There are generally two ways to describe something in this world: qualitative and quantitative. A qualitative description or analysis means you look at non-numerical details, while a quantitative exploration is primarily concerned with hard numbers. I’m a quantitative kind of guy, so when I see something like the 2021 Chevy Silverado 3500HD, the first thing I’m really interested in is what kind of numbers it has to offer. All numbers, really; I just want to know those kinds of hard, non-subjective facts about a vehicle.
If you’re like me, then I’ve got some good news for you: today, I’m going to take a look at the 2021 Silverado 3500HD and really break it down by the numbers. We’re not interested in things like “ride feel” or “handling” or any of that stuff – you can find all those sorts of subjective details in plenty of other places. Today, oh my Chevy fans out there, we’re going to get into the objective specs of the 3500HD to see how it performs. So let’s dig in…
Configurations by the Numbers
To start, let’s take a look at the 2021 Chevy Silverado 3500HD with a large, somewhat holistic view and consider the options you have for its configuration. There are four different configurations to choose from, with three different cab sizes and two different bed sizes available between them. There’s a regular cab with a long bed, a double cab with a long bed, a crew cab with a standard bed, and a crew cab with a long bed.
Don’t worry; I’ve got numbers on those: the standard bed measures 80.2 inches long while the long bed is 96.3 inches in length. One thing to note with these two different bed lengths is that the long bed is available with either a single rear wheel or a dual rear wheel setup, while the standard bed can only come with a single rear wheel. But you can get either 2WD or 4WD with any configuration or wheel setup; it just depends on what you prefer.
The Engines by the Numbers
Now let’s talk about the engines for the 2021 Chevy Silverado 3500HD. If you’re a quantitative person like me, then engines are probably one of your favorite things about vehicles. There are so many specs and numbers involved, we could get into them all day – but I’ll keep this brief.
You have two different engines to choose from with the Silverado 3500HD, which isn’t nearly as many as the standard Silverado 1500, but it’s enough to get the job done. The standard engine for the 3500HD is a 6.6L Direct Injection V8 engine that provides 401 hp at 5200 rpm and 464 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm, which comes paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. This is a powerful engine, there’s no doubt about that, but just you wait.
There’s also an available 6.6L Duramax Turbo-Diesel V8 engine that delivers 445 hp at 2800 rpm and a massive 910 lb-ft of torque at 1600 rpm, which comes with an Allison 10-speed automatic transmission. Some models have this engine available with integrated Power Take-Off, though that depends on the configuration and the trim level. Your choice of engine has a major impact on towing capacity, so let’s take a look at those numbers and see how they add up.
Towing Capacity by the Numbers
Just about every decision and change you can make to the 2021 Chevy Silverado 3500HD can impact its towing capacity, so there’s a lot to consider here. All of these numbers are well worth considering, however, so don’t sleep on the importance of towing capacity. I’ll go over some highlights so you can get a sense of the kind of towing power the 3500HD has available.
First, let’s start with conventional towing: if you choose the 6.6L V8 standard gas engine, with a crew cab and a single rear wheel setup, you’re looking at a maximum towing capacity of up to 14,500 lbs. This is the maximum for both 2WD and 4WD, but if you choose a dual rear wheel configuration, then you can get up to 16,300 lbs of maximum conventional towing. The maximum towing with a double cab is essentially the same: 14,500 lbs for single rear wheel and 16,400 lbs for dual rear wheel. Finally, a regular cab model has the same maximum conventional towing with a single rear wheel, or up to 16,800 lbs with a dual rear wheel setup.
If you choose the 6.6L Duramax V8 turbo-diesel engine, then a crew cab model can get up to 20,000 lbs of maximum conventional towing, regardless of the rear wheel setup. However, with a double cab or regular cab, the setup does matter: those have a maximum conventional tow rating of 14,500 lbs with a single rear wheel and up to 20,000 lbs with a dual rear wheel configuration.
For fifth-wheel or gooseneck towing, the ratings become a lot more complicated and depend a lot on the engine and configuration. With the standard 6.6L gas engine, you’ll probably get a bit over 16,000 lbs of towing, though a regular cab model with 2WD and a single rear wheel configuration can get up to 17,200 lbs of maximum towing. The 6.6L diesel engine takes towing much further, pushing those numbers up to 21,500 lbs of maximum towing with a single rear wheel setup.
If you have the diesel engine and a dual rear wheel configuration, then you’re looking at over 31,000 lbs of fifth-wheel towing with the 2021 Chevy Silverado 3500HD. If you want the absolute greatest amount of towing capacity possible with the 3500HD, then a gooseneck hitch with the diesel engine, a regular cab with a long bed, 2WD, and a dual rear wheel setup can get up to 36,000 lbs of maximum towing. Yes, that’s a very specific setup for that much trailering, but you should keep that in mind if it’s what you’re looking for.
Passenger and Cargo Space by the Numbers
If you’re curious about what kind of space you get inside those different cab and box sizes from earlier, then good news: I have you covered. The regular cab has about 43 inches of front-seat headroom, plus about 44 inches of front legroom with seating for just three people. Looking at the double cab, it has the same headroom and legroom in the front, with about 39 inches of rear headroom and 35 inches of rear legroom. Finally, the crew cab again gives you the same room up front, with about 40 inches of rear headroom and about 43 inches of rear legroom. Both the double and crew cabs have seating for up to six passengers.
Regarding the bed or box itself, the standard bed, which measures about 82 inches in length, 71 inches in total width, and nearly 52 inches in width at the wheelhousings, gives you 69.6 cu.ft. of cargo volume. By comparison, the long bed, which measures more than 98 inches in length, 71 inches in total width, and about 51 inches in width at the wheelhousings, gives you 83.5 cu.ft. of cargo volume. That’s a substantial difference and really impacts how much you can load into the back of the Silverado 3500HD.
One Final Number
With all of these numbers figured out, there’s just one last number to consider: the 2021 Chevy Silverado 3500HD starts at $35,900 MSRP at your local Chevrolet dealer.