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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 GMC Sierra 3500HD

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Expert's Rating


  • Powerful engine options
  • Strong automatic transmission
  • Solid and durable frame
  • Longer truck bed adds even more utility
  • Few standard safety features
  • Chrome trim may not be for everyone
Automotive Editor -
The Sierra 3500HD is a solid choice not only for its performance strength, but also for its pleasant cabin and road manners.


The GMC Sierra 3500HD is back for 2013 to deliver hauling and towing performance with steady handling, plenty of standard features, and enough trim options to satisfy even the pickiest of pickup drivers. The Sierra 3500HD is available in four trims: Work Truck, SLE, SLT and cream-of-the-crop Denali.

A 6-liter V8 engine is standard for all models; a 6.6-liter turbo-diesel V8 is available for those with serious hauling jobs. Rear-wheel drive can be upgraded to four-wheel drive for extra traction, and buyers can also specify double rear wheels. Cabs come in regular, extended, and crew sizes, and while regular cab can only be had with a long bed, the extended and crew sizes can be coupled with longer eight-foot beds for extra space.

The base trim features 17-inch steel wheels, split-bench front and 60/40 folding rear seats, vinyl upholstery and a trip computer. Upgrading to the SLE adds keyless entry, power windows, On-Star navigation, cloth seats, and a leather steering wheel. The SLT offers even further refinement with 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, heated leather front bucket seats, and remote start. The Denali adds a chrome grill, heated and cooled front seats, power-adjustable pedals, EZ-lift tailgate and rear parking sensors. All models come with antilock brakes; a tire pressure monitor; front, side, and passenger airbags; and traction control.

For each trim level a number of features found on higher trims can be added as options. Several packages, such as the Heavy-Duty Trailering Package, come standard on each model, and others are available depending on the trim and cab size. These include the Convenience Package with power-adjustable pedals, rear parking assist, and universal home remote; and the Preferred Package with solar ray deep tinted glass, fog lamps, remote vehicle start, and a 6-way power adjustable driver's seat.

There isn't much not to like about the Sierra 3500HD. Perhaps the buttons on the center console could be a little bigger, and drivers might wish the tilting steering wheel also telescoped. But small issues such as these will not dissuade most drivers from buying the Sierra, and rightly so.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 GMC Sierra 3500HD
Starting price

2013 GMC Sierra 3500HD Denali

Recommended for: The driver who wants the best in both performance and style

The Denali combines all the best features of lower trim levels and adds 18-inch aluminum wheels; a chromed grille and trim; a full leather and wood interior; front seats with heating and cooling; power-adjustable pedals; an EZ-lift tailgate; and rear parking sensors. Although it has basically everything needed to make the drive comfortable, there are a few optional upgrades, including a touch-screen navigation system, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, and an Off-Road Package with skid plates, a rearview camera, and specialty shock absorbers.

2013 GMC Sierra 3500HD
Starting price

2013 GMC Sierra 3500HD SLE

Recommended for: Drivers who want the power of the Work Truck with a few bonus upgrades

The SLE has all the features of the base trim, plus alloy wheels, keyless entry, cloth seats, a leather steering wheel, power windows, OnStar, a satellite radio and CD/MP3 player, tinted rear windows, and power and heated camper mirrors.

Optional are a selection of standard SLT features, such as remote vehicle start, dual-zone climate control, all-weather floormats, and Bluetooth technology with phone connectivity. The optional HD SLE Premium Package offers fog lamps, front bucket seats, and power-adjustable pedals. The optional Preferred Package for regular cab offers remote vehicle start, Bluetooth for phone, fog lamps, and an EZ-Lift tailgate with locking feature. For extended and crew cabs, the Preferred Package includes an 8-way power adjustable drivers seat, Bluetooth for phone, a CD/MP3 player with USB, and steering-wheel mounted cruise and audio controls.

2013 GMC Sierra 3500HD
Starting price

2013 GMC Sierra 3500HD SLT

Recommended for: The driver with something to tow and the desire to be entertained

The SLT offers enhancements such as 18-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, dual-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, fog lights, leather heated front bucket seats, steering-wheel mounted audio controls, Bluetooth, USB, a Bose entertainment system, and remote start.

Optional upgrades include heated and cooled front seats, 18-inch all-terrain tires, an EZ-Lift tailgate, a sunroof, a power sliding rear window, and all-weather floor mats. The optional Convenience Package provides a navigation system compatible with MP3/CD/DVD, power-adjustable pedals and a rear vision camera. The optional Rear-Seat Entertainment Package for crew cab includes a dual play CD/DVD player compatible with most popular game systems, an 8-inch flip down screen and rear audio controls.

2013 GMC Sierra 3500HD
Starting price

2013 GMC Sierra 3500HD Work Truck

Recommended for: Drivers who want a powerful, dependable truck

The base level Sierra houses a 6-liter V8 with 360hp. Rear-wheel drive coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission are standard, but a 6.6-liter turbo-diesel V8 and four-wheel drive are both optional. Standard single rear wheels can be upgraded to double. In all four-wheel drive models, the Work Truck receives the Autotrac feature, which automatically engages four-wheel drive when it senses tire slippage.

Features include 17-inch steel wheels, front split-bench and 60/40 folding rear seats, cruise control, a four-speaker AM/FM radio, air conditioning, a trip computer, and single-zone air conditioning. Safety features include antilock brakes, stability control, front and side airbags, and tire pressure monitoring.

Many of the standard features found in the SLE can be added as options for the Work Truck, including a leather-wrapped steering wheel, tinted solar ray glass, a CD/MP3 player, a chrome grill, and OnStar navigation. Optional is the On The Job Package with a skid-resistant bed liner and bed-mounted tie-down hooks.

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