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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 GMC Sierra 2500HD

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Expert's Rating


  • Powerful engine options
  • Strong automatic transmission
  • Solid and durable frame
  • Few standard safety features
  • Chrome trim may not be for everyone
  • No Flex Fuel option
Automotive Editor -
The "Sierra" tag debuted in GMC's lineup back in 1975, but much like the Chevy Silverado, it acted as a trim level instead of the official name of the pickup. In fact, the Sierra trim level was the base level for the GMC pickup line. It wasn't until 1999 that GMC officially named its full-size pickups the Sierra and the HD line of Sierras has always been the rough and tumble, utilitarian versions of said pickups.


For the 2013 model year, the Sierra 2500HD is effectively a carryover from the 2012 model year, save for a few minor changes. Two minor changes to the 2500HD line are the addition of two new colors – Sonoma Red Metallic and Heritage Blue Metallic – and the addition of powertrain grade braking in normal transmission mode. The biggest changeup for the 2013 model year is the introduction of an optional 6.0-liter engine that runs on both gasoline and compressed natural gas.

For the 2013 model year, the Sierra 2500HD comes in three main trim levels: Work Truck, SLE and SLT and Denali. The Work Truck is mostly for folks that plan to only use the Sierra for work and need something that they won’t mid getting extremely dirty and adding a few dents and dings to. The SLE trim level acts more like the base level for the daily driver, adding in things like cloth interior, a CD player and other basic amenities. The SLT trim level adds in a little extra hauling power with its trailering kit and some extra luxury features, creating a well-rounded pickup. The Denali trim turns this pickup truck into a luxury vehicle that can haul a massive trailer behind it with features like perforated leather, rearview camera and color-keyed steering wheel. All three trim levels come standard with a 6.0-liter V-8 engine that creates 360 horsepower and 380 foot-pounds of torque and transmits the power through a six-speed automatic transmission. Each trim level comes standard in a rear-wheel-drive configuration, but four-wheel drive is an available option. Every Sierra 2500HD can tow up to 13,000 pounds with a ball hitch setup, and it can tow between 13,700 and 17,800 pounds with a fifth-wheel setup.

Competition in the full-size truck realm is plentiful, but the heavy-duty truck realm is rather limited. First up is the GMC’s arch rival, the 2013 Ford F-250 Super Duty, which has a standard 6.2-liter V-8 engine with 385 horsepower and 405 foot-pounds of torque, 14,000-pound towing capacity, 16,800-pound fifth-wheel capacity, and vinyl seating and flooring. Next up is the 2012 Ram 2500, which comes standard with a 15,500 maximum towing capacity, a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with 383 horsepower and 400 foot-pounds of torque, and vinyl seating. Next up is the 2013 Nissan Titan, which comes standard with a 5.6-liter V-8 engine with 317 horsepower and 385 foot-pounds of torque, a 7,400-pound towing capacity, and cloth seating. Lastly is the 2013 Toyota Tundra, which comes standard with a 4.0-liter, six-cylinder engine with 270 horsepower and 278 foot-pounds of torque, 4,500-pound towing capacity, and premium cloth seating.

The heavy-duty pickup truck realm may be limited, but the competition is fierce, as they are all competing for that small niche customer that needs loads of towing but also may require some comfort to go along with the muscle.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 GMC Sierra 2500HD
Starting price

2013 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali

Recommended for: Buyers that want a luxury SUV, but require a pickup truck

The Denali trim level takes the utilitarian 2500HD pickup and makes it a luxury vehicle with all sorts of premium features. On the outside, the Denali trim level adds in premium twin-tube shocks and a front stabilizer bar, body-color front and rear bumper, and rear wheelhouse liner. Inside the cabin, the Denali trim adds in: rearview camera, heated and cooled front seats, six-disc CD changer, adjustable pedals, perforated-leather seating, heated and color-keyed steering wheel, ultrasonic parking assist, and Universal Home Remote.

2013 GMC Sierra 2500HD
Starting price

2013 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLE

Recommended for: Buyers looking for a basic personal truck that has plenty of hauling power

The SLE trim level is a little more passenger friendly than the Work Truck trim level, as it adds in the basic amenities ant driver would expect of a personal truck. On the outside, the SLE carries over the Work Truck’s trimmings, but adds in: 17-inch machined aluminum wheels, body-colored moldings, chrome grille, power heated mirrors and tinted windows. The extra features continue into the interior, as the SLE trim level adds in: CD/MP3/SiriusXM capabilities, carpeting with vinyl floor mats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, OnStar with six free months of service, power door locks and window, premium cloth seating and visor-mounted vanity mirrors.

2013 GMC Sierra 2500HD
Starting price

2013 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT

Recommended for: Daily drivers that requires premium features, like leather and high-end audio

The SLT trim level continues on the pattern of building onto the previous trim level, as it takes the standard features found in the SLE trim and adds in some extra luxury and muscle. On the outside, the SLT trim adds in automatic locking rear differential, heavy-duty trailering package, trailer-brake controller, 18-inch polished aluminum wheels, fog lights, remote vehicle starter and body-colored mirrors. Inside the cabin, the SLT trim adds in: two-zone automatic climate control, seven-speaker Bose audio system with CD/MP3/USB/SiriusXM, steering-wheel mounted audio controls, Bluetooth connectivity, power front seats and auto-dimming rearview mirror and leather seats.

2013 GMC Sierra 2500HD
Starting price

2013 GMC Sierra 2500HD Work Truck

Recommended for: Buyers looking for a truck to use at the work site and that can tow plenty

The GMC Sierra Work Truck is the lowest trim level Sierra available, and its intention is laid out in its name, as it is a utilitarian truck designed to do hard work with few frills. On the outside, the Work Truck trim level features: 17-inch steel wheels with blackwall all-season tires, chrome grille surround, daytime running lights, chrome front bumper, black folding mirrors, intermittent wipers and StabiliTrac. Inside the cabin, the Work Truck trim level includes: AM/FM radio, cruise control, driver information center, rubberized rubber floor covering, 12-volt power outlets, vinyl seating and manual air conditioning.

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