2013 GMC Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD Preview

Jeff Youngs | Feb 25, 2013
FAST FACTS
  • Two new colors for 2013: Sonoma Red Metallic and Heritage Blue Metallic
  • New bi-fuel option available with Extended Cab
  • Conventional gasoline-powered, diesel-powered, or CNG drivetrains
  • Available heated and cooled seats
  • Available navigation radio and dealer-installed Wi-Fi
  • Grade-braking capability now standard in normal driving mode, with the available 6-speed automatic transmission and gasoline engine, as well as in tow/haul mode
  • Slightly increased gross vehicle weight for some 3500HD models

Introduction

The Sierra is GMC's full-size pickup truck. The basic model is the 1500; the 2500HD and the 3500HD are the heavy-duty models. With the exception of some luxury and styling features that set them apart, the various iterations of the Sierra are equivalent to the Chevrolet Silverado. The Sierra and the Silverado have comparable base prices, but the top-end Sierra prices a little higher than the highest Silverado trim level. The Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD compete with the Ford F-250 and F-350, Ram 2500 and 3500, and others.

Exterior Features

In anticipation of a redesign for the 2014 model year, the Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD have few changes for the 2013 model year. Both are available with a regular, Extended, or Crew Cab. The 2500HD and 3500HD are available in the following trim levels: Work Truck (WT) SLE, SL, SLT, and Denali. The base trim features a chrome-surround grille, 17-inch steel wheels, daytime running lights, black door handles, and black manual outside mirrors. The upper trims upgrade the wheels and tires and add body-colored moldings and power outside mirrors. A heavy-duty Handling/Trailering Suspension package is standard. The Denali, which is available as a Crew Cab model, features a unique chrome grille, chrome accents and available 20-inch polished aluminum wheels. All Sierras are available with rear-wheel (2WD) or 4-wheel drive (4WD).

Interior Features

The Sierra HD WT trim offers vinyl or cloth seats, AM/FM radio, single-zone manual air conditioning, power door locks, daytime running lamps, and cruise control. The SLE trim upgrades the seating fabric, features a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and adds a stereo with CD player, speakers, driver-side seat adjuster, and more power features (including power windows). The SLT trim adds leather-appointed front bucket seats, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, fog lamps, remote vehicle starter system, rear-window defogger, and power heated outside mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators. The top-of-the-line Denali trim includes a Bose sound system, heated and cooled driver and front passenger 12-way power-adjustable bucket seats with perforated nuance leather, brushed metal, and wood-grain accents throughout the cabin, and heated leather-wrapped steering wheel with radio controls.

Optional Features

Many option packages are available at the various trim levels on the 2013 GMC Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD. The WT offers the Preferred and Work Truck Plus packages, which add power features, chrome, fog lamps, and other benefits. A wide selection of hard and soft tonneau covers is available. Other options are offered at various trim levels. The SLT offers the Max Trailering package, the All-Terrain package, two dealer-installed chrome packages, integrated trailer brake controller, and much more.

Under the Hood

The standard engine for the Sierra 2500HD is a Vortec 6.0-liter V-8 flex-fuel engine that generates 360 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque. The same engine in the 3500HD generates 322 horsepower. Available for both is the Duramax 6.6-liter turbo-diesel V-8 engine, which produces 765 lb.-ft. of torque and delivers 397 horsepower. The Allison 1000 6-speed automatic transmission is standard with the latter engine. With the standard 6.0-liter V-8 engine, the Sierra 2500HD can tow 10,600 pounds or haul 4,058 pounds in the bed. The 3500HD can tow 16,100 pounds or haul 5,511 pounds. Four-wheel drive slightly reduces these numbers.

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2013 Sierra HD pickups include driver- and passenger-side air bags, Stabilitrak, tire-pressure monitoring, and daytime running lamps. Rear-vision camera and rear park assist are also available.

In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2013 GMC Sierra 2500HD 2WD received an overall rating anywhere from 2 to 4 (out of 5) stars for front crash protection, depending on cab style and whether or not the vehicle was equipped with side air bags. The Sierra 2500HD 2WD Crew Cab with side air bags earned 5 stars for side-impact crash protection, 4 stars without side air bags (the Regular Cab model without side air bags earned 2 stars). No test information is available for either Sierra HD model from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Technology

A Tow/Haul mode modifies the automatic transmission shift schedule for heavy-duty pulling and hauling. Auto Grade Braking helps control the vehicle on steep downgrades and saves wear on the braking system, and an integrated trailer brake controller is available. OnStar with vehicle diagnostics is standard for a 6-month trial period. OnStar automatically runs hundreds of diagnostic and maintenance checks and sends the owner results via e-mail. The MyGMC mobile app permits remote start and temperature adjustment, locking and unlocking, and much more through a mobile phone.
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