2006 GMC Sierra 3500 Review | Edmunds.com

2006 GMC Sierra 3500

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
GMC Sierra 3500 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 6.0 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 300 hp @ 4400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 0/0 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 GMC Sierra 3500

  • Although the Sierra still has the capacity to tackle just about any job, its newer competition has a slight edge when it comes to overall refinement.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Multiple drivetrain configurations, substantial towing and hauling capacities, compliant ride quality.

  • Cons

    Interior design is showing its age, spotty build quality, cheap interior materials.

  • What's New for 2006

    For 2006, the Duramax diesel engine receives a host of power and refinement upgrades, as well as reduced emissions. The Allison automatic transmission is now a six-speed, and features a tap-shift range selection mode. The camper-style mirrors have been replaced by a folding and extending design with a built-in convex spotter glass. Trim levels and packaging have also been juggled.

Gas Mileage


  • Not Available
  • cty
  • Not Available
  • highway
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Best of breed

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Vehicle: 2005 GMC Sierra 3500

Except for the cruise control switch that failed early on and the really poor tires that were provided I have had zero problems with my GMC 3500 long bed duramax allison crew cab dually that I purchased in 2005. My GMC has largely been used for hauling trailers, including my 35 foot fifth wheel, a car hauler and a 20 foot box trailer. The diesel never falters, even on fairly sharp inclines. And compared to Ford or Dodge the engine remains quite quiet.

2005 gmc

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Vehicle: 2005 GMC Sierra 3500

Good reliable truck, never given me any trouble. Used it for 6 months in hauling 200 pound trailer.

2005 gmc 3500 slt drw

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Vehicle: 2005 GMC Sierra 3500

The comfort and drivabilty beats the Ford 350. I had an '01 F350 which was a great truck, but had some reliabilty problems and the brakes were not up to the task. The GMC is much better overall with towing and the interior is more car like. My biggest complaint about the truck is the gray steel rims with cheap trim rings. For over $40K the truck should be outfitted with Ford/Dodge similar rims. I almost went for the Ford again because of this.

Gmc 3500

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Vehicle: 2005 GMC Sierra 3500

It's a beautiful truck, feels like your riding in luxury. We have the TV/DVD package and that works great for our 4 kids who fit comfortably in the back on long trips. Good on gas for something that size, always runs and drives great. Have also used it to pull out the tractor when it got buried plowing the field, was not a problem it came right out and the truck barely had to try. Also pulled out a boat hauler that was stuck in a field, no limit to this truck.

'05 gmc sierra dually

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Vehicle: 2005 GMC Sierra 3500

Great truck! Traded in '01 F350 7.3L for the GMC. The GMC is much more driver friendly with comfort and a more car like feel. Power from the Duramax is very good as compared to the "chipped out" F350. On the downside, the truck, although a softer feel overall, is a bit more bouncy than the Ford. Interior room is much smaller in the front and rear of the crew-cab.

My truck

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Vehicle: 2005 GMC Sierra 3500

I have to say my experience with my GMC has been awesome. I have travelled over 17,000 miles since I first got it. It hauls my 42' 5th wheel with no difficulty and my daughter enjoys the DVD system w/the wireless headphones only a little more than I do. Great sound system and entertainment system. Shocks are a little stiff but only when I'm not hauling. I did a lot of comparision shopping and my GMC had the most options for the best price.


Full 2006 GMC Sierra 3500 Review

What's New for 2006

For 2006, the Duramax diesel engine receives a host of power and refinement upgrades, as well as reduced emissions. The Allison automatic transmission is now a six-speed, and features a tap-shift range selection mode. The camper-style mirrors have been replaced by a folding and extending design with a built-in convex spotter glass. Trim levels and packaging have also been juggled.


GMC's modern full-size pickup has been around in one form or another since the early '60s. Now into its sixth generation, the Sierra, as it's now called, boasts classic styling and some of the most powerful drivetrains available anywhere. A perennial competitor to the full-size offerings from Ford and Dodge, GMC positions itself as the "professional grade" truck in GM's lineup. Although its sales numbers are far below those of its competitors, when combined with its sister vehicle, the Chevrolet Silverado, the GM trucks sell in competitive numbers to Ford's F-Series.

Often first to market with exclusive features, the Sierra continues that tradition with options like XM Satellite Radio and Bose audio systems. GMC trucks also offer the OnStar communications system that provides the convenience of 24-hour on-call assistance for everything from tow truck requests to dinner reservations. Between its potent Duramax diesel and strong gas V8s, the Sierra one-ton can tackle just about any hard-core towing and hauling duties you could throw at it. Combine this with sharp styling on the outside and plenty of available features on the inside, and the Sierra 3500 presents a compelling package for anyone in the market for a no-holds-barred work truck.

As capable as it is, the Sierra is starting to show its age while its competition has been slowly upgrading its offerings. Both Dodge and Ford offer more powerful engine options as well as more refined interiors. Needless to say, it's worth shopping around before settling on the Sierra.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 3500 is only available as a long box, but buyers can still choose between regular, extended- and crew-cab body styles and either two- or four-wheel drive (regular cabs are 4WD only). There are several trim levels: Work Truck, SL1, SLE1, SLE2 and SLT. Work Trucks are intended for jobsite use and offer basics like 16-inch steel wheels, a vinyl 40/20/40-split bench seat, dual-zone manual air conditioning and an AM/FM radio. SL1 models add chrome-finish wheels, grille and bumpers, cloth upholstery, cruise control and a CD player. SLE1 models add foglights, privacy glass, power windows and door locks, keyless entry, power-heated exterior mirrors and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. SLE2 models provide a six-way power driver seat and an upgraded Bose stereo. Top-of-the-line SLTs add leather bucket seats with heaters and dual 10-way power adjustments, driver-seat memory, automatic climate control, power-retractable mirrors, an in-dash CD changer, steering wheel audio controls and a trip computer.

Powertrains and Performance

The 3500's base engine is a 6.0-liter V8 rated at 300 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque. If that's not enough grunt under the hood for you, GMC offers two more powerful options: an 8.1-liter V8 and a 6.6-liter "Duramax" turbodiesel V8. The 8.l-liter engine boasts an impressive 330 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque, while the diesel makes 360 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. The standard transmission for the 6.0-liter V8 is a five-speed manual with a four-speed automatic optional. The 8.1-liter V8 and 6.6-liter diesel can be hooked up to either a six-speed manual or a heavy-duty Allison six-speed automatic. Properly equipped, the Sierra 3500 can tow 12,000 pounds.


Four-wheel antilock disc brakes are standard. In government crash tests, the Sierra earned a four-star rating (out of five) for driver protection in frontal impacts and three stars for the front passenger. In frontal offset crash testing, the Sierra was given an overall rating of "Marginal," the second lowest on a scale of four.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, Sierra buyers will find a logically laid-out interior with an easy-to-use dual-zone climate control system and clear, uncluttered gauges. Materials quality is unimpressive, and build quality, though improved over the last few years, is still below the competition. Extended cabs and crew cabs offer large cabins with plenty of room and, on higher trims, comfortable bucket seats.

Driving Impressions

The 3500 is a dedicated work truck, so don't expect the plush ride of its light-duty siblings. Any of the three available engines provide swift acceleration and ample towing power, but the 6.6-liter turbodiesel is the best choice for those who tow heavy loads. The manual transmissions are about what you would expect in a big truck, but the automatics shift smoothly and crisply no matter how heavy the load.


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