No manual transmission; no self-leveling suspension like in the RAM HD; pricing starting to grow huge
The 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD offers two engines. Standard is a 6.0-liter V8 that makes 360 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque; it's offered in gasoline or bi-fuel varieties, with the latter capable of running off gasoline or compressed natural gas. Shoppers who want more power can go for the truck's optional 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8, which makes a little more hp (397) and an especially muscular 765 lb-ft of torque.
Unfortunately, official fuel economy ratings aren't available since the Environmental Protection Agency doesn't rate vehicles as large as the Silverado 3500HD, but suffice it to say that these trucks aren't for the fuel-conscious. Most drivers receive around 12 miles per gallon in the city and 17 mpg on the highway, regardless of engine choice.
As you might expect, the Silverado 3500HD offers a long list of available trim levels, body styles and configurations. There are regular cabs, crew cabs and extended cabs. There are regular beds and long beds, the aforementioned gasoline or diesel engines and 2- or 4-wheel drive. Shoppers even have the ability to choose between two or four rear wheels, depending on the payload capacity needed.
In terms of trim levels, the Silverado 3500HD offers four. There's a base-level Work Truck (WT), a midlevel LT, an upscale LTZ and a luxurious High Country.
Choose the Work Truck ($35,300), and you'll find only basic transportation. Designed for use on gritty job sites, this model includes only an AM/FM stereo with an auxiliary port (but no CD player), vinyl seating, air conditioning and little else. It's so basic that items most drivers take for granted, such as keyless entry and power mirrors, aren't even standard.
For a few more creature comforts, you'll need to step up to the LT ($39,200). It includes a more generous list of standard equipment, ranging from power mirrors and tinted glass to alloy wheels, a CD player, satellite radio and Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system.
Next up is the LTZ ($48,000), which is only available in double-cab or crew-cab configurations. It includes features such as fog lights, larger alloy wheels, chrome trim, a larger center touchscreen, leather upholstery with heated front seats, a backup camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-folding mirrors and an automatic locking rear differential.
Topping the range is the exclusive High Country ($54,900), which is only offered in crew-cab guise. Designed to roughly mimic the GMC Sierra Denali, the Silverado 3500HD High Country primarily adds appearance upgrades, including 20-inch alloy wheels, body-colored bumpers, chrome side steps, full-leather front bucket seats, carpeted floor mats, special trim and a unique interior design with a center console. It also adds a navigation system, a Bose sound system, front and rear park assist, and the new-for-2016 wireless charging system.
As you might expect, options are plentiful. In addition to the 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel engine and dually rear wheels, the truck offers everything from work-ready features -- such as a heavy-duty trailer package, 4-wheel drive, power adjustable pedals and rear park assist -- to high-end convenience features, including a lane-departure warning system and forward-collision alert.
The 2016 Silverado 3500HD includes standard side airbags, side-curtain airbags, traction control, stability control and daytime running lights. Optional safety features include a backup camera, park assist, forward-collision alert and a lane-departure warning system.
Due to the 3500HD's recent redesign, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have crash-tested the pickup. Although previous-generation models earned average crash safety ratings, we expect the redesigned truck to perform better thanks to its brand-new construction from the ground up.
You won't find many surprises when you're driving a Silverado 3500HD. Although the workhorse pickup was fully redesigned last year with a new look and a heavily improved interior, any heavy-duty Silverado is still a full-size pickup, which means light steering, huge dimensions and a high driving position. Interestingly, the Silverado also manages to provide a surprisingly quiet ride, canceling out road noise, wind noise and even the churning of the pickup's huge diesel engine.
Stepping inside, the Silverado 3500HD impresses with its highly modern new dashboard, a rarity in the heavy-duty-truck world, which is usually the last segment to see any modern advancements in equipment and styling. The pickup's rear-seat room is also impressive, especially in crew-cab models. We wouldn't suggest using it as around-town transportation for your family, but the Silverado 3500HD is just as capable carrying passengers in comfort as it is on the jobsite.
2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD -- Check out the Sierra 3500HD, which is highly similar to the Silverado right down to the styling. At the very least, the Sierra might be a better deal.
2016 RAM 3500 -- It's hard to ignore the heavy-duty RAM, which boasts amazing capabilities thanks to its manual transmission, its torquey engine and its self-leveling suspension, but the latest Silverado is far more refined than the increasingly outdated RAM.
It's hard to recommend the best Silverado 3500HD for you, largely because there are so many trim levels and models available. Our suggestion: Take a long look at the choices, and pick the one that suits you best. Want to haul around the whole family? That'll be the crew cab. Looking to haul a huge trailer? Go for the turbodiesel. Either way, regardless of the model you pick, you're likely to find something for just about everyone. Find a Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD for sale
After a full redesign last year, the Silverado 3500HD offers only minor updates for 2016, including a revised MyLink infotainment system, a new wireless charging feature and newly available HD Radio. See the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD models for sale near you
Huge towing and hauling abilities; massive power and torque; capable for any job; newly redesigned interior offers major improvement