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GMC Sierra 3500, page #5

GMC Sierra 3500 Price Analytics

About GMC Sierra 3500

Next time you hear someone refer to the "Sierra Nevada Mountains," please direct them to your state's Department of Redundancy Department. The folks at DORD will immediately inform them that Sierra is, in fact, Spanish for mountains -- it's no different from saying Rio Grande River, ATM Machine or Los Angeles Angels.

Thankfully, the GMC Sierra 3500 makes plenty of sense as a heavy-duty pickup. As a near-identical twin to the Chevy Silverado, the 1-ton Sierra is a sturdy workhorse thanks to upgrades over the regular 1500 model such as a stiffened suspension, a more rugged frame, more powerful engine choices and the availability of dual rear wheels.

The GMC Sierra 3500 has been on sale since the late 1980s. Although it could have benefited from better interior materials, the truck's durability and tremendous hauling and towing capabilities have made it a long-running favorite. (GMC recently changed this truck's name to "3500HD" for the 2007 redesign, and information about that current generation truck can be found here.)

Most Recent GMC Sierra 3500

The previous-generation Sierra 3500 was sold from 2001-'06. GMC further extended the model's life by one year by calling it the 3500 Classic for 2007. Changes to this truck were minimal during its production run. Updates were made to exterior styling and the interior for 2003, with further exterior tweaks for 2005. These trucks initially came in SL, SLE and SLT trim levels, with the Work Truck added for 2004. That latter year also saw a regular rear axle become available to supplement the dual rear-wheel setup.

The standard engine was a 6.0-liter V8 that made 300 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque. There were two optional engines: an 8.1-liter gasoline V8 producing 340 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque and a 6.6-liter turbodiesel producing 300 hp and 520 lb-ft of torque. This diesel was upgraded for 2006 with more power and refinement and fewer emissions -- it made 360 hp and a whopping 650 lb-ft of torque. These engines carried over for the 2007 Classic. A five-speed manual transmission was standard with the 6.0-liter V8, with a four-speed automatic optional. The 8.1-liter V8 and turbodiesel engines came with either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. (It became a six-speed for 2006.)

In reviews of the GMC Sierra 3500, we were always impressed by the truck's powerful engine lineup and substantial towing and hauling abilities. It was a reasonably comfortable truck for everyday use, but don't expect the plush ride of its light-duty siblings. Any of the three available engines will provide swift acceleration (for a full-size 1-ton truck, that is) and ample towing power, but the diesel V8 is probably the best choice for those who tow heavy loads -- especially the more powerful 2006 Duramax. Our principal beef with the Sierra 3500 concerned the shoddy interior design, materials and build quality. GMC improved it gradually during its lifespan, but it was never quite up to snuff.

Past GMC Sierra 3500 models

The previous-generation GMC Sierra 3500 heavy-duty pickup ran from 1988-'98 with a significant refresh for 1995. It was known as the Sierra 3500 Classic for 1999 and 2000. This 1-ton Sierra was powered by a series of V8 engines (including a diesel option), with enhancements made in 1994. New gasoline "Vortec" engines debuted for 1996, including a 7.4-liter V8 capable of 410 lb-ft of torque. The 6.5-liter turbodiesel was upgraded for 1998. Strengths of these trucks include strong, durable powertrains, while weaknesses center on sketchy build quality and materials within the cabin.

Auto blog

2015 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL hit the floor at LA

Thu, 21 Nov 2013 10:20:00 EST

The middle child of General Motors' trio of truck-based SUVs, the GMC Yukon and long-wheelbase Yukon XL, received their auto show debut at today's 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. Showing off a bigger, bolder look, particularly on its Denali trim, the Yukon sports prominent chrome grille instantly identifies GMC's new top-end SUV.
The Yukon is will come to market with a pair of engines. The base 5.3-liter V8 pumps out 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, while the higher-end models benefit from the same direct-injected, 6.2-liter V8 as the Escalade. That engine makes 420 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, with fuel economy seeing a likely boost thanks to an active fuel management system. Like the Tahoe, Suburban and Escalade, the Yukon takes advantage of a six-speed, column-mounted automatic transmission.
The cabin has seen significant upgrades in terms of materials and technology, with an eight-inch touchscreen display and IntelliLink standard in both Yukon and Yukon Denali. Fold-flat second and third-row seats come standard, while a power option is available, as well. Other techy features include active noise cancellation and standard Bose stereos.

