Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
2018 GMC Sierra 3500HD OVERVIEW
If you're looking for something that can haul or tow pretty much anything, the extra-heavy-duty 2018 GMC Sierra 3500HD will be exactly what you need. The 3500HD is available with three engine choices, including a compressed natural gas option and a turbodiesel with the highest diesel horsepower in the segment. While the Sierra is capable of wearing guises that span from no-nonsense work truck to high-end luxury hauler, the GMC trucks generally come a bit more nicely equipped than their Chevrolet Silverado brethren.
What's New for 2018
The 2018 Sierra 3500HD comes with three new exterior color choices, and the MyLink seven-inch infotainment system is now a standard feature on base models, as is a rearview camera on all models with a cargo box. Furthermore, the Denali models have a face-lifted grille, and the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) will now alert you if a tire gets a bit low on single rear-wheel models under 10,000 pounds GVWR.
Choosing Your Sierra 3500HD
The Sierra 3500HD is seemingly infinitely configurable. First and foremost, buyers get a choice of a few engines. The base engine is a 6.0-liter gasoline-powered V8 with 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque, which is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. For really heavy loads, GMC offers a 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 with 445 hp and 910 lb-ft of torque along with a beefier Allison six-speed automatic for an additional $9,395. Fleet customers also have the option to have the gasoline engine converted to run on compressed natural gas for just $300. Max towing capacity is a whopping 23,300 pounds when configured properly, which is enough to tow an F-16 Viper fighter jet on a trailer, provided you drain its tanks of jet fuel first.
The 2018 GMC Sierra 3500HD is only available in crew cab configurations at this time for all models, giving three total configuration options. The standard option is a 6.5-foot box with single rear wheels, but it's possible to upgrade to an 8.0-foot box for $200. Additionally, GMC offers the 3500HD with dual rear wheels and the 8.0-foot box for an additional $800 over the standard configuration, which give the 3500HD the ability to trailer an extra 700 pounds. Finally, the 3500HD is available with standard rear-wheel or optional four-wheel drive ($3,000).
All 3500HD models come well equipped for the job, with a special cruise control that automatically adapts to towing conditions, a heavy duty towing package, and trailer sway control. All trims have access to the Gooseneck/Fifth-Wheel Package which adds the equipment for heavier hauling for $390. Further options and features are unlocked as you climb the four trim levels.
Like most trucks, it's very hard to give advice about what trim level is the best. The 2018 GMC Sierra 3500HD can be configured to be a relatively inexpensive fleet workhorse with just enough trimmings to keep your employees comfortable on longer drives, or it can be a full on luxury vehicle that happens to be capable of hauling incredibly heavy loads. Which one you choose comes down to what type of heavy duty truck you need or want, so we encourage you to spend time exploring the options available.