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2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD Overview
There are those who need a heavy-duty pickup that can all but the impossible. A three-quarter ton heavy-duty truck just isn’t going to cut it for some jobs, like pulling a piece of heavy equipment to a construction site or towing a massive 5th-wheel trailer. For drivers that need more, a one-ton heavy-duty truck like the Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD will get the job done. Last year, Chevrolet made news with the introduction of an updated Duramax V8 diesel that offers the highest torque figure in the class. The 3500HD offers three new colors for 2018: Cajun Red, Havana Metallic, and Iridescent Pearl. Aside from these new colors, Chevrolet’s biggest consumer truck remains largely unchanged.
The Silverado 3500HD is, frankly, a brute. The design of this truck screams ‘tough’ with squared-off lines, flared out fenders, and a split-opening grille with different inserts depending on the trim. Trucks equipped with the optional Duramax diesel get a new hood with a scoop that provides extra air to cool the engine. An optional dual-rear wheel setup spreads out the load to provide better stability. Three cab and two bed options allow for a variety of configurations for the Silverado 3500HD.
Functionality is the key word when describing the Silverado 3500HD’s interior. It may not have flashy trinkets like other competitors, but the Silverado 3500HD does very well when it comes to usability. A logical layout incorporating large buttons and switches makes the Silverado 3500HD one of the easiest vehicles to get accustomed to. A fair amount of soft-touch materials for the dash and center console help add a premium feel.
Depending on the cab configuration and trim, those sitting up front will either have a bench seat or a set of captain’s chairs. The seats come well-padded and provide excellent comfort for long trips. Higher trims can be equipped with power seats and adjustable pedals to make it easier to get comfortable. The back seat in extended cab models is best reserved for short trips due to the upright seating position and limited legroom. Crew cab models are better if you plan on using the back seat on a regular basis with a better seating position and increased legroom.
The base WT trim sees a change for 2018 as it swaps the 4.3-inch touchscreen radio for a larger 7-inch system with Chevrolet MyLink. The LT and LTZ upgrade to an 8-inch system, while the top-line High Country’s 8-inch system includes navigation. The 8-inch system is available on the LT and LTZ. MyLink is considered by many to be one of the easiest systems to use thanks to an intuitive interface and redundant physical buttons underneath the screen. Features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi help bolster MyLink’s appeal.
Chevrolet offers two V8 engines for the Silverado 3500HD. The base is a 6.0-liter V8 engine producing 360 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque paired with a 6-speed automatic. You can order a package that allows the 6.0 to run on either gas or natural gas. Optional is the 6.6-liter Duramax V8 turbodiesel with 445 hp and an impressive 910 lb-ft of torque. The diesel engine is paired with a 6-speed Allison automatic. 2-wheel drive is standard, while 4-wheel drive is optional. Both engines are able to get Chevrolet’s largest truck up to speed at a decent clip. When it comes to towing, the Duramax diesel is king. When properly equipped, the 6.6L diesel V8 can tow up to 20,000 pounds when using a conventional ball hitch or 23,300 pounds with a gooseneck hitch. The gas V8 has a max rating of 14,500 pounds when using a ball hitch or 14,600 pounds with a gooseneck hitch. Payload ranges from 3,821 to 7,153 pounds depending on configuration.
The Silverado 3500HD has the stiff suspension typical of trucks made for towing, which doesn’t make the ride the smoothest. If you put a load in the bed or hook up a trailer, the ride does become significantly better. Surprisingly, the Silverado 3500HD is very good at isolating road and wind noise in the cabin.
In terms of safety, the Silverado 3500HD comes with a full set of airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, tire pressure monitoring, OnStar telematics, and the Teen Driver system that allows you to set up a special key with limits on speed and volume. For 2018, all Silverado 3500HDs get a reversing camera as standard equipment. The driver alert package that includes forward collision warning, lane departure warning, parking sensors, and GM’s Safety Alert Seat that vibrates the seat to warn the driver of incoming danger is standard on the High Country and optional for the LTZ.
Ask William Maley how he started as an automotive writer and he would say he just fell into it. Based in Michigan, William has driven vehicles of all sizes and shapes. His work has appeared on Autobytel, CARFAX, Cheers & Gears, and U.S. News Best Cars.
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