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GMC Sierra 3500HD

GMC Sierra 3500HD

If you're looking for a great pickup truck, you don't need to look any further than the GMC Sierra 3500HD. It's a phenomenal mix of style, comfort, and performance, but you don't need to just take our word for it.

That's why we came up with this comprehensive guide to talk you through everything you need to know about this phenomenal track. That way you can make your own decision and get the perfect truck for you the first time.

Trim Levels

There are five different trim levels to choose from with the GMC Sierra 3500HD, and this will determine how many features are in the truck you're looking at. The exact features do change throughout the years, but for the one thing that stays consistent is the higher the trim level, the more options it will have.


With the base model you can get both the diesel and the gas engine, so don't think you need to go up any trim levels to find a truck with the engine you want in it. It comes with a 40/20/20 split-bench seat in the front, the GMC Infotainment system, and a rear-view camera in newer models.

It's not full of extra thrills and features, but for a work truck, it's everything you need and more. If you don't need all the extra bells and whistles, all you need is the base model truck.

GMC Sierra 3500HDSLE

The SLE isn't a super high-level trim package, but it really does start to unlock a ton of different features. This includes an integrated trailer brake controller, 17" wheels, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Newer models include a Wi-Fi hotspot as well.

Additionally, if you're looking for features like Lane Departure Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Alert, Following Distance Indicators, and Blind Spot Monitoring – you'll need to go with this trim level.

Just keep in mind that it's not standard at this trim level. It's an optional upgrade, so you need to keep an eye out for what the specific model you're looking at has. This is especially true if you're looking at an older truck since these features might not have been out yet.


Every SLT model will come with all the same features as the SLE trim package from the same model year. They also get 18" rims, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a 120V power outlet. Of course, some of these are only features in newer vehicles.

Still, if you're comparing an SLE and an SLT from the same model year, the SLT will always have additional features.


The AT4 is the first trim package where four-wheel drive comes standard, and that's a pretty big deal for a massive work truck. You also get an upgraded off-road suspension system, a spray-on bed liner, recovery hooks, and even premium floor liners.

In newer models, it also includes hill descent control and optional additional technology packages. This means that just because you've seen some features in an AT4 trim package, it doesn't mean it's in every AT4 trim. Always double-check what features are in the specific truck you're looking at.


The Denali is the top trim package for the GMC Sierra 3500HD, so you can expect it to have more features than any other trim package from the same model year.

The newest Denali trucks have up to 15 different camera views, a six-function multi-tailgate, and a premium Bose sound system. Not only that but there are more trim and seating options, as the front seats in the Denali are leather.

It's a top-notch truck, and the top trim level gives you a premium experience from start to finish. If you want the best of the best, you go with a Denali. However, while there are far more bells, whistles, and comfort features, it doesn't offer any additional performance specs compared to lower trim levels.

You're getting more features with the Denali, not more performance.

GMC Sierra 3500HDCab Options

Like most trucks there's more than one cab option to choose from with the GMC Sierra 3500HD. There's the regular, crew, and double cab, and we'll break down the different options here.

Regular Cab

The regular cab doesn't feature a second row at all, and as such it only has enough seating options for three people. There's 43" of headroom and 44" of legroom for each passenger in the cab. The regular cab truck only comes with the long bed option, so if you opt for a shorter cab here, you're guaranteed a longer bed option.

Crew Cab

The crew cab is the GMC Sierra 3500HD with the most room inside the cab. It can seat either five or six depending on the front seat configuration. The first row still has 44" of legroom and 43" of headroom, and the second row has 40" of headroom and 43" of legroom.

It's a little less space in the rear, but it's still plenty of space compared to most other truck options out there. With a crew cab you can get either a long bed or a standard bed, the choice is entirely up to you.

However, a crew cab with a long bed is a significantly larger truck than other options out there, so ensure you're comfortable with driving a truck that large before going with this configuration.

Double Cab

The double cab gives you a second row just like the crew cab, but it offers far less space for the passengers. It's a bit of a cross between the regular cab and the crew cab.

The first-row dimensions remain the same with 43" of headroom and 44" of legroom, but the rear dimensions shrink quite a bit. There's just under 40" of headroom, and the leg-room is just over 35". It's a clear size cut, but it really depends on what you need the second row for if this is the right choice for you.

Just like the crew cab, you can get a standard bed or a long bed with a double cab configuration. And while the double cab with a long bed is certainly a large truck, it's definitely smaller than a crew cab with a long bed.

Bed Options

Like with any other truck there's more than one bed option to choose from, and the right choice for you all depends on what you're using your truck for. That's why we highlighted both bed options out there, that way you can narrow down what you're looking for.


The standard bed option measures 6'9" x 4' 2.4", and it's typically paired with the crew cab. There's only so much space to go around, so by making room for more passengers it's taking room from the truck's bed.

But if you don't need more than 6'9" of space back there, there's no reason you can't go with a crew cab and a standard truck bed and still get everything you need.

Long Bed

If you need a bit more space in the back of your truck for all your gear, then the long bed is the way to go. It measures a full 1' 3" longer than the standard bed, with the measurements finalizing at 8' x 4' 2.4".

The long bed truck pairs with the regular cab, double cab, or crew cab, meaning you can get it with any cab style out there.

Performance Specs

The real selling point of any large truck is the performance specs, and the GMC Sierra 3500HD knocks it out of the park here. We've highlighted the most important performance specs for the two most common engine options on these trucks below.

6.6L V8 Gasoline

While the gasoline engine isn't nearly as powerful as the diesel option, it still has plenty of power compared to many other truck options out there. Highlighting this is the fact that a properly equipped 6.6L V8 gasoline GMC Sierra 3500HD can tow an impressive 24,000 pounds!

Below we've highlighted a few performance specs you should be aware of with the 6.6L V8 gasoline engine.




464 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

Towing Capacity

24,000 pounds

Maximum Payload

6,374 pounds

6.6L V8 Diesel

If you're looking for the best performance out there, you need to go with a diesel. The GMC Sierra 3500HD with a 6.6L V8 diesel can tow an impressive 36,000 pounds or 35,000 pounds with older models. Once again this is with a properly equipped truck, so double-check the specific specs on any truck you're looking at.




910 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm

Towing Capacity

35,000 to 36,000 pounds

Maximum Payload

6,374 pounds

Final Thoughts

If you're in the market for a new truck, you could do far worse than the GMC Sierra 3500HD. They've made great trucks year after year, so no matter what Sierra 3500HD you're looking at, you're getting a great truck.

Hopefully, with this guide, we've helped you narrow down exactly what you're looking for so you get the perfect Sierra 3500HD for what you need. Of course, if you do have any questions or need any help tracking down your perfect truck, the knowledgeable experts at Tim's Trucks would love to help you out.

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