It’s been 20 years since General Motors first introduced these trucks that would serve to cement their top spot in the ever-expanding truck segment. It would be hard to argue the crucial role that Chevy’s Silverado HD (it’s mechanical twin) and the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD have played in bolstering the market share held by domestic truck-makers. While foreign brands have continued to carve out their own niche, the mastery of the Heavy-Duty truck segment lies firmly within the grasp of the GMC Sierra HD lineup. This approach of constant evolution to reflect the changing face, demands, and expectations of modern truck-owners, produces the performance minded yet luxury equipped 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD. At home equally on the job site as it is tailgating or towing the boat to the lake for the weekend, the 2500HD offers an extreme level of performance while maintaining the creature comforts of a daily driver.
Now in its third generation, the GMC Sierra might just be the epitome of a hybrid mentality. On one hand, there’s the priority of creating a truck that can get the job (any job) done. But on the other hand, there’s a desire to bridge the gap between more economical offerings and the high-end aspirational concept of GMC’s Denali offerings. This near-perfect union of engineering and design philosophy creates a unique space for the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD to occupy. Nestled between domestic mainstays and import upstarts, the unapologetic GMC Sierra proves enticing to all kinds of truck lovers.
But it’s the heavy-duty resume of the HD variants that prove the most likely to grab one’s attention. In fact, it’s across the last decade or so that the Sierra seems to be getting the credit it so richly deserves, widely supported by the appeal of the 2500 and 3500. In fact, when it comes to the 2019 offerings, we’d be hard pressed to find any major flaws in GMC’s execution. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD.
For 2019, the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD will be offered up in three primary trim levels, the (base) Sierra, SLE and SLT respectively (as well as the Denali variant). Four-Wheel Drive capabilities are available across all four trim levels as are the various cab and box configurations. Of those, one can opt for either the double or crew cab, as well as the standard (78.86-inch) or long (97.76-inch) box. Depending on the configuration of the drivetrain, cab, and bed the Sierra 2500HD is priced to start somewhere between $38,300 and $42,295 MSRP. That said, the four trims represent a split of nearly $20 grand when it comes to the starting price.
The 2019 Sierra 2500HD is served up with two different powertrain options to choose from. The first is the Vortec 6.0-liter variable valve timing V8 SFI engine which optimizes high-end power and low-end torque. Channeling 360 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque, there is no shortage of power available.
Alternatively, you can opt for the Duramax 6.6-liter Turbo-Diesel V8 paired with an Allison 1000 6-speed automatic transmission. Wrangling 445 horsepower and a staggering 910 lb-ft of torque, it’s easy to see why the hi-po’d Sierra 2500HD has become such a popular offering.
Despite their luxury aspirations, GMC’s lineup of Sierra’s has never claimed to be anything other than a truck. In fact, its the unassuming simplicity of the Sierra’s exterior designs which belies the automaker’s intention of offering up something rugged in its capability and lush in its amenities. Bottom-line, you look at a Sierra and, regardless of what the interior may hold, what you see is classic truck styling.
From the boldness of the oversized grille, occupying most of the front fascia real estate, to the unmistakable badging, there’s no mistaking a GMC for any competitor’s offering. Even the fundamental similarities between the Sierra and its GM stablemate the Silverado fade away due simply to the on-brand strength of the Sierra’s GMC features. But no matter which angle you look at it from, the Sierra conveys a classic truck styling that feels welcome. It’s not trying to win any accolades for innovative design-theory, it just wants you to put it to work.
In terms of available colors, the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD is served up in three primary colors (Cardinal Red, Summit White, and Onyx Black) as well as in five premium colors, at a $395 upcharge. Those colors include the eye-catching Stone Blue Metallic, Deep Mahogany Metallic, as well as Quicksilver, Dark Slate and Ebony Twilight Metallics. Rich and deep, each color serves to accentuate the Sierra’s bold styling, emphasizing the no-nonsense approach that rests at its core.
Whether you roll in on 17” or 20” tires, the Sierra makes an immediate visual impact, and with any number of exterior add-on options, there is no shortage of ways to make the Sierra your very own.
If the key mindset behind GMC’s exterior design philosophy is to start with “the truck” and build outwards from there, you might argue that the same approach is utilized in the interior. While countless pickups aspire to emulate an almost crossover/SUV vibe in their cabin experience, GMC is quite content to have a truck that looks, feels and behaves like a truck.
With that in mind, the cabin performs exactly as expected. Right down to the driving/seating position, there is no mistaking the Sierra for any other kind of vehicle. That said, GMC built outwards in the strength of their material choices and the sheer quality of assembly to be found throughout the cabin. Devoid of any discernible shortcuts taken, the Sierra exudes both care and quality in every joint, and throughout every inch of stitching. It speaks to luxury without compromising any of its core characteristics.
The seats themselves are properly bolstered, ensuring comfort for driver and passengers alike, regardless of a drive’s longevity. And with intuitive control placement, combining the convenience of touchscreen interface with the guess-free functionality of practical controls, the Sierra displays GMC’s clear intent to create a truck built around the unique needs and demands of the driver.
With a max payload of 3,276 LBS, the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD is a work-horse, ready to haul; but its’ credentials in terms of towing are also credited with a conventional trailering capacity of 14,500 LBS and a max fifth-wheel rating of 15,400 LBS. In case you were wondering, this bests the base configuration of Ford’s F-250, falling closer in line to the F-350, and giving you plenty to think about considering Ford’s standing. And of course, the Sierra’s numbers are bumped up a few more notches, should you explore the 3500HD.
The Sierra offers a handful of upgrade options which, in their own ways, speak to convenience, protection and added functionality. For example, the Protection Package introduces floor liners and splash guards to protect the Sierra from the rigors of wear. The Convenience Plus package introduces such conveniences as keyless entry, adjustable trailering mirrors, 110-volt power outlet, and even 4G LTE Wi-Fi among others. The Essential Package introduces such utility accents as tubular assist steps (for ease of entrance and exit) and a soft-folding tonneau cover. For those with the intention of regular towing, a number of tow and hitch packages might certainly be worth checking out.
Being a member of the GM family, the Sierra benefits from some of the best inclusions of technology. From the option of SiriusXM, OnStar, and 4G LTE WiFi, it stands as one of the most competently equipped offerings before you even settle on the configuration that you want. Remember, the Sierra’s twin cousin is the Silverado, the second-best selling truck of all time and the cornerstone of Chevy’s standing as J.D. Power & Associates Most Dependable Automaker, three years running.