2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD

Reviews

The 2021 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty pickup hog mollies are back this year—how could you miss them? Mechanically related to the Chevrolet Silverado HD twins, the GMC versions are comparatively a little more rock ‘n’ roll. New this year are versions of the pickup that take it further off-road (X31) and take it further into superlative naming schemes (Denali Black Diamond). It’s still offered in 2500 and 3500 versions, with single- or dual-rear-wheel configurations, with one of two V-8 engines. Regular-, double-, and crew-cab configurations are available, the last of which is more popular with retail shoppers.

It’s a 7.0 on our rating scale with two important asterisks—heavy-duty pickups aren’t rated for fuel economy or safety. If scored, it would almost certainly sink that number; the truck lacks standard active safety features found on many other new cars and its fuel-economy figures are roughly “LOL.” (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The GMC Sierra HD unabashedly punches a huge hole in the wind. After last year’s update, the heavy-duty pickup added girth and grandeur, most notably in its huge, upright grille that can be lacquered with acres of chrome.

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The body sides are equally impressive for their length and mass. GMC does little to hide the truck’s mass—it’s fine.

A 6.6-liter gas V-8 is standard and makes 401 horsepower. It’s paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission and can lug more than three tons in the bed if needed. A 6.6-liter turbodiesel is a pricey upgrade but comes with eye-popping stats: 445 hp, 910 lb-ft, up to 35,500 pounds of towing. It’s teamed to a smooth 10-speed automatic and better for it.

Crew cabs are more common and are very comfortable places to be for up to five adults. GMC offers short- or long-bed setups (except regular-cab pickups, which only offer a long bed) and its deep and wide bed holds plenty. A trick tailgate is fitted on most trucks and it’s helpful—provided you don’t bang it into a trailer hitch.

Like last year, the Sierra HD is offered in base, SLE, SLT, AT4, and Denali trim levels that start at about $42,000 and run past $80,000. Like other heavy-duty competitors, no two GMC Sierra HDs need to be the same, although most shoppers have considered the crème de la crème: Sierra HD Denali with the optional turbodiesel engine. They’re nice places to be, and they’re also bigger than some apartments.

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