• 2017 Chevy Silverado 3500 HD Diesel: 0-60 MPH, Real-World MPG, and Towing Review [Video]

    2017 duramax l4p chevy silverado hd 3500 diesel towing review
    2017 Chevy Silverado HD 3500 Dually Duramax V8

    Here is the new 2017 Duramax V8-powered Chevy Silverado HD 3500 diesel. The 6.6L Duramax V8 is all new and produces 445 hp and 910 lb-ft of torque. This is a giant leap in power from the turbo-diesel in the 2016 GM trucks. The new diesel trucks from GM are still using the 6-speed Allison transmission. Overall, the rest of the truck is same as before, although you can recognize the 2017 models by the functional hood scoop.

    This new-found power is all well and good, but how does the truck perform in the real world? We put it through a series of test to find out how quick it is at 0-60 MPH, how quiet is the cabin at speed, and how well it does at towing a 14,000 lbs gooseneck trailer. This is our first-drive review of the truck. The Ike Gauntlet extreme towing test, highway MPG tests and more are still coming.

    The truck you see here is the LT model 4×4 crew cab dually. The as-tested price is $65,930.

    The 2017 Duramax V8 surprised with a blistering (for a heavy dually pickup) 8.25 seconds 0-60 MPH run at a mile above sea level. How quick is this? Well, dually trucks from just a year or two ago we running 10 second acceleration times. The 2015 Ford F-350 did the 0-60 MPH in 8.17 seconds. We will test all three 2017 dually trucks to get to the bottom of this.

    This truck is also quiet at speed. It registered 62.3 dB at approximately 60 mph. This is about as quiet as gas-powered half-ton truck at the same speed.

    Finally, Kent and I delivered his 1994 Dodge Ram to the transmission shop to get worked on. After about 30 miles of mixed highway and city driving (with the 14,000 lbs BigTex 3XGN trailer), the trip computer showed 8.9 MPGs. We will do proper highway MPG loops soon, so you will know exactly how this truck stacks up against the 2017 Ford Super Duty and 2017 Ram HD.

    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    90 thoughts on “2017 Chevy Silverado 3500 HD Diesel: 0-60 MPH, Real-World MPG, and Towing Review [Video]

    1. Haha Big Green vs. Big Grey. Lets see how that old Dodge pulls the same trailer up the Ike once it is fixed. Looks like a fun truck.

      1. Looking to buy a new 1 ton diesel truck pull a lot of weight wondering which way to go like gm Ford and Dodge but want what is going to last me

    2. Somehow, my computer was not able to display the little triangle symbol to start a video. Am I doing something wrong, or is there (inadvertently) no video provided yet?

      “Functional Hood Scoop”?
      If a truck needs this goofy thing actually to get air, how well can it do that under a foot of accumulating wet snow while driving in a Midwestern storm in March? Isn’t that the reason we get air for the engine and cooling system from the FRONT of a vehicle through a vertical grill? Have the good folks at Chevy thought this one out properly? Or do they have a ” hood scoop heater” to try to get around this issue?


        1. Rambro- You raised a good question. Here is what google found:


          There’s also a ram-air effect from the incoming air at highway speed that helps pack more air into the engine. The air filter housing also draws 40 percent additional air from a dry location in one of the front fenders. It blends with the cooler air from the hood inlet before funneling into the Duramax’s combustion chambers. This assures the engine can breathe even if the hood is completely blocked.

          Testing the effectiveness of the system was rooted in real-world driving conditions of every degree — from misty rains to monsoon-level downpours; from powdery snow to wind-driven ice pellets; from desert dust to arctic cold.

          1. Neil K, I am still bias and that is a Chevrolet post you put up there which is also obviously going to be bias. I had an SS Camaro and the air intake was a problem. Once the seals go and they will you have another problem to deal with.

    3. The video is not imbedded on this page. You have to click above on the homescreen page using a pc. Or just go to youtube

      1. Yeah, found it. Thanks, Nihilus – – –

        I goofed. That’s what I get for not being able to sleep and yet go over to my computer for the latest on “TFL.com”! Need to go back to bed…


    4. Ha ha! Just like my dodge. Always on the back of a flat bed headed to a shop for repairs…

      It wouldn’t survive the Ike Gauntlet… not towing… not even without a trailer!

