It May Seem Strange To Describe A 1-ton truck as carlike, but the Chevy was the most carlike on the test. Its 6.6L Duramax diesel produced the most top-end horsepower, so much so that we called it the "hot rod" of the test. Dyno pulls confirmed our seat-of-the-pants impression: The Chevy's 294 rear-wheel horsepower easily bested the Dodge's 283 and Ford's 277. We also found that the truck's independent front suspension gave it nice road manners, with a smooth ride and precise handling.
Those same traits, though, can also be negatives. While its high-speed power was good, the Duramax felt like it lacked the bottom-end grunt offered by the others. Again, the dyno confirmed our feelings, with the Duramax's 487 lb-ft of peak torque lower than the 500-plus produced by the others. Our acceleration tests were another indicator: The Chevy was quicker unloaded, but the Dodge beat it pulling the trailer.
And it will probably come as no surprise that the Chevy's IFS proved to be a weak spot off-road, hampering the truck's ground clearance and, in one judge's opinion, its on-dirt handling. Also impeding its off-road performance were low-hanging framerails and the Chevy's street-oriented (and too small) LT225/75R17 General Grabber tires.
We also had a problem with the Chevy's outside mirrors. While big, vertical trailering mirrors are available on the truck, ours was fitted with the standard mirrors, a real head-scratcher given all the other trailering equipment loaded on this rig.
The Chevy proved to be a good towing platform. It was stable on- and off-road, it had plenty of power, and its Allison six-speed transmission was well matched to the Duramax. Its tow/haul mode kept the engine speed where we wanted it, except through long downhill stretches, where it wouldn't hold its speed without help from the brakes.
Front-seat passengers will find the Chevy inviting, with supportive seats and plenty of room. Back-seat passengers, on the other hand, will suffer from seats that are too firm and too upright, though there is plenty of room back there, too. We all felt the Chevy's dash and controls were a little too complicated and hard to use.
Though it sounds like we found a lot to dislike about the Chevy, the whole is actually a better truck than the sum of its parts. When asked which of the three trucks they'd like to own, two of the three judges chose the Chevy because of its power, ride quality, interior comfort, and "rugged and burly" styling.
Engine notes: Modifications to this (LMM) version of the Duramax included new fuel injectors to improve atomization, a ceramic-type diesel particulate filter system to reduce particulate emissions, and a change to the turbocharger's compressor bore to improve its durability.
* Ride & handling
* Comfortable front seats
* Tiny rearview mirrors
* Uncomfortable back seats
The most carlike of these trucks, which is good and bad.
|Manufacturer ||Chevrolet |
|Model ||Silverado 3500 |
| ||4WD Crew Cab LTZ |
|Base Price ||$40,390 |
|Price as Tested ||$52,430 |
|Options as Tested ||6.6L Duramax |
|diesel, Allison six-speed automatic transmission, LTZ Equipment Group (10-way power heated bucket seats; leather seating surfaces; dual-power heated mirrors; Bose premium sound system; heated washer fluid system; remote vehicle start; HD trailering equipment; locking rear differential; steering-wheel radio controls; power locks and windows; inside mirror with auto dimming, compass, and temperature; rear audio controls; bodyside moldings; leather-wrapped steering wheel; remote keyless entry; illuminated vanity mirrors; electronic shift transfer case), power sliding rear window, power sliding sunroof, power adjustable pedals, brake controller, dual 125-amp alternators, off-road skidplates, EZ Lift tailgate package, cargo management system, ultrasonic rear parking assist, AM/FM/CD with MP3 playback, radiator cover, luggage rack/side rails, destination charge |
|Type ||Duramax V-8 |
|Displacement (liters/ci) ||6.6/403 |
|Bore & Stroke (inches) ||4.06x3.9 |
|Compression Ratio ||16.8:1 |
|Induction Type ||Direct-injection |
| ||diesel with common rail |
|Fuel Req. ||Ultra-low-sulfur diesel |
|SAE Peak Hp ||365 @ 3,200 rpm |
|SAE Peak Tq (lb-ft) ||660 @ 1,600 rpm |
|Measured Hp ||294 @ 3,200 rpm |
|Measured Tq (lb-ft) ||487 @ 3,100 rpm |
|Fuel Tank Capacity (gal) ||34 |
|Type ||Allison 1000 |
|Ratios ||First: 3.10; Second: 1.81;Third: 1.41; Fourth: 1.00; Fifth: 0.71; Sixth: 0.61; Reverse: 4.49 |
|TRANSFER CASE |
|Type ||Two-speed, part-time |
|Low-range Ratio ||2.69:1 |
|Front type ||IFS |
|Rear type ||Solid |
|Ratio ||3.73:1 |
|Front ||Short/long arm w/torsion bar |
|Rear ||Live axle with leaf springs |
|Type ||Power-assisted recirculating ball, variable ratio |
|Size (inches) ||17x6.5 |
|Material ||Chrome-plated steel |
|Size ||LT225/75R17 |
|Brand ||General Grabber AW |
|Front ||Disc with ABS |
|Rear ||Disc with ABS |
|DIMENSIONS (INCHES) |
|Wheelbase ||167 |
|Overall Length ||258.7 |
|Overall Width ||95.9 |
|Overall Height ||76.1 |
|Ground Clearance ||7.25 |
|CAPACITIES (POUNDS) |
|Advertised GVWR ||11,400 |
|Curb Weight ||7,371 |
|Payload Capacity ||4,029 |
|Tow Capacity ||13,000 |
|Average over Test (mpg) ||11.41 |