Tech Heavy Truck

March 7, 2014 07:19 PM
Tech Heavy Truck

GMC and Chevy unveil 2015 model-year trucks 

By H. Kent Sundling

Barely three months into 2014, dealerships are welcoming in 2015 model-year pickups.

After test driving the new heavy-duty GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado in sunny Arizona in February, it was apparent that high-tech was a high priority. Heated and cooled seats; a heated steering wheel; Lane Departure, which vibrates your seat left and right when you cross the lines; impressive fuel economy—you name it and you’ll likely find it on these heavy-duty trucks.

The 2015 models sport the same body style that was first featured on the 2014 half-ton Sierra and Silverado. In 2011, the frame and suspension was completely updated on the heavy-duty models, adding power and exhaust brakes to the Duramax diesel. Now, the exterior and interior get an
upgrade, as well.

A new extended cab body does away with the suicide doors. The longer, front-hinged, rear-opening doors with outside handles make it easier to get in the back seat in tight parking spaces.

On crew cab models, larger rear doors and 2" more leg room help when hauling around the crew.

A CornerStep rear bumper, the EZ Lift and Lower tailgate, a locking tailgate and upper tie-downs are standard to improve cargo management. The rear bed stake pocket is larger (except on the 3500HD dually) to support the handle for the CornerStep.

Engine options. Under the hood, the 6.0-liter V8 engine, which can run on gas or E85, is standard on all 2500HD and 3500HD models. The gas models are rated at 360 hp and 380 lb.-ft. of torque. The CNG option is rated at 301 hp and 333 lb.-ft. of torque. The Duramax diesel is rated at 397 hp and 765 lb.-ft. of torque.

The powertrains on the Sierra and Silverado heavy-duties sport increased payload and towing ratings:

  • Maximum payload for the 2500HD is 4,306 lb., up from 4,212 lb.
  • Maximum payload for the 3500HD is 7,374 lb., up from 7,222 lb.
  • Maximum bumper-hitch trailer weight rating on the 2500HD is 14,500 lb., up from 13,000 lb.
  • Maximum bumper-hitch trailer weight rating on the 3500HD is the best in the segment at 19,600 lb., up from 18,000 lb.
  • Maximum gooseneck towing on the 3500HD is 23,200 lb., up from 22,500 lb.

For those who tow heavy trailers, an electric-over-hydraulic integrated trailer brake controller is offered for the first time. StabiliTrak with Trailer Sway Control is standard on the 3500HD dually for the first time too.

The 5.3-gal. DEF fluid tank is still located under the hood, which works well for filling with jugs but not the easiest with the fuel island hose that is becoming popular at truck stops. The DEF tank needs filled approximately every 5,000 miles, or more often when towing a trailer.
A peak inside. Duramax diesel has been known for its quiet mannerisms since its 2001 inception. But now you can’t hear the engine at all from inside the cab—let alone know that it’s a diesel. Instead of wrapping over the roof, new inlaid doors fit into body, and new triple door seals help reduce noise.

The seats are noticeably more comfortable, thanks to dual-density mem­ory foam that conforms to various body con­figurations. High-tech additions include a 110-volt outlet, up to five USB ports, four 12-volt outlets and an SD card slot. The OnStar with 4G LTE enables faster Internet, along with a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot (available in September 2014).

IntelliLink uses a high-res, reconfigurable 8" diagonal color touchscreen. Many of the system controls can be controlled by voice recognition.  

H. Kent Sundling, also known as Mr. Truck, has been testing pickups, trailers and accessories for 14 years. His product reviews, photos and videos, can be found at

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