      1. Daniel – – –

        Wow. Sorry you have had a bad experience. I have a 1996 Ram with 200K miles that has never given me any trouble whatever. Would not part with it: it’s grown to be “family”. Why, it even goes backwards!


        1. Oh I enjoy it. Running 35″ super swampers. Mildly built 5.9 and 4.56 gears add to the fun. I just wouldn’t call it reliable. It’s left me on the side of the road a gazillion times. I enjoy the challenge of making it home without a tow strap. I’ve owned it 15 of its 20 years and have about 200k on it.

        2. must be a manual transmission truck with no A/C and manual windows. Those era of rams were notorious for automatic transmission issues, A/C issue, and massive electrical problems. The engines were the least problematic.

        3. HAHAHA my uncle had 1997 Ram Cummins dually that went through no less than 5 transmissions before he dumped it off
          , not to mention the brakes would be terrible on a 1500 much less a 3500! Then there’s the rust problems and interior that fell apart. The 12 valve Cummins was the best engine out there, with the worst truck wrapped around it.

    5. You announce that the Silverado 0-60 mph time is 8.25 sec., which is the fastest of all 1 ton p/u’s tested. Isn’t 8.17 sec. less? This is the reported result of the F-350 test run in March of 2115.

        1. .08 seconds is splitting hairs and an easy mistake to make while filming to be honest. Still an impressive 0-60 time.

    6. No one buys GM HDs because they’re junk. Real HDs are made by Ford and Ram with solid front axles. This is just a glorified grocery hauler.

      1. While i am a Ford fan and usually buy nothing but Ford, I really dont feel GM makes a bad truck at all. Historically the 6.6L has been a good engine. The transmission is also good. I dont think the interiors hold up as well as Ford products and IMO it is likely due to having all the soft touches. Those tend to wear out. When it was time for a new vehicle for my wife we did not look just at Ford products. GM was on our radar along with some imports. In the end we did buy another Ford vehicle. But if we didnt, it may have likely been a GM vehicle. GM has issues, Ford has issues, FCA really has issues. So it is more of pick your poison.

        1. JImmy Johns – – –

          Shhhhh! Biggest secret of all. Don’t let this out! Nowadays the BEST truck to get is the one from the BEST local dealer with the BEST service reputation, regardless of who made it. You know, the guy you drink beer with during the big game; the guy you go hunting with; the guy who goes to the same church, —- well, you get the idea. Had a real repair “lemon” once (happened to have been a Ford), and he said, “Don’t sweat it: a new one will be available for you next Monday morning”….


          1. Sure that does have an affect. fix it right the first time is very important but having a reliable vehicle is even better.

          2. I knew something was really wrong when my best friend was my mechanic. I sold that 97 Buick bought a 79 F250 with a 7.5l, paid a penalty in gas. However buffed out to a fire engine Red with White roof and rocker panels a set of Chrome Modern wheels and take me home everynight reliability, I was as happy as a clam.

      2. With the deTh wibble issues and bad ball joints, those solid axles only serve as as a benefit to the guys that plow snow forma living. When it comes to towing across the country, the smooth IFS ride combined with the reliable Duramax+Allison powertrain is perfect, even if it doesn’t win the marketing war on towing numbers. Pretty sure you trash GM on any news article on a GM truck. You are clearly a fanboy troll.

    7. Real world doesn’t lie people.. love them or hate them.. GM 3/4 ton and 1 ton Duramax powered trucks have always out performed the competition with less on paper… This year will be no different.. Ford had to do two updates to the 6.7 to just barely beat the Durumax up the Ike Guantlet..And still wasn’t as good on the way down…GM products aren’t junk.. Ford is just light years ahead in marketing…

        1. They really are. Even though FCA products are always priced thousands less, companies looking at long term reliably and cost of ownership look at Ford and some at GM. For those that look at the bottom line cost to buy will by FCA aka car rentals, and some govt jurisdictions. In fact a good friend of mine looks at the initial price to buy and gets mostly FCA products. Even though they dont last nearly as long as his non FCA products.

