2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 6.0 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 300 hp @ 4400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 0/0 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500

  • Although the one-ton Silverado still has the capacity to tackle just about any job, its newer competition has a slight edge when it comes to overall refinement and maximum towing power.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Multiple drivetrain configurations, substantial towing and hauling capacities, compliant ride quality.

  • Cons

    Interior design is showing its age, low-quality interior materials, below-average build quality.

  • What's New for 2006

    For 2006, the Duramax diesel engine receives a host of power and refinement upgrades, as well as reduced emissions. The Allison automatic transmission is now a six-speed, and features a tap-shift range selection mode. The optional camper-style mirrors have been replaced by a folding and extending design with a built-in convex spotter glass. Trim levels and packaging have also been juggled.

Full 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Review

What's New for 2006

For 2006, the Duramax diesel engine receives a host of power and refinement upgrades, as well as reduced emissions. The Allison automatic transmission is now a six-speed, and features a tap-shift range selection mode. The optional camper-style mirrors have been replaced by a folding and extending design with a built-in convex spotter glass. Trim levels and packaging have also been juggled.


Chevrolet's modern full-size pickup has been around in one form or another since the early '60s. Now into its sixth generation, the Silverado, as it's now called, boasts classic styling and some of the most powerful drivetrains available anywhere. A perennial competitor to the full-size offerings from Ford and Dodge, Chevrolet typically finishes a close second to Ford in sales, mostly due to the fact that it shares customers with the almost identically equipped GMC Sierra.

Often first to market with exclusive features, the Silverado 3500 continues that tradition by offering XM Satellite Radio, a worthwhile upgrade if you use your truck for long-distance trips. Chevy trucks also offer the OnStar communications system that provides the convenience of 24-hour on-call assistance for everything from tow truck requests to dinner reservations. Between its potent Duramax diesel and strong gas V8s, the 3500 can tackle just about any hard-core towing and hauling duties you could throw at it. Combine this with modern styling on the outside and plenty of available features on the inside, and this Silverado presents a compelling package for anyone in the market for a no-holds-barred work truck.

As capable as it is, however, the Silverado is starting to show its age while its competition has been slowly upgrading its offerings. Both Dodge and Ford offer powerful engine options, larger towing capacities, and interiors that are more refined. Needless to say, it's worth shopping around before settling on the one-ton Silverado.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 3500 is available in regular, extended- and crew-cab body styles with 8-foot boxes and either single or dual rear-wheel configurations. Single rear-wheel models come in 4WD only, while dual rear-wheel versions offer two-wheel drive on extended- and crew-cab models. Available trim levels include Work Truck, LS and LT1, LT2 and LT3. Work Trucks offer basics like 16-inch steel wheels, a vinyl 40/20/40 bench seat, dual-zone manual air conditioning and an AM/FM radio. LS models add chrome-finish wheels, grille and bumpers, cloth upholstery, cruise control and a CD player. The LT1 adds power windows and locks, and keyless entry. The LT2 includes a power driver seat and Bose audio. The LT3 includes leather seats and a CD changer.

Powertrains and Performance

The 3500's base engine is a 6.0-liter V8 rated at 300 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque. If that's not enough grunt under the hood for you, Chevrolet offers two more powerful options: an 8.1-liter V8 and a 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8. The 8.l-liter engine boasts an impressive 330 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque, while the updated-for-'06 diesel makes 360 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. The standard transmission for the 6.0-liter V8 is a five-speed manual with a heavy-duty four-speed automatic optional. The 8.1-liter V8 and Duramax diesel can be hooked up to either a six-speed manual or a heavy-duty Allison six-speed automatic. Properly equipped, a dual-wheel 3500 can pull a 12,000-pound load.


All Silverados feature standard four-wheel antilock disc brakes. In government crash tests, the Silverado earned a three-star rating (out of five) for driver protection and four stars for the front passenger. In frontal offset crash testing, the Silverado was given an overall rating of "Marginal" (second lowest).

Interior Design and Special Features

Silverado buyers will find a logically laid-out interior, with an easy-to-use dual-zone climate control system and clear, uncluttered gauges. Materials quality is unimpressive, but build quality, though improved over the last few years, is still behind the competition. However, the cabins are roomy, and the front seats are comfortable on long trips. Standard rear doors on the extended cab make entry and exit to the rear bench seat easy.

Driving Impressions

The 3500HD is a dedicated work truck, so don't expect the plush ride of its lighter-duty siblings. Any of the three available engines provide swift acceleration and ample towing power, but the diesel is probably the best choice for those who tow heavy loads.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2006 chevy 3500 flatbed duramax

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Work Truck 2dr Regular Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A)

I enjoy my Chevy 3500 diesel it has a 12ft dump bed, Has plenty of power, and accelerates like a gas engine, Will run as fast as you want, I get 12mpg in city and 16mpg on hwy@ 70mph

Very nice truck

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 LS 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 5M)

I know this is a late review, but I bought this truck used with a 100,000 miles on it and you could not tell by looking at it inside and out. I bought the 3500 because of the price, right time right price I use it to tow my travel trailer (my 1500 had tough time) Boy I'll tell you it's like night and day this 3500 has no problem climbing hills and very comfortable to drive like driving your Lazy Boy chair around.

Good work truck

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Work Truck 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A)

I've driven this truck almost exclusively on gravel and dirt roads in Iraq. This truck has plenty of torque and loads of hp. It has an awesome exhaust note. The Iraqi army is also using these trucks to supplement their HMMWVs. Rear seat could use some more leg room, it's hard to get out of the back.

Chevy 3500

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 LT3 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A)

I cannot say enough about the performance of this truck. Purchased for hauling a 16,00lb 6 horse trailer. I have done 4 2500 mile trips in this truck, basically driving none stop each trip, and never had a single hiccup. Power, braking, etc. are excellent. Pulled through the Rocky Mountains without any drama, basically you forget you are pulling a trailer with this truck. My trailer brakes went out on one trip and it was not an issue with the tow haul mode, and the trucks braking power. The truck pulled a loaded trailer in excess of 85 MPH effortlessly.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Duramax 360hp 650 torque stock

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 LT3 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A)

If anything, better than my 2002 2500 hd 4door long bed. Pulls my Montana 5th wheel like a dream, and as a new vehicle not broken in, I got nearly 11mpg between Albany and Syracuse, NY, but down to 9 through the Catskills. Most comfortable seats ever (my other car is a Ford ambulance). It seems to be the quietest diesel out there. OnStar is great and hooks right in with Verizon with the family plan. OnStar safe and sound is great. Love the heated seats, and the dual zone AC is great. It means the wife and I are both comfortable. The DVD keeps the grand kids occupied. Multiple mode sound means I listen to my CD's, the kiddies can use wireless for the movie, and 2 headphones for others.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

This is a tow beast!

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Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 LT2 4dr Crew Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A)

Purchased this vehicle specifically to tow our ToyHauler ('07 Weekend Warrior 32 foot long travel trailer). Fully loaded it weighs about 11,000 lbs. We travel in the west, so mountain driving is the norm. I am pleased with the towing ability and ride comfort this vehicle affords. While deciding which vehicle to buy, I researched other brands and kept coming back to this one over and over again. It basically sold itself.

Talk About The 2006 Silverado 3500

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