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Which is the better purchase? Silverado 1500 or 2500

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Hello, I am looking to get opinions on a used pick up truck purchase.


I posted this same post in the 1500 section, but would like some input from 2500 owner's perspective.


I recently moved out to a rural part of the county.  I need a pick up truck for general tasks that include hauling firewood, drywall/lumber runs from the home improvement store, towing a 6x12 trailer with ATV’s on it, etc.  I will not be snow plowing, hauling larger trailers or heavy items, or doing true “heavy duty” type work with the truck.  I just need something that will last another 100k miles with no major problems or failures.  I am the type of owner that is strict on maintenance, so I do not anticipate surprises, but you all might know certain issues for the model years.


Is a ½ ton or ¾ ton truck better suited for me?


The trucks I am looking at are the 3rd generation Silverado. A 2018 Chevy Silverado 1500 and a 2016 Chevy Silverado 2500HD to be specific.  Along with the tasks I mentioned above, this truck will also be my daily driver.  My daily commute to work is a 60 mile round trip, 5 days per week. The breakdown is 30 miles city driving and 30 miles interstate.

Fuel economy is one of more important things to me. I know with these trucks I won’t be seeing outstanding fuel economy numbers, but as $4/gal + gasoline prices are on the way, it’s hard for me to totally look beyond my annual fuel cost.  Fuelly.com shows the average 2018 1500 MPG at 16.3 average 2016 2500HD MPG at 13.6.  A friend of mine has a 2016 1500 and does a lot of highway traveling and claims to get 22 MPG since the motor deactivates 4 cylinders when cruising.


Here are the specifics of each truck.  I am hoping for information about whether the engines, transmissions, other drive line components, odd annoying things, etc. will happen given the specific model years.


Which truck would provide a longer life?


2018 Chevy Silverado 1500 (4X4 Z71)  - 75,000 miles

Engine: Vortec 5.3L (ECOTEC3) with Active Fuel Management    355 HP, 383 LB-FT torque

Transmission: Hydra-Matic 8L90 (8 speed)

Gearing Ratio:  3.42

Towing Capacity: 9,000 – 10,000 lbs

GVWR: 7,200 LBS

Payload: 2,000 LBS (approximately)

Fuel tank:  26  gal



2016 Chevy Silverado 2500HD (4X4 Z71) – 110,000 miles

Engine: Vortec 6.0L V-8 (L96 / LC8)    360 HP, 380 LB-FT torque

Transmission: Hydra-Matic 6L90 (6 speed)

Gear Ratio: 4.10

Towing Capacity: 13,000 LBS

GVWR: 9,500 LBS

Payload: 3,000 LBS (approximately)

Fuel tank:  36 gal

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Going off your commute and what seems to be an economics approach, the 5.3 8 speed.  If it was a 6 speed in the 1/2 ton, I'd say to pass.  Perfect choice for your 60mi round trip daily commute.  You could always look for an NHT max trailer truck as well in 5.3 and 6.2.  Everyone seems to $hit on the 5.3, but the 5.3 is 95% enough truck for most anyone.  The 8 speed, get the fluid swapped for fresh Mobil 1 LV HP ATF Blue Label and it will treat you good.  Has some clunky shifts at time, but the extra gears make that 5.3 drive that much better than the 6 speed.  


On the HD side, everything about it is built bigger, so brakes, frame, axles.  The 6.0 is a tank, as is the 6L90 behind it.  If driving another 200k is a goal of yours, get the HD.  If you have plans for a travel trailer, go straight to the HD IMO.  For your 6x12?  Its not worth it. 


Mileage wise, I've daily'd 3 HD's over the years.  Work commute and then calculating trip mileage and gallons filled in the tank, I would consistently average 10-12mpg in the winter, 13-14.5mpg in the summer, per tank.  Towing, its 7-10mpg all day.  1/2 ton takes the mileage any day of the week.  I typically can pull 13-15mpg in the winter (good ol' remote start) and 17-19mpg the other 3 seasons per tank.  

Edited by newdude
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I just picked up a 2016 Sierra 2500 4x4 6.0L gas, base model back in June. It had 32,000 miles on it when I bought it, but now has 42,000. The previous owner cranked the torsion bars and installed new 20x10 fuel wheels and a Magnaflow exhaust. I love this truck. It is perfect for me because it is a base work truck with bench front seat, grey vinyl seats, vinyl floor, gas motor, crew cab w/ 6.5ft bed, and white. It has no options other than manual tow mirrors and 4.10 gears. As Newdude said, this thing is a tank. It is big and built well. The engine is strong and is paired well with the 6-speed auto. I average right around 12.3mpg all the time whether I'm in the city or back road driving. I have no issues going up I-70 through the mountains of Colorado. I pull a 25ft travel trailer weighing around 6500 lbs. and it does it without any issue. I recently did landscaping and hauled 9+ loads of rock and dirt weighing around 3,000lbs. I was very impressed how it handled the load. I like having my vehicles over built for what I use them for. I looked at the 1500s before I bought the 2500 and I just liked the size and build more than the 1500s. But thats just me. I cannot recommend the 2016 2500 enough. 

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  • 5 weeks later...

I would go with the 1500 as it will do everything you need and will probably go to 200k with some TLC. I had an 07 2500 with the same drivetrain and never got more than 14 MPG hy empty and 8-10 city. I have no experience with the 5.3L 8 speed, my last 1/2T was a Tahoe with a gen 1 5.7L and 3.73 gears it got around 19 HY and 15 city - just don't expect it to tow 6,000 lbs.

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I've run both 1500's (5.0's, 5.3's a 6.2 and now a 3.0) and several 2500's. (dmax's, not the 6.0, but other family members have run those)


The job described in the first post suggests a 1500. 

Occasional towing of a 6x12 with atv's doesn't require a 2500. 



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