          1. Jimmy Johns – – –

            “Even though they [Ram trucks?] don’t last nearly as long as his non FCA products.”

            Not sure about that. As of now, Ram trucks have the greatest longevity in ownership of any brand. I realize that rating can vary from year to year; it’s just the way the registration math works out. (Both Chevy and Ford have taken that top spot in the past.)


            1. honestly registration means squat. there are to many variables to even look at that as factual data. However when you have large fleets and can track cost of ownership the evidence is very clear. One thing is clear, Ford and GM vehicles will cost about 1/2 as much over a period of 300,000 miles. When you keep your vehicles that long, accurate data is critical. registration is not even a consideration.

            2. Ram and FCA have been rated on the bottom by multiple sources like JD Power and Consumer Reports for as long as anyone can remember.

              Stop believing Fiats brochures and look at the facts presented by real world results.

      1. GM doesn’t build their HD trucks. Isuzu builds the motor and Allison builds the transmission. The only thing GM builds is the body. They are good trucks but GM doesn’t deserve the credit to someone else’s product.

        1. GM builds the Duramax in Ohio. Isuzu helped in the developement of the Duramax back when GM owned 51 % of the company.
          GM owned Allison when this transmission was developed. Ram does not build the engine or transmission for their largest towing pickup.

          1. @Greg
            Any updates on the engine are done by Isuzu technicians as Isuzu owns the patent on the engine.
            GM provides the ancillaries and production facilities.
            Engine is only sold in NA, nowhere else by Isuzu. It is listed as a light duty engine.

        2. Obviously no clue what you’re talking about.. sorry.. The Dmax Facility in Moraine, OH is where every Duramax is built, GM and Isuzu had a joint partnership up until 2010 in which case GM was the majority stake holders something like 60-40 if my memory serves me correctly) and since the LML the Duramax has been 100% GM as is the case for the new L5P, O% outside influence.. GM owns Allison and as such why not use them?… Allison was part of the Detroit Diesel Corp which GM bough and subsequently sold apart from the Allison devision.

          1. Finally some factual information. I can’t believe that after 15+ years, anti-GM fanboys try to claim that the Duramax is foreign made. It has always been built in the US at the Ohio DMax plant. Sure it was originally designed by Isuzu, a company that has been designing diesel engines for over 75 years and has a reputation for great diesel engines.

      2. Umm…the 2015 Ford dually TFL tested was quicker to 60 than this 2017 GM dually. And that was the old Ford motor, not the higher torque new engine.

      3. I’ve seen that the less powerful Duramax has been on par with the Powerstroke performance for years. The Dodge has always been a distant third, even the more powerful Cummins.

        Kind of the story of Dodge though. GM and Ford seem to be competitive with each other, each having their pluses and minuses.

    8. Ford or dodge do not produce their powerplants power stroke is an international and dodge uses Cummins, as far as transmissions neither manufacturer those as well the Duramax is a joint venture between issues and GM built in a GM plant in Moraine Ohio and cast in a GM plant in defiance Ohio do your research and pick what you prefer

      1. Brian,

        Fords 2011 and newer powerstroke is an all Ford designed engine and built by Ford. The earlier engines were International. The transmissions have always been designed and built by Ford.

        The Allison transmission is an Allison designed and built transmission. GM has some ownership in Allison.

        Ram trucks uses a Cummins designed and built engine. The transmissions are also designed and built by Aisin for the high torque diesel and the lower power transmission is a ZF i believe.

        1. Jimmy John ,the 6.7 CGI block is built by Tupy Sa of Brazil and its designed in conjunction with Avl of Austria.So its not totally inhouse..

          1. its about in house as you can get. No one makes every component in house but it is still considered in house. Everyone has a vendor that manufactures specific parts and pieces.

      2. The 6.7 Powerstroke is built by Ford in Mexico. They dumped Navistar/International after the horrible reliability issues with the 6.0 (aka 6.blow) and 6.4.

