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2011 GMC Sierra 3500 HD Regular Cab

Overview
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2011 GMC Sierra 3500 HD Regular 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 Regular 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 Regular 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 777 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

By on Monday, June 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 117,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great gas mileage , 18 mpg plus more on highway"

Cons: "i lost my job n cant afford it no more"

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

"I bought if for grand son and he moved away I owe 12,500 on this truck , you can have it for the payoff price"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Best truck I have EVER owned.........love it!!

By on Saturday, June 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Just a GREAT truck"

Cons: "None"

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

"Smooth riding, plenty of power, turns on a dime ( unlike last truck) I pull a fairly heavy boat/ trailer, can't hardly tell it's behind me. Gas mileage is decent in the city and excellent on the highway. And with the flex fuel option, whenever gas gets expensive, I switch to good old "corn oil"......big savings! Best part........truck is gorgeous! Always get comments about what a " good looking truck I have" :)"

23 people out of 38 found this review helpful

This a good U S A product. Had it send new.

By on Tuesday, June 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "very good truck for faimly fun"

Cons: "Need better seats cover.Seats too hard."

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

"About 5 years before changing a light. Did all the oil change and other maintence on the truck and never had any trouble out of it.4 years before change in battier. Still on its 2nd battier. I buying another one soon. This truck went hunting in the winter and pull a 18 ft bass boat every summer all summer."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Mechanically, the best Vehicle Ive ever owned.

By on Saturday, May 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 220,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very Reliable, Cheap to own, 6.0 indestructable"

Cons: "Bad on Gas, 14MPG with tail wind down hill"

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

"in 2009 I started as a Tech in the Oil Field, and was given this Truck with 40K miles on it (2007 NBS Sierra 2500HD EC LB 4x4 Z71) I Drove this Truck until 216k miles when they made me trade it in for a 2012 Sierra 2500HD, 2 yrs later they liquidated the Company trucks and I was able to purchase for less than half of Blue Book. Tody it has 220k on it and to this day its only had a Throttle body ($120 referb at Auto Parts) and the rear end rebuilt( my fault) Has never thrown a check engine light (apart from the Throttle body) has never failed to start, never left me stranded... id drive this truck from coast to coast and not think twice!!! Same cant be said for GM HDs 2011 and up, thier GM 6l90E Transmissions are Junk wouldnt touch with a 10Ft pole. After 220K miles the tuck does have some rattles... but i can live with that."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

great truck

By on Thursday, May 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500

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
5/10

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

"the only thing wrong is the ride it rides like a truck lol but over all it is a great truck cant be beat in the snow of Vermont best truck I have ever owned"

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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."

3 people out of 7 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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