Monday, February 28, 2011
GMC Sierra 2500HD Can Get All Kinds of Jobs Done
You might call the 2011 GMC Sierra 2500 HD the truck's truck.
This machine's enormous payload and hauling capacities, colossal horsepower and torque and sheer size make it truly a heavy duty pickup that can work like crazy.
The standard engine is a 6.0-liter V-8 that makes 360 horsepower and 380 pounds-feet of torque and is linked to a six-speed automatic transmission. There's a new optional engine that's even bigger: a 6.6-liter Duramax V-8 turbo-diesel that makes 397 ponies and a jaw-dropping 765 pounds-feet of torque, tied to a a six-speed automatic Allison 1000 transmission with manual shift control.
And with that added power comes, surprisingly, better fuel economy - an 11 percent improvement, GMC says. It also puts out fewer emissions.
GMC says rear-wheel drive comes standard on all models, with four-wheel drive optional.
A conventional floor-mounted transfer case is available, as well as an Autotrac knob-controlled electric transfer case that engages the system when it senses wheel slippage.
GMC has increased the towing capacity of the Sierra 2500HD to 20,000 pounds on the Duramax diesel with dual rear wheels by implementing a new fully boxed frame. The capacity is 14,500 pounds with the single-rear-wheel gas V-8.
As for payload, GMC says 13 of the 22 2500HD models provide a payload capability in excess of 3,100 pounds.
There is also less vibration, harshness and noise as a result of the new frame. Indeed, we found the ride to be fairly smooth for such a large, powerful vehicle - more SUV-like than truck-like.
GMC also gave the Sierra 2500HD larger brakes for better stopping power. There's a standard trailer-sway control system that will assist in keeping towed gear on the straight and narrow, even when you're rolling at highway speeds.
This truck offers a few different cab setups: regular cab (8 foot bed), extended cab and crew cab (6 foot, 6 inch bed).
There are a few trim levels, too: base Work Truck, SLE, SLT and new Denali, which is what the tested model was.
That trim offered pretty much everything you could ask for when it comes to luxury, such as a USB port, sunroof, navigation system, DVD entertainment system, Bluetooth connectivity, XM Radio, front leather-appointed heated bucket seats, 12-way-power seats and Bose premium speaker system.
The Sierra 2500HD's new three-bar front grille is set off nicely by the vented hood and revised chrome front bumper.
The new 17-, 18- and 20-inch wheels appear massive and will grab the road and some attention.
The Sierra has a nice mix of safety features, including antilock disc brakes, hill-start control and stability control that come standard. Optional are front-side and side curtain airbags and a rearview camera. The new Denali trim has power-adjustable pedals and rear parking sensors, GMC says. Combine all that with that rugged and strong frame and you have a very safe vehicle.
The Sierra, depending on trim level and options, ranges from more than $28,000 to a little over $61,000.
If you're in the market for a truck's truck -- one that's sturdy, powerful, strong and can do a good day's work, check out the Sierra 2500HD.