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2012 GMC Sierra 2500 HD Extended Cab

Overview
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2012 GMC Sierra 2500 HD Extended Cab Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.5

Although many people consider GMC and Chevrolet's trucks to be interchangeable, GMC has been working hard to establish its own identity, something the company likes to call "professional grade." The 2012 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty (HD) trucks are a good example of this new image, sharing almost all of their parts with the Chevrolet Silverado HD trucks, but adding more upscale features such as the Denali trim line, which has no equal on the Chevy side. The 2012 Sierra HD trucks are a powerful lineup of 3/4-ton and 1-ton models, made all the better by last year's improvements to the frame, suspension and Duramax diesel engine. And, while the 2012 GMC Sierra HD trucks are not the most powerful in the segment, they do take top honors for fifth-wheel and conventional towing, as well as payload.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're a GMC loyalist, the 2012 GMC Sierra HD truck line is bound to keep you coming back for more. Those who worry about dirtying up the inside of their truck will appreciate the heavily vinyl trappings of the Work Truck line.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Although both the Ram HD and Ford Super Duty trucks look nearly identical on paper, the two competitors offer bolder styling and more upscale editions than does the 2012 GMC Sierra HD line.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 GMC Sierra HD sees a few improvements for this model year. A new hard-drive navigation radio is offered, while Work Truck models gain cruise control and lockable spare tire. Denali trims gain as standard equipment heated and cooling front seats, a heated steering wheel, a rearview camera and, on 3500 dually models, 17-inch polished wheels.

Driving the Sierra 2500 HD Extended Cab

Driving Impressions Thanks to its torque-heavy 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8, we found that towing a 10,000-pound trailer behind the 2012 GMC Sierra 2500 HD truck posed absolutely no challenge whatsoever. The 2012...

GMC HD's available Duramax turbodiesel develops 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque (that's more horsepower but less torque than the Ram HD, and less horsepower and torque than the Ford PowerStroke diesel). Despite the difference in power from its main rivals, the Sierra HD still takes top honors in fifth-wheel and conventional towing, as well as payload figures. The Duramax diesel is a bit loud, but you wouldn't know it from inside the passenger compartment. One of our favorite features on the diesel truck is the "smart" exhaust-braking setup. The system works by progressively restricting the diesel's exhaust, depending on speed and grade, to help slow the rig with added compression braking. We tested a number of 2012 GMC Sierra HD trucks, with gasoline and diesel engines, long and short beds, and basic to plush trim levels. We found all exhibited a firm suspension, good steering ability and fairly compliant ride.

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.

2012 GMC Sierra 2500 HD Extended Cab Details
Interior

The 2012 GMC Sierra HD Work Truck (WT), SLE and SLT interiors are designed to work in conjunction with the trucks' duties, yet are still nicely appointed and on Denali trims, downright opulent. While there are not as many storage bins and compartments as in the Ram and Ford HD trucks, the 2012 GMC Sierra HD nevertheless has a number of useful storage ideas for everything from laptops to the errant tool. The 2012 GMC Sierra HD truck's cab makes for the perfect mobile office, with such options as mobile Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and navigation, as well as SiriusXM NavTraffic updates and the OnStar suite of telematic aids. Denali models feature specific brushed-aluminum trim, heated and cooling 12-way power seats, power-adjustable pedals, and a Bose premium surround audio system.

Exterior

The 2012 GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 HD trucks sport a large, 3-bar chrome grille resting atop a full-size chrome bumper to create as imposing a sight as you'll ever want see in your rearview mirror. The Sierra HD's massive power dome hood is decked out in powertrain badging and features functional louvers for better engine cooling. The upscale Denali trims can be spotted by their 4-bar mesh design grille and color-keyed bumpers fitted with a mesh-style lower air intake surrounding the front tow hooks. Other features unique to the Denali include chrome door handles and accents, and polished forged-aluminum wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Four-wheel-disc brakes with ABS and Intelligent Brake Assist and a 6-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-dually) models, and a "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, cruise control, air conditioning, automatic headlights 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 GMC Sierra Work Trucks are 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 rearview camera, an integrated trailer-brake controller and pelvic/thorax and head-curtain airbags.

Under the Hood

The 2012 GMC Sierra HD features as standard a heavy-duty Vortec 6.0-liter gasoline V8 with a cast-iron block, aluminum heads and cam-in-block variable valve timing (VVT). The VVT system 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 2012 Duramax turbodiesel offers plentiful power and torque, improved strength and durability, and a "smart" exhaust braking with the Allison 1000 6-speed automatic transmission and full B20 biodiesel capability. Its NOx emissions are reduced by 63 percent via a Selective Catalyst Reduction after-treatment 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 @ 5,400 rpm
380 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: NA

6.6-liter turbodiesel V8
397 horsepower @ 3,000 rpm
765 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: NA

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2012 GMC Sierra 2500 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 760 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

09 Sierra is rock solid even after 110000 mi

By on Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Solid, no flex rattlefree ride, fully-boxed frame"

Cons: "minor paint peel on roof"

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

"The 09 Sierra is the best made and least-recalled truck in this series. The only item that went bad was the power steering cooler behind the front grille, replaced under warranty, nothing else broke of note."

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

very nice and reliable truck

By on Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "This is a solid truck, does what it is supposed to"

Cons: "The center console could be better"

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

"I've driven this truck since it was new. I have had no minor or major maintenance issues whatsoever. I have changed the cooling to the green stuff and did change out the spark plugs at 80,000 because I wanted to change them, not because the truck had any performance issues. Mine has the 6L engine and we pull a 28' trailer on vacations and it does this task very well. It is comfortable to drive long distances in even with 4 adults putting the rear centeris too cosey, but we do it anyway."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

very dependable

By on Thursday, February 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "mpg and dependable"

Cons: "ground clearance"

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

"The only thing that I have ever had to do is oil changes. Even the wipers are original love this truck. I have taken this out west, pulled my camper, hauled wood, and I have the worst driveway on earth yet 0 issues."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

excellent value

By on Sunday, February 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

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
8/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "above average ride comfort, nice towing vehicle"

Cons: "gas milage, not an extendable steering wheel"

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

"overall excellent vehicle for multiple use, a little problem parking in typical shopping centers parking lots"

19 people out of 41 found this review helpful

Muck too overall height!

By on Thursday, January 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Drives great, fair price."

Cons: "Camera aand sensors needed."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"This truck performance is satisfactory. However, it was purchased site unseen, ordered form out of town dealer. It is much too tall and hard to get in to drive. I cannot, without a step ladder or long handle cleaning tool clean the windshield or get anything from the bed without climbing over the tailgate. I never attempt to wash it. I would not have purchased if I had known these problems. I would not buy another one because of above facts. My wife will not drive it. There is no reason for making this tall vehicle. If there an intelligent answer please publish it."

39 people out of 82 found this review helpful

Great Truck for the money. Smooth ride .

By on Monday, December 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"I have had Ford trucks and some chevy trucks in past years. This truck is the best by far. 25,000 miles and no squeaks or towing problems. Love the smooth ride and the interior is comfortable and all instrument panel signs are easy to read. Love this truck for long trips."

74 people out of 145 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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