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- Highs Class-leading optional diesel engine, impressive handling compared to rivals, plenty of available tech features.
- Lows Harsh ride over bumpy surfaces, awkward steering-column placement, most desirable features cost extra.
- Verdict The 2018 Chevrolet HD pickups are built to work, with impressive handling, excellent cargo capacity, good towing ability, and a powerful diesel-engine option.
The brawny Silverado HD is built to haul and tow, rather than for show. Underneath the Chevy’s heavy-duty shell are the same chassis and powertrain pairings as on the GMC Sierra HD. That includes the iconic Duramax diesel engine and Allison transmission combo option. The Duramax makes 445 hp—more than any diesel rival—and a colossal 910 lb-ft of torque. More than just a diesel powerhouse, the Silverado HD also has terrific driving dynamics for its size. What’s more, the 3500HD can tow up to 23,300 pounds, which is—amazingly—less than its mightiest Ford and Ram rivals. Despite that, Chevy’s premier pickups have unrivaled performance and a proven pedigree that solidifies their spot near the top of this tightly contested segment.
What's New for 2018?
The 2018 Silverado HD receives small styling updates, such as a new grille design on the High Country and Z71 models. Chevy also revised the “Z71” and “4x4” graphics. The crew cab adds Cajun Red Tintcoat, Havana Metallic, and Iridescent Pearl Tricoat as paint choices. The entry-level WT now has a standard 7.0-inch MyLink touchscreen; a backup camera is also added to all models with a cargo box. And the tire-pressure monitoring system now includes an audible tire-fill alert.
- WT: $35,895
- LT: $40,295
- LTZ: $48,195
- High Country: $57,195
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Silverado HD is one of the quickest, most agile heavy-duty pickups in its class. The Duramax diesel and the Allison transmission are the powertrain tag-team champions, dominating all challengers with a class-leading 445 hp and a remarkable 910 lb-ft of torque. The Silverado HD’s standard powertrain is a Vortec 6.0-liter V-8 with 360 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque; it’s paired with a six-speed automatic. This combo is more than adequate for those who don’t need the diesel’s earth-shattering torque and added cost of about $9000. No one will write home about the Silverado HD’s ride quality, but compared with the competition, it’s one of the best. It’s compliant enough on smooth surfaces so that long road trips won’t instigate arthritis. However, pothole-stricken pavement and railroad crossings will rattle your grandparents’ dentures, especially in the stiffer 3500HD. At least the Silverado HDs can claim to be among the best-handling in their class, and their steering systems provide noteworthy feel and accuracy.
EPA fuel economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest and most accurate fuel economy numbers on current and older vehicles, we use the U.S. Department of Energy's fueleconomy.gov website. Under the heading "Find & Compare Cars" click on the "Compare Side-by-Side" tool to find the EPA ratings for the make, model, and year you're interested in.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
A spacious front seat and straightforward interior layout are big pluses for the Silverado HD. It’s a handsome habitat for a makeshift office or for hauling people, but the off-center steering column can be bothersome. Optional leather appointments enhance the Chevy’s appeal, while chrome accents and brushed-aluminum trim break up an otherwise monochromatic color scheme. Large toggle switches located below the well-designed climate controls are pragmatic and well placed. A gratifying leather-wrapped steering wheel is standard on LT trims and higher. The front seats’ wide cushions are comfortable for passengers of all sizes, but they lack lateral support, as do the rear seats in the double and crew cabs. The Silverado HD is available with 6.6-foot and 8.0-foot beds; the regular cab is only available with the longer box.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Silverado HD owners will enjoy a responsive and intuitive infotainment system, connectivity outlets galore, and access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system is available with either a 7.0-inch or an 8.0-inch touchscreen; both have a wide assortment of controls, including redundant hard buttons. The unit is an interactive treat with an attractive design, despite a cartoonish navigation display. The Silverado HD can be outfitted with up to four USB ports and four 12-volt outlets. Shell out extra coin to add a 110-volt outlet to the dash, a wireless charging pad, Bose audio, or a cool, customizable 8.0-inch gauge-cluster display.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
For more information about the Chevrolet Silverado HD’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.