2017 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD Double Cab Review

The Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD is a heavy-duty pickup for those who have colossal towing needs.
3.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Cameron Rogers
Edmunds Editor

A new diesel engine and its air intake system are among the changes to the immensely capable 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD. Its towing abilities surpass those of even the mighty Silverado 2500HD, and it's the only way to get a pickup with dual rear wheels and a Chevy badge.

There's no doubt that when it comes to hauling and towing equipment and trailers, nothing beats a pickup in terms of overall versatility. But sometimes your needs exceed the capabilities of a standard full-size truck, and it's time to step up to a heavy-duty pickup such as the Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD.

Like the related Silverado 2500HD, the 3500HD comes in a variety of cab and bed styles and offer a choice of engines. Two V8s are on offer for both heavy-duty pickups, one powered by gasoline and the other by diesel. The engines develop the same amount of power between the two trucks, but the 3500HD's sturdier underpinnings allow for higher tow and payload ratings.

Though the gas engine is fine for normal heavy lifting, go for the diesel if you want to tap into the 3500HD's true capabilities. It boasts 445 horsepower and an Olympian 910 pound-feet of torque that'll shrug off anything you throw at it. Ford and Ram also make robust pickups for extreme towing duties, but we think the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD is certainly worth a look.



what's new

The optional diesel-powered V8 engine has been redesigned and offers more power than before (445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque versus 2016's 397 hp and 765 lb-ft). There's also a new air intake and hood design associated with the diesel engine. Finally, Chevy has given the 3500HD a new digital steering assist feature (standard on many double- and crew-cab models) that it says makes it easier to maneuver around parking lots and improves stability at high speeds.

we recommend

For general consumers, we recommend skipping the base Work Truck trim due to its skimpy list of creature comforts, though obviously it's called "work truck" for a reason and will undoubtedly appeal to business owners and contractors. The 3500's LT trim level is a better starting point, and it includes the MyLink touchscreen interface. It's worth adding the LT Convenience package because it: a) doesn't cost very much; and b) adds some useful convenience features, including a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, which we think is necessary for finding a comfortable driving position.

trim levels & features

As its name suggests, the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD is a heavy-duty pickup truck that has increased payload and towing capabilities compared to the Silverado 2500HD. It's available in four trims: Work Truck (WT), LT, LTZ and High Country. Like its name suggests, the WT is aimed squarely at those looking to keep the 3500HD a workhorse at the job site. The LT is the minimum if you want your family to be comfortable, while the LTZ adds luxuries such as leather seating and dual-zone climate control. The High Country adds an upscale flair with ventilated front seats and navigation.

The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD is offered in regular-cab, double-cab and crew-cab body styles with a choice of rear- 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 8.2-foot long bed, while SRW crew-cab models can be configured with the long bed or a shorter 6.5-foot standard bed.

All models come standard with a 6.0-liter V8 (360 horsepower, 380 pound-feet of torque) matched to a six-speed automatic, while the optional turbocharged 6.6-liter diesel V8 (445 hp, 910 lb-ft) is paired to a more robust Allison 1000 six-speed. 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).

Standard equipment for the regular-cab WT trim includes 18-inch steel wheels (17-inch wheels with DRW), manual tow mirrors, a seven-pin wiring harness with a trailer brake controller, rubberized floors, vinyl upholstery, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat, a driver information display, power door locks, manual crank windows, air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-only steering wheel, a 4.2-inch central display and a four-speaker audio system. The double- and crew-cab WT models get six speakers as standard, as well as power windows.

Optional on the WT is a MyLink 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with OnStar, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, voice controls, satellite radio, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The six-speaker audio system replaces the four-speaker system on regular-cab models.

The LT trim adds those optional infotainment features plus an upgraded 8-inch touchscreen, alloy wheels, heated mirrors, a remote-locking EZ-Lift and Lower tailgate, remote locking and unlocking, full power accessories, a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, cloth upholstery, an upgraded driver information display and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Above the LT, the LTZ trim includesfoglights, power-folding mirrors, a power-sliding rear window with defogger, remote engine start, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, power-adjustable and heated front seats, driver-seat memory settings, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a 110-volt household-style power outlet.

