. When looking at rigs like the 2022 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD vs 2022 Ford F-250, it’s okay to assume that differences in towing and payload are fairly inconsequential. Other details, such as price, trailering technology, and available configurations, are more important to mainstream buyers, and don’t forget luxury finishes. That’s where the 2022 Chevy Silverado outshines the 2022 Ford F-250.

Buying a heavy-duty truck in 2022 is nothing like it was in decades past. Today’s advanced camera and sensor technology has changed the game and presented buyers with a whole new set of considerations to ponder. How many camera angles do I need? How about in-vehicle infotainment and mobile office features? Appearance is yet another conversation starter that didn’t used to be in the mix.

Heavy-duty truck buyers’ needs have evolved way past a simple commercial grade work truck with vinyl seats and hand-crank windows. Commercial buyers still exist, but demand for features like high-end premium cabins is skyrocketing. Droves of weary SUV owners are abandoning their cookie-cutter utes for an HD truck. What was once a job site necessity is now a symbol of suburban affluence. That’s why the 2022 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD reigns supreme as a truck that mixes luxury and performance perfectly.

A green 2022 Ford F-250 is shown from the front at an angle while driving down the road.

Affluence Trumps GCWR: Spotting the Fanciest Option

Scroll Chevy’s Silverado 2500 HD product page online, and one fact is abundantly clear–capability still comes first. In big, bold numbers, Chevy proudly displays the 2500 HD’s 18,510-lb max tow rating, along with specs on the two available powertrains; 445 horses and 910 lb-ft for the 6.6-liter Duramax and 401 ponies and 464 lb-ft for the conventional 6.6-liter gas engine.

Scroll a little further down, though, and there’s a plot twist. Suddenly, buzz terms like advanced trailering technology dominate the page. Technology and luxury intersect for 2022 HD truck buyers, particularly when it comes to convenience. As convenience features go, the 2500 HD is no match for its smaller sibling, the Silverado 1500, but pricey trims like the High Country are still well-equipped.

Unlike a typical SUV or passenger car that sprinkles a generous dusting of standard features across the trim range, HD truck buyers should default to the upper end of the trim range to unlock the most standard and available luxury features. For Silverado 2500 HD buyers, that means the High Country or, one step lower, the LTZ. Here is where the two-tone leather interiors and air-conditioned seats are hiding.

The ultimate 2500 HD luxury configuration involves the High Country trim with the optional High Country Deluxe Package. Choosing this version adds a 360-degree camera, a 15-inch head-up display, and even a bed view camera that you probably won’t ever use. Throw in power-retractable running boards and a sunroof for a couple thousand more, and add the six-way Multi-Flex Tailgate to optimize bed utility. Aside from custom wheels, your 2500 HD is now officially fully-loaded.

Look for This When Technology Matters

Chevy extends capability to the unseen for 2022, with a plethora of technology features that cater to drivers seeking convenience, especially with repetitive functions like trailer hookup. You may not be towing a gooseneck full of livestock, but access to next-gen trailering technology also benefits weekend boaters heading up to the lake house.

Say goodbye to the hassle of a copilot with the 2500 HD’s 15 available camera views. You won’t have to ask your grumpy teenager to vector you in for an accurate hookup. Instead, switch to Hitch View and display a top-down live view of the trailer’s receiver hitch; then, it’s a simple matter of backing up to meet it. Multiply that by 14 other perspectives, and things like backing down a launch ramp become a lot less stress-inducing.

Is it worth the extra money for a trim that offers the 8 cameras necessary to display 15 views? Navigating a truck of this size on a straightaway isn’t effortless, let alone performing precision maneuvers like trailer hook up. Weekend warriors, in particular, will benefit from the Silverado 2500 HD’s generous assortment of live feed assistance.

Chevy’s trailering technology extends to app-based systems found on the myChevrolet mobile app. The Advanced Trailering System allows you to create a profile for your trailer and monitor key data like tire pressure. The Lane Departure Warning driver-assist system expands to include the length of your trailer, too, so lane changes don’t require guesswork (or crossed fingers).

Tips for Families and First Time HD Truck Buyers

Trend spotters recently bestowed coolest family vehicle honors on the heavy-duty pickup, news that was met with furious teeth-gnashing by wary cyclists and environmental activists. To be sure, first-time HD truck owners will experience a substantial learning curve as they acclimate to oversized dimensions and extra tall seating. It’s like learning to drive all over again.

If you’re considering adding an HD truck to the family fleet, know that the best way to overcome blind spots and size miscalculations is via a robust driver-assist suite of safety systems and a multi-view camera arrangement. These trucks pack a serious amount of power, especially low-range torque. Even at slow speeds, you need room to come to a complete stop.

Know that when you’re driving the kids around town in a massive truck, someone is bound to comment on the environmental impact of all those combustion motor miles. Commercial trucks don’t receive fuel economy ratings from the EPA, so unless you track it yourself, there’s no benchmark for monitoring fuel efficiency. As an HD truck owner, you have to own the fact that your rig isn’t winning any awards for environmental stewardship.

Before you trade in your practical SUV for a commercial-grade truck like the 2022 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, take a quick survey of your environs. Will it fit in the garage? Do you spend a lot of time in the city or driving through congested areas? If your driving range is a five-mile radius of your home, which is located just outside a major metropolis, an HD truck is more headache than a helper.

A silver 2022 Chevy Silverado 2500HD is shown from the front at an angle while parked in field during a 2022 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD vs 2022 Ford F-250 comparison.

Will HD Trucks Replace SUVs in Suburban Driveways?

Pickup truck ownership still favors men. A survey by Zippia suggests that nearly 90 percent of truck owners are men, a statistic that has remained relatively consistent for the last decade. Most statistics echo the same gender split, suggesting that a pickup truck may not be high on a typical suburban mom’s wish list. Type this simple google search–do moms like heavy-duty pickups–and the results include cringe-worthy clickbait like Forbes’ Women Say They’re Most Attracted to Guys Driving Pickups and this gem: Survey: Women Dig Guys in Black Ford Pickups. Stereotypes like these may be what is driving traditionally female buyers away from pickups.

However, we think that big trucks really should be for any buyer and that gender plays no part in their appeal; though, having a family to shuttle around probably does. No matter what you identify as, having a family changes your vehicle needs, and trucks of larger size are some of the most impractical options for hauling kids around due to their size and traditionally poor gas mileage.

Still, pickup sales outpaced car sales for the first time ever in 2020, and the best-selling vehicle in America for 40+ years and running is a full-size pickup truck. Why aren’t more suburban drivers opting in? It may have nothing to do with stereotypes–perhaps parents, moms, in particular, choose their vehicles for more practical reasons, size among them. Owning a heavy-duty pickup truck isn’t particularly practical if your lifestyle includes hauling kids around (particularly young ones in car seats) or even commuting to an office job.

Will we see an avalanche of HD trucks replacing Suburbans and Tahoes in suburban family driveways? Probably not, but a small chink in the armor of SUV dominance is certainly evident. Whether HD truck ownership is right for you boils down to where you live, how you drive, and your tolerance for navigating a beast.