Behind the Wheel

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD Review: Midgrade is best for this shockingly competent road tripper

The Chevrolet Silverado HD was redesigned for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

It already proved capable at hauling and towing on long stretches of road up, on, and around Mt. Bachelor in Oregon. That was a confined test, however, designed by Chevy to show off the redesigned Silverado HD's best qualities. When tested, unrestricted, on the rural roads, historic city streets, and highways of the East Coast, the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD proved even more impressive.

The Silverado HD is huge. The 2500 that was delivered sat in the driveway towering over the Explorer parked next to it. The truck looks imposing too, especially with the large grille that faces a hood that is taller than this driver.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD The grille of the Silverado HD is quite large.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Thankfully there are grab handles and side steps to aid in getting in the truck. Without the steps, it's quite the pull-up to get into the 2500. Getting in the bed was also easy thanks to a sidestep and the bumper steps.

The Chevrolet Silverado HD just isn't as nicely appointed as the Ram HD. There's no getting around that. However, in its midgrade trim level, the interior appointment choices of the 2500 make good sense for its price point and likely utilitarian lifestyle.

That doesn't mean that it's not well-appointed. Its surfaces aren't plush like what you'll get in the Ram, but they're pleasant enough to look at and inoffensive to the fingertips.

The truck's seats are comfortable, even for 600 miles at a time, which is about the range of the 2500 when equipped with the 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8 engine.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD The Silverado HD is surprisingly well-mannered on the highway.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

On the road, the Silverado HD is much more impressive. Despite its enormous size, the truck is easy to keep between the lanes, even without the modern driver assistance technology you'll find on some regular-duty trucks. Driving the model on the highway isn't tiring.

Though it does feel its size when you're behind the wheel, the truck is reasonably nimble and easy to maneuver. That's helpful on small, historic streets of places like Charlottesville, Virginia, where the size of the lanes and availability of parking spaces will make you wish there was a "HD trucks" setting in the navigation system. At around 78 inches tall as delivered, the Silverado HD is too tall to fit in most of the parking garages in historic areas.

That being said, the truck's numerous camera angles and wide mirrors made it easy to back into a spot and parallel park when necessary.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD Mid-grade Silverado HDs, including this LTZ trim model, are the best balance of capability and value.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The Silverado HD is tremendously more stable on the road and it soaks up most of the imperfections. It doesn't have nearly the amount of body lean when cornering that the Ram HD does.

The engine is just as competent as the handling. Despite being plenty beefy and brawny for the task at hand, the diesel delivered around 22 mpg in mixed traffic situations, including some stretches pushing the upper limits of allowable speed on the highway and idling in traffic several times in bottlenecks. That number makes the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 about 50 percent more fuel efficient than the 2020 Toyota Tundra in similar driving situations.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD The interior of the Silverado isn't as nice as the Ram HD, but it's good enough.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The Silverado HD LTZ came with standard with an 8-inch infotainment system. It worked as advertised with the latest operating system running in the background, which isn't too much of a departure from the previous one resulting in a very shallow learning curve.

The Silverado 2500 made a lasting impression during a week of road tripping. Its comfortable seats and fuel efficiency were the biggest surprises and the only true disappointment was that its height made it incompatible with parking garages.

With the capability and appointments considered, its $70,000 sticker price seemed appropriate.

Chevy may not have hit it out of the park with the Silverado HD redesign, but they hit a solid double that keeps them in the game.

Chevrolet has recently upgraded the Energy Assist version of the myChevrolet app.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Chevrolet has enhanced its myChevrolet mobile app to include a number of features that will help Bolt EV owners better live with their vehicle as part of their daily routine.

"We're providing EV owners with the tools to easily find available public charging stations," said Rick Spina, GM vice president AV/EV commercialization. "The enhancements to Energy Assist offer Chevrolet Bolt EV owners a holistic charging experience while they're on the go – whether traveling near home or on a cross-country road trip."

MyChevrolet app electric vehicle EV charging The new app functionality allows for more dynamic route planning. Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Energy Assist, which was first available within the app in 2017, enables owners to locate available charging stations along their route of travel. The function will integrate vehicle data that combines with that charging information. When range projections change dramatically, Energy Assist will push notifications to the user about updated charging needs and availability.

According to Chevrolet, updates include:

Dynamic Data Integration - GM is now displaying dynamic data from charging networks EVgo and ChargePoint within Energy Assist, so Bolt EV owners can have a more seamless charging experience with their GM vehicles. Information provided by charging networks includes real-time data on charge station status to indicate if a charging station is available. GM will integrate dynamic data from additional charging providers throughout 2020, which will include EV Connect continuing to enhance the customer experience.

Start-to-Charge - At eligible charging stations, owners can now link their EVgo account to activate and pay for charging sessions right from the myChevrolet mobile app, eliminating the need to toggle between apps and streamline the payment process. Eligible charging stations are noted within the myChevrolet mobile app. GM will continue to add eligible charging stations throughout 2020.

Review and Rate - With crowdsourcing on the rise, GM is implementing a new feedback feature for Bolt EV owners. Coming in early 2020, Bolt EV owners will be able to review and rate charging stations within the myChevrolet app. Similar to other popular crowdsourcing technologies, this feature will rely on Bolt EV owners to share their valuable insights about charging stations by providing a star rating and leaving comments about the station.

Energy Assist provides Bolt EV owners access to all Bolt EV-compatible charging station locations, regardless of the charge point operator. EV owners can now view more than 40,000 charging stations in North America, with access to 30 percent more DC Fast Chargers compared to 2019.

Original purchasers of new Bolt EVs have access to the Energy Assist features in the myChevrolet mobile app at no additional cost for five years from the vehicle delivery date, after they accept the myChevrolet mobile app terms. Energy Assist is available for Bolt EV owners in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The myChevrolet app is available for select Apple and Android devices.

The Chevy Equinox has gotten a fresh face for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Chevrolet is adding to and enhancing its popular Equinox SUV lineup. Among the changes to the model are fresh exterior design elements, a new RS trim level, and additional available safety technologies.

The front and rear fascias of the Equinox have changed, giving the car more aggressive styling that is in line with the looks of the Blazer. Its new LED headlamps and grille lead the way.

2021 Chevrolet Equinox RS

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

2021 Chevrolet Equinox Premier

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Under the hood the model retains its standard turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder base engine that puts out 170 horsepower. It's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Chevy is available with a 2.0-liter turbo-four that achieves 252 horsepower and mates with a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Chevrolet will continue to offer the Equinox with available all-wheel drive.

Adding to the Equinox stable of L, LS, LT, ad Premier trims, is the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox RS. The new trim level adds a gloss black grille, 19-inch Dark Android wheels, black badging, black rails, an RS shift knob, red stitching, and black interior upholstery.

The top-tier Equinox Premier model comes with a gloss black grille with chrome inserts, LED headlamps and taillamps, 19-inch wheels, a projection logo project tailgate, french stitching on the interior, and a high gloss black finish on the console.

A laundry list of safety and driver assistance technology is standard including a rearview camera, lane departure warning with assist, a following distance indicator, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, IntelliBeam headlights, and forward collision alert.

The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox goes on sale later this year. Pricing will be anounced closer to the model's on-sale date.