A new, modern pickup truck is like your favorite pair of jeans – rugged enough to use for work, but once cleaned up, presentable enough for an evening out with your better half. It’s no wonder the pickup truck is one of the best-selling vehicles in America. But not all pickup trucks are created equal. Some are good for occasional trips to the lumber yard or hardware store while others, like the 2011 GMC Sierra HD, are designed to handle just about anything you can throw at it.
It starts with configuration options. Atop the all-new boxed frame, buyers can pick from five cab and box combinations. The Sierra 2500HD can shoulder heavy loads with maximum payloads ranging between 3,126 pounds and 3,704 pounds, depending on engine and drivetrain choices. Maximum trailer weight for a Sierra 2500HD is between 9,900 and 13,000 pounds, and the choice of a 3.73:1 or 4.10:1 final drive ratio with two-wheel or four-wheel drive will determine, with the choice of engine, what you can pull. This year, all 4WD Sierra HD cab configurations offer snowplow capability with the available Snow Plow Prep Package, thanks to a stronger, completely redesigned front suspension and a 25 percent greater front axle weight rating.
The 2011 GMC Sierra HD offers 2500HD and 3500HD models. MSRP starts at $28,415 for the 2500HD. The Sierra HD comes in four trim levels: Work Truck, SLE, SLT and Denali. Work Truck and SLE trims are available in Regular Cab, Extended Cab and Crew Cab models; the SLT is available in Extended and Crew Cab, and the Denali is available exclusively in Crew Cab form. Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD models deliver segment-best conventional and fifth-wheel towing capability, along with a best in class Gross Combined Weight Rating, which has increased to 29,200 pounds.
Put the new 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8 into a 2WD Sierra 2500HD and towing up to 17,800 pounds of conventional trailer becomes a reality.
Need to put 6,635 pounds of weight in the bed? No problem. Have a fifth-wheel trailer that weighs 21,700 pounds? Bring it on. These are some serious mass numbers, and the Sierra 3500HD can handle both.
The Sierra HD features numerous upgrades for 2011 including an all-new, fully boxed, ladder frame chassis that minimizes frame and body flex for maximum torsional rigidity. Also new are forged steel upper A-arms with cast iron lowers – making the Sierra HD the only full-size truck to offer independent front suspension – delivering ride quality superior to competitors while still maintaining a 6,000 pound gross front axle weight. GMC has also increased brake rotor diameter on the Sierra HD from 12.8 to 14 inches for more powerful braking.
The luxury-oriented Denali Package is also new for 2011, offering leather-upholstered interior opulence, a slew of luxury amenities and tasteful chrome-clad exterior appointments that deftly balance a work truck with a luxury machine.
Under the hood, the recently revised and gasoline-powered 6.0-liter Vortec V8 churns out 360 hp and 380 lb/ft of torque with 90 percent of torque available at 2,000 rpm. The newly revised 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 generates 397 hp and a gargantuan 765 lb/ft of torque. It delivers more power, better acceleration and quieter operation than previously, plus 11 percent greater highway mileage and up to 63 percent lower emissions. It’s also B20 bio-diesel compatible. If your primary use for the Sierra HD is for towing, the Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission featuring manual shift and tow setting buttons on the column shifter, along with a mechanical locking differential and integrated trailer brake controller, will get the job done with ease. The diesel Sierra HD also offers an all-new “smart” exhaust braking system for better towing control and reduced brake wear.
Rear-wheel drive is standard on all models with a traditional floor-mount 4WD system in the Work Truck trim and a knob-controlled electric transfer case system that engages automatically upon detection of wheel slip in all other models.
Traditional work truck interiors used to be designed for work and nothing else. Those times have changed. The Sierra HD offering a welcoming interior that almost makes you forget you’re sitting inside a pickup truck. Attractive and textured dashboard materials add an element of sophistication, and the seats are well bolstered and comfortable. Regular Cab Sierra HD models with bench seats get a massive center console that has a hidden, locking compartment underneath.
As a testament to its build quality, no matter how rough the road conditions, no squeaks, rattles or other noises can be heard in the Sierra HD, and the quiet serenity approaches luxury sedan levels in Denali models.
Available options on the Sierra HD are extensive including luxury features like a heated steering wheel, heated and cooled premium leather seats, navigation, mobile Wi-Fi, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and a rearview camera. In addition to the Snow Plow Prep Package, 4WD models offer a Z71 Off-Road Package with skid plates and retuned suspension components.
If you’re seeking a pickup truck that outperforms the competition on the worksite and feels just as comfortable dressing up for a night out on the town, then the 2011 GMC Sierra HD is your machine. You’d never buy a pickup truck like the 2011 Sierra HD without trying it on for size first, and this is only a partial list of the revisions and improvements made to the Sierra HD line, so stop in for the full story and a test drive today.