2007 Silverado 3500 New Car Test Drive
The new, 2007 Chevy Silverado HD completes the phase-in of Chevrolet's redesigned full-size truck line, with new frame, engines, transmissions, interiors, and sheetmetal that requires no badge to tell it apart from a GMC.
Silverado HD pickups are about real work and serious play. The 2500-series is often used like a second car and charged with pulling the boat or trailer on weekends, while the 3500 usually sees hauling and pulling duty on a routine basis and tows the fifth-wheel RVs and six-horse trailers. With a trailer of 5,000 pounds or less, or infrequent carriage of building materials, you'd be better served with a Silverado 1500.
But for those who need it, the Silverado HD models are the only heavy-duty pickups with independent front suspensions on four-wheel-drive units, for better ride and steering than the competition. And in the power department, the 6-liter gas V8 is the strongest standard engine, and the 6.6-liter is the most powerful turbodiesel. The standard six-speed automatic one-ups the others' and only GM includes OnStar. It is well finished, inside and out.
The Silverado HD offers a choice of interiors, with different dashboards rather than merely varied finishes. You can have it sweep-out simple, or served up with heated leather, navigation, and an expensive-looking opaque shade for the moonroof. Regular cabs are roomy enough for three crew-mates, extended cabs are ideal for younger families and have a thoughtful new rear door design, and the crew cab is suitable for four or five big athletes or pony-sized dogs.
Whether referring to interior appearance or driving feel, the Silverado HD is the most car-like of big pickups, yet it carries and tows as well as other 250/2500 or 350/3500-series trucks. With close to 100 derivatives in cab/box/trim/drive choices and option sheets to fill a page, determining the right one requires due diligence and patience. There should be an example to fit your tastes and requirements.
Silverado HD pickups are offered in 2WD and 4WD versions. Three cab styles are available, regular, extended, crew, along with two box sizes. They come in 2500 (3/4-ton) and 3500 (1-ton) versions; the 3500-series is available in single-rear-wheel and dual-rear-wheel versions (though duallys won't arrive before May 2007). Cab and chassis models, suitable for fitting a custom work or tow body on, are available.
Trim levels vary from vinyl-floored Work Truck models through LT to plush LTZ, the latter using a unique interior design.
The basic WT comes with six-speaker AM/FM stereo, ABS, air conditioning, tire pressure monitors, 40/20/40 vinyl front bench with armrest, and six-speed automatic with tow/haul mode and dual overdrives.
LT versions are split in LT1 and LT2 by package. To a WT the LT adds auto-dimming mirror and compass, cruise control, driver lumbar, locking seat cushion storage, leather-wrapped steering wheel, electronic shift 4WD, and chrome wheel trim. At about $1800 the LT2 upgrade adds cloth upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, fog lamps, and audio controls on the steering wheel.
Top trim LTZ includes an upscale dashboard design, Bose audio system with subwoofer, locking differential, remote start, leather upholstery with 12-way power and heated seats in front, two-person driver memory, trailer package, 17-inch aluminum wheels, and heated windshield washer fluid system.
The standard engine is a new iron-block 6-liter V-8 with variable valve timing and 353 hp; on models with GVWR greater than 10,000 pounds the engine is derated to 312 hp. The Duramax diesel option, bumped slightly in power to 365 horses and 660 lb-ft of torque, remains optional, and emissions upgrades and sophistication have driven the charge past $8,000 ($7195 for the engine and $1200 for the required transmission). The 8.1-liter big-block and all manual gearboxes have been dropped.
Variety characterizes the Silverado option palette, with working gear such as integrated trailer brake controller, dual alternators on diesels, remote start, and snow plow prep package to luxury features like satellite radio, heated seats and a moonroof. Many options are interrelated so check everything carefully.
Safety equipment includes frontal airbags, front seat belt pretensioners (a first for HD pickups), ABS, and OnStar.