Used 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD Crew Cab Review

The imposing 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD is a fully up-to-date pickup truck with astounding capabilities and a surprisingly refined nature.




what's new

For 2016, the Silverado 3500HD adds an available 7-inch IntelliLink touchscreen interface, while both that interface and the premium 8-inch version receive a faster processor and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Also, a variable-assist steering system debuts on higher-end models, and a gooseneck/fifth-wheel trailering prep package joins the options list. Other new features include wireless phone charging and a remote locking tailgate.

vehicle overview

The 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD is Chevy's most capable heavy-duty truck, and a full redesign last year made it a top contender in this specialized segment. A handful of new features this year make it even more appealing, such as a Digital Steering Assist system that tailors the amount of power assist to different driving scenarios. Chevrolet has also added an intermediate infotainment option in the form of a 7-inch IntelliLink touchscreen that mirrors the features of last year's premium 8-inch system (which remains available). Moreover, both touchscreens receive Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality for full smartphone integration.

Towing a backhoe is one of many challenges that the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD can dispatch with ease.

Unchanged, happily, is the Silverado 3500HD's endearing driving demeanor. This brute of a truck is unexpectedly docile on the road, providing a relatively smooth and quiet ride. Moreover, it offers a pair of outstanding engines that get the job done and then some, whether you choose the gasoline (or bi-fuel) V8 or the tremendous turbodiesel V8. Throw in a nicely appointed interior and you've got a remarkably well-rounded vehicle, especially by this segment's traditionally utilitarian standards.

In a class where every model is built to move mountains, one can assume the competition is fierce. The heavy hitters keeping the Silverado 3500HD company include the Ford F-350 Super Duty and the Ram 3500. Both of these alternatives offer gasoline and diesel engine options, as well as competitive payload and towing capabilities. With the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 3500's essential goodness and added equipment, though, it's a more attractive choice than ever for the shopper who needs to do some serious work.




trim levels & features

The 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD is offered in regular cab, double cab and crew cab body styles with a choice of two- or four-wheel drive. All cab styles can be had in either single-rear-wheel (SRW) or dual-rear-wheel (DRW, or "dually") configuration. The regular and double cabs are available only with an 8-foot long bed, while SRW crew cab models can be configured with the long bed or a shorter 6.5-foot standard bed. Trim levels start at the base WT (Work Truck), step up to the midlevel LT and LTZ, and top out at the upscale High Country.

Standard equipment for the regular cab WT trim includes chrome bumpers, 18-inch steel wheels, an auto-locking rear differential, rubberized floors, vinyl upholstery, a 40/20/40-split front bench with a fold-down center armrest, power door locks, manual crank windows, cruise control, a tilt-only steering wheel, a 4.2-inch central display and a four-speaker audio system with a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack. The double- and crew-cab WT models get six speakers as standard.

Optional on WT is a MyLink 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with OnStar, 4G LTE WiFi, Bluetooth, voice controls, satellite radio and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The available MyLink touchscreen interface comes standard on the LT trim and above.

The LT trim adds those optional infotainment features plus an upgraded 8-inch touchscreen, heated side mirrors, tinted rear windows, a remote-locking EZ lift/lower tailgate, remote keyless entry, full power accessories, cloth upholstery, carpeting, a CD player and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.

Above the LT, the LTZ trim includes 18-inch chromed alloy wheels, foglights, power-folding mirrors, an integrated trailer brake controller, a power-sliding rear window with defogger, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote ignition, leather upholstery, heated front seats, eight-way power front bucket seats (with power lumbar), driver memory settings, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a 110-volt power point.

At the top of the ladder, the High Country adds several luxury touches, including front and rear parking sensors, a unique grille, 6-inch chrome side-assist steps, cargo box tie-downs, a spray-on bedliner, a navigation system, wireless phone charging, heated and ventilated front seats, upgraded leather upholstery and a Bose audio system.

Some features on the upper trims can be added to the lower trims as options. Other extras, depending on trim, include a hard or soft tonneau cover, a sunroof, a Driver Alert package (includes the front and rear parking sensors plus lane-departure warning, forward collision alert and a safety alert driver seat), power-adjustable pedals and a rear-seat entertainment system. The Z71 Off-Road package adds special wheels and tires, hill descent control, a transfer-case skid plate, specially tuned shock absorbers, a different front stabilizer bar, a trim-specific gauge cluster and unique Z71 styling treatments.



performance & mpg

The 2016 Silverado 3500HD's base engine is a 6.0-liter V8 that pumps out 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. The optional 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 makes 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are paired with six-speed automatic transmissions, though the turbodiesel gets a stouter Allison 1000 transmission.

Buyers can add a bi-fuel option to the 6.0-liter engine, allowing it to run on gasoline or clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG). However, CNG power output drops to 301 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque.

All models come standard with rear-wheel drive and have four-wheel drive as an option. Properly equipped, the Silverado 3500HD can haul up to 7,153 pounds and tow up to 23,200 pounds. Although these numbers vary slightly from last year, they merely reflect newly adopted SAE standards and not any updated hardware.

safety

Standard safety features for the Silverado 3500HD include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control (with trailer sway control), front and front-side airbags and side curtain airbags. All trims above WT also come with OnStar (includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation).

Optional safety equipment includes front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and the Driver Alert package (parking sensors plus lane-departure warning, forward-collision alert and a safety alert seat).

Driving

The 2016 Silverado 3500HD may surprise you with the level of civility it achieves. Compared to the Silverado 1500, there's a bit more road noise from the beefier tires and wind noise from its larger mirrors, but that's splitting hairs considering how quiet and serene the cabin is overall. Even if you opt for the larger diesel engine, the distinctive clatter from under the hood is never obnoxious. Ride quality is respectably refined for such a beast of burden.

The 2016 Silverado 3500HD's optional turbodiesel V8 comes standard with a driver-activated exhaust brake that provides extra engine braking on downhill stretches.

Around turns, the big truck's steering has a light, precise feel, and body roll is decently controlled. Negotiating a multipoint turn can require a lot of wheel work, but the variable Digital Steering Assist system (available on all except WT) can help make such situations easier to navigate. In terms of real-world capabilities, we towed a 17,000-pound horse trailer behind a Silverado 2500HD and were duly impressed, so the beefier 3500HD should have no issue maintaining stability and composure.

Interior

The Silverado 3500HD's cabin is much more modern and pleasant than it used to be, thanks to a full redesign in 2015. Materials quality is satisfactory, and the gauge cluster's crisp graphics make it easy to read day or night. Switchgear is generally sized and placed well, while nice large grab handles along the front window pillars help with ingress and egress. The top High Country trim level adds exclusive saddle brown leather and handsome accent stitching atop the dash for a cabin that blurs the line between business and luxury.

Despite its workhorse identity, the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD makes for a convincing luxury truck when generously equipped.

The 4.2-inch color information display located between the tachometer and the speedometer is intuitive to navigate, though the WT trim makes do with a monochromatic 3.5-inch display. On the center stack, both the 7-inch and 8-inch MyLink touchscreens include intuitive menu structures and plenty of features.

The seats up front are amply sized, supportive and fairly comfortable. However, the lack of a telescoping steering wheel in the WT trim (it's optional on LT and standard on higher trims) may make it harder for some people to find an ideal driving position. In the four-door crew cab model, passengers need not argue about who sits up front, as the rear cabin seating provides ample space along with solid leg and back support.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.