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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

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.

GMC Canyon will debut in Detroit

Fri, 20 Dec 2013 10:29:00 EST

With the debut of the Chevrolet Colorado at November's Los Angeles Auto Show, perhaps it was only a matter of time before we saw the small truck's GMC counterpart. That time will be January, as we've received official confirmation that the GMC Canyon will be revived at next month's North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The news came in the latest issue of the Detroit Auto Show's newsletter, NAIAS Connect. The article hasn't been posted online quite yet, but it details the Canyon as one of the world production debuts slated for the show.
While we've heard rumors that the Canyon would arrive in Detroit, this is our first concrete bit of evidence. As we've detailed before, we expect the Canyon to be stylistically quite different than the Colorado, though the underpinnings will be shared. The teaser image we have above is currently our only look at the new truck. We'll hopefully have more details in the next few weeks as the GMC Canyon draws closer to its official debut.

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.