2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD Double Cab Review

The bigger your towing needs, the more you'll need a truck like the 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD.
7.1 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Travis Langness
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

The 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD is a heavy-duty truck with a refined demeanor and laudable towing capability. The 3500HD is Chevy's most capable non-commercial truck in the lineup, yet it keeps many of the same styling cues and overall virtues found in the regular Silverado 1500.

First on the 3500HD's list of virtues are those towing and hauling capabilities. Maximum towing weight for the 3500HD checks in at 23,300 pounds. On paper, this is less than the competition, but it's certainly more than most people will need.

From behind the wheel, the Silverado 3500HD is a bit less comfortable than its 1500 and 2500 brethren, but we've come to expect that from the 3500 breed. It is still quiet and decently comfortable on the inside. It also feels well put-together, boasting sturdy switches and knobs along with a clear and crisp center touchscreen. If you're in need of a massively competent pickup, one that's leaps and bounds beyond the typical full-size offerings, be sure to take a close look at the 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD.



What's new for 2018

A few previously optional items are now standard on the Silverado 3500HD: a rearview camera, a 7-inch center touchscreen and a six-speaker stereo. Otherwise, the 2018 Silverado 3500HD is the same as last year's truck.

We recommend

If you're interested in purchasing a 3500HD for your business and you'd like the bare-bones trim level, then feel free to go with the base Work Truck. Otherwise, we recommend the next level up, the LT. The LT gets a larger 8-inch touchscreen and cloth upholstery with carpeted floors. And, since you're probably doing some towing with your 3500HD, we recommend upgrading to the more powerful 6.6-liter diesel V8. Get the LT Convenience package (a power-adjustable driver's seat, remote start and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel) to boost the Silverado's livability.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD is a heavy-duty pickup truck with increased payload and towing capabilities compared to the standard full-size pickup from Chevy (the Silverado 1500). The 3500HD is available in four trims: Work Truck (WT), LT, LTZ and High Country. The base WT is aimed squarely at those looking to use the 3500HD as 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 2018 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 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, a rearview camera, air conditioning, cruise control, and a tilt-only steering wheel. Also standard are the MyLink 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, voice controls, and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay compatibility. The double- and crew-cab WT models get power windows.Optional on the WT is OnStar (with 4G LTE connection and Wi-Fi hotspot) and satellite radio.

The LT trim adds those optional infotainment features plus an upgraded 8-inch touchscreen, alloy wheels, heated mirrors, a remote-locking EZ Lift & Lower tailgate, remote locking and unlocking, full power accessories, 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's 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 brings lane departure warning and forward collision warning.

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 LTZ DRW Crew Cab (turbo 6.6L V8 diesel | 6-speed automatic | 4WD | 8-foot-2-inch bed).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall7.1 / 10

Driving

8.0 / 10

Acceleration8.5 / 10
Braking7.5 / 10
Steering6.5 / 10
Handling7.5 / 10
Drivability8.0 / 10

Comfort

6.5 / 10

Seat comfort6.0 / 10
Ride comfort6.5 / 10
Noise & vibration7.0 / 10
Climate control8.5 / 10

Interior

7.5 / 10

Ease of use8.0 / 10
Getting in/getting out7.5 / 10
Driving position8.0 / 10
Roominess8.0 / 10
Visibility6.0 / 10
Quality6.5 / 10

Utility

7.5 / 10

Small-item storage8.0 / 10
Cargo space8.0 / 10

Technology

6.0 / 10

Audio & navigation6.5 / 10
Smartphone integration6.0 / 10
Voice control5.5 / 10

Driving8.0

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

Acceleration8.5

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.

Braking7.5

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

Steering6.5

The 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 the steering in most vehicles in this class feels similar.

Handling7.5

The big surprise 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.

Drivability8.0

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

Off-road7.0

Several full-size trucks come with specific tires, suspension and clearances designed for going off-road. This 3500HD dually is not one of those trucks. Four-wheel drive will help with inclement weather, but the stiff suspension and its sheer size limit its capabilities on dirt roads.

Comfort6.5

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 comfort6.0

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 comfort6.5

The 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 & vibration7.0

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 the big mirrors. The diesel engine rumbles a bit but isn't particularly grading or abrasive.

Climate control8.5

The 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 nice feature for drivers with a stiff back but who don't want to heat the bottom cushion.

Interior7.5

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 negative in this segment.

Ease of use8.0

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

Getting in/getting out7.5

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 position8.0

The optional power-adjustable pedals, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and a highly adjustable driver's 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.

Roominess8.0

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.

Visibility6.0

The 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.

Quality6.5

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

Utility7.5

The 3500HD can tow and haul massive loads, and it has abundant interior storage. But 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 storage8.0

Tons of pockets everywhere front and rear — in the doors, the center console. And there are two gloveboxes. If you can't find a place for your stuff in the Silverado, you just have too much stuff. Some rivals have smarter storage solutions for phones and devices, but only by a small margin.

Cargo space8.0

As with pretty much every other heavy-duty truck, the Silverado 3500 HD is available with a standard bed (6 feet 5 inches) and a long bed (8 feet 2 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 accommodation8.0

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.

Towing7.5

The 6.6-liter turbodiesel has massive torque and power, but the Silverado's towing capacities are significantly lower than its Ram and Ford competitors by about 8,000 pounds with a fifth wheel. The cruise control, exhaust braking and transmission logic are all very good while towing.

Hauling8.5

When you're not towing your fifth wheel, you can haul any variety of beds, dressers, and other household furniture items in the back of the 3500HD. The max payload rating is only a few hundred pounds below those of class leaders.

Technology6.0

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 & navigation6.5

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

Smartphone integration6.0

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. It's best to use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Voice control5.5

Several 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.