GMC has just added another award to their Sierra 3500HD’s trophy rack. The proven and dependable Heavy Duty model just won PickupTrucks.com’s ‘Heavy Duty Hurt Locker’ comparison test, which pits industry heavyweights against one another in a battery of tests, including towing a 19,400-pound fifth-wheel trailer up and over some of the most demanding grades on the road.
“We procured similarly equipped trucks from Ford, Ram and GMC and put them through the paces, towing up and down some of the toughest grades in the country covering a total of 2,200 miles,” said Mike Levine, editor of PickupTrucks.com. “When we analyzed the data, the GMC Sierra 3500HD simply outperformed the trucks from Ford and Ram.”
Partly to thank for the Sierra 3500HD’s win is a new Duramax turbo diesel engine, a 6.6-litre V8 rated at 397 horsepower and a monstrous 765 lb-ft of torque. An Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission is on board as well. Customers can choose between two- and four-wheel drive configurations, as well as a dually-axle setup.
“You can see by the ratings numbers that the Sierra HD lineup is more capable, but the trucks are also better performers in the intangible qualities that bond owners with their trucks,” said Rick Spina, vehicle line executive. “They accelerate quicker, especially when fully loaded, stop more confidently and deliver a smooth, quiet driving experience that you have to experience to fully appreciate.”
“Customers choose full-size trucks for their capabilities,” he added. “For 2012, we built on the foundation we created in 2011, with engineering changes and additional validation designed to make the most capable heavy-duty pickup even better. Based on PickupTrucks.com’s test results, it looks like we got the job done.”
The engineering changes Spina mentioned include strengthened pickup box sills, rear springs, u-bolts and box mounts, as well as upgraded shock tuning. As a result, the Sierra 3500HD now has a best-in-class tow rating of 23,000 pounds, up from 21,700 pounds in 2011.
The Sierra 3500HD will also lead the class in dually payload, with a 7,215-pound payload for the regular cab, gasoline-powered dually. Updates to the trailer hitch receiver increase conventional towing to 18,000 pounds, up from 17,000 pounds. Both changes will be on models arriving in dealerships this fall.
Of course, it is far from capability and strength that make the Sierra 3500HD a worthy contender in today’s pickup market. Class-exclusive OnStar technology helps drivers stay safe, connected and on-course wherever they travel and a variety of trim levels, options and packages help fine-tune the model to any need or budget. Look for features like heated leather, a sunroof, navigation, premium audio, remote start and plenty more.
There is even a Sierra 3500HD Denali model available, which equips the Sierra with cosmetic and cabin upgrades that allow it to do double duty as a world-class luxury cruiser. The Denali moniker is reserved for models in GMC’s high-luxury range and the 3500HD Denali amounts to the latest expression of GMC’s blending of premium features and styling with a capable and comfortable workhorse.
Interested in the award-winning GMC Sierra 3500HD model line? Visit our dealership’s showroom today for a closer look.