GM tinkering with Silverado, Sierra model mix amidst strong early sales

Mon, 04 Nov 2013 16:29:00 EST

Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. That's a lesson that is currently being taught to General Motors, because despite a strong showing from its 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, the General's pickup sales still can't best those of cross-town rival Ford.
With 59,163 trucks moved, GM fell just over 1,000 units short of toppling Ford, and one of the main reasons for that, according to GM's chief sales analyst, was due to a lack of variety in the engines and body styles available on dealer lots. "We are still over-weighted toward crew-cab V8 trucks. Our light-duty mix will moderate over time as our launch progresses," said Kurt McNeil.
Loading dealers with the popular combination of the 5.3-liter V8 and the four-door, Crew Cab body style was intentional during the truck's launch, but as supplies of leftover 2013 models, which are being sold at heavy incentives, are beginning to wane, both budget-conscious and high-dollar buyers are looking elsewhere instead of at the volume model pickups.

GM dealers unhappy about pickup prices

Mon, 21 Oct 2013 17:44:00 EST

The backlash is beginning. Following General Motors' price hike of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra last week, dealers across the country are expressing their ire over increasing prices in the face of rebates and discounts on trucks from Ford and Ram.
Speaking to Automotive News, Sam Pilato, the general manager at Dimmitt Chevrolet in Clearwater, FL, Silverados are "selling very poorly." W. Carrol Smith, the president of Monument Chevrolet in the heart of truck country, Texas, said, "[GM's] position is that the vehicle stands on its own and it doesn't need a bigger rebate. That's not what the market is telling us."
According to AN, that's the general attitude amongst Chevy and GMC dealers across the country, where the twin pickups are getting butchered in sales by competitors offering up to $9,000 off their sticker prices. Part of the problem for GM is that its trucks are arriving on the market near the end of the current F-150's lifecycle, a fact that Ford has taken advantage of.

GM considering new powertrain options for large SUVs

Tue, 15 Oct 2013 18:31:00 EST

Aside from the new General Motors offerings, there's not a whole lot of action going on in the fullsize SUV segment. That doesn't seem to be stopping GM from pushing the envelope in the market as Automotive News is reporting that the automaker is looking to introduce some new powertrain options into the Chevy Tahoe (and Suburban), GMC Yukon (and Yukon XL) and the Cadillac Escalade - all have been redesigned for the 2015 model year.
Now, we already know that GM and Ford are collaborating on nine- and ten-speed transmissions for a broad range of applications (including the big SUVs), but this new report says that GM is also considering other options as a way to one-up the competition and, of course, to optimize fuel economy. AN quotes Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer for GM trucks, as saying that "interesting powertrain technologies" are coming including a return of a hybrid SUV and possibly even a diesel engine. Although it sounds like the latter could come down to how customers respond to the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel.

GM already raising prices on 2014 Silverado and Sierra pickups

Mon, 14 Oct 2013 14:00:00 EST

General Motors must be pretty pleased with sales of its two newest pickups, the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado, as it's announced price hikes for both models, as part of a planned price tweak.
Prices will be bumped by as much as $1,500, although weirdly, they'll be offset by as much as $1,500 in cash-back offers through the end of October. Fox Business reports that GM spokesman Jim Cain said of the price hike, "With the sell down of the '13 models nearly complete, this price adjustment was planned and is a normal part of business."
The move, as Fox is quick to point out, is an interesting one, as sales of the twin pickups struggled last month relative to the Ford F-Series, while both of GM's crosstown competitors have been aggressively undercutting Silverado and Sierra prices. The F-150 starts at $24,070 and the Ram 1500 comes in at $23,600, not counting any cash on the hood. A base Silverado, meanwhile, retails at $25,575.

GM recalling 22K Silverado and Sierra trucks for seat issue

Wed, 09 Oct 2013 18:31:00 EST

General Motors will recall 21,721 of its new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups over front seats that could move if the vehicle is hit from behind. Affected vehicles all feature manual adjustments for the two front seats, according to a report from Automotive News.
Of the nearly 22,000 vehicles covered under the action, the overwhelming majority - 18,972 -- were sold in the United States. A further 2,575 were sold in Canada, while 103 were shipped south of the border to Mexico. Finally, another 71 were sold outside North America altogether. As of right now, there are no reports of injuries due to the defect.
Naturally, Chevy and GMC dealers will make the repairs free of charge, although it's not clear as of this writing if GM will be notifying owners or just addressing the issue at the truck's first service.

