2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD Review

Sierra 3500HD

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2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD Overview

The GMC Sierra 3500HD returns to the heavy-duty pickup segment for 2016, again up against the likes of Ford’s F-350 and Ram’s 3500. This full-size pickup is offered in 3 cab configurations: the 3-passenger, 2-door Regular Cab, the 5- or 6-passenger, 4-door Double Cab, and the roomy 4-door, 5- or 6-passenger Crew Cab. The 2016 Sierra 3500HD lineup also comes with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD) and available part-time on-demand 4-wheel drive (4WD), as well as a standard single-rear-wheel (SRW) arrangement, with an optional dual rear wheel (DRW) setup for seriously heavy payloads.

The 2016 Sierra 3500HD returns in 4 trim levels, the Base, SLE, SLT, and the flagship Denali. All trims are come with a standard 8.2-foot bed, and Crew Cab editions offer a shorter 6.6-foot bed. Coming off a major redesign for 2015, the 2016 Sierra 3500HD packs a few additional tweaks, including 3 new exterior colors: Crimson Red Tintcoat (Double Cabs only), Deep Garnet Metallic (Crew Cabs only), and Cardinal Red. Look for a new remote-locking tailgate, an available 7-inch IntelliLink display, a new wireless charging station, an upgraded power steering mechanism, and available HD radio.

Depending on the trim level selected, the 2016 Sierra 3500HD offers 17-inch (DRW) or 18-inch (SRW) steel or alloy wheels, keyless entry, an auto-locking rear differential, a heavy-duty towing package with an integrated trailer brake controller, power-adjustable and power-folding mirrors, and remote engine start. The Denali adds standard chrome side-steps, a power-sliding rear window, a spray-in bedliner, and a remote power-locking E-Z-lift tailgate.

Inside, look for standard vinyl, cloth, or leather upholstery, heated and ventilated power-adjustable front seats, memory for driver's settings, and cruise control, with the Base and SLE outfitted with a tilt-only steering wheel, the SLT and Denali with telescoping tilt-wheel steering. Higher trims also include a rear-view camera, front and rear parking sensors, power-adjustable pedals, upgraded interior accent materials, dual-zone automatic climate control, and, in the Denali, a heated steering wheel.

All 2016 Sierra 3500HD trim levels come with a standard 4.2-inch driver information display, upper trims adding Bluetooth-interfaced IntelliLink and OnStar infotainment and telematics interfaced with a standard 8-inch infotainment display. The Denali also features standard GPS navigation. Entertainment in the 2016 Sierra 3500HD Base includes a standard AM/FM stereo system with 4 or 6 speakers, depending on cab configuration, while the SLE and SLT add a CD/MP3 player, satellite radio, HD Radio, and Pandora internet radio capability. The Denali comes equipped with a 7-speaker Bose premium audio system.

A power sunroof, the newly redesigned 20-inch alloy wheels, rear-seat DVD entertainment, and various rear axle ratios are among the standalone options available on the 3500HD. The Z71 Off-Road package is optional on 4WD trims, with beefier suspension components, skid plates, descent control, and unique exterior badges and graphics.

The 2016 Sierra 3500HD is powered by a 6.0-liter Flex-Fuel V8 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission to produce 360 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque, good enough to tow up to 14,200 pounds when properly equipped. The maximum payload capacity for a Sierra 3500HD with DRW and the 6.0-liter V8 is a whopping 7,374 pounds There is also an available 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 that teams up with a heavy-duty version of the 6-speed automatic to throw down 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque. Maximum towing capacity with turbodiesel-equipped trims is 19,600 pounds with the standard hitch and wiring, while fifth-wheel towing tops out at 23,200 pounds.

Standard safety equipment aboard the 2016 Sierra 3500HD lineup includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head-protection airbags, and daytime running lights. Higher trim levels feature an LED variation of the running lights. All trims other than the Base feature OnStar emergency alerts and communications, and the SLT and Denali add standard turn-signal-integrated mirrors, front fog/driving lights, and a remote antitheft alarm. GM’s Driver Alert package, featuring lane-departure warnings, forward collision alerts, and a safety alert driver’s seat, is once again optional for 2016.


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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