Full 2007 GMC Sierra 3500HD Review
What's New for 2007
Reborn for 2007, the GMC Sierra 3500 boasts not only best-in-class hauling and towing abilities, but major improvements in build quality and cabin refinement.
Better late than never. Wary of criticism about its pickup trucks' spotty build quality and Fisher-Price-grade cabin materials, GMC gets a major clue for 2007, and one major result is the fully redesigned Sierra 3500 full-size heavy-duty pickup truck.
The outgoing generation of the 1-ton Sierra 3500 (which is still available under the "Classic" nameplate) was a strong and sturdy workhorse, but the Achilles heel in that truck was its low-buck interior ambience. This year's full redesign yields improvements that are immediately apparent upon climbing in. Materials are higher in quality (less hard plastic than before) and panel gaps are tight and even. The styling is more cohesive as well and overall the new Sierra's interior, especially in top SLT trim with its lustrous wood and metallic accents, is attractive and comfortable.
Outside, the styling is old-school aggressive, with a massive rectangular grille and bulging fenders. The muscular hood hints at the power underneath, and indeed the revamped engine lineup boasts higher output ratings. The standard engine in the 2007 GMC Sierra 3500 is a 6.0-liter V8 with 353 horsepower and 373 pound-feet of torque, while optional is the brawny "Duramax" turbodiesel V8 that makes 365 hp and 660 lb-ft of torque. Newly standard is a six-speed automatic transmission (for either engine) whose extra gears promise better performance and fuel economy when compared to last year's four-speed unit. Combined with a new, stronger frame, the Duramax allows impressive payload and towing capacities of 5,307 and 16,500 pounds (with a fifth-wheel hitch), respectively.
With its strong work abilities and well-rounded personality, the 2007 GMC Sierra 3500 is a solid pick in the heavy-duty pickup segment. We already favored last year's truck over the Ford F-350, so it stands to reason that the new truck will stand ever taller. But if for some reason you don't find it to your liking, you might also want to check out the Dodge Ram 3500, which has a new diesel powertrain this year and offers nearly equal towing and payload capacities.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 GMC Sierra 3500 is a full-size 1-ton pickup. There are three body styles available: regular cab, extended cab and crew cab. All are fitted with a long bed and all but the 2WD standard cab can be had in either single- or dual-rear-wheel versions.
Regular cabs can be had in base Work Truck or midlevel SLE trims, while the extended and crew cabs can also be had in plush SLT form. The Work Truck trim comes with the basics, including air-conditioning (extended and crew cab versions), a trip computer, OnStar telematics, vinyl seating, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat and a tilt steering wheel. The SLE trim actually consists of two subsets: SLE1 and SLE2. The SLE1 adds deep-tinted windows, chrome grille trim, foglamps, alloy wheels, a CD player, cruise control, full power accessories, cloth seating, keyless entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Step up to the SLE2 (in extended and crew cabs) and you'll get dual-zone automatic climate control, six-way power front bucket seats and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. The top-of-the-line SLT adds leather seating, rain-sensing wipers (with heated washer fluid), a Bose audio system with six-disc CD changer, keyless entry/start, an exclusive dash design with wood/metallic accents, 12-way power and heated front seats, rear audio controls and Homelink universal remote.
Available options include XM Satellite Radio, remote starting, power-sliding rear window, a navigation system, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, rear park assist, a power sunroof, the Z71 Off-Road Package (skid plates, off-road suspension and locking rear differential), the Safety Package (power-adjustable pedals and park assist), a snow plow prep package and a cargo management system (including sliding tie-down hooks in the front and sides of the bed interior).
Powertrains and Performance
Standard on all Sierra 3500 trucks is a 6.0-liter V8 with 353 hp and 373 lb-ft of torque that comes paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The burly Duramax 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8, which boasts 365 hp and 660 lb-ft, is optional and comes matched to a heavy-duty Allison six-speed automatic. Properly equipped, the 3500 can haul up to 5,307 pounds and tow up to 16,500 pounds (with a fifth-wheel hitch), making it the class leader in both areas. Buyers have a choice of either rear- or four-wheel drive. The Work trim with 4WD has a traditional floor-mounted selector for the transfer case. All other 4WD trims have Autotrac, which features an automatic setting that shifts into 4WD when wheel slippage is detected.
Antilock disc brakes and a tire-pressure monitor are standard on the 1-ton GMC Sierra. Stability control and side curtain airbags are not available. An optional Safety Package includes power-adjustable pedals and rear park assist.
Interior Design and Special Features
The fit and finish of the new Sierra's cabin is vastly improved compared to the previous generation. Exacting build quality as well as attractive materials and simple controls make it easy to get comfortable inside the big pickup. A one-touch, three-blink lane-change feature, plenty of storage cubbies, three power points (including one in the console box) and well-placed cupholders add to the user-friendly environment. The luxurious Sierra SLT features a unique dash and door panel design with handsome wood grain and metallic accents, giving this workhorse the feel of a premium luxury sedan.
Based on our experience with the new Sierra 1500, we expect the redesigned 2007 GMC Sierra 3500 to provide sprightly performance, especially with the diesel-fueled V8. On long trips, the 3500's supple suspension should swallow bumps (even with the heavy-duty towing option) while still allowing confident, no-slop handling with a minimum of body sway through the turns. The cabin is impressively quiet, making long trips all the more enjoyable.