GM sweetens military discount for Buick, Chevy and GMC

Sun, 06 Oct 2013 13:02:00 EST

American servicemen and women interested in a new vehicle from Chevrolet, Buick or GMC now have a bit more incentive to head down to their local dealer, as General Motors has announced plans to improve its military discount program.
The new GM Military Discount Program offers eligible consumers a new Chevy, Buick or GMC at invoice pricing, which in some cases can take very large chunks out of a car's retail price. When factored in with other incentives, most of which are available with the Military Discount, the bargains are thick on the ground for members of the US armed forces.
GM's Retail Sales and Marketing Support general manager, Chuck Thomson, said, "GM has long supported the military and military families, and we hope this simplified and enhanced discount will show our appreciation for their service and help make it easier for them to own one of our great new vehicles." The program is open to all active duty and reserve members in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guard and Coast Guard, as well as veterans that have been out of the service for less than a year. Military retirees and their spouses are also eligible for the discount.

GM 6.2L EcoTec V8 rated at 21 mpg by the EPA

Wed, 02 Oct 2013 15:31:00 EST

General Motors is already laying claim to best-in-class power for its new 6.2-liter V8 that will be offered in the 2014 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra this fall, and now it has released fuel economy numbers for the big engine. Available as an option on the Silverado LTZ and High Country (shown above) models as well as the the Sierra SLT and Denali trims, the 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 will return 15 miles per gallon in the city and 21 mpg on the highway on rear-wheel-drive trucks; these numbers drop by one mpg each on four-wheel-drive models.
These estimates are in addition to the engine's 420 horsepower, 460 pound-feet of torque and max trailering capacity of 12,000 pounds, and considering all that power it's not terribly far away from the fuel economy of GM's equally new 4.3-liter V6 and its rating of 18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. This announcement comes just days after a report indicated that GM is unable to keep up with the demand of the 5.3-liter V8 in the fullsize Chevy and GMC trucks due to supplier issues. GM's official press release for the 6.2-liter V8's fuel economy is posted below.

GM can't keep up with most popular pickup orders

Mon, 30 Sep 2013 16:30:00 EST

With the market for pickup trucks at its best since before the recession, General Motors can't afford any hiccups with the launch of its new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra twins, but it sounds like the popularity of V8-powered trucks is causing some supply-chain issues. Bloomberg reports that GM is experiencing a shortage of 5.3-liter V8 engines because an unnamed parts supplier has been unable to keep up with demand. This is leading GM to restrict the number of V8 Silverado and Sierra trucks that Chevrolet and GMC dealers are allowed to order.
Although it's unclear how long it will take to resolve the parts shortage, GM doesn't have much time to sort it out, as a new Ford F-150 looms on the horizon. At launch, GM's fullsize trucks were offered only with a base 4.3-liter V6 and the 5.3-liter V8, but a burlier 6.2-liter V8 will be available soon. Interestingly, at least at the moment, GM truck buyers don't seem as willing to downsize to V6 power as buyers of the F-150, which gets some 42-percent of its sales from trucks equipped with its EcoBoost V6 engine (not including the normally aspirated base V6).
Working out the kinks in the Silverado and Sierra's supply chain couldn't be more important to the health of the company. Full-size pickups are a huge profit driver - in 2012, the trucks were said to make up about two-third of GM's total profits.

Google Earth helps sheriff's department find stolen car [w/video]

Sun, 29 Sep 2013 19:58:00 EST

A stolen-vehicle case opened back in March was recently solved with the help of a property owner using Google Earth, a virtual globe and mapping service similar to Google Maps, ABC News reports. The man, who remains anonymous, found the stolen GMC Yukon while he was surveying his property in George County, Mississippi, using the map service and, judging by the top-down satellite image, thought he found a "shooting house" on his hunting grounds.
When he drove out to the suspicious structure, he realized it actually was a sport utility vehicle wedged in thick brush about 70 yards from the nearest road, so he called the police.
Law enforcement officers had arrested a female suspect in the case earlier based on eyewitness accounts, but didn't prosecute her because the stolen SUV hadn't been found. Ben Brown, a lieutenant detective with the George County Sheriff's Department, says that he ran the plates and confirmed the SUV was the stolen vehicle the department had been looking for.