Not too long ago driving a heavy duty truck with a diesel engine meant you were in for a bumpy ride, not to mention the noise and smell of diesel fuel. Not now…

You can feel your voice get deeper when you climb aboard this big guy.

The 2014 Chevy Silverado HD I tested recently featured a 6.6-litre Duramax Turbo V8 diesel engine, mated to an Allison 6-speed automatic transmission, capable of putting out 397 horses and provides 765 lb ft of torque.

It gets deeper. This guy can carry up to 1706kg and tow up to 8119 kg. And the truck box has load-bearing upper hooks are rated to hold 113 kg each.

Interior:

The interior is very well organized, comfortable leather 12-way front bucket seats that are heated and cooled. The rear seats are a 60/40 split. Heavy use of dark wood burl is very prominent and gives the truck a different level of sophistication.

The navigation screen is positioned perfectly and is easy to program without distracting you from the road. Steering wheel controls help with all radio functions and incoming phone calls. The dash could have been better, lots of plastic and not that appealing.

Safety:

There is a single stage driver and front passenger airbag. An OnStar protection service is available, and offers direct communications between emergency services and the vehicle.

An electronic immobilizer is standard equipment and prevents the vehicle from being started without the key. Forward collision alert, lane departure warning and safety alert driver seat are all standard.

Roadworthy:

The steering is very direct and responsive and makes driving a large truck very easy. There is no fighting the steering wheel which can be a problem with other trucks in this category. The cab is very quiet and you can barely hear any road or tire noise. The diesel engine is a little noisy but not a big concern. The EZ lift tailgate is a nice feature, especially opening with one hand, gone are the days when the tailgate just drops and almost takes out your hips.

Towing Capability:

This vehicle can tow up 8,119kg and combined with the improved trailer sway control makes towing enjoyable. The stabilitrak control system can sense if your trailer is swaying and help control it by combining the power of the engine and the braking system to keep the trailer under control. The rearview camera is a nice touch helping to align the trailer during hookup.  Hill start assist is a good feature and helps prevent you from rolling back on a hill by maintaining brake pressure until the engine delivers enough torque to move the truck up the hill.

Fuel Economy:

15.8/10.2 L/100 km (city/highway)

Verdict:

Not too long ago driving a heavy duty truck with a diesel engine meant you were in for a bumpy ride, not to mention the noise and smell of diesel fuel. Not now. Fast forward to today and the ride is smooth, the noise is greatly reduced and you can hardly smell the fuel. These trucks still work hard as ever, but are also used as mobile offices, meeting rooms, and for family outings.

Price: as tested $65,690

Contact: ian [dot] harwood [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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