The heavy obligation pickup vehicles that roam North America like overfed elk don’t have any antlers, however rubbing up in opposition to a tree or two with the GMC Sierra 2500HD or 3500HD most likely received’t damage it a lot both. Constructed to maneuver the world, the heavy-duty Sierras are provided with both a 401-hp 6.6-liter V-8 and six-speed computerized transmission or a 445-hp 6.6-liter V-8 Duramax Diesel with 910 pound-feet of torque. The latter will get a 10-speed computerized and is the powertrain of selection for the Sierra 3500 in the event you plan on using its 20,000 kilos of max standard towing functionality. Let’s see an elk strive that. If that feels like an excessive amount of truck, the half-ton Sierra 1500, reviewed individually, is a correct various. The Sierra comes with loads of trailer-assist expertise and even an elective multifunctional tailgate, but it surely’s considerably outclassed by newer rivals such because the Ford Tremendous Obligation and Ram HD. The distinction between the GMC and Chevy’s Silverado HD is sort of solely visible, however the bow-tie various does supply a extra inexpensive entry into mega-truck-dom.
What’s New for 2023?
The heavy-duty GMC Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD obtain no dramatic gear adjustments for 2023. That’s as a result of GMC will announce a mid-cycle refresh for the 2024 Sierra HDs that features much more energy, torque, and towing capability.
Pricing and Which One to Purchase
We would begin with the crew cab and select the usual mattress on the Sierra 2500HD. We would keep away from the rugged AT4 and chrome-laden Denali fashions regardless of their enhanced look. As an alternative, we would suggest choosing the SLT trim stage and including four-wheel drive and the diesel V-8. The SLT comes normal with GMC’s versatile MultiPro tailgate, a heated steering wheel, heated entrance seats, power-adjustable entrance seats, and distant begin. It additionally unlocks extra choices than the lesser SLE trim. We would choose the SLT Comfort package deal that features entrance bucket seats with ventilated cushions, heated rear seats, and a power-sliding rear window. The Driver Alert packages are additionally price including as a result of they make the behemoth simpler to dwell with due to assists corresponding to blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, and entrance and rear parking sensors.
Engine, Transmission, and Efficiency
The Sierra HD comes normal with a gas-powered 6.6-liter V-8 that generates 401 horsepower and 464 pound-feet of torque. It pairs with a six-speed computerized transmission and rear- or four-wheel drive. The elective Duramax diesel 6.6-liter V-8 cranks out 445 ponies and 910 pound-feet of mountain-hauling twist, and it really works by way of an Allison 10-speed computerized. You may as well specify both a single- or dual-rear-wheel axle (the enduring “dually”). Whereas we have solely pushed the diesel variant, we did pattern the gas-burning powertrain on the mechanically similar Chevy Silverado 2500HD and appreciated its dutiful conduct. Nevertheless, there isn’t any arguing that the Duramax/Allison mixture is a spotlight of the heavy-duty Sierra, and it is a no-brainer for individuals who often tow substantial hundreds. The engine is surprisingly refined, and the transmission may be very responsive. Collectively they helped the 2500HD Denali we examined obtain impressively fast acceleration occasions. The big GMC additionally has an agreeable journey high quality for its breed. Although its steering is imprecise at freeway speeds the Sierra nonetheless feels extra agile than its heavy-duty opponents. The trail-ready AT4 model is a more-rugged tackle the generally chrome-riddled rig, with an off-road suspension and a locking rear differential to go together with its in any other case blacked-out aesthetic.
Towing and Payload Capability
The strongest Sierra 3500HD can carry 7442 kilos in its cargo mattress and pull as a lot as 35,500 kilos with a gooseneck trailer. Nevertheless, these large capacities require the diesel engine, common cab, rear-wheel drive, and dual-rear-wheel axle. The Sierra 2500HD is just provided with a single-rear-wheel axle, and its burliest model is nice for 3979 kilos of payload and 18,500 kilos of towing. Most standard towing for the diesel powertrain is 20,000 kilos.
Gasoline Economic system and Actual-World MPG
For the reason that EPA would not take a look at automobiles as heavy because the Sierra HD and its gigantic opponents, we are able to solely choose their real-world mpg on our freeway fuel-economy route. We have solely examined a Sierra 2500HD Denali with the diesel engine, which earned 17 mpg on the freeway. For comparability, the diesel-powered Silverado 2500 LTZ crew cab and Ram 2500 Tradesmen common cab diesels we examined each managed 19 mpg. Those that stick to the GMC’s normal gas-fed V-8 ought to anticipate to see even worse gasoline financial system than the diesel possibility.