At the top of the ladder, the High Country comes with side-assist steps, cargo box tie-downs, a spray-in bedliner, a navigation system, power-adjustable pedals, a heated steering wheel, wireless phone charging, ventilated front seats, upgraded leather upholstery and a Bose audio system. Also included is the Driver Alert package, which includes some useful driver safety aids.

Some features on the upper trims can be added to the lower trims as options. Other extras, depending on trim, include the 4WD-only Z71 off-road package, a sunroof, a rear-seat entertainment system, a hard or soft tonneau cover, and gooseneck or fifth-wheel hitch preparation.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD DRW LTZ Crew Cab Long Bed (turbo 6.6L V8 diesel | 6-speed automatic | 4WD | 8-foot-2-inch bed).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5.0

Driving

4.0 / 5.0

Acceleration4.5 / 5.0
Braking3.5 / 5.0
Steering3.0 / 5.0
Handling3.5 / 5.0
Drivability4.0 / 5.0

Comfort

3.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort2.5 / 5.0
Ride comfort3.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration3.0 / 5.0
Climate control4.5 / 5.0

Interior

3.5 / 5.0

Ease of use4.0 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out3.5 / 5.0
Driving position4.0 / 5.0
Roominess4.0 / 5.0
Visibility2.5 / 5.0
Quality3.0 / 5.0

Utility

3.5 / 5.0

Small-item storage4.0 / 5.0
Cargo space4.0 / 5.0

Technology

2.5 / 5.0

Audio & navigation3.0 / 5.0
Smartphone integration2.5 / 5.0
Voice control2.0 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
The updated (optional) 6.6-liter turbodiesel is an impressive engine that gives the Silverado 3500HD big towing numbers and impressive acceleration. Steering and braking are less impressive, but objectively this truck performs well by most standards that matter to truck buyers.

acceleration

edmunds rating
The 6.6-liter diesel makes massive torque and more than sufficient power, which give it a surge of acceleration off the line. It surprisingly goes from zero to 60 mph in just 7.7 seconds. In-town acceleration is more reserved, but there's plenty of power to get this truck up to freeway speed.

braking

edmunds rating
Brake pedal feel is strong and consistent for everything other than full panic-stop scenarios. During Edmunds testing we were able to press the pedal all the way to the floor, though, which is far from ideal. A 60-0-mph panic stop took 132 feet, which is an average distance for an HD truck.

steering

edmunds rating
Steering is well-weighted, but it takes several full revolutions of the steering wheel to turn this rig. There isn't much of a connection between the steering wheel and tires, but that didn't factor too heavily into our score since most vehicles in this class feel similar.

handling

edmunds rating
The big surprise here is how well this gargantuan vehicle takes turns. There's minimal body roll around corners unless you're going way too fast. In parking lots and tight spaces, it maneuvers well enough for a dual-rear-wheel setup, but this won't be your grocery-getter.

drivability

edmunds rating
Low-end torque gives plenty of off-the-line acceleration, and shifts from the six-speed automatic are smooth even under full-throttle acceleration. Cruise control and the exhaust brake keep a good handle on the 3500's downhill speed. Out on the open road, this is a very drivable truck.

comfort

edmunds rating
Overall comfort isn't the Silverado 3500's strong suit. Heavy-duty trucks aren't exactly models of comfort, but this one is particularly rough on the senses because of its stiff seats, wind noise and rigid suspension. A heavy payload, however, settles things out a lot.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
The front seats are well padded and well-bolstered on the sides for lateral support while the rear seats are relatively flat. The seat padding in both the front and rear is overly firm and will take some breaking in to get comfortable.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
Stiff suspension tuning means the 3500HD has a rigid, uncomfortable ride when unladen. Load it up with a heavy payload or a big trailer, though, and the ride quality is significantly better. We're giving the latter more weight because we assume a dually is unlikely to be an "air hauler."

