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2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD Regular Cab

Overview
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2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD Regular Cab Review

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Fresh from last year's overhaul that brought a stiffer frame, more powerful Duramax turbodiesel engine and a revised suspension, the Chevrolet Silverado HD trucks continue into 2012 little changed. In the world of powerful work trucks, the domestic manufacturers monopolize the field. The Ram HD and Ford F-Series HD trucks are equally capable, with one or the other claiming best-in-class in any number of categories, separated by no more than a few horsepower or couple more pounds of towing capacity. For many, the choice of an HD pickup truck comes down to a personal preference based on past experiences. If you're a Ford guy, you'll swear you'd never touch a Chevy, even though the 2012 Chevy Silverado HD can out-tow and out-haul the F-350.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you've been a longtime Chevy HD fan and it's time to trade-in your old outfit, the 2012 Chevy Silverado HD's numerous improvements will help keep you a Chevy loyalist. If you're an old Ram (formerly Dodge) or Ford guy and you aren't happy with your current rig, you might be pleasantly surprised just how capable the Chevy Silverado HD really is.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for the most powerful diesel engine in an HD truck, Ram's Cummins diesel engine takes top honors (torque, not horsepower). Those who like a little more upscale flair in their trucks might find the 2012 Chevy Silverado HD's styling and interior décor somewhat on the conservative side. A Ram Longhorn or Ford F-350 King Ranch might be more to your liking.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado HD trucks make new strides for 2012, with Chevy claiming best-in-class accolades for maximum fifth-wheel towing, conventional towing and payload.

Driving the Silverado 3500 HD Regular Cab

Driving Impressions Thanks to its torque-heavy 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V8, we found that towing a 10,000-pound trailer behind the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD truck posed absolutely no challenge whatsoever. The 2012...

Chevy Silverado HD's available Duramax diesel develops 397 horsepower and 765 lb-ft of torque (that's more horsepower but less torque than the Ram HD, and less horsepower and torque than the Ford PowerStroke diesel). Despite the difference in power from its main rivals, the Silverado HD still takes top honors in fifth-wheel and conventional towing, as well as payload figures. The Duramax diesel is a bit loud, but you wouldn't know it from inside the passenger compartment. One of our favorite features on the diesel truck is the "smart" exhaust braking setup. The system works by progressively restricting the diesel's exhaust, depending on speed and grade, to help slow the rig with added compression braking. We tested a number of 2012 Chevy Silverado HD trucks, with gas and diesel engines, long and short beds, and basic to plush trim levels. We found all exhibited a firm suspension, good steering ability and fairly compliant ride.

Exhaust braking
This system progressively restricts the diesel's exhaust – depending on speed and grade – to help slow the rig with added compression braking.

Remote starting
A favorite on any vehicle, this available feature is especially appreciated on working trucks that operate in hot and cold weather extremes.

2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD Regular Cab Details
Interior

The 2012 Chevy Silverado HD Work Truck has a more utilitarian interior intended to take a bit of a beating, as well as be more user-friendly to glove-clad hands and dirty work boots. The LTZ trims feature a more upscale dash, door panel and seat design better suited to the foreman than the roughneck. The 2012 Chevy Silverado HD truck's interior is peppered with storage compartments of varying sizes, including a big center armrest/console with a flip-up lid on bucket seat-equipped trims. Bench-seat models have a folding center section with storage and built-in cupholders. When properly equipped, a 2012 Chevy Silverado HD truck can serve as a mini rolling office, with such available features as a mobile WiFi hotspot, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, GPS navigation and XM Satellite radio with NavTraffic traffic updates. Multiple power points throughout the cabin ensure you'll be able to power all of your mobile devices.

Exterior
2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD Regular Cab photo

The 2012 Chevy Silverado HD trucks are comprised of the 2500 and 3500 (three-quarter-ton and one-ton) models. Both trucks feature a beefed up version of the 1500 truck's grille and front end, with a larger chrome grille and bumpers, and a raised power-dome hood with integrated louvers. The 2500 models offer the option of 20-inch polished-aluminum wheels, while the 3500 can be equipped with a dually rear end. Tire sizes range from 17-inch (dually, or as Chevy spells it, "dooley") to 18- and 20-inch wheels on standard-chassis trucks.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Standard equipment on all 2012 Chevrolet Silverado HD trucks includes 4-wheel-disc brakes with ABS and Intelligent Brake Assist and the 6-speed automatic transmission, while StabiliTrak electronic stability control, Trailer Sway Control and Hill Start Assist (but not Hill Descent Control) are standard on single-rear-wheel (non-dually) models and "smart" exhaust braking comes with the Duramax diesel. Also standard are chrome front and rear bumpers, engine and transmission oil coolers, a driver information center, tilt steering wheel, automatic headlamps and front tow hooks. Standard safety features include front-seat airbags and a high-strength tubular steel frame crossmember that improves crashworthiness.