    9. Andre – – –
      In my view, this (quote below) is still a burning issue that could result in an engine or other disaster, and I would like to see it addressed somehow:

      ” ‘Functional Hood Scoop’?
      If a truck needs this goofy thing actually to get air, how well can it do that under a foot of accumulating wet snow while driving in a Midwestern storm in March? Isn’t that the reason we get air for the engine and cooling system from the FRONT of a vehicle through a vertical grill?”


      1. Do you really drive down the road, pulling at capacity with a foot of snow on the front of the hood? My experience has been the snow on your hood is soon making a mess on your windshield, hence why I brush it off first. I’m glad it’s at least a functional scope as opposed to the fake extractors and vents. Be interesting to see what the Ike shows, as well as a couple years of driving.

      2. Bernie, think carefully. Do you suppose GM did no testing driving in heavy snow? You can bet this truck will perform extremely well in all conditions.

        1. Alan and Troverman – – –

          I am still suspicious that it’s one of those things where everything has to go just right, and does best only under ideal conditions. Would that mean that you’d be operating your truck with less than its potential if things are otherwise?

          For example, here is the GM comment from “Neil K’s” link above :
          ““Big, heavy raindrops from a thunderstorm are relatively easy to eliminate from air. The more challenging issue comes from the mist-like spray generated by semitrucks on wet highways. Those very fine water droplets prove more challenging to separate from the air.” Wet, gloppy, adhesive snow WHILE driving? — not even addressed.

          And if you have to stop every few minutes DURING a snowstorm to get the glop off your hood to have the truck perform optimally, then what’s the point of the scoop? And if there is a way around the clogged scoop problem, than what unique function does the scoop provide under imperfect conditions that an ordinary intake does not?

          As far as real-world testing is concerned: the number of times in my 53-year driving experience that I have seen really poor designs and features, — on anybody’s vehicles (yes, even BMW) — that could not possibly have been cleared by proper comprehensive testing, is innumerable.

          Sorry, guys: I am still very skeptical about this thing on a general use truck in Buffalo, NY in January (for example). Talk about wet, gloppy, snow, — that’s all they got, — and a lot of it all the time!


        2. There is no doubt GM tested this thing in the snow. They are in mid Michigan where they get snow every year. By the looks of the pictures the air that comes through the hood scoop goes into a larger box. Once in this box the velocity will slow down. This give the snow/rain time to separate and drop to the bottom. Once the air flows into the rest of the channel it will pick up speed.

          As a side note i dont know why the need for it really. A sports car yes but a truck? Not sure if i get that line of thinking.

      3. If it’s that cold out you won’t need the hood scoops ability to pull in extra cold air. I’m sure the truck doesn’t rely soly on the scoop.

        Believe it or not,they’ve built a few trucks in their day.

    10. Latest JD power dependability winner; Chev Silverado HD. Feb. 22, 2017 to be announced. Rest of this yapping is just pissing in the wind.

      1. JD power is a joke. They do no testing themselves, just surveys people fill out and send back. I’ve taken several on my new vehicles. It really doesn’t have a lot of correlation to “real life.”

        1. ” just surveys people fill out and send back. I’ve taken several on my new vehicles.”
          That is “real life”, dude.

        2. The real problem with JD Power studies is that even issues with the infotainment system hurts a vehicle’s dependability rating.

        3. There surveys are very limited in numbers too. The total number of surveys for all brands sampled is about the same amount of surveys consumer reports gets for just one vehicle. I too dont put much credit for JD powers.

        1. Correction “their engine output”. First typo I have ever let slip through so I will forgive myself.

    11. Great review, please pretty please go more in depth on the center stack and the options it provides as well as the information center! Once again, this is where TFL is seriously lacking in reviews!

        1. Hope they are not removable with the trailer in tow. Did not look right but I never actually looked into one closely. Thanks for the reply

            1. That’s a nice set up but still has me thinking you would feel the shuckle every time you stop and go or get into the bumps. But I guess it must work

    12. In one of the frames you can see you are in “D” and to the right of the “L” there is a “1”. Are they now showing what gear you are in when in Drive or was that “1” unrelated?

