2018 Chevrolet Silverado HD

Updated: August 21, 2018

2018 Chevrolet Silverado HD

The Chevrolet Silverado HD heavy-duty pickups come in a broad choice of configurations and trim levels, in 2500 (so-called three-quarter ton) and 3500 (one-ton) versions, the latter with single or dual rear wheels.

Not much has changed for the 2018 model year, following a moderate reworking for 2017 that includes a fresh hood and bumpers. A rearview camera is now standard on all models, along with a 7.0-inch touchscreen. The tire-pressure monitor includes a tire-fill alert. High Country and Z71 editions get a new mesh grille.

Closely related to the GMC Sierra, Silverado HD trucks come in four trim levels: WT (work truck), LT, LTZ, and High Country. Chevrolet offers several special editions, led by the popular Z71 package as well as Texas and Midnight options.

Three cab configurations are offered: Regular, lacking a back seat; Double Cab, with narrow half-doors for access to the truncated rear seat; and Crew Cab, which has four conventional front-hinged doors. High Country models come only in Crew Cab form.

Cargo beds come in two sizes (6.5 or 8 feet). Rear-wheel drive is standard, with four-wheel drive a popular option.

Base engine is a 6.0-liter gasoline V8, developing 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. Sole transmission is a 6-speed automatic. Gas-engine models promise payload ratings as high as 3,534 pounds. Peak towing capacity with a conventional hitch can top 14,000 pounds.

The optional engine is a 6.6-liter, 445-horsepower turbodiesel V8, releasing a vigorous 910 pound-feet of torque. Working with an Allison 6-speed automatic, diesel-powered Silverados take the prize for towing/hauling prowess.

Crash protection isn’t the finest. In crash-testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 2018 Silverade 2500HD earned only a four-star rating overall and for frontal impact. Side-impact testing yielded a five-star score. Rollover protection (a calculated figure) got only three stars, not unusual for tall vehicles.

2018 Silverado HD trucks cannot match Ford’s Super Duty for high-tech safety. A modest suite of advanced safety features is standard on High Country models and available for LT and LTZ trim levels. Included are forward-collision and lane departure warnings, plus a reminder to check for presence of an infant or child in the back seat. A standard Teen Driver feature can rate young drivers based on their driving behavior.

Model Lineup

Silverado HD Work Truck models come with vinyl upholstery, 17-inch wheels, power locks and windows, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, and a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen. LT trim adds upgraded cloth upholstery, a 4.2-inch driver information display, 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and keyless entry with remote locking tailgate. LTZ includes leather upholstery, heated seats, dual-zone climate control, remote start, a power sliding rear window, and 18-inch wheels. Crew Cab High Country sports 20-inch wheels, heated and cooled front seats, Bose audio, wireless cellphone charging, heated steering wheel, spray-on bedliner, and front/rear parking assistance.

Several special-edition packages are available for LT and LTZ models. Z71 trucks are geared toward off-road duty with heftier shocks, a front stabilizer bar, underbody shielding, hill descent control, and bigger 18-inch wheels.


Sharp design details don’t prevent the Silverado body from looking a tad dull, as a work-oriented pickup probably should. Though contemporary, it ranks as the most conservatively styled heavy-duty pickup on sale today.

All Silverado HD trucks are ladled with chrome, while big upright grilles and impressive hoods pronounce their performance potential. High Country trucks flaunt specific styling touches, led by body-colored bumpers and chrome-trimmed running boards.


Even though they don’t stand out from competitors, soon fading into the background, Silverado cabins promise durability.

Front seats are spacious and comfortable, even for all-day driving. Regular Cab trucks seat two or three, depending on the type of bench. Double Cabs models have truncated rear benches, which will accommodate adults for a short jaunt, but fall short on leg clearance. Crew Cab pickups provide more than 40 inches of back-seat legroom.

Practicality is paramount, especially for lower-trim versions. Large instruments can withstand attention from gloved workers. Heavy-duty Silverados benefit from an excellent standard touchscreen.

OnStar telematics provides emergency notification, concierge services, and wi-fi hotspot services. MyLink infotainment, standard on all models, functions well, notable for the simplicity of its features and menus. All trim levels include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Navigation is optional on LT and LTZ models, but standard on the High Country.

Driving Impressions

Whether it’s powered by the capable gasoline V8 or by a mighty turbodiesel, with its 910 pound-feet wallop of torque, drivers can expect strong responses to the accelerator pedal. Heavy-duty pickups like the Silverado manage to move those heavyweight bodies with surprising haste.

Even with a trailer attached, reactions are usually prompt. The 6-speed automatic does its job well.

For their size, these trucks are surprisingly nimble. In turbodiesel models, a Digital Steering Assist system boosts low-speed maneuverability.

Silverado 3500 versions with dual rear wheels offer more tongue weight capacity than do the single-rear-wheel 2500 models; in practical terms, owners of 2500 models need to be more careful about weight distribution when loading their trailer. On the road, dual rear wheels offer substantially more stability when towing in crosswinds, around fast, sweeping turns, and when 18-wheelers blow by.

Final Word

Silverados and their GMC Sierra counterparts trail prominent competitors in availability of modern technology, but they rank high in versatility and features. HD pickups come in a wide range of trim levels, from work-ready toilers to plush, comfortable cruisers. Differences between Chevrolet and GMC models aren’t great, but the latter tends to offer fewer special editions.