Which Silverado is Right For You?

July 10th, 2020 by

A red 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ is parked in front of a farm, a great contender in the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD comparison.

Having trouble deciding between the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 and the 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD? Many of our customers have asked us about this comparison, so we thought that we should sit down and go over the major performance differences between these two Chevrolet trucks. To begin with, the 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD is significantly larger than the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500. Despite sharing the Silverado name, these two trucks have very few major components in common. In general, the 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD is the better choice for people looking for a dedicated towing machine, while the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500HD makes for a better general-purpose pickup. However, everyone uses their truck differently, so keep reading for a full performance comparison of the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD.

Power

The 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 has four engine options, none of which are shared with the 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD. These engines range from a 4.3L v6 engine with 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque to a 5.3L V8 with 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. The 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD only has two options, a 6.6L V8 with 401 horsepower and 464 lb-ft of torque or a 6.6L turbo-diesel with 445 hp and 910 lb-ft of torque. This means that if you need a powerful diesel, then the 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD is the truck for you. But if you prefer a gasoline engine, then the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 offers more choices and can be just as powerful with its top offering. It should also be noted that the top engine on the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 comes with a ten-speed automatic transmission, while the gasoline option on the 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD only has a six-speed automatic.

Cargo & Payload

A white 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD is on an Indianapolis highway at sunset.

Surprisingly, if you are looking to carry light but bulky cargo, the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 actually comes out slightly ahead in cargo capacity. Comparing the two trucks with the standard box, the smaller truck can fit 71.7 cubic feet of cargo while the larger truck tops out at 69.5 cubic feet. With the long box, the story is much the same, with 89.1 cubic feet against 83.5 cubic feet. Although this difference is probably not noticeable in practice, it does show that you will not be limited in most daily tasks if you choose the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500.

However, if you need to move heavy loads, then the 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD is the clear winner. Its best configuration tops out at a payload of no less than 3,979 pounds, while even its worst configuration can handle 3,536 pounds. In comparison, the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 can only manage 2,250 at best, and that drops down to just 1,720 in its lowest-payload configuration. This massive difference in payload capacity comes down to the more rigid suspension in the 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD. However, that strength can also be a weakness as those suspension changes reduce ride quality when unloaded. So if you do not need that extra payload, it probably makes sense to stick with the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500.

Towing

The 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD was built for towing and easily takes the win in this comparison. Using its conventional hitch (which is included standard on all versions and trims), the 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD can pull up to 14,500 or 18,500 pounds depending on its configuration. However, it can also be configured from the factory for 5th wheel/gooseneck towing. With such a setup, the trailering capacity increases to between 16,650 and 18,510 pounds. Against this, the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 puts up lower numbers and maxes out at 13,400 pounds with its best engine, the max trailering package, and 20” wheels. However, this is very much a best-case figure, and some versions of the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 do not even offer the option of a factory trailering package. Of the ones that do, the one with the lowest can pull just 6,600 pounds.

So, while a 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 can put up impressive numbers, if you want to pull a heavy trailer safely, you are better off upgrading to the 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD. And making the jump to the larger vehicle will not only increase trailering capacity, but it will also bring several advanced features that will make pulling a trailer far safer and more convenient. These include additional camera views, better integration of trailer brakes, and larger mirrors.

A silver 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LT is facing away on a woodland trail overlooking mountains.

The Bottom Line

Comparing the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, you will find they are both excellent vehicles. However, they are designed for different purposes. With its powerful diesel engine, beefed-up suspension, and numerous factory trailering features, the 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a hard-use vehicle for hauling heavy loads and pulling large trailers. However, if you are looking for a general-purpose pickup, then the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 is not that far behind its big brother in capacity while offering a handier, more efficient, and more affordable package.

Posted in Chevy Trucks