Whether you're looking for a great work truck or something that can haul your toys on your next adventure, one of the best options out there to consider is the GMC Sierra 2500 HD. But what sets the Sierra 2500 HD apart, and what do you need to know about them?
With so many different trucks and generations out there it can be challenging to find everything you need. That's why we came up with this comprehensive guide to get all the important information in one place for you.
Originally released in 1988, it's no surprise that GMC has pushed the Sierra 2500 HD through some major revisions. Since its inception, GMC has gone through five generations and additional major facelifts, so the modern GMC Sierra 2500 HD looks nothing like its 1992 predecessors.
Below we've highlighted each generation and the changes they pushed through for each generation.
While you might think that there's a ton of information out there on the first-generation Sierra 2500, the truth is that it's one of the most challenging generations to find information on. But while it can be a bit challenging to find information, if you're looking for a classic 80's/90's truck, this is it.
There were both extended bed and short bed options, and they lack the modern features you'd find in today's trucks. Depending on the engine option and tow package on your vehicle they can tow anywhere between 4,000 and 8,500 pounds.
Unless you have the original owner's manual, this information can be tough to track down for your specific configuration, so ensure you ask at the auto center for the specific 1st generation Sierra 2500 HD you're looking at.
While the 2nd generation Sierra 2500 HD might not have been around for all that long, that doesn't mean it's not a great truck. But not only did it not stick around long, but in 2003 it underwent a major facelift.
GMC started the development of the 2nd generation with the GMT800 platform, which also serves as the base model for Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Chevy Suburban, and the GMC Yukon XL. The 2nd Generation GMC Sierra is essentially an upgraded version of the Chevy Silverado of the same year.
There was only one V6 2nd generation GMC Sierra, every 2500 HD option had a V8. Interestingly enough if you're shopping for a 2007 GMC Sierra, it could be either a 2nd or 3rd generation truck, as GMC ran the production lines simultaneously that year. The 2nd generation 2500s were labeled as "Classic" for that model year.
GMC revamped their Sierra 2500 HD line once again in 2007, although they didn't completely shift to the 3rd generation options until 2008. Instead of the GMT800, GMC used the GMT900 as the base for their third-generation truck.
Unlike the GMT800 that based their line on larger SUVs, the GMT900 is all about trucks. General Motors used the GMT900 in both the Chevy Silverado and the GMC Sierra, with the Sierra essentially serving as a more upscale option.
Just like the 2nd generation GMC Sierra 2500 the 3rd generation has one V6 option, but all the 2500 HD packages have a V8. The 3rd generation GMC Sierra is a larger truck with higher performance specs, and nothing highlights this quite like the towing capacity.
While the 1st generation could only tow 8,500 pounds in its maximum configuration, the 3rd generation can tow up to 13,000 pounds. It's a much larger and more powerful truck, and it's the first truck in the line that really start to incorporate top of the line 21st century technologies.
In 2014 GMC redeveloped their Sierra truck line again, this time basing everything off the GMT K2XX development line. This same line served as the basis for the Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Suburban, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon XL, Cadillac Escalade, Cadillac Escalade ESV, Chevy Silverado HD, and of course the GMC Sierra HD.
Like previous models, the Sierra 2500 HD serves a more upscale market than the Silverado HD. While the 4th generation Sierra has a completely different appearance than the 3rd generation option when you look at the performance specs, many are strikingly similar.
Just like the 3rd generation's maximum towing capacity is 13,000 pounds, the 4th generation Sierra 2500 HD doesn't top the 13,000-pound threshold either. Still, by 2019 they managed to up that number to 14,500 pounds on some models.
The 5th generation Sierra is the first Sierra truck that matches the appearance of a "modern" truck, which brings mixed reviews depending on what you're looking for.
If you're looking for an ultra-modern truck with all the latest amenities, then the fifth generation GMC 2500 HD is what you're looking for. But it's not just modern amenities that GMC upgraded for their fifth-generation truck.
Modern GMC Sierra 2500 HD's can tow up to 14,500 pounds, which is a massive improvement on the 8,500 pounds the 1st generation truck can tow. Not only that, but it comes jam-packed with safety features.
These features include forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, front and rear park assists, adaptive cruise control, enhanced trailering assists, and more. It's a modern truck that expertly combines comfort, safety, and performance, so what's not to love?
It doesn't matter which generation GMC Sierra 2500 HD you choose, there are three-truck bed options to choose from. The first option is the standard box truck bed.
This bed measures 79.4" in length and 50.63" in width. This allows you to haul 71.7 cubic feet of gear without it poking over the top at all!
Now, if you have an extended cab or simply want a slightly smaller truck, the GMC Sierra does offer a short box option. That truck bed measures 69.9" in length and 50.63" in width. That makes it almost 10" shorter than a regular bed, and the result is a truck bed with a volume of 62.9 cubic feet.
Finally, if you want a larger truck that can haul more gear, then the Sierra has a long box option that adds even more length to the truck's bed. It still features a 50.63" wide bed, but the length increases to 98.2 inches, which is almost 20" longer than a standard box!
While we're not going to take the time to dive into every engine configuration through the years for the GMC Sierra 2500 HD, we will highlight some of the most common ones, starting with the two options you can find in the new one's they're pushing out.
Keep in mind that every Sierra 2500 HD is a V8 – so we'll leave that bit out the rest of the way. For fifth generation Sierra 2500 HDs you have either a 6.6L gasoline engine or a 6.6L turbo-diesel to choose from, with the diesel outperforming the gas counterpart in every way.
The diesel engine is the same that you could find on the 4th generation Sierra 2500 HDs, but the gasoline engine is an upgrade from the 6.0L engine you could find on those trucks. Moving back further to the 3rd generation you can find four different engine options, a 4.8 L, a 5.3L, a 6.2L, and a far less powerful hybrid engine option.
Moving farther back you can find even more engine options in previous generations, including a 5.3L, 6.0L, 7.4L, 5.7L, and a 6.5L diesel. There are tons of engine options to choose from, so you're sure to find one that you like.
While the performance specs of each model year and engine package GMC Sierra 2500 HD will vary, we wanted to highlight what the top 2500 HD's on the market can do. That's exactly what we did below. All performance specs highlight a 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 HD.
While speed is the top concern for a massive pickup truck, with a 0 to 60 time of 6.5 seconds, they're not exactly a slow truck. Even more impressive they can push out 445 horsepower and 910-ft-lb of torque in their diesel configuration, leading to impressive towing and payload capabilities.
The diesel option can tow 14,500 pounds on a standard hitch, and if you upgrade to a fifth wheel that number increases to 16,520. However, keep in mind that's the maximum towing capacity, not the maximum payload. That number is a still-impressive 3,862 on a diesel option, which means you can still haul just about anything you want to.
If you're looking for an upscale truck that can still do a ton of work, then you're looking for a GMC Sierra 2500 HD. They're extremely similar to a Chevy Silverado, except they offer more luxury and comfort in just about every category.
So, is a GMC Sierra 2500 HD right for you? Why not head down to Tim's Truck and test drive one to find out? You might just find that when you get behind the wheel that it's exactly what you've been looking for.