Inside, Consolation, and Cargo
Inside, the Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD have an enormous dashboard that hosts user-friendly switchgear. Most fashions have a split-folding entrance bench that may be changed with a pair of bucket seats and a full heart console. The Sierra’s inside can be optioned with a head-up show, a heated steering wheel, heated-and-cooled entrance seats, and wi-fi charging. Sadly, the cabin’s panel matches and materials high quality are mediocre. Whereas there’s an abundance of soft-touch surfaces all through, and most fashions profit from sturdy plastics, the top-of-the-line Denali falls woefully wanting its luxurious billing. The fanciest options from Ram overshadow the GMC largely due to their considerably extra upscale feel and appear. Nonetheless, the Sierra HD will please pickup-truck consumers who prioritize practicality and flexibility. Together with in depth passenger area within the crew cab, the GMC is affected by useful inside cubby storage. Its normal and lengthy cargo packing containers have built-in steps on each side of the mattress and the rear bumper has them at every nook. The field could be additional custom-made with LED lighting, movable tie-downs, and a 120-volt outlet. The heavy-duty Sierra’s largest showpiece is its progressive multi-function tailgate, which has six totally different positions that embody a piece floor and bench. It is a tailgater’s dream come true.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Each Sierra HD has a regular touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Whereas base fashions have fewer choices, they will nonetheless be outfitted with a 120-volt outlet and a cellular hotspot. Most trim ranges have an 8.0-inch display screen and extra charging ports. All programs embody a set of rotary knobs and bodily buttons which are simply accessible. The bigger touchscreen could be upgraded with built-in navigation, a Bose audio system, SiriusXM satellite tv for pc radio, and a rear-seat leisure system. GMC additionally affords a smartphone app that can be utilized to remotely management trailer features. Likewise, the truck’s infotainment system permits customers to retailer totally different trailer profiles to watch upkeep.
Security and Driver-Help Options
Whereas the truck could be geared up with numerous driver-assistance expertise, none of it comes normal, and heavy-duty rivals supply much more assists. Nevertheless, the GMC does have a complete digicam system that options as much as 15 totally different viewing modes, together with a “clear” mode that permits the consumer to just about see by way of an connected trailer as if it wasn’t there. For extra details about the Sierra HD’s crash-test outcomes, go to the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security (IIHS) web sites. Key security options embody:
- Obtainable forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking
- Obtainable blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Obtainable lane-departure
Guarantee and Upkeep Protection
GMC supplies a aggressive guarantee plan that matches the protection offered by its Ford and Ram rivals however, not like these options, it does embody one complimentary scheduled upkeep go to.
- Restricted guarantee covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain guarantee covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary upkeep is roofed for the primary 12 months
2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Denali 4WD Crew Cab
front-engine, rear-/4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door pickup
PRICE AS TESTED
$78,455 (base worth: $65,295)
turbocharged and intercooled pushrod 32-valve diesel V-8, iron block and aluminum heads, direct gasoline injection
403 cu in, 6599 cc
445 hp @ 2800 rpm
910 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm
Suspension (F/R): management arms/stable axle
Brakes (F/R): 14.0-in vented disc/14.1-in vented disc
Tires: Goodyear Wrangler Path Runner A/T, LT275/65R-20 126/123S M+S
Wheelbase: 158.9 in
Size: 250.1 in
Width: 81.9 in
Top: 79.8 in
Passenger quantity: 139 cu ft
Curb weight: 8260 lb
Rollout, 1 ft: 0.3 sec
60 mph: 6.5 sec
90 mph: 14.4 sec
Rolling begin, 5–60 mph: 7.7 sec
High gear, 30–50 mph: 3.7 sec
High gear, 50–70 mph: 5.0 sec
¼-mile: 15.0 sec @ 92 mph
High velocity (governor restricted): 98 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 207 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.73 g
Noticed: 12 mpg
75-mph freeway driving: 17 mpg
Freeway vary: 610 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Mixed/metropolis/freeway: not rated
Extra Options and Specs