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2018 GMC Sierra 3500HD Overview

William Kinton
Automotive Editor - May 17, 2018

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.

GMC Sierra 3500HD

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.


The Base Sierra trim starts at $42,390, which includes the $1,395 destination charge and, weirdly, $395 in airbags, in crew cab with the 6.5-foot box, single rear wheels, rear-wheel drive, and 6.0-liter V8 engine. Standard features include a 40/20/40-split front bench, a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, a rearview camera, hill-start assist, a six-speaker audio system, vinyl seats, and an automatic locking rear differential.

The Convenience Package ($1,115) adds a remote locking tailgate, keyless entry, rear park assist, and a power rear window, among other features. The Sierra Convenience Plus Package ($1,590) includes many of the features of the convenience package, but adds GMC Connected Access, OnStar, and trailering equipment. Standalone options for the base trim include additional rear axle ratios, beefed up alternators, Sirius XM radio, carpeting, and underseat storage.


Moving up to the $48,090 SLE opens up many more features, like electrically assisted steering, LED cargo box lighting, a bigger 8.0-inch infotainment screen, and keyless entry. The interior is upholstered in cloth, and the SLE is available in the same configurations as the base Sierra model.

The SLE can be made much nicer with packages like the $890 Convenience Package, which adds a sliding rear window, rear park assist, and power adjustable pedals, or the $1,545 Preferred Package, which adds a 10-way adjustable power seat for the driver, a remote vehicle starter, fog lights, an adjustable steering column, and dual-zone automatic climate control. The HD SLE Preferred Plus Package ($2,240) adds a spray-on bedliner and an all weather floor liner to the niceties of the preferred package. Options include cloth bucket front seats, wireless charging, heated seats, navigation, rear park assist, and the performance upgrades that are available on the base trim.


Starting at $53,190, the SLT makes a huge step up with the interior trimmings. The front bench comes heated and trimmed in leather, while the features from the SLE's Preferred Package like dual-zone automatic climate control are standard.

Packages are more varied, including the $845 Driver Alert Package that adds driver assistance features like front and rear park assist, forward collision warning, lane departure warning via a seat that vibrates when you start to stray out of your lane, and a heated steering wheel. There's also the $10,785 Duramax Plus Package that includes the price of the 6.6-liter Diesel engine, a 3.73 axle ratio, an engine block heater for cold days, front and rear park assist, a Bose premium audio system, and navigation. Selecting this package also requires you to spring for the $775 chrome assist steps. Options include leather bucket seats, two types of rear seat entertainment systems, and heated and ventilated front seats.


The luxurious Denali trim starts at $57,795 for both single rear wheel or dual rear wheel variants, and it ups the ante considerably over the SLT. The heated and ventilated leather front seats are adjustable in 12 ways, almost every package from lesser trim levels come standard, including the Driver Alert Package, and capping it all off is a shiny new chrome grille that's specific to the Denali. The only package is the Duramax Plus Package, which only costs $9,645 for the Denali, and the only option left is the rear seat entertainment system.

CarsDirect Tip

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.

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