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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2017 GMC Sierra 3500HD
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  • 3/4 Rear Glamour  2017 GMC Sierra 3500HD
  • 90 Degree Profile 2017 GMC Sierra 3500HD
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Expert's Rating

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The GMC Sierra 3500HD is designed to tackle tough jobs that would humble lesser pickups. Even so, it's a civilized beast that can handle comfort-hungry passengers as easily as it can haul a trailer and cargo. Of GMC's three Sierra versions, the 3500HD is the heaviest-duty, while the 1500 is lightest.

What's New for 2017

For 2017, GMC boosted the available Duramax turbodiesel V8 engine to 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque. Trucks with the diesel engine get a functional hood scoop. Fleet buyers can order a version of the gasoline V8 that’s converted by Power Solutions to run on compressed natural gas (CNG).

GMC Sierra 3500HD

Choosing Your Sierra 3500HD

Like all full-size GM pickups, the 3500HD is available as a three-person Regular Cab, a Double Cab with a full-length backseat and narrow rear doors (hinged in front), or a Crew Cab with full-size rear doors and extra rear legroom. Dual rear wheels are available for each version. Regular and Double Cabs come with an eight-foot cargo bed, while the Crew gets a 6.5-foot bed. The eight-foot bed is available as an option on single-rear-wheel models. Rear bumpers feature corner steps for easier access to the bed.

The standard 6-liter gasoline V8 produces 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. For maximum muscularity, GMC also offers a 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8, boosted this year from 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque to 445 horsepower and a stump-pulling 910 pound-feet of torque. The turbodiesel gets a six-speed automatic transmission and exhaust braking. All 3500HD models come standard with rear-wheel drive, but four-wheel drive is available across the board.

To assist with towing, all models come with a heavy-duty trailing package, an automatic-locking rear differential, trailer sway control, automatic grade braking, and integrated cruise control that automatically adjusts to load weight. Properly equipped, the 3500HD can tow a startling 23,300 pounds and haul 7,153 pounds in the bed.

The 3500HD is available in four trim levels: Base, SLE, SLT, and luxurious Denali. Standard equipment is similar to that of the 2500HD series.

Base

Starting at $36,185 (destination charge included) with a Regular cab and rear-drive, the base Sierra 3500HD comes with vinyl upholstery, a split-bench front seat, rubberized-vinyl floor matting (carpeting available), air conditioning, power door locks, cruise control, a four-speaker audio system, front/rear chrome bumpers, and 18-inch steel wheels. Double and Crew Cabs also get power windows and two extra speakers. The optional Convenience Package adds tinted windows, remote keyless entry, a remote locking tailgate, a rearview camera, heated trailering mirrors, and power windows for the Regular Cab.

SLE

Moving up to the SLE adds an eight-inch IntelliLink infotainment system, 18-inch chrome wheels, GMC's EZ-Lift and Lower tailgate, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, along with features that are optional for the Base model. The available Convenience Package includes power-adjustable pedals, rear parking sensors, and a power-sliding rear window. The SLE Preferred Package tacks on a power driver’s seat, remote start, foglamps, a 110-volt power outlet, universal garage door opener, and (for Double and Crew) dual-zone climate control. Heated front seats and cloth front bucket seats are optional. Digital Steering Assist is standard for Double and Crew Cabs at this level and above.

SLT

Available only in Double or Crew Cab configurations, the SLT comes standard with heated, leather upholstery on the front bench, power-adjustable pedals, a driver’s memory function, dual-zone automatic climate control, six-speaker audio, an upgraded version of IntelliLink, and a heavy-duty trailering package with an integrated trailer brake controller. An All Terrain Package with GMC's Z71 off-road suspension, specific exterior trim, a heated steering wheel, Bose audio, and front/rear parking sensors are exclusive to the SLT Crew Cab. Moving to the larger cabin also replaces the front bench with a pair of bucket seats. The Z71 suspension is also available as a standalone option.

Denali

Leading the Sierra lineup, the plush Denali comes fully loaded with perforated leather upholstery, heated/ventilated front seats, navigation, 18-inch forged aluminum wheels, plenty of exterior chrome trim. GMC’s Driver Alert Package is standard, and a rear-seat entertainment system is optional. Starting at $59,830, the Denali is available only as a Crew Cab.

All versions except the base model are available with the Driver Alert Package, which includes forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, automatic high beams, and a vibrating safety alert seat.

CarsDirect Tip

Base Sierras aren't nearly as austere as they used to be, so the lower-priced version is a suitable – if enormous – personal vehicle, especially with a few options added. Still, the step-up SLE remains the best overall value for mixed use. Not too many buyers really need all the posh extras found in the pricey Denali edition.

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