2011 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD 4WD Crew Cab review

January 2011 News

The universe provides balance. Heat/Cold. Yankees/Mets. Chocolate/Vanilla. Over-the-roll/Under-the-roll. Ford pickups/Chevy pickups. The balance teeters, but balance is maintained. Usually. Then, I spend a week in the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD. With a base price of $40,070 ($51,770 as tested), the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD SRW 4WD Crew LT comes with a 3-year/36,000 mile basic warranty and a 5-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. The EPA doesn't require fuel economy estimates for vehicles over 8,500 lbs GVWR, but I got 15.5 miles per gallon of diesel fuel during my week with the big Silverado truck. Let's drive.

First Glance at the Silverado HD - Better Bones

Silverado got a makeover this year. Not a total redesign, just a significant amount of work beneath the skin. The truck still rides on the same GMT900 platform that has formed its underpinnings since 2007. The same architecture forms the basis for the GMC Sierra full-size pickup, as well as the Chevy Avalanche, the Chevy Suburban and Tahoe, the GMC Yukon and the Cadillac Escalade, and probably a whole mess of other GM vehicles that I've forgotten about. The good news about that is that GMT900 is a very good platform, even better for pickup trucks than it is for SUVs.

The sheet metal hanging off the fully boxed frame of the Silverado is mighty attractive. The big grilleis all business, its horizontal layout emphasizing width and strength, anchored on each side by rectangular headlamps and highlighted in the center by a big gold Chevy bowtie emblem. Rather than show off with big truck features, like the Ford Super Duty and Dodge Ram pickups, the Silverado front end is classy and relatively understated, but still with plenty of shiny metal parts to maintain some interest.


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