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2011 GMC Sierra 2500 HD Extended Cab

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2011 GMC Sierra 2500 HD Extended Cab Review

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GMC's Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD heavy-duty pickups don't look much different from the 2010s they replace, yet they're substantially upgraded and improved for 2011, and new top-of-the-line Denali models blend premium luxury and rugged, heavy-duty work truck capabilities. Most of the available investment budget went into all-new frames (much stiffer and stronger fully-boxed, high-strength steel) and suspensions (25 percent higher-load-rated independent front, asymmetrical leaf-spring rear) and the new Duramax turbo diesel V8/Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission powertrain. They boast an impressive array of segment bests, beginning with that new Duramax diesel, which is not only more powerful but also 11 percent more fuel efficient than its predecessor.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you are a satisfied past or current Sierra HD owner, you will love these much-improved new ones despite their mostly carryover styling. Their performance, capabilities, refinement and fuel efficiency have improved, especially with their new and surprisingly quiet available Duramax turbo diesel V8.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you are a loyal and satisfied Ford or Dodge (now Ram) HD pickup owner, you may not find sufficient reason to switch to a new GMC. The Ram was new for 2010, the F-250/350 for 2011, and both are fully competitive in most areas.

What's New for 2011

The 2011 GMC Sierra HD's Duramax turbo diesel's power, torque, maximum conventional and fifth-wheel tow and payload ratings are best in class. Its fifth-wheel tow capability is 21,700 pounds, it can tow up to a 17,000-pound conventional load with its factory-installed hitch, and the Duramax is fully B20 biodiesel compatible.

Driving the Sierra 2500 HD Extended Cab
Driving Impressions

We found towing a 9,500-pound trailer with a 2011 3500HD relatively easy due largely to its new 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V8 and Allison transmission powertrain. Its massive (segment-best) 765 pound-feet...

... of torque got that hefty rig rolling with ease, and its (segment-best) 397 hard-muscled horses kept it moving surprisingly smoothly and quietly. The ambience inside its nicely-appointed cabin was a pleasant surprise – so quiet at any speed that we could easily chat with passengers in the crew-cab's back seat. Another plus is the highly-effective, engine compression-assisted brakes. New for 2011 is "smart" exhaust braking that progressively restricts the diesel's exhaust, depending on speed and grade, to help slow the rig with added compression braking – especially useful on downhill grades. Other Sierra HDs we have sampled also showed marked improvements in ride, handling, steering and brake feel due mostly to their new, much stiffer frames and redesigned suspensions.

Exhaust braking
This system progressively restricts the diesel's exhaust – depending on speed and grade – to help slow the rig with added compression braking.

Remote starting
A favorite on any vehicle, this available feature is much appreciated on working trucks that operate in hot and cold weather extremes.

2011 GMC Sierra 2500 HD Extended Cab Details
Interior

The 2011 Sierra HD Work Truck (WT), SLE and SLT interiors are little changed in appearance but more refined in quietness and crafstmanship. A variety of useful compartments provides out-of-sight storage for everything from work gloves to laptops. With mobile WiFi, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, XM Satellite Radio and navigation, plus multiple charge points for multiple devices, these new trucks can be highly capable mobile workplaces. Denali models feature specific brushed-aluminum trim, power-adjustable pedals, a Bose premium surround audio system and 12-way power seats.

Exterior

2011 Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD models sport new a three-bar grille, a full-width chrome steel front bumper and a new louvered, powertrain-badged power-dome hood. A new lineup of 17- (dually), 18- and 20-inch wheel/tire combinations is available. Luxury Denali models are distinguished by a specific four-bar chrome grille with round air inlets, plus body-color bumpers, chrome door handles, chrome accents and polished forged aluminum wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Four-wheel-disc brakes with ABS and Intelligent Brake Assist and six-speed automatic transmission are standard on all models, while StabiliTrak electronic stability control, Trailer Sway Control and Hill Start Assist (but not Hill Descent Control) are standard on single-rear-wheel (non-dualie) models and new "Smart" Exhaust Braking comes with the available Duramax Diesel. Also standard are chrome front and rear bumpers, engine and transmission oil coolers, a driver information center, tilt steering wheel, automatic headlamps and front tow hooks. Standard safety features include front-seat airbags and a new high-strength tubular steel frame crossmember that improves crashworthiness.

