I recently got into a 2007 Chevy Silverado 3500 4WD Crew Cab dually and drove it around for a while.
Let me tell you, if this truck were any bigger, you'd need a CDL to drive it!
2007 Chevy Silverado 3500 Crew Cab 4WD LT1 with 6.6L Duramax and 6-sp Allison transmission
What's it like to drive?
This truck is big, there's no getting around that. It's big and it sits up high and you feel like you're driving a bobtail truck heading out into the world to do some big work project . Thats what it feels like when you get into one of these 3500 HD trucks, like you're about to do some real "work". It's big and powerful and made for work and handling heavy loads. Did I mention it's big?
Yes Virginia, you are driving a truck. The car-like driving experience that you find in the newer Silverado 1500 has NOT made its way into the HD line of trucks, that's for sure, and it really can't. You will feel the road, you will bounce around on a bumpy road. When I drove down the freeway, hitting normal bumps on the road was enough to make my coffee cup percolate a bit. No worries about comfort though, the seats are big, wide and comfy so you are protected from being whipped by the road, but it's still jarring somewhat.
The 4WD package on the 3500 HD does make you sit up fairly tall, like you're in your own observation tower. Well, maybe not that tall. Again, I imagine that drivers and passengers under six-feet tall may have more issues getting into the cab, especially if it’s parked on a grade on in a vally-type parking spot. But, once you climb up, you feel like you're in something solid and stout. Running boards may be a good idea with the 4x4.
One of the first things I noticed for all of the Silverados was how quiet they are going down the road, thanks for the hydroformed boxed frame design and extra sound insulation. Every year the vehcles get quieter and the 2007 model helps eliminate road noise pretty dramatically. It's even quieter than my 2002 Trailblazer. This "extra" quiet makes the add-on bose stereo package even more enjoyable, as it’s one of the clearest factory sound systems I’ve heard to date, of course it's a $2,000 add-on package, so you would expect that.
Starting up that duramax lets you know that you're driving a diesel, I love the deep sound. The truck has plenty of power for normal driving. I had no problem getting on the pedal slightly to pass a car or to get up to freeway speed in good time. With a GVW of 11,400 for the dually, you've got enough power to really move some weight around.
Stopping is not hard either with the 4-wheel ABS brakes with rear proportioning, but remember it’s a large truck still, give yourself a lot of room when driving in stop-and-go traffic.
My test truck was a 3500 crew cab long bed. That makes for a big and long vehicle. This is what I call an "East Texas truck", it's not a practical city truck at all.
What’s it like to sit in?
Being on the upper scale for height/weight, I had no problem fitting comfortably into my seat. When seated, I have a good view of the cockpit-looking instrument panel, stereo control and navigation (although I have to stretch my arms a bit and lean forward to use the stereo) and all of the center console’s nooks and crannies, which there are several.
Because of the height and size of the center console, it was a stretch to move over and open the glove box (both of them). But I had enough room in the center console to store a cell phone, a Pocket PC, an electric razor and perhaps lunch for five.
Headroom is impressive, I easily have two-plus inches of space over my head. Hip and shoulder-room is equally as spacious. I was able to go through a drive-through and actually pull my wallet out without taking off my seat-belt, that’s how much room there is.
Legroom and foot-room is another matter. The parking brake is awkwardly located and I struggled to get my left foot to rest comfortably when going down the highway. Other tall drivers may experience something similar. There is no left-foot "dead-pedal" location that is popular on other GM platforms. A lot of the discomfort could go away if the parking brake were to come up higher when released.
Toys and Gadgets
Ok, I'm hooked on the XM, built-in DVD system and GPS navigation system. I've been an XM avoider for the past few years, but this built-in system was so impressive that I was sold and became a raving fan after only 15 minutes. Other lesser systems do exist, but this one takes the blue ribbon at the county fair.
The DIC is also very impressive as well. From a glance you can get a view of report of the active MPG you're getting, tire pressure, transmission temp or a variety of other stats that you may need to know when going down the road. One of my big complaints has to do with the instrument panel though. The gauges are so far recessed that large shadows appear across the face of the smaller displays. I found I had to struggle to read the output during daylight hours. With the lights on at night, this problem went away.
After driving several of the Silverados, I can simply say that these trucks are incredible! They're comfortable, quiet, have plenty of power and they looks great too. They're great trucks for hauling the kids and a boat to the lake, or for a contractor to work from.
Some Notable Standard Equipment
Vortec 6.6L V8 w/ 6-sp Allison transmission
Z85 Handling / Trailering Suspension4 wheel ABS
Tire Pressure Monitor SytemDriver Information Center (DIC)1-year OnStar Safe & Sound
Some of the Options
Remote Vehicle Starter
Heated Window Washing Fluid (hah! in Texas?)
Full curtain airbags
Navigation Radio CD/DVD/MP3 with rear seat entertainment systemPower sliding rear window
Leather seatsXM Satellite RadioCargo Management System