What's New for 2007
Signifying the end of this generation's run, the Chevy Silverado 3500 adds "Classic" to its name to distinguish it from the redesigned 1-ton pickup truck that arrives later in 2007. Tow hooks are now standard on all models, and a few features, such as a six-disc CD changer and steering-wheel-mounted controls, are added to the LT packages.
Entering the seventh year in its current guise, this generation of the Chevrolet Silverado 3500 gains the word "Classic" in its name to help differentiate it from a fully redesigned Silverado 1-ton that's being readied for a 2007 release. Despite the Classic's age, all of the traditional strengths of this big Chevy truck still stand, such as classic styling and a lineup of impressively capable powertrains. Though the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 pickup is pretty much unchanged, Chevy did make a number of changes last year. This included some major upgrades to the optional Duramax diesel engine that provided the truck with best-in-class power ratings of 360 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. As if that wasn't enough, the Allison automatic transmission was upgraded with an extra gear for a total of six. It's another overdrive gear designed for maximum fuel economy on the highway. That strong combination puts the Chevy head and shoulders above the competition when it's time for some serious towing. Some of the less flattering aspects of this outgoing workhorse are its lack of key safety features like side airbags and stability control, and questionable fit and finish inside the cabin.
Typically in the hunt in the full-size pickup truck sales race, the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Classic boasts immense capabilities, classic styling and many available features. You can't go wrong with any of the powertrain choices, as they all provide strong performance and respectable towing capacities. But if you're very serious about towing heavy loads, you'll want to spec out a truck with the Duramax diesel and dual rear wheels. Thusly equipped, the Chevy Silverado 3500 is unfazed by massive payloads and heavy trailers.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
A variety of cab and bed styles are available for the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Classic full-size pickup. There are regular, extended cab and crew cab body styles, and all come with 8-foot boxes with either a single- or dual rear-wheel configuration. Single-rear-wheel models come in four-wheel drive only, while dual-rear-wheel versions offer two-wheel drive on extended cab and crew cab models. There are five trim levels: Work Truck, LS, 1LT, 2LT and 3LT. Work Trucks are pretty basic but have dual-zone air-conditioning, a 40/20/40-split bench seat, a tilt steering wheel and AM/FM radio. Silverado 3500 LS models add chrome-finish wheels, grille and bumpers; cloth upholstery; cruise control and a CD player. The 1LT adds an overhead console, tinted glass, full power accessories and keyless entry. Going with the 2LT equips the 3500 with automatic dual-zone climate control and front bucket seats with power adjustments for the driver. The top-line 3LT includes leather seating, a memory function for the driver seat and a premium Bose audio system with a CD changer. Many of these upper-level features can be added to the lower trims as options. Major optional features, depending on trim and body style, include extendable mirrors for trailering, a tow package, a rear-seat entertainment system, OnStar, satellite radio and a sunroof.
Powertrains and Performance
The 1-ton Silverado Classic's engine lineup starts with the 6.0-liter V8 (300 hp, 360 lb-ft of torque). If that's not enough, consider the optional 8.1-liter V8 (330 hp, 450 lb-ft of torque) or the even stouter 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V8 (360 hp, 650 lb-ft of torque). The 6.0-liter V8 has a five-speed manual standard, with a heavy-duty four-speed automatic optional. The 8.1-liter V8 and the Duramax diesel come only with the Allison automatic. When it's time to work, the Silverado 3500 Classic is more than capable of hauling heavy loads. Properly equipped, a dual-wheel 3500 can pull a 12,000-pound load.
Antilock brakes are standard and traction control is optional. But several state-of-the-art safety features, such as stability control and side curtain airbags, are not available. In NHTSA frontal-impact crash testing, the Chevy Silverado Classic received a rating of four stars (out of a possible five) for the driver and three stars for the front passenger.
Interior Design and Special Features
Clear gauges, simple controls and comfortable seats are the strong points of the Silverado's cabin. There is plenty of room for six passengers, the seats are comfortable and the crew cab configuration makes for easy entry and exit. Downsides include mediocre materials and inconsistent build quality. Long trips are easy to take, thanks to effective sound insulation and the availability of satellite radio and a DVD entertainment system.
Make no mistake; pickup trucks of this ilk are happiest when working. Performance is strong and seamless, especially with the Duramax engine option. And the 2007 Silverado 3500 Classic is stable when working -- with the bed loaded, the truck remains composed with minimal sway on curvy roads, even in heavy crosswinds. Around town, the Silverado's ride is comfortable enough for daily driver use, but on the highway with an empty bed, it can get jittery over expansion joints, due to the stiff suspension calibrations required to handle heavy loads. Though it tracks straight and corners fairly well, steering feel is basically nonexistent -- there's little feedback in a straight line and it's not much better through corners. Likewise, the brakes have a non-linear feel through the pedal, despite being quite effective when it comes to actual stopping distances.