Optional Equipment

Optional (or unavailable) on base 2WD Work Trucks are cruise control, power locks, windows and mirrors and a rear window defroster. The next-level SLE trim provides those plus remote keyless entry, OnStar, XM Satellite Radio, and a CD player, but not the rear-window defroster. The top-of-the-line SLT trim (available on Extended and Crew Cab models) adds leather, power seats and much more, while Denali models are fully loaded. Option packages are available, and other major options include navigation, a CD changer, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, remote start, premium wheels, a sunroof, a rear backup camera, an integrated trailer brake controller and pelvic/thorax and head-curtain airbags.

Under the Hood

The standard heavy-duty Vortec 6.0-liter gasoline V8 has a cast-iron block, aluminum heads and cam-in-block variable valve timing (VVT), which allows the engine to use late intake valve closing to improve efficiency and achieve an optimal balance of low-rpm torque and free-breathing, high-rpm horsepower. The 2011 Duramax turbo diesel offers significantly more power and torque, 11 percent better fuel efficiency, 30 percent less engine noise, improved strength and durability, new "smart" exhaust braking with the Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission and full B20 biodiesel capability. Its NOx emissions are reduced by some 63 percent via a Selective Catalyst Reduction aftertreatment system that uses urea-based Diesel (Emission) Exhaust Fluid (DEF) in a 5.3-gallon tank that needs to be replenished about every 5,000 miles.

6.0-liter V8
360 horsepower @ 5400 rpm
380 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

6.6-liter diesel V8
397 horsepower @ 3000 rpm
765 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

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2011 GMC Sierra 2500 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 796 Ratings for the 2007 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Very nice truck that I traded in a Corvette for.

By on Friday, July 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Very easy and practical vehicle."

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this truck new in May of 2012 and have had zero problems. Replaced battery during the winter and 2 new tires. Routine oil changes done at dealership."

Rust Bucket

By on Friday, July 8, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 138,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I was so thrilled to own a GMC Sierra. Finally my dream vehicle, then after six months I found rust forming over the driver side rear fender. It kept getting worse and worse. Went to a dealer and he explained that the manufacturer applied a sound protector product into the inside of the fenders. The manufacturer knew that the application of that material had the potential to rust the fenders and still applied it anyway. The dealer explained to me that, that was the manufacturer's way to sell new trucks. I was over the time frame to get the recall. I am soooo disappointed that I want to change brands."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great all around truck.

By on Thursday, June 30, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good value,great truck."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Very nice truck for the value. Gets good gas mileage for a truck. Get 19 to 21 average on the highway. Has plenty of power when needed. Handles great for a truck. And is nice looking.What else can you ask for."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great Truck

By on Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Green, plenty of extras"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Retiring, downsizing number of vehicles. All service completed at a GMC dealer. (Oil changes and tire rotations.)"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

This rig is a highway hog, loves the road

By on Sunday, January 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "priced well, and it will get you down the road."

Cons: "Typical 2500 ride, no sliding rear window"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Moved, changed jobs. Time to sell the Duramax. This rig has only pulled an enclosed car hauler, no 5th wheels. All highway miles. Gets 18-20 MPG on road. Clean, leather, nav. And most accessories. I bought new. Great pickup up truck. This is just another "Bullet Proof" 2011 GMC Duramax, thanks"

20 people out of 40 found this review helpful

I bought this vehicle 45 days ago

By on Sunday, November 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I bought this truck at a dealership with low mileage ,it runs great and had to bring it back because it sat for a while and the rotors were warped. They fixed the problem and the truck runs and looks great. My Silveroedo had 280 thousand miles on it and it was wrecked and still running. I love my 2009 Sierra. I kinda miss the 5.3 motor.My new truck has the 4.8 motor .I miss the low end tourge, but if if you put your foot into it you will get about the same performance.It seems quicker when you punch it,I dont know why but it backs down when quick when you let off of it,I love this truck, I hope I dont blow up the motor trying to make up for the 5.3 It sounds great when you work it. It handles really good for a big heavy truck.It is a nice truck !"

23 people out of 56 found this review helpful

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