Full 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD Review
What's New for 2014
For 2014, the Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD is no longer available in an extended cab body style.
Unless you have the requisite license that allows you to pilot something that goes by the name Mack or Peterbilt, you won't find a vehicular beast of burden more capable than a heavy-duty full-size pickup. And among this group of trucks known for towering payload and towing capacities, dual-wheel rear axles and brawny looks, the Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD is a prime-time player.
Through the years, we've found that the Silverado 3500HD is a comfortable truck that boasts strong performance, confident handling and impressive hauling and towing capabilities. Underway, it's not the loud, stiff-riding brute you might expect if you haven't driven a heavy-duty pickup in years. Rather, this workhorse provides a fairly smooth and quiet ride. And drivers will likely appreciate its precise steering, which provides arrow-straight tracking on the freeway.
Choosing among the mainstays in the heavy-duty pickup truck segment can be tough given that each model is so thoroughly capable. The 2014 Ford F-350 Super Duty matches the Chevy in just about every regard, while the updated 2014 Ram 3500 has an edge thanks to its more powerful V8 and new, smoother-riding rear suspension. Both have newer interior technology features as well. But you really can't go wrong here, and the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD earns our praise for its compliant suspension, smooth powertrains and strong overall performance.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD is offered in regular cab and crew cab body styles. Buyers can choose between single-rear-wheel (SRW) and dual-rear-wheel (DRW) configurations. The regular cab is only available with a long bed (8 feet), while crew cabs can also be had in a standard bed length (6.5 feet), but only with the SRW configuration. Trim levels start at the base Work Truck and climb to the LT and range-topping LTZ.
The Work Truck includes 18-inch steel wheels (all DRWs have 17-inch wheels), air-conditioning, cruise control, a trip computer, rubber floor covering, a 40/20/40-split front bench with fold-down center armrest, vinyl upholstery, a tilt steering wheel and, depending on the cab style, a four- or six-speaker AM/FM stereo.
Stepping up to the LT adds 18-inch alloy wheels (SRW), heated outside mirrors, darker-tinted rear windows, keyless entry, full power accessories, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, carpeted floor coverings, cloth seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, driver-side lumbar seat adjustments, OnStar, satellite radio and a CD player. Many of the LT features are available on the Work Truck as options.
The LTZ trim level is only offered on crew cab body styles and augments the LT's features list by adding foglights, a locking rear differential, a heavy-duty trailer package (with integrated trailer brake controller), dual-zone automatic climate control, steering-wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls, remote start, heated front seats, leather upholstery, eight-way power front bucket seats (with power lumbar), a front center console, Bluetooth and an upgraded Bose sound system with a USB port/iPod interface. Some of these features are available as options for the LT.
Other options (depending on trim level) include a protective bedliner, different axle ratios, rear parking sensors, a sliding or stationary tool box, a cargo rail, a sliding bed divider, a sunroof, a power-sliding rear window, the EZ-lift tailgate, power-adjustable pedals, ventilated front seats, a navigation system, a rear-seat entertainment system and a rearview camera.
Additionally, there are the Z71 Off-Road package (includes skid plates and off-road suspension components) and Z71 Appearance package (body color grille surround/front bumper, specific polished wheels and foglights).
Powertrains and Performance
The standard power plant for the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD is a 6.0-liter gasoline V8 engine that produces 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is the only available transmission.
The optional, turbocharged 6.6-liter diesel V8 is surely the engine choice for those who plan on towing or hauling on a regular basis. It cranks out 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a heavy-duty six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control.
In Edmunds performance testing of the mechanically identical GMC Sierra, a 3500 with the diesel and the standard rear axle went from zero to 60 mph in a quick 7.5 seconds.
Rear-wheel drive is standard for all models, and four-wheel drive is optional.
Chevy says a properly equipped a 2014 Silverado 3500HD can haul up to 7,222 pounds of payload and can tow up to 18,000 pounds with its standard ball hitch and pull 23,100 pounds with a fifth-wheel connection.
The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD features antilock disc brakes, stability control, hill-start control and trailer sway control as standard. Front side and side curtain airbags are available as options, as are power-adjustable pedals, rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. OnStar subscriptions include automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and stolen vehicle assistance.
In Edmunds brake testing, a mechanically identical GMC Sierra 3500 with the single rear axle came to a stop from 60 mph in 147 feet, which is a long distance, but typical for a heavy-duty truck.
Interior Design and Special Features
As expected, the Work Truck has the most utilitarian interior of the lineup with vinyl seats, rubber floor covering and very little in the way of creature comforts. The LT offers a more inviting cabin with cloth seats and carpeting, but both models come standard with a three-person front bench that requires a more trucklike dash. Opting for the bucket seats adds a fancier dash, as well as a center console with storage. The LTZ is the classiest of the bunch.
The front seats are supportive and comfortable, though some drivers might find the driving position a bit awkward because of the tilt-only steering wheel (it's too close to the dash), while the gas and brake pedals are far apart in order to accommodate work boots. We're also not particularly fond of the small and fussy buttons on the center stack found in the higher trim levels.
The crew cab features a fold-up rear seat that allows some taller items to be carried within the cabin. It also provides decent room for those seated in back, although it still falls short on most passenger space dimensions when compared with the competition.
When stacked up against the heavy-duty trucks from Ford and Ram, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD stands out with its smooth ride and confident steering response. We also like the authoritative yet soft-spoken acceleration provided by the diesel V8. Performance on mountain roads is quite responsive, as the transmission offers well-timed shifts, while the diesel exhaust brake helps maintain a steady ride down steep grades.