Optional Equipment

Optional (or unavailable) on the base 2012 Chevy Silverado Work Truck are such basic amenities as cruise control, power locks, windows and mirrors and a rear-window defroster. The next-level LT trim provides most of those, plus remote keyless entry, a CD player and more, but the rear-window defroster remains optional. The top-of-the-line LTZ trim (available on Extended and Crew Cab models) adds that plus leather trim, power seats and much more. Option packages are available, and other major options include navigation, a CD changer, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, remote start, premium wheels, a sunroof, a rear backup camera, an integrated trailer brake controller and pelvic/thorax and head-curtain airbags.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado HD truck's standard heavy-duty Vortec 6.0-liter gasoline V8 has a cast-iron block, aluminum heads and cam-in-block variable valve timing (VVT), which allows the engine to use late intake valve closing to improve efficiency and achieve an optimum balance of low-rpm torque and free-breathing, high-rpm horsepower. The 2012 Silverado's 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel offers significantly more power and torque, "smart" exhaust braking, the Allison 1000 6-speed automatic transmission, and full B20 biodiesel capability. Its NOx emissions are reduced by some 63 percent via a selective catalyst reduction after-treatment system that uses urea-based diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) in a 5.3-gallon tank that needs to be replenished about every 5,000 miles. Given the Duramax's standard 36-gallon tank, you can theoretically drive up to 680 miles between fill-ups, which equates to almost 19 mpg on the highway (unloaded).


6.0-liter V8
360 horsepower @ 5,400 rpm
380 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

6.6-liter turbocharged diesel V8
397 horsepower @ 3,000 rpm
765 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

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2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 107 Ratings for the 2007 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.9/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Good Design, Decent power, Good 4x4 Unit

By on Friday, April 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,850

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Enterior space and versatility"

Cons: "Miles Per Gallon"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

2007 Silverado 3500HD Crewcab 4x4 53850 Miles

"No complaints other than it could be better on fuel The best I've ever got out of it was 13 highway Average MPG is around 11 to 12 For a small block gas motor it does decent"

8 people out of 18 found this review helpful

2007 Silverado 3500HD Crewcab 4x4 53850 Miles

very nice truck

By on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 326,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned this truck for a while now and love the truck. i would say it would pull anything you want to put behind it. also l and I have had no problems with this truck other than the normal over the road maintenance that it need. the two things I would say to be cons it the amount of room in the truck because I'm 6"3 and I would like to have more room. second I would say the winters are hard do to the fuel filter I've had to put in this truck when winter hits. other any that it's a great truck. hope to make this truck as far has it will go."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Good truck. Nothing fancy.

By on Thursday, January 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "No frills work truck. Very quiet smooth diesel."

Cons: "Wish it had more towing capacity."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Compared with the Fords and Rams, the Chevy 3500 HD dually is plain vanilla. Doesn't have the styling of either one of those, but I use this strictly as a hauling and towing vehicle. No King Ranch or Big Horn fur-fru appointments. Where this truck really outshines the others is in the Isuzu-made diesel engine. It's smooth, very quiet and powerful. I routinely haul 20k plus trailer loads and whlie Im pushing the limits of what it can handle - and it feels like it - this truck chugs along as it should. The Fords and Rams have rattle box diesels by comparison. If you like that sound, get one of those. This is my second 3500HD diesel from Chevy and Ive had zero mechanical or electrical problems. But the paint is peeling in a couple of places....not real bad but annoying and the dealer acted like he was doing me a favor by fixing it - within the warrantee period. Sometimes I look at the new 1 ton trucks by Ford and Ram because they have much higher towing capacity than my 2011, but they run almost 70k ! Ouch. Unless I come into some $ or this truck starts crapping out, its a keeper."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Great Truck

By on Monday, November 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 160,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have put 160,000 miles on it towing 18k for about 40k miles, couldnt ask for a better more reliable truck. Very comfy to drive!"

58 people out of 97 found this review helpful

hate the emmisions and trans leak problem

By on Saturday, October 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
4/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "power, fuel milege and looks"

Cons: "emmissions and trans leak problem"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"particulate filter is a pain when driving going into regen approx. each tank of fuel, when hauling cuts power and Allison trans front pump seal leak was a pain had to have it repaired 3 times at dealership. All in all good truck for the money 2008 duramax 3500"

28 people out of 51 found this review helpful

New interior is very impressive, very high quality

By on Sunday, October 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great mileage, overall quality of build is great"

Cons: "Would like fifth wheel hitch for reese system"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The new Coca Dune interior is very relaxing and quite luxurious. The LTZ is your best bargain for the buck."

17 people out of 28 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?