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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

Roadkill pits every project car against each other

Sat, 22 Feb 2014 19:49:00 EST

The guys behind Motor Trend's monthly Roadkill series have collected nine of their favorite project cars from their videos and pitted them against each other in a battle royale to determine a winner. It's 44 minutes long, but it's completely worth the investment of time.
The cars run the gamut from a 1973 Chevrolet Ramp Truck, a 1975 AMC Pacer and a legitimately impressive 1967 Chevy Camaro, and they are pitted against each other to see which is the fastest around an autocross course. The drivers include Roadkill's two hosts and Motor Trend's Johnny Lieberman and Carlos Lago. It's reminiscent of the best episodes of Top Gear and worth a watch.
So it's the weekend - the perfect time to relax. Grab your preferred beverage, get comfortable and enjoy 44 minutes of some seriously ratty but utterly cool project cars as they are throttled within an inch of their lives (or past it). Scroll down to check out the video.

GM readying aluminum-body fullsize pickups

Wed, 19 Feb 2014 09:57:00 EST

Ford's extensive use of aluminum in its 2015 F-150 is a big deal. A really big deal. Big enough, in fact, that General Motors is reportedly changing its fullsize pickup strategy. According to The Wall Street Journal, The General has locked in partnerships with Alcoa Inc. and Novelis Inc. - companies that will supply aluminum for the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks.
"Ford's introduction of the 2015 F-150 pickup truck was a game changer, and it's the first, not the last, conversion of this type," Novelis spokesperson Charles Belbin told the Journal. The switch to aluminum has allowed Ford to shave roughly 700 pounds off its fullsize truck's curb weight. And while official mileage ratings have not been announced, the weight loss should go a long way for improving efficiency, especially when combined other efficiency-minded improvements including better aerodynamics and new, turbocharged V6 engines.
Of course, aluminum-bodied cars are nothing new. But extensive use of aluminum in a major, best-selling product like the Ford F-150 is expected to kick off widespread use of this weight-saving material as availability rises and cost decreases. The WSJ reports that GM had originally explored the idea of moving to aluminum pickups back in 2008, but abandoned the idea due to cost concerns amid economic woes.

Detroit 3 to implement delayed unified towing standards for 2015

Mon, 10 Feb 2014 18:29:00 EST

Car buyers have a responsibility to be well-informed consumers. That's not always a very simple task, but some guidelines are self-evident. If you live in a very snowy climate, you generally know a Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Camaro might not be as viable a vehicle choice as an all-wheel drive Explorer or Traverse, for example. If you want a fuel-efficient car, it's generally a good idea to know the difference between a diesel and a hybrid. But what if it's kind of tough to be an informed consumer? What if the information you need is more difficult to come by, or worse, based on different standards for each vehicle? Well, in that case, you might be a truck shopper.
For years, customers of light-duty pickups have had to suffer through different ratings of towing capacities for each brand. For 2015 model year trucks, though, that will no longer be a problem. According to Automotive News, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler Group have announced that starting with next year's models, a common standard will be used to measure towing capacity. The Detroit Three will join Toyota, which adopted the Society of Automotive Engineers' so-called SAE J2807 standards way back in 2011.
The standard was originally supposed to be in place for MY2013, but concerns that it would lower the overall stated capacity for trucks led Detroit automakers to pass. Ford originally passed, claiming it'd wait until its new F-150 was launched to adopt the new standards, leading GM and Ram to follow suit. Nissan, meanwhile, has said it will adopt the new standards as its vehicles are updated, meaning the company's next-generation Titan should adhere to the same tow ratings as its competitors.

GMC to get own model not shared with Chevy?

Mon, 20 Jan 2014 18:58:00 EST

For years, GMC has existed as a brand without a single unique product, reconstituting Chevrolet trucks, SUVs and crossovers with more frosting in exchange for a few extra dollars. The Sierra is a Silverado, the Acadia a Traverse, and the Terrain an Equinox, although admittedly the latter pair are visually differentiated to a significant degree.
GMC could be set to expand beyond its Chevy-based roots, though. During last week's Detroit Auto Show press days, GM's product boss Mark Reuss was asked whether there'd ever be a GMC that wasn't taken from Chevy. "Oh, yes, you will," Reuss told the media. "The health of GMC is astonishingly good from a consideration standpoint." Reuss wouldn't elaborate on what the model could be, although we're quite happy to make some guesses. GMC has its bases fairly well covered, with a mid-size and full-size crossover, as well as a mid-size, full-size and HD pickup. We doubt GMC will be building a family sedan, sports car, or hatchback, so really, the only place we can see the brand going is into a smaller crossover.
Automotive News points out that the most recent small GMC showcar, the 2010 Granite concept (shown above), won't see production according to General Motors. That vehicle likely would have rode on GM's compact vehicle architecture, known internally as Gamma II, which underpins the Chevy Spark and Sonic, as well as the Buick Encore (and its overseas Opel/Vauxhall/Chevy counterparts).

2015 GMC Canyon gets the party started [w/video]

Sun, 12 Jan 2014 18:45:00 EST

The 2014 Detroit Auto Show press days officially kick off tomorrow, but the night before all the madness commences, General Motors drove its new 2015 GMC Canyon pickup truck out for all to see. To refresh your memory, the Canyon is GMC's new midsize pickup - essentially a re-skinned version of the Chevrolet Colorado that debuted at the LA Auto Show in November.
Many of us at Autoblog prefer the look of the larger GMC Sierra to that of its Chevy Silverado kin, and we're having similar feelings about the new Canyon, especially after seeing it in person. It's sort of a pint-sized version of the Sierra, and it looks great. Clean lines are found throughout, and the Canyon's styling is decidedly premium.
At launch, the Canyon will be offered with the same engines as the Colorado - a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine with 193 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque on the base end, and a larger 3.6-liter V6 with 302 hp and 270 lb-ft as an option. The Colorado's 2.8-liter diesel inline four-cylinder will be available after launch. Both two- and four-wheel drive configurations will be available, depending on the model.

