2010 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD Review

Silverado 3500HD

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2010 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD Overview

It can be used as a piece of heavy machinery or cruise quietly along the highway, and the 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD can be simple, luxurious, or somewhere in between, depending on your needs and where you want to fit into its fairly wide price range.

The 2010 version of this workhorse retains the basic tools that have made the current generation of Silverado 3500HDs so successful: hefty towing and payload capacities (16,500 pounds and 5,307 pounds respectively), sound handling, brawny frame, handsome lines, and a potentially loaded and stylish interior. There are some changes for 2010, however, as the base 6.0-liter, gas V8 engine gets more powerful for 2010, and some features are rearranged by trim or package.

The 3500HD is available with regular, extended, or crew cabs, single or dual rear wheels, and rear- or four-wheel drive. They all come with a long bed. Regular cab models are four-wheel drive only and available in the base Work Truck or upgraded LT trim. Extended and crew cab models are available in Work Truck, LT, or high-end LTZ trim levels.

All variations (28 trim possibilities in all) come standard with the 6.0-liter gasoline V8 (360 horsepower, 380 lb-ft of torque) and a six-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission. The gas engine is very potent and has a 5,089-pound payload capacity. But to reach the maximum towing numbers and squeeze the most out of our your 3500HD, testers recommend the optional 6.6-liter turbodiesel Duramax V8 with 365 horsepower and a whopping 660 lb-ft of torque.

Rear-wheel drive (RWD) is also standard for all trims, with four-wheel drive (4WD) optional. Work Truck trims get a floor-mounted transfer case to operate the 4WD system while the LT and LTZ trims have an available Autotrac system with a knob-controlled electric transfer case and an automatic setting that will engage the 4WD as needed.

The Work Truck trim comes standard with air conditioning, OnStar, a trip computer, front bench seat (40/20/40 split), vinyl upholstery, tilt steering wheel, and a radio-only stereo. The LT trim upgrades with full power accessories, AM/FM/CD stereo, keyless entry, cloth upholstery, tinted rear windows, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and options for a navigation system with real-time traffic, rear-view camera, rear parking assist sensors, power-folding mirrors, EZ-lift tailgate, power-adjustable pedals, and a power-sliding rear window and the Z71 off-road package (off-road suspension, skid plates, bigger stabilizer bar).

Move up to the LTZ and you get a heavy-duty trailering package with an integrated trailer brake controller and a locking rear differential as standard equipment, plus alloy wheels, foglamps, rain-sensing wipers, and remote start for the exterior. The LTZ interior features an upgraded design, the same as in GM’s high-end SUVs. That stylish cabin gets all the features and options of the LT trim and upgrades with 12-way power-adjustable and heated front bucket seats, leather upholstery, Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic climate control, wood trim, and a stereo with a Bose speaker system, USB port, steering-wheel-mounted controls, and rear audio controls. The LTZ also has options for a sunroof and a rear-seat entertainment system.

Critics approve of both interior designs, and even the basic Work Truck receives praise for its quality build and appealing feel. The LTZ’s front seats provide more support, obviously, but the front benches are hardly uncomfortable. The rear bench in the extended and crew cabs is actually big enough to accommodate three adults. It also folds away to provide extra interior storage.

Testers uniformly liked the composed ride delivered by the Silverado 3500 HD, whether the truck was traveling on pavement, playing in the mud, or hauling loads across farmland. The brakes provide a consistent, short-and-straight stop with good pedal feel, and the steering is true.

There may be other worthwhile heavy-duty truck options from Dodge and Ford. But in the end, if you need a brawny work truck, you really can’t go wrong with the 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD.


After working at gas stations and car washes in high school, driving across the country more than a dozen times and even living on the road in a well-outfitted truck, Tim O'Sullivan finally started putting some of his automotive knowledge to work when he began writing for CarGurus in 2008. He's also an award-winning journalist and the Sports Editor at the Concord (NH) Monitor.

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