2009 GMC Sierra 3500HD Review

Sierra 3500HD

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2009 GMC Sierra 3500HD Overview

The GMC Sierra line won the 2008 Automotive Leasing Guide’s Residual Value Award for full-size pickups. By any measure, the 2009 Sierra 3500HD certainly contributes to a possible repeat. Offering two choices of engine and transmission packages, three cab configurations - Regular Cab, Extended Cab and Crew Cab - three trim levels - the base Work Truck, SLE and the loaded SLT - rear-wheel and four-wheel drive, five wheelbases, and single rear wheel (SRW) or dual rear wheels (DRW), this truck has tons of versatility. The Sierra 3500HD also offers tons of payload capacity - up to 6,112 lbs - and tons of hauling - up to 16,500 lbs when equipped with the Duramax diesel and a fifth-wheel hitch. Only the 8-foot cargo bed is offered with the Sierra 3500HD.

As the standard engine for ’09, the Sierra 3500HD carries GM’s Vortec 6.0-liter V8. This powerplant is teamed with a six-speed automatic overdrive transmission to put out 353 hp at 5,400 RPM and 373 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 RPM. Also available for the 3500HD is the 365-hp, 6.6-liter Duramax V8 diesel, which, combined with the heavy-duty Allison 1000 six-speed automatic featuring electronic engine grade braking, will grind out 660 lb-ft of load-lugging torque. EPA mileage estimates are not available for the 3500HD.

Standard features for the Sierra 3500HD Work Truck in ’09 include 17-inch steel wheels, independent front and live-beam rear suspension, tilt-wheel steering, power door locks, A/C, daytime running lights, the Onstar hands free phone system, a compass and outside temperature gauge, auto on/off headlights, and a CD/MP3 player with the TheftLock radio anti-theft system. Optional equipment for the Work Truck includes the 6.6-liter Duramax V8 diesel and Allison 1000 six-speed automatic. Power accessories, tow and off-road packages, all-terrain OWL tires, Bluetooth communications technology, foglamps, cruise control, and a 4.10 ratio rear axle.

The Sierra 3500HD’s SLE for ’09 features all cab configurations, premium cloth seats, power windows and power-adjustable heated mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Sierra 3500HD SLT trim, offered only in Extended Cab and Crew Cab versions, features Bose premium stereo speakers, leather appointed seats, 10-way power-adjustable front bucket seats, Bluetooth technology, foglamps, power folding mirrors, and rear-seat audio controls. Options for the SLE and SLT trims include a backup camera, navigation system, DVD rear seat entertainment, a power sliding rear window, and a power sunroof.

The ’09 Sierra 3500HD includes four-wheel disc ABS, front airbags, side-impact door beams, the Onstar vehicle monitoring and communications system, the StabiliTrak stability control system, and a tire pressure monitoring system as standard safety features. A trailer brake controller, the Allison 1000 electronic engine grade braking capability, and rear park assist are optional safety features available for all trims. Crash test data is unavailable for the Sierra 3500HD.

Owners of the 2008 Sierra 3500HD had complained about the lack of a backup camera option, but that has since been corrected by GM. Some owners were frustrated at the lack of storage space in the center console, and a few complained that some instruments were difficult to read at night. Nearly all owners, however, felt that both interior and exterior stylings were unparalleled, and that power and handling were far better than average.


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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