When the job at hand requires more grunt than a standard 1500 pickup truck can manage, those in the know call on the big guns from GMC, namely the 2014 GMC Sierra HD. Available in both 3/4- and 1-ton configurations, the Sierra HD has the muscle and frame strength to tow, haul and push objects that would leave lesser trucks burning up transmissions and dropping driveshafts. Beyond its numerous cab and axle configurations the Sierra HD also includes the Denali trim that brings a touch of sophistication to this working-class pack mule. Similar trucks from Ram and Ford offer roughly the same features and abilities, as well as resale, leaving the choice of getting a GMC purely up to buyer perception and preference.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you need to haul big payloads exceeding 10,000 pounds or conventionally tow up to 18,000 pounds, the 2014 GMC Sierra HD has you covered. The Denali trim should hold special appeal for those who use their work truck as a daily driver.
You May Not Like This Car If...
While the Sierra HD is powerful, it's not the king of the hill. The Ram 3500's 30,000-pound max towing capacity is off the charts, and its styling both inside and out is more modern than the Sierra HD.
For 2014, the gasoline-powered GMC Sierra gets a new standard 4.10 rear axle. The previous 3.73 axle remains optional. Also new are an available spray-in bedliner and the expansion of the bi-fuel gas/CNG 6.0-liter V8 to the 2500 model line.
Driving the Sierra 3500 HD Crew Cab
With its powerful 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8 hard at work under the massive hood, we discovered our 2014 GMC Sierra 2500 HD had no trouble at all towing a 10,000-pound...
... trailer. A viable option to the gas V8, the turbodiesel churns out a healthy 397 horsepower and an even more astonishing 765 lb-ft of torque. For those taking notes, that's more horsepower but less torque than the Ram HD and less horsepower but more torque than Ford's Powerstroke diesel. As the towing and payload wars heat up, Ford's F-450 and Ram's 3500 currently take top marks for max towing, yet the Sierra beats the Ram in the area of conventional towing and payload. In our extensive testing of the complete Sierra lineup in rear-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive iterations, we found all the trucks exhibited a firm yet comfortable ride, acceptable steering feedback and excellent stopping power.
EXHAUST BRAKING A feature we really came to love is the diesel powertrain's "smart" exhaust braking. The system works by progressively restricting exhaust output, which in turn helps slow the truck via engine-compression braking.
BI-FUEL SYSTEM Offering a cleaner-burning alternative to gasoline, the bi-fuel CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) engine offers the ability to power the 2014 GMC Sierra HD with a readily abundant domestic resource. The lofty $11,000 premium might turn some away, but with CNG running under $2 a gallon, the savings over the long haul might prove fruitful.
2014 GMC Sierra 3500 HD Crew Cab Details
The 2014 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 2014 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.
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 headlights. 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.
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. SLE models include 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.
Given the Sierra's limited rear visibility, the optional rearview camera tops our list of recommended add-ons. Also on the menu is a feature-laden convenience package comprising 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 2014 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
In base Work Truck form, the 2014 GMC Sierra 2500 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just under $31,000, with the 3500 series tacking an additional $1,500 to the bottom line. The 2500 and 3500 Denali trims come in at around $48,000 and top out close to $65,000. Adding 4-wheel drive to the mix will set you back an extra $3,000. The Ford Super Duty and Ram HD each share a similar price range with the 2014 Sierra HD. To get a better idea of what others in your area are paying for the GMC Sierra HD, take a look at KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price at the bottom of this page. Like its heavy-duty challengers, the 2014 Sierra HD is expected to maintain average 5-year residual values.
Cons: "Wish it had an SSD in dash to store music/data."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This truck is ever-ready & dependable. The ride, comfort + conveniences (options) are outstanding. No other brand pickup compares to the performance & comfort of this particular model GMC in this price range (perhaps, the Denali) but that seemed a bit too posh to venture out in on jaunts over rugged terrain. A very sensible yet elegant ride - a GMC Professional Grade pickup, indeed! Handling and operation of this 2500HD is a cinch - the installed technology (options) provide added assurance & safety. Gas mileage is as was expected 13 mpg city/19 mpg hwy. No complaints so far."
"I now have 16,000 miles on my 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 Double Cab 4x4 All-Terrain Edition and can give a decent review. I purchased it with 3k miles on it and saved a bundle over the cost of a new one.
This is my first GMC. I have owned Chevy, Dodge, and Ford. My last one being a 2004 F-150 XLT Crew Cab that had almost 200K miles when I gave it to my son. Hopefully this one will do as well.
I looked at all the competition and the GMC seemed to offer the biggest bang for the buck. Mine has the SLE package, 20” wheels and the All-Terrain package which includes most everything I can ever imagine needing and much more luxurious that I am used to in a truck. I have a BMW and this is honestly better equipped.
It has been flawless as far as reliability of the vehicle. No issues at all. My biggest regret is not shopping around for a 5.3 engine version. This one has base 6 cyl and it is lacking for power when trying to haul a heavy trailer. Without a load the engine is fine but if you’re going to haul, definitely look for one with the V8 engine options. Some have complained the headlights are weak but they seem fine to me. The sets seem a bit thin on padding but I have covercraft seat covers that include ¼ foam and they made a huge difference in long trip comfort. The lack of rear vents for the heating and AC seems to be the most foolish design flaw I have noticed. Kids in the back complain and BTW-kids are the only ones that will be comfortable in the back seat of the double-cab version. It’s a tight fit for adults.
My mileage has bested at 23.5 mpg highway over a 350 mile run. My average per tank has been about 17 with mixed driving. My Ford averaged 14. Not a huge improvement but not terrible for a full sized truck.
The bright side for shoppers looking for a used truck, the depreciation hit seems larger than Fords for the first year or two so you can get a good price if you shop around. I live in Virginia and went to Michigan to get this one and the savings we well worth it.
Now if I can just quit spending on accessories…."
"I have had my truck for almost a year now. I have around 12k miles, and the truck is practically flawless. First off, one thing this truck should of come with is rear passenger ventilation. Believe it or not, the trucks giant cabin does not come with rear vents. The interior is a major upgrade over previous models & the exterior styling speaks for itself, especially the Denali option. The Duramax 6.6 liter turbo-diesel combined with the Allison transmission provides the best value for your dollar. The cabin is quiet, the technology is vastly improved, the engine is powerful (397HP, 765ft-lb torque), and the ride is extremely smooth in comparison to other HD trucks. The Duramax diesel option is fully capable for towing just about anything, and rates as one of the best in its class. This is a truck you can plan on keeping for a looong time. A truck you can pass down to other generations of family that will last."