2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD Review

Sierra 2500HD

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2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD Overview

If you’ve got some serious towing and hauling to do, the 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD might be a good pick. This three-quarter-ton full-size pickup doesn’t skimp on power or performance, and it offers some head-turning looks. After a hefty redesign for 2015, the upcoming year’s Sierra 2500HD boasts additional feature upgrades and 3 new exterior colors.

The Sierra 2500HD comes in 3 cab configurations: the 3-passenger, 2-door Regular Cab, the 5- or 6-passenger Double Cab, and the roomy 5-or 6-passenger Crew Cab. Trim levels return in their traditional order: Base, SLE, SLT, and the flagship Denali. The Base and SLE trim levels are available in all cab configurations, the SLT in Double Cab and Crew Cab configurations, and the Denali in Crew Cab only. A pair of bed lengths are also available, a 6.6-foot standard bed and a 8.2-foot long bed; Regular Cab trims come only with the long bed, while Double Cab and Crew Cab trims can be fitted with either bed.

The 2016 Sierra 2500HD is equipped with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD), and offers available part-time, on-demand 4-wheel drive (4WD) to those whose work and/or pleasure requires some serious off-roading capability. It should be noted that all 2016 Sierra 2500HD trims sport a standard auto-locking rear differential for added traction from both rear tires when wheel speed drops below 100 rpm.

Changes for the 2016 Sierra 2500HD lineup include 3 new exterior colors: Crimson Red Tintcoat (Double Cab only), Deep Garnet Metallic (Crew Cab only), and Cardinal Red, while a power-locking tailgate is now standard on the Denali trim levels and optional for all but the Base. Additional improvements for 2016 include a new 7-inch touchscreen for infotainment systems in the SLE trim level and newly redesigned 20-inch alloy wheels on the SLT and Denali. HD radio returns for the upcoming year, and a standard wireless charging system is brand new for 2016. The power steering mechanism aboard all trims gets a needed upgrade as well. The 2016 lineup will also offer some exterior tweaks, including high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights and LED running lights and taillights.

Expect the 2016 Sierra 2500HD stable to return with a standard 6.0-liter Flex-Fuel V8 powerplant mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission for 360 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. The base V8 offers a max towing capacity of 13,000 pounds when properly equipped and is available in a compressed natural gas (CNG) version that drops performance figures to 301 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque.

For some serious grunt, the 2016 Sierra 2500HD can also be equipped with a 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 engine that combines with a heavy-duty version of the 6-speed automatic, producing 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque. This up-powered V8 boasts a standard exhaust brake and a max towing capacity of 17,900 pounds (with an available fifth-wheel setup).

Aside from the new paint colors and restyled 20-inch wheels, the 2500HD offers trim-specific 17- or 18-inch steel or alloy wheels, a heavy-duty towing package, side-steps, heated power-adjustable chrome or body-color mirrors (power-folding in higher trims), a power-sliding rear window, and remote engine start. All trim levels also come with standard auxiliary transmission fluid cooling.

Inside, look for vinyl or cloth upholstery in the Base or SLE, while the SLT and Denali each boast leather seats and cabin accents, heated power-adjustable front bucket seats (for 5 passengers), and full power accessories. Cruise control and a tilt-only steering wheel are standard, and higher trim levels include telescoping tilt-wheel steering. A 4.2-inch driver information display is standard across the lineup, while upper trims add dual-zone climate control, a rear-view camera, front and rear parking sensors, power-adjustable pedals, and memory for driver's settings. The Denali also adds a standard heated steering wheel and a configurable gauge cluster.

Along with the new wireless charging system, technology includes upgraded Bluetooth-integrated OnStar IntelliLink telematics that use a new 7-inch touchscreen display (the standard 8-inch touchscreen returns to the SLT and Denali). Smartphone apps and 4G LTE WiFi hotspot capabilities also return standard in all trims other than the Base, and the Denali once again comes with standard GPS navigation. The Base carries an AM/FM stereo that features 4 or 6 speakers (depending on the cab size) and an auxiliary audio input. The SLE adds a standard CD/MP3 player with satellite and HD Radio, and the Denali boasts a 7-speaker Bose premium audio system.

Lower 2016 Sierra 2500HD trim levels remain eligible for many of the features that come standard in higher trims. Other trim-specific options include a choice of rear axle ratios, a power sunroof, and rear-seat DVD entertainment. The Z71 Off-Road package is available for all trims equipped with 4WD, adding descent control, heavy-duty shock absorbers, skid plates, and unique exterior styling cues.

Standard safety equipment for all 2016 Sierra 2500HD trims includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head-protection airbags, and daytime running lights. All trims other than the Base add standard OnStar emergency alerts and communications to the list, while the SLT and Denali each boast standard front fog/driving lights, turn-signal-integrated mirrors, and a remote antitheft alarm. GM’s touted Driver Alert package, with lane-departure warnings, a forward collision alert, and a safety-alert driver’s seat, returns as an option for higher trims.

The Sierra 2500HD pickup goes up against such perennial rivals as Ford’s F-250 and Ram’s 2500 lineup.


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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    Average Price Paid

    What des average price paid include? Is that out there door pricing or the sale price before taxes, plates and insurance.

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    I'm looking at a 2016 GMC 2WD truck 2500HD with 4:10 gears and a 6.0 liter gas engine. Does anyone own one set up this way in either a new or close year model that can give me a realistic expecta...

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    Why Can We Not Search Interior Color On The Searches...... That Would Save ...

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