GMC Sierra 2500HD

The GMC Sierra HD comes in many different configurations. The 2500 versions come in one of three body styles -- regular cab with a long bed, crew cab with a short bed and crew cab with a long bed. The 3500 body styles mirror those options but also offer the option of two extra wheels on the rear axles, useful for towing extra-heavy loads. Beyond that, both 2500 and 3500 are offered with either a 6.0L V8 making 360 horsepower or a 6.6L V8 turbodiesel making 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque. All 2500 and 3500 HD Sierras come with the option of having 4-wheel drive. Maximum tow ratings top out at 23,200 pounds on the 3500 when properly equipped.

Trim levels for the 2500 and 3500 come in three different flavors. Work truck, SLE and SLT. SLT trims are only available on crew cab versions. In standard work truck trim, the vehicle is fairly basic with automatic door locks, air conditioning and cruise control, though HID projector-beam headlights are standard as well. SLE versions add OnStar, heated exterior mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power windows and a CD/MP3 player. The SLT trim includes power seats, steering wheel mounted audio controls, a remote starter, dual-zone climate control, a Bose stereo, Bluetooth connectivity and power-folding mirrors.

Denali versions come in only one trim level and in crew cab and short-bed. Regardless of bed-length, the Sierra HD Denali is packed with luxury goodies. Standard features on the Denali include perforated leather seating surfaces, heated and cooled 12-way power adjustable front seats, a premium sound system with a 9-month subscription to Sirius XM satellite radio, a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror with automatic garage door opener, power adjustable pedals and rear parking assist. The Denali also comes with a unique grill and other selected trim.

Options across the Sierra HD range tend to be fairly utilitarian, with items such as a longer axle ratio, dual alternators and off-road suspension sprinkled across the checklist of options. However, more common items such as a rear seat entertainment system, a navigation system, wireless mobile device charging, a remote locking tailgate and a sunroof are also available on the Sierra HD.

Editors' Review

Heavy-duty trucks are special-purpose tools designed to tow immense loads and haul mountains of stuff in all kinds of conditions. Like other HD pickups, the 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 AT4's general lack of refinement, low fuel efficiency and ponderous dynamics make living with it day to day a challenge if you don't need the vast capability it offers.

Providing a bit of extra style and off-road capability, the Sierra 2500 AT4 models feature dark chrome exterior accents, body-color bumpers and a bold grille design. The standard bright-red recovery hooks look great and should be super useful on the trail. Ensuring this truck can take you out into the wilderness, it comes with Rancho shocks, a locking rear differential and standard 18-inch wheels with Michelin all-terrain tires, though this example rolls on swanky 20-inch rims.

Bigger isn't always better

With a crew-cab body and off-road suspension, this Sierra is enormous, about a trailer hitch short of 21 feet in length, and that's with just the 82-inch, standard-length bed. Its elevated cab gives you skyscraper views of surrounding traffic and makes climbing onboard a chore. Excluding the gargantuan telescopic towing mirrors, its body is no wider than a GMC Sierra or Chevy Silverado 1500's, but this thing feels like it takes up a lane and a half, a sensation that's accentuated by its almost comically raised hood that partly obscures forward visibility and frightens pets and small children.

Continue Reading
Model Year

The Good ~ Towing and hauling capability ~ Refined powertrain ~ Ingenious tailgate

The Bad ~ Lackluster performance ~ Same old interior ~ Brash styling

The Bottom Line The GMC Sierra 2500 packs a lot of capability, but other heavy-duty trucks are easier to live with.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 8
  • Features 8
  • Design 5
  • Media 9

Other Models

GMC News

GM kills wireless charging in Suburban, Tahoe and Denali over chip shortage

SUVs by Jul 12, 2021

Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon shed fuel-saving tech amid chip shortage

SUVs by Jun 9, 2021