2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD Review

Silverado 3500HD

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Avg. Price: $36,336
Avg. Price: $40,751
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Avg. Price: $26,024

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2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD Overview

2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD

Chevrolet’s top-of-the-line large pickup truck is the Silverado 3500HD. Minimal changes, such as adding a couple of exterior color options and minor changes to some of the available packages, are the only differences between the 2012 and 2011 versions.

The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD comes available in three trim levels: Work Truck, LT and LTZ. Each trim level is available with rear-wheel drive (RWD) or 4-wheel drive (4WD), runs on regular gas and gets equipped with a Vortec 6.0-liter VVT V8 SFI engine. Each powerplant is paired with a heavy-duty Hydra-Matic 6-speed automatic transmission and reaches 322 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. An optional Duramax 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 engine, married to a heavy-duty Allison 6-speed transmission that maxes out at 335 or 397 hp and 685 or 765 lb-ft of torque—depending on chassis and bed setup—is also available.

The Work Truck and LT trim levels of the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD can be built as a Regular, Extended or Crew cab, while the LTZ trim can be built only as an Extended or Crew cab. Regular and Extended cabs come with a long bed, while and Regular and Crew cabs can be configured with either a standard or long bed.

Standard equipment on all trims of the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD includes air conditioning, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, power steering, vinyl bench seats, 4-speaker sound system with AM/FM radio and painted 17-inch steel wheels. Upgrading to the LT trim adds power heated exterior mirrors, power front windows, cloth bench seats, keyless entry, CD/MP3 player and 17-inch chrome overlay wheels. Buyers choosing the LTZ trim will also receive as part of the standard package steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, leather bucket seats, heated power driver's and passenger seats, 7-speaker Bose sound system with AM/FM radio and 6-CD/MP3 changer with USB port, rear window defroster, halogen fog lights and polished forged aluminum 18-inch wheels.

As far as safety features go, the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD comes equipped with driver's and right-front passenger airbags with optional side-curtain airbags, 4-wheel antilock disc brakes with dynamic rear proportioning, rear parking assist and an electronic stability control system with trailer sway control and hill start assist.

Numerous packages are also available for the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD, including the snow plow prep package, two suspension packages and a trailering package. Speaking of trailering, the Silverado 3500HD is capable of hauling 13,900 pounds when configured with a gas engine and up to 23,000 pounds when matched with the turbodiesel. The Silverado 3500HD’s high-strength, fully boxed steel frame allows it to haul a payload maxing out at slightly more than 7,200 pounds, thanks in part to the tow/haul mode that can be activated when needed.

Between power, performance and payload, the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD has its bases covered. Hauling-wise, the Silverado 3500HD finds itself on an even playing field with similar offerings from Ford, Dodge and even sister brand GMC. While lacking a luxury level that some of the other heavy-duty pickups offer, the Silverado 3500HD more than makes up for it in sheer workability.


by Mark S. Baker

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