      1. It does not show your current gear. When you shift to manual position (“L” on 2017’s) it will show the highest allowed gear next to the “L”. I think it was a stupid change that just made things more confusing for no reason. They could easily make it show the current gear as Ford does…

    13. In the 0-60 test of the 2015 Ford dually (440hp / 860lb-ft) I noticed the Ford left rubber…even on both sides because it had a limited slip. The new GM truck left no rubber. Torque limited, maybe.

      1. Comparing the two videos, it looks like Andre didn’t power brake to build boost as much as they did with the 15 SD. Either way both are impressive, and all together pointless… drag racing dually?

    14. I don’t know about any of you all , but I hate trucks that don’t have reverse! I hope Mr Kent gives a report on how well it goes in reverse.

      Now onto the test video. Though Im not into DSL. I do have 1 observation who is going to notice 5 HP increase between that Chevy has over the ford? This seems like if I remember a couple yrs ago ram did this giving a 5 lb TQ just to say they best in class in TQ. Who is going to notice that ram had 5 lb TQ more than ford. Same goes with the gas engines ford is touting they have best in class in TQ yet it is only making 1 lb TQ. This just seems really dam silly. Who is going to notice that 1 lb TQ over the ram?
      Pulling the Ike gauntlet is what real numbers I wanna see.

      Good video andre

      1. Scott – – –

        Yeah. A touch? Ya’ think?

        This was just as much a goofy design element as the hood scoop on any other pickup, whether Ford or Ram or Tundra or Titan. GM just wanted to do the marketing thing of pretending it was universally “functional”, so they claim that; avoid the non-functional criticism; and get one leg up on the competition.

        I can just see the fine print at the bottom of their next advertising brochures a couple year for now, you know, the comment indexed by the asterisk:

        “* Not for sale or use in snow-intensive or snow-belt areas, or north of the Canadian border.”

        Welcome to the new California-only truck! (^_^)…


        1. Scott – – SPELLING CORRECTIONS – –

          Yeah. A touch? Ya’ think?

          This was just as much of a goofy design element as the hood scoop on any other pickup, whether Ford or Ram or Tundra or Titan. GM just wanted to do the marketing thing of pretending it was universally “functional”, so they could claim that; avoid the non-functional criticism; and get one leg up on the competition.

          I can just see the fine print at the bottom of their next advertising brochures a couple years from now, — you know, the comment indexed by the asterisk:

          “* Not for sale or use in snow-intensive or snow-belt areas, or north of the Canadian border.”

          Welcome to the new California“-only truck! (^_^)…

          “ and Florida, and Arizona, and Texas, etc…

        2. Stop spewing the same stuff. You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about with this “clogged hood scoop theory”.

      2. This is GM we’re talking about. They wouldn’t have spent a cent on something unless it was needed to make the power needed to match Ford and Ram. If they just wanted a ram air hood they could have just put a fake one in and saved the millions it probably cost to develop the air/water separator. Judging by the link Neil K posted above, 60% of the engine’s air comes from the hood scoop.

        1. So if the ram air is plugged, blocked or partially obstructed the turbo Diesel engine will perform different due to decreased airflow.

          Wonder what gm’s thought on those bug deflectors that use to be hugely popular and you still see once in awhile. Wonder if it will reduce airflow to the ram air hood.

          1. You no longer need the bug deflector. The bugs are now sucked into the hood scoop where the diesel motor eats them as energy bars. A big dragon fly increases HP by 5%.

    15. Payload and Towing: I understand GM is working with a vendor on a new frame for 2019/2020. Has anyone (Andre, Kent, Roman, or Nathan) asked GM engineers about this. When is GM going to re-enter the 1.5 ton market? What capabilities will the next frame/suspension have for the 3/4 ton and 1 ton?

    16. So what is the purpose of the functional ram air scoop when these engines are turbo charged? If they are seriously trying to ram air into the turbo, maybe a bigger turbo is needed.
      GM engineering at its finest.

    17. Will a bug deflector affect the air going into the hood scoop to the point of disrupting the diesel’s performance?

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