noise & vibration

edmunds rating
Though there isn't as much road noise as you'd expect from the dual rear wheels, there is quite a bit of wind noise from the square front end and big mirrors. The diesel engine rumbles a bit but isn't particularly grading or abrasive.

climate control

edmunds rating
The Silverado's A/C cools this big cabin quickly. Climate control knobs and vents are easy to control even with gloves on, and the fan blows pretty quietly even at full blast. Chevy's split-heating for the front seats is a great feature for drivers with a stiff back but who don't want to heat the bottom cushion.

interior

edmunds rating
The Silverado LTZ's interior is likable and user-friendly. Hop in and you'll be able to operate almost all the controls without busting out the manual. It certainly has a no-nonsense vibe, but that's not necessarily a bad thing in this segment.

ease of use

edmunds rating
The Silverado's dashboard is about as basic and user-friendly as they come. Buttons are large, legible, within arm's reach and easy to operate. The solid switchgear contributes to ease of use.

getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
Proper grab handles and side steps help with entry. Still, this is a tall truck, and most adults will have to do some climbing to get in. Overall, it's not any harder to get in and out of the Silverado than its main rivals.

driving position

edmunds rating
Optional power-adjustable pedals, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a highly adjustable driver seat mean you can pretty much get the position you want. As with most trucks this big, seating position may be a bit high for shorter drivers, but it isn't a deal breaker.

roominess

edmunds rating
Pick any seating position in the 3500HD and you'll have plenty of room to spread out. Headroom, legroom and shoulder room are all in great supply. Pretty much every crew-cab 3500 series truck provides lots of space, and the Chevy is no exception.

visibility

edmunds rating
Massive windshield and door pillars give the 3500 big blind spots. The large towing mirrors help with lane changes but knowing where the corners of the truck are can be tough.

quality

edmunds rating
Body panels and interior pieces are well put together. We didn't notice any rattling, shaking or malfunctioning during our test. Interior materials aren't the nicest in the class, but they certainly suffice for a utility-focused vehicle.

utility

edmunds rating
The 3500HD can tow and haul massive loads and it has abundant interior storage. However, offerings from Ford and Ram outclass it by pretty much every measurement. And in the arms-race that is towing capacity, it falls behind by several tons.

small-item storage

edmunds rating
Tons of pockets, everywhere. Doors, center console, two gloveboxes. Front and rear have pockets everywhere. If you can't find a place for your stuff in here, you just have too much stuff. Some competitors have smarter storage solutions for phones and devices, but only by a small margin.

cargo space

edmunds rating
As with pretty much every other heavy-duty truck, the Silverado 3500 HD is available with a standard bed (6 feet 6 inches) and a long bed (8 feet 1 inch). Our dually had the long bed, which allows for a massive amount of cargo space. The rear seats fold up for big interior storage as well.

child safety seat accomodation

edmunds rating
The 3500 can fit three car seats in the back without much fuss. There are two sets of easily accessible lower latch anchors and three shelf anchors that are a bit harder to reach. The trick, of course, is hoisting the kids up into their high perches.

technology

edmunds rating
Using Chevy's MyLink interface is pretty simple, but we had several usability issues with our test vehicle. Finicky voice controls and subpar device integration made for a frustrating user experience.

audio & navigation

edmunds rating
Menu logic on the Chevy MyLink system is easy to understand, but not the most elegant in the class. Touchscreen responses are slower than class leaders. While we like the optional 8-inch touchscreen, it doesn't stand out much from rival systems.

smartphone integration

edmunds rating
Our experience with smartphone devices was poor, with many dropped connections over the course of the test. We generally like the interface when it's working, but even then it takes quite a bit of time to load music. Best to use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

voice control

edmunds rating
Multiple attempts to use the Silverado's built-in voice controls fell short, with a success rate of about 50 percent. It was easier to use the physical knobs and touchscreen controls. That said, Siri and Google Voice can be accessed if you've paired your smartphone by holding the talk button longer.

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.