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2011 GMC Sierra 3500 HD Crew Cab

Overview
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2011 GMC Sierra 3500 HD Crew 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 3500 HD Crew 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 3500 HD Crew 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 3500 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 770 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

2009 1/2TON CREW CAB SLE Z71

By on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

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

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Hold value"

Cons: "Just an SLE nothing fancy."

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

"Good reliable truck. Only problems was rear passenger window seal leaks and lets water inside door when rains heavy, doesn't seem to affect electronic windows and locks. Drivers door pin is getting bad. Door trim is falling off, only 2 sided taped on. Burried the truck a few times in snow and ice and busted up plastic below bumper(bad design for off road use). Never lets me down and average 18MPG. Wife has gotten as good as almost 22MPG. Pulling a 30 foot I get about 8 mpg."

First truck owned...great for my family.

By on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,200

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

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

"Many road trips with plenty of cab/cargo space. Spent dozens of weekends in the mountains towing our three ATV s up there to ride and camp with no problem!"

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

durable, reliable, fuel-efficient

By on Tuesday, April 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "workhorse"

Cons: "cruise is on steering wheel, no cd player"

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

"Very solid vehicle with no carpet, manual windows and locks, floor 4x4. Powerful 6 cylinder engine. Basic as it gets these days."

6 people out of 15 found this review helpful

I love my SIERRA. GMC NO OTHER BABY!!

By on Wednesday, April 01, 2015

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "FUN TO DRIVE"

Cons: "A LITTLE MORE LUXURIES INTERIOR!!"

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

"I have bought 2 other trucks. But nothing better than my Sierra. I use it to travel and it is very comfortable. Very roomy, I even take my portable wheel chair in the back seat!! I feel very safe driving it especially during wet weather. I highly recommend the GMC SIERRA. It has the same features as a LUXURY vehicle so I don't miss having a car!! LOVE IT, LOVE IT!! will buy another soon!!"

12 people out of 17 found this review helpful

GREAT TRUCK !!!!!

By on Saturday, March 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,200

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

Cons: "GMC SLT TRUCKS ARE A GREAT RIDE AND GREAT ON GAS !"

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

"This is a great truck, i'am having another hip surgery and then knee replacement. i have just moved back to a farm and i told my wife that i'am not going to mess up my truck, i have a brand new truck even though it's a 2012, it gets 21 miles to the gallon hwy and around 18 city i'am 63 years old and it's the best truck on gas i have ever have !! My wife told me if i was'nt going to drive that i needed to sell it and when i get over my surgerys that i could buy another one. told her that it would have to be one old because i'am not going to put scrathes on my new truck, the only thing i have done with any of my truck is pull my 520 ranger to the lake i got rid of my boat before i had my first hip surgery / then i bought this 2012 slt thought i was going to beable to fish again but not so yet / it still has warranty and everbody thinks it's a new one / the miles on it now is going down 85 back and fourth to doctors at Emory in Atlanta. All the miles on it is highway miles / it still can be certified and you will get more years warranty on it / like i said i don't like scrathes on my truck so until i sell it it won't be used on the farm i told her i would buy her a old truck to haul stuff/ she has a new yukon / and i want let her drive mine/ i'am very picky on my personal truck so if you want a good truck make me a resonable offer // thanks Carter I will buy me a new one again once i get back my health and able to bass fish again //// YOU CAN SEE MY TRUCK ON CRAIG LIST GREENVILLE SC 2012 CREW CAB HARTWELL GA YOU WANT A GREAT TRUCK THIS IS THE ONE YOU NEED/ IT NEEDS A GOOD HOME AND SOME ONE WHO WANTS A GOOD LOOKING TRUCK !!!!"

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

my second GMC Sierra - have really liked both

By on Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 109,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "reliable, good looking,"

Cons: "Maintenance and repairs are expensive"

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

"I have enjoyed this truck thoroughly. It is my second GMC Sierra 1500 SLT model. They have both exceeded my expectations and have proved to be reliable. Repairs are expensive, but I've had few. My previous truck is still going strong with 200,000 on it. My son now has that one and is still getting good service out of it."

4 people out of 15 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

Buying this car?