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2015 GMC Sierra 3500HD Review

Sierra 3500HD

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Trims

Base
Search 259 listings
Starting At: $37,565
Denali
Search 204 listings
Starting At: $55,080
SLE
Search 241 listings
Starting At: $37,493
SLT
Search 398 listings
Starting At: $44,800

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2015 GMC Sierra 3500HD Overview

Need a good-looking, super-capable full-size one-ton pickup to haul that house (or horse) trailer? Check out GMC’s redesigned 2015 Sierra 3500HD lineup. Its manly profile is now a little bit manlier, while the posh cabin is now even more posh. Oh, and remember the old Extended Cab version that was dropped last year? Well, it’s back, with 6-passenger seating, front-hinged, independently opening rear doors and, for this year, a new name: the Double Cab. Cab configurations, therefore, again come in a trio: the 3-passenger, 2-door Regular Cab, the debuting 6-place, 4-door Double Cab and the roomier 6-passenger, 4-door Crew Cab.

Trim levels, meanwhile, remain the entry-level Work Truck (WT), the up-featured SLE, the plush SLT and the flagship Denali. All 2015 trim levels come with standard single rear wheels (SRW) and rear-wheel drive (RWD), but again remain eligible for available super-payload-capable dual rear wheels (DRW) and part-time 4-wheel drive (4WD) with a terrain-taming 2-speed transfer case. Bed lengths also carry over from last year's standard 6.6-foot bed and the 8.2-foot long-bed configuration. Be advised, however, that the Regular Cab Sierra 3500HD trim is once more available only in long-bed garb.

Further changes for the 2015 edition of this big rig include a larger grille, reworked headlight bezels, a corner step for the rear bumper for easier bed access and a noticeably upgraded interior that features improved cabin materials and larger buttons and knobs that’ll more easily accommodate work-glove-clad fingers. More tweaks for the upcoming model year include a new 4.2-inch driver information display, added cabin storage and updated IntelliLink technology for improved smartphone apps. Said techno-improvements also include a new 8-inch color touchscreen integrating audio, IntelliLink and navigation functions.

Appearance features and creature comforts for the 2015 edition of this capable rig incorporate the various upgrades to include, depending on the trim level, 17- or 18-inch wheels; vinyl, premium cloth or leather upholstery; the new 4.2-inch driver information display; air conditioning; upgraded cruise control and tilt-wheel steering. Higher trim levels additionally boast heated, reverse-tilt power-adjustable outside mirrors, heated power adjustable front seats and memory for driver's settings, as well as OnStar Directions and Connections, dual-zone climate control and Bluetooth hands-free communications.

Entertainment is again trim-level-dependent and runs from a Spartan AM/FM audio system with 4 speakers (WT Regular Cab) or 6 speakers (WT Double and Crew cabs), to a Bose premium 7-speaker system with a single-CD player, satellite radio and multiple USB ports that comes in the SLT and Denali. Said upscale Denali also boasts standard navigation, a rear-view camera and the aforementioned 8-inch infotainment display, each of which is optional for the SLE and SLT trim levels.

Further optional equipment in Jimmy’s 2015 Sierra 3500HD, again depending on the trim level selected, includes stuff like rear-seat DVD entertainment, a heavy-duty towing package with integrated trailer brake controller, a power sunroof and various off-road suspension and appearance packages, as well as upsized and upgraded wheels and updated interior and exterior trim materials.

Also pretty much standing pat for GMC’s 2015 Sierra 3500HD variants is the standard powertrain, which remains a variable-valve-timed (VVT) 6.0-liter Flex Fuel V8 managed by a heavy-duty 6-speed automatic transmission. Look for 360 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque from this peppy drivetrain, with towing maxed out at 14,500 pounds packing the standard tow rig, and 17,900 pounds with the available fifth-wheel lash-up. GM, meanwhile, has confirmed that this V8 carries additional cooling capacity for 2015. And as with previous editions, this gasoline-fired V8 can be delivered to run cleaner on compressed natural gas (CNG), though power numbers drop considerably.

Need more grunt? Check out the optional 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 that flaunts the beefed-up Allison 1000 shiftable 6-speed automatic transmission. This blown diesel monster is touted to pound down 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque, good enough to allow 17,800 pounds of towing with the standard hitch and over 23,000 pounds with the available fifth-wheel setup. Again Jimmy touts such 2015 upgrades as improved diesel exhaust braking in the turbodiesel, as well as upgraded trailer sway control and automatic grade braking in both engines.

Finally, standard safety equipment for all 2015 Sierra 3500HD trims again should include 4-wheel antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, and front side-mounted airbags. All trims also pack daytime running lights and front fog/driving lights, with higher trims also carrying turn-signal-integrated mirrors and LED running lights. Additionally, a new Driver Alert Package also becomes available to the higher trim levels for 2015 and includes blind-spot and lane-departure warnings, forward collision alerts and a Safety Alert driver’s seat. Front and rear parking sensors are also optional for the SLE and above trim levels.

Updated

Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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