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2013 GMC Sierra 3500 HD Extended Cab

Overview
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2013 GMC Sierra 3500 HD Extended Cab Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.4

When the task at hand calls for more muscle than a conventional full-size truck can handle, it's time to summon a heavy-duty pickup. In both 3/4-ton and 1-ton configuration, the 2013 GMC Sierra HD delivers the type of power and utility needed for the most demanding jobs and does it while providing commendable levels of comfort. To that end, the 2013 Sierra HD lineup offers an exclusive pair of high-content Denali variants to further broaden appeal. Motivation comes in the form of a gasoline-fueled V8 or a torque-rich turbodiesel. Since rival HD pickups like the Ford F-250/F-350 and Ram 2500/3500 each offer of the most hauling power this side of a Class 8 semi-truck, choosing the right brand ultimately comes down to personal preference.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you require a vehicle that can transport over 10,000 pounds without breaking a sweat, the 2013 GMC Sierra HD deserves a spot on your short list. Furthermore, most prospective HD truck buyers who place a premium on luxury will find the Sierra HD Denali worth springing for.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Anyone who needs to tow more than eight tons should take a closer look at the 2013 Ram 3500 HD and its colossal 30,000-pound towing capacity. And if you feel styling is the only detractor to the Sierra HD, the Chevrolet Silverado HD offers an identical roster of features and configurations (excluding Denali), but with a unique design aesthetic.

What's New for 2013

For 2013, extended-cab 2500 HD models equipped with the standard 6.0-liter V8 can be had with a new bi-fuel system that accommodates both gasoline and compressed natural gas (CNG). Two new exterior colors (Sonoma Red Metallic and Heritage Blue Metallic) round out the changes.

Driving the Sierra 3500 HD Extended Cab

Driving Impressions Thanks to its optional 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8, we found that towing a 10,000-pound trailer behind the 2013 GMC Sierra 2500 HD posed no challenge of any kind. This optional...

turbodiesel develops 397 horsepower and 765 lb-ft of torque (more horsepower, less torque than the Ram HD, less horsepower and torque than Ford's PowerStroke diesel). Despite the difference in power from its main rivals, the Sierra 2500 HD still takes top honors in 5th-wheel and conventional towing, as well as payload figures. The Duramax diesel produces quite a bit of noise, but you wouldn't know it from inside the cabin. One of our favorite features of the diesel powertrain is the "smart" exhaust-braking. Depending on topography and vehicle speed, the system works by progressively restricting exhaust output to help slow the rig with added compression braking. We tested a number of 2013 GMC Sierra HD trucks, with gasoline and diesel engines, long and short beds, and basic to plush trim levels. We found that each exhibited a taut yet compliant ride, good steering feedback, and suitable braking power.

ALLISON 1000 SERIES TRANSMISSION
This robust 6-speed transmission is designed to withstand the extra torque generated by the Duramax turbodiesel while also delivering improved fuel economy. Plus, the Allison 1000 is manufactured by the same company that produces transmissions for the U.S. Army's M1 Abrams tank.

BI-FUEL SYSTEM
Although compressed natural gas has yet to gain a stronghold in the marketplace, the 2013 Sierra HD lineup embraces this cleaner-burning, domestically-sourced alternative fuel with the newly available bi-fuel system. Though it carries a lofty $11,000 price tag, the bi-fuel system could potentially prove itself financially prudent in the long run, as CNG fuel costs roughly $1.50 per gallon less than diesel or gasoline (depending upon local markets).

2013 GMC Sierra 3500 HD Extended Cab Details
Interior

The 2013 GMC Sierra HD Work Truck (WT), SLE and SLT interiors are designed to function seamlessly with a wide range of conventional truck duties. But despite the cabin's utilitarian intent, most trims come nicely appointed with adequate materials quality and fit and finish. While it lacks the bounty of storage bins and compartments found in the Ram and Ford HD trucks, the 2013 GMC Sierra HD nevertheless has a number of useful storage ideas for everything from laptops to the errant tool. On the luxury front, Denali variants feature a distinctive brushed-aluminum trim, leather upholstery and soft-touch materials on the upper dash.

Exterior

The imposing look of the Sierra 2500 and 3500 HD trucks is set off with a massive 3-bar chrome grille flanked by the nameplate's signature stacked headlamps. For better engine cooling, the raised power-dome hood incorporates a functional set of louvers. The upscale Denali trim is distinguished by its color-keyed bumpers, 4-bar grille with chrome mesh inserts, and matching lower grille design. If you are on the fence between a half-ton and a 3/4-ton truck, it's worth noting that the load-in height (distance from the ground to the top of the cargo bed floor) is over five inches taller with the HD version, which makes loading heavy items significantly more strenuous.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 HD models are available in regular cab, extended cab and crew cab body styles as well as four trim levels: Work truck, SLE, SLT or Denali. Standard across the board is all-weather rubber flooring, a 40/20/40 split front bench seat, and a driver information center. SLE models add a CD player, air conditioning, power windows, and driver's seat adjustment, while SLT trims feature heated front seats, Bluetooth connectivity, and fog lights. Top-level Denali versions include ventilated and 12-way power-adjustable front seats, a Bose premium audio system, and power retractable side mirrors. Occupant safety consists of six airbags, a full complement of electronic stability systems, and OnStar emergency/concierge services.

Optional Equipment

Given the Sierra's limited rear visibility, the optional backup camera tops our list of recommended add-ons. Also on the menu is a feature-laden convenience package comprised of power-adjustable pedals, rear sonar proximity sensors designed to help guide you into tight park spots with audible warnings, and a slam-proof EZ-lift and lower tailgate (SLT only). Seeing as the available touch-screen navigation unit is a bit long in the tooth, technophiles who want the latest and greatest in multimedia will be better-off with the F-250's optional MyFord Touch infotainment system.

Under the Hood

Every 2013 GMC Sierra HD features a standard 6.0-liter Vortec V8 with cam-in-block variable valve timing (VVT), which provides more power at high rpm and better fuel efficiency. For jobs requiring a significant amount of power there's the recently overhauled Duramax turbodiesel that produces an earth-moving 765 lb-ft of torque. As a bonus, the Duramax powerplant is compatible with B20 biodiesel. Like most of today's clean diesels, nitrous oxide emissions are reduced by means of a Selective Catalyst Reduction after-treatment system, which uses urea-based Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) as a cleaning agent. While the DEF tank needs a refill every 5,000 miles, urea-based solution or AdBlue, as it's known, is available at most major auto parts retailers.

6.0-liter Vortec V8
360 horsepower @ 5,400 rpm
380 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: NA

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

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2013 GMC Sierra 3500 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 40 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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