2015 GMC Canyon is a Chevy Colorado in Sierra clothing [w/video]

Sun, 12 Jan 2014 00:02:00 EST

Ford may not offer the Ranger in America anymore, nor Dodge (or Ram) its Dakota. But General Motors - not unlike Toyota with its Tacoma and Nissan with the Frontier - isn't about to give up on the midsize pickup market. Less than two months ago, it revealed the new Chevrolet Colorado, and now it's following up with its mechanical twin, the 2015 GMC Canyon.
Launched today ahead of its reveal at the Detroit Auto Show, the Canyon slots into the GMC lineup (and differentiates itself from its Chevrolet twin) with styling that closely apes the larger GMC Sierra 1500 and Sierra HD, only a size or two smaller. Oh, there are visual differences, like a subtly different grille treatment and lower fascia, but it still maintains its big brother's square-jawed good looks and rectilinear flared fenders.
Two aluminum-block engines with direct injection and variable valve timing are available: a 2.5-liter inline-four comes standard with 193 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, and a 3.6-liter V6 is available with 302 hp and 270 lb-ft. Buyers will also be able to choose between three bodystyle configurations, three trim levels and either two- or four-wheel drive. A six-speed automatic transmits the power to the road, but a six-speed manual is available on the base model with the 2.5 and 2WD, and there's an All Terrain package available on SLE models. A diesel is expected later.

370,000 new Silverado and Sierra pickups recalled over fire risk

Fri, 10 Jan 2014 19:45:00 EST

General Motors announced late Friday that it will recall around 370,000 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra fullsize pickups from the 2014 model year over a possible fire risk. The recall covers select 4.3-liter V6 and 5.3-liter V8 models, which can evidently suffer engine compartment fires due to the overheating of exhaust components. GM notes that the fire issue may be preceded by a check engine light and an "engine power reduced" message on the driver information display.
Thus far, GM is aware of eight fires stemming from this problem (although only three of those incidents affected customer-owned vehicles), and all of the fires were reported in areas with "very cold weather." GM is urging owners to not leave their vehicles unintended while idling. No injuries have resulted from the fires in question.
The Detroit-based automaker has pledged to start mailing out recall letters on January 16. The fix, which involves software reprogramming, is estimated to be a 20-minute repair, and will be made free of charge.

Watch GM's new pickup crash its way to five-star NHTSA ratings

Thu, 09 Jan 2014 16:58:00 EST

General Motors has just scored a big win with its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks, acing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration New Car Assessment Program. The two full-size trucks had already netted a five-star Overall Vehicle Score in their crew-cab variants, but the new testing certifies them as five-star trucks in both regular and double-cab bodystyles, so GM's trucks offer top ratings across the board.
"Our incredibly capable trucks have been engineered to be some of the safest," Gay Kent, GM's general director of Vehicle Safety and Crashworthiness said. "We've designed the vehicle structure, strategically placed high-strength steel and developed the occupant restraint system to achieve high levels of safety performance."
The scores mark the Silverado and Sierra as the first pickups to net five-star scores since NHTSA beefed up their testing regime in 2011, a nice feather in GM's cap as it continues to slug out the pickup truck wars with crosstown rivals Ford and Ram.

GM recalling Silverado and Sierra HD diesel pickups over fuel gauge follies

Fri, 03 Jan 2014 13:29:00 EST

General Motors is recalling 9,733 of its heavy-duty twins over concerns with their 6.6-liter diesel engines and dual fuel tanks. The recall covers some Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD pickups from model years 2012 and 2013, although the exact dates that the recalled trucks were built isn't specified. There's also no mention of how many models come from Chevrolet and how many are from GMC.
The problem rests with the transfer pump responsible for moving fuel from the rear tank to the front tank - it could fail, resulting in an inaccurate fuel gauge. It hardly requires explaining, but a faulty fuel gauge could leave drivers in a situation where they run out of diesel.
GM will begin notifying customers of affected vehicles, who will be asked to report to their dealers for a free replacement transfer pump.

GM looks to combat high theft rates on SUVs with added tech

Tue, 24 Dec 2013 14:30:00 EST

The Cadillac Escalade has been at or near the top of most-stolen and insurance-loss lists for more than seven years, until it dropped to number six earlier this year. In 2011 it was fitted with a host of new security features to address its easy-to-override features and that has brought the number of thefts down, but when eight of the ten most stolen rides are large SUVs from General Motors, no one will argue that something else needs to be done.
Thus, GM has fitted this same theft-deterring tech to the 2015 Suburban, Tahoe and Yukon. The Suburban and Tahoe will get the steering lock that the Escalade and Yukon already get, plus bolted-down third-row seats to deter thefts like this, stronger door lock cylinders and shields, and side-cut keys to inhibit picking.
Additional security measures in a Theft Protection Package can be purchased for $395, consisting of sensors on the greenhouse glass and interior, an incline/tilt sensor and added "key control systems" to make it more difficult for the men in black balaclavas to steal what you bought.