Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD Review

2012 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Work Truck Regular Cab Pickup Exterior

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The "HD" part of Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD does not, in fact, indicate that this truck features crystal-clear wide-screen picture quality. In this case we're using the old-fashioned meaning of HD: "Heavy Duty." Thanks to its stiffened suspension, sturdy frame, powerful engine choices and available dual rear wheels, the 3500HD is indeed a true workhorse meant for truly heavy-duty towing and hauling.

Like all modern trucks, the Silverado isn't just a one-dimensional workhorse. Compared to past Silverado trucks, the current model boasts a radically improved interior that enhances this big pickup's desirability. True, the Silverado's cabin is starting to look a little stark compared to newer rivals, but it will always be the durability and capability of the mechanicals underneath that have kept generations of Chevy loyalists coming back to the gold bowtie.

Current Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD
The 3500HD is available in regular-, extended- or crew cab designs, with rear- or four-wheel drive and with optional dual rear wheels. The extended and crew cab body styles are offered in three trim levels: Work Truck, LT and the more luxurious LTZ that features an upgraded cabin with the same higher-quality dashboard found in the Tahoe and Suburban. The regular cab can only be had in Work Truck and LT trims.

Standard on all Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD pickups is a 6.0-liter V8 that makes 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque, paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. A revised Duramax 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 makes 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque. That powerhouse is paired with a beefier Allison six-speed automatic transmission.

In a comparison test of heavy-duty pickups, the mechanically identical GMC Sierra HD came out on top against its Dodge and Ford competitors. Though we found its cabin less inviting, the big GM trucks' recently revised frame, suspension and diesel engines proved hard to beat. Although multigenerational brand loyalty may dictate what heavy-duty pickup you take home, sticking with (or switching to) the Silverado 3500HD is a solid decision.

Used Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD Models
The present-generation Chevy Silverado 3500HD debuted for 2007. Although its appearance has remained largely unchanged, the 3500HD produced prior to 2011 lacked the stronger, fully boxed frame, beefier suspension components and additional electronic aids added for that model year. The Duramax diesel also produced "only" 365 hp and 660 lb-ft of torque during this time. Prior to 2010, the 6.0-liter gasoline V8 produced 353 hp and 373 lb-ft of torque. Other changes were restricted to feature availability, most notably the addition of an optional rearview camera for '09.

From 2001-'06 the truck was known simply as the Chevrolet Silverado 3500. Before 2001, Chevy's full-size pickups had just a C or K designation, with rear-wheel-drive trucks being indicated by a "C" (e.g. "C3500") and four-wheel-drive trucks indicated by a "K."

Read the most recent 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD review.

If you are looking for older years, visit our used Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD page.


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