The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 received a complete redo last year, and now it's time for its heavy-duty counterpart to get the same treatment. The 2015 Silverado 3500HD benefits from an evolutionary styling update, vastly improved interior quality, additional safety features and a new Double Cab design with conventional rear doors.
What's New For 2015
The 3500HD has been completely redesigned.
Choosing Your Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD
As before, the 3500HD comes with a three-person Regular Cab, a Double Cab with a full-length backseat and narrow rear doors (now hinged in the front), or a Crew Cab with full-size rear doors and extra rear legroom. Dual rear wheels are available across the board. The Regular and Double Cabs come with an 8-foot bed, while the Crew gets a 6.5-foot bed with the 8-footer available as an option on single-rear-wheel models. Rear bumpers feature corner steps for easier access to the bed.
The standard 6-liter V8 produces 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. You can order a bi-fuel version of the same that runs on either gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG). When running on CNG, the engine puts out 301 horsepower and 333 pound-feet of torque. Both versions are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. For maximum grunt, Chevy offers a 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 with 397 horsepower and a pavement-rippling 765 pound-feet of torque. The turbodiesel gets a heavy-duty six-speed automatic and exhaust braking. All 3500HDs start out with rear-wheel drive, and four-wheel drive is available across the board.
To assist with towing, all models come with a heavy-duty trailing package, an automatic locking rear differential, trailer sway control, automatic grade braking and integrated cruise control that automatically adjusts to load weight. Properly equipped, the 3500HD can tow up to 23,200 pounds (!) and haul 7,374 pounds in back.
The 3500HD is available in three trim levels: the basic WT, popularly equipped LT and luxurious LTZ.
LT and LTZ models can get the Z71 Off-Road package with polished 18-inch wheels, hill descent control, skid plates, a specially tuned off-road suspension and unique exterior styling features. The other major bundle available on the LT and LTZ is the Driver Alert package, which includes front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning and frontal collision alert. Among the many individual options are a navigation system, a sunroof, a premium Bose audio system, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and a rear entertainment system.
The WT isn't nearly as austere as it used to be, so it can make a perfectly acceptable personal vehicle with a few options added. Even so, the more scalable LT remains the best overall value for mixed work and pleasure use.