2012 Chevrolet Silverado HD

2012 Chevrolet Silverado HD Review

Note: This review was created when the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado HD was new.

The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado HD is one of the most capable heavy-duty pickups in the class, but its interior lags behind rivals.

Pros & Cons

  • Strong exhaust brake
  • Smooth handling for its size
  • Class-leading payload capacity
  • Capable yet fuel-efficient diesel engine
  • Side airbags not standard
  • No luxury level trim

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Chevrolet Silverado HD has a score of 8.7 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 55 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 9.4
Performance: 8.9
Interior: 7.2
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Chevrolet Silverado HD Overview

There’s no doubt among test drivers that the Chevrolet Silverado HD is one impressive truck. It can haul a heavier load in its bed than any other pickup on the market, and its conventional and fifth-wheel towing numbers are competitive as well. Test drivers love its fuel-efficient yet powerful diesel engine, and report that its smart exhaust brake and handling are both good.

However, in such a small and competitive class, most critics say that “good” might not be good enough. The Silverado HD can be out-towed by the Ford Super Duty, which also offers a well-liked interior in its King Ranch trim. Though the Ram HD lags behind some rivals a bit when it comes to towing and hauling, test drivers believe that the Ram HD offers the nicest interior among rivals, and its diesel engine makes more torque than the Silverado’s.

When it comes to heavy-duty pickups, brand loyalty tends to determine purchases. Picking “the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD over other heavy-duty trucks will likely come down to personal preference,” writes Edmunds. “In the end, none of these choices really represents a losing decision.” But if you’re looking for the most capable truck on the market, or the model with the most luxurious interior, you should consider the rest of the class as well.

Other Trucks to Consider

If you like the Chevrolet Silverado HD but want a fancier interior, take a look at its corporate sibling, the GMC Sierra HD Denali. Under the hood, the Sierra and Silverado heavy-duty trucks are identical. But Sierra Denali models come standard with more features than the Silverado HD’s top-of-the-line LTZ trim, including a heated steering wheel, a Bose speaker system and rearview camera.

Testers agree that while the Silverado HD and Sierra HD are capable trucks, the Ford Super Duty line leads the pack for offering more power and luxury. Its King Ranch trim is more luxurious than the Silverado HD’s interior, and the Super Duty can tow significantly more than the Silverado HD can. Plus, test drivers love the Super Duty’s unique in-dash computer work system, which can help business owners track tools, manage a fleet and even print invoices from their truck.

Details: Chevrolet Silverado HD

The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado comes in two models, the 2500 or 3500, which are both available in one of three trims: WT ( work truck/base), LT and LTZ. Both models are available as a regular, extended or crew cab; short, regular or long bed; and with two- or four-wheel drive. Silverado 3500 HD models are available with either single or dual rear wheels.

For 2012, the Silverado HD adds a Z71 off-road appearance package, a few new paint and upholstery colors and heated and cooled seats on LTZ models.

See the full list of 2012 Chevrolet Silverado HD specifications.

  • "If you've been a longtime Chevy HD fan and it's time to trade-in your old outfit, the 2012 Chevy Silverado HD's numerous improvements will help keep you a Chevy loyalist. If you're an old Ram (formerly Dodge) or Ford guy and you aren't happy with your current rig, you might be pleasantly surprised just how capable the Chevy Silverado HD really is.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "These big rigs boast car-like driving characteristics with impressive hauling and towing capabilities, along with class-exclusive features such as all-surface 4WD. They're a must-see for heavy-duty pickup shoppers.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "What may tilt the scales toward GM, however, is its superior ride quality, engine refinement and features like smart exhaust braking. We suspect anyone who needs this kind of truck is unlikely to be disappointed by either of these leaders, but they might find themselves feeling a bit more refreshed after an extended stint in a Sierra or Silverado HD.” -- Autoblog

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