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2014 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD Overview
One of the more capable big rigs out there short of an 18-wheeler is Chevrolet’s 2014 Silverado 3500HD full-size heavy-duty pickup. Capable enough in standardized form, when this beast is tricked out with an optional turbodiesel V8 engine, optional fifth-wheel trailer setup and optional dual rear wheels, it’ll haul over 4,000 pounds of payload or 24,500 pounds of trailer. And in any iteration, it also boasts one of the better suspension systems for ride and handling found in this none-too-driver-friendly class.
Again this one-ton Silverado sports the base-and-basic Work Truck trim level, the up-featured LT and the flagship LTZ trim levels, each delivered with standard single rear wheels (SRW) and rear-wheel drive (RWD). Once more, however, all trim levels can be delivered with available part-time 4-wheel drive (4WD) that boasts manual or electronic hi-lo gear selection (depending on the trim level) and auto-locking hubs, with a heavy-duty automatic locking rear differential standard on all single-rear-wheel (SRW) trims.
For 2014, the Silverado 3500HD series remains offered with a 3-seat, 2-door Regular Cab, a 6-passenger Extended Cab with rear-opening back doors, and a 6-place Crew Cab with 4 independently opening doors. Additionally, the 8.2-foot bed length is once again standard with all trim configurations, while a 6.6-foot bed is available to Crew Cab variations in each trim level. Dual rear wheels (DRW) are, of course, optional on all trim levels except those Crew Cab variants with the 6.6-foot bed. Regular Cab configurations, meanwhile, sit on a 225-inch wheelbase, with Extended Cab variations sporting a 240.2-inch wheelbase and Crew Cabs resting on a 259.1-inch wheelbase.
Standard power again remains the ultra-capable 6.0-liter V8 gasoline engine with Flex Fuel capability (FFV) and variable valve timing (VVT). Mated with the standard 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission, this sizable V8 pounds out 322 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque, with standard towing maxed out at 13,000 pounds.
Should more towing oomph be needed, the Silverado 3500HD can be delivered with an available 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 powerplant that uses a heavy-duty 6-speed shiftable automatic to throw down 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque. Towing with the standard hitch is maxed out at 17,400 pounds, with an available fifth-wheel rig able to handle some 24,500 pounds of trailer with the proper (4.10) rear axle ratio.
For those with eco-systems and fuel-efficiency in mind, the 6.0-liter V8 can be tricked out to burn compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquid natural gas (LNG), again under the management of the 6-speed automatic, but expect a hefty drop in both torque and horsepower. Mileage figures are, of course, unavailable for any of the powertrain offerings.
In any case, the base Work Truck trim level for 2014 again plies its trade with some fairly Spartan accommodations. Look for 18-inch painted steel wheels (17-inchers on DRW editions), and a trailer hitch and wiring on the outside, with vinyl upholstery, cruise control, tilt-wheel steering, air conditioning and an AM/FM stereo with 2 speakers inside. Extended and Crew Cab editions of this entry-level rig, of course boast folding rear seats, while Crew Cab variants also come with standard remote power door locks.
Moving up to the LT trim level gets you 18-inch alloy wheels (again 17-inchers in DRW variants), premium cloth upholstery, full power accessories, including heated power-adjustable outside mirrors, as well as leather and simulated alloy cabin trim. OnStar Directions and Connections also comes standard with the midlevel LT, as does an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, with a single-CD player and satellite radio added to the entertainment factor.
The top-shelf Silverado 3500HD LTZ, available only in Extended Cab and Crew Cab garb, again flaunts all of the LT’s accoutrements, as well as heated power-adjustable front seats, reverse-tilt exterior mirrors, dual-zone auto climate control with Sun Sensor technology and, of course, upgraded cabin accents. Memory for driver's settings also come standard in this princely trim level, as do 7 Bose premium speakers and a USB port, while Bluetooth hands-free communications once more bolsters the OnStar services.
As is traditional, lower trim levels can carry as options many of the items found standard in higher trims. Again, stuff like a universal remote garage door opener, rear parking assist, a rear-view camera, off-road suspension packages, a rear-view camera, a navigation suite, power sliding rear window and a power sunroof additionally remain available to certain trim levels, either as package deals or as standalone options. And don’t fret, the available Z71 Appearance Package with unique badges and graphics makes a return engagement, as does the lockable EZ-lift tailgate.
Standard safety equipment for all 2014 Silverado 3500HD variations includes, besides sheer size, 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and, in SRW trims, stability control, daytime running lights and dusk-sensing headlights. LT and LTZ trim configurations also get standard OnStar emergency assistance and communications, a post-collision safety system, turn-signal-integrated mirrors and a remote antitheft alarm, with the LTZ further hosting standard front fog/driving lights.
Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.
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