2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD Review

Pros & Cons

  • Impressive hauling and towing capabilities
  • refined and quiet ride
  • strong diesel engine
  • available CNG fueling for regular V8
  • solid build quality.
  • Limited availability of telescoping steering wheel.
List Price

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Edmunds' Expert Review

With its considerable capabilities and comfortable nature, the 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD is an excellent choice for a heavy-duty truck.

Vehicle overview

All pickups are designed to work hard and play hard, but some tasks require more muscle than others. If nothing less than the strongest, toughest truck will do, you'll want a heavy-duty model like the 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD. The big Sierra offers a standard 360-horsepower 6.0-liter V8 engine or an optional 397-hp 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8, and GMC says it can tow up to 18,000 pounds and haul up to 3,534 pounds when properly equipped. Those numbers are slightly different this year, as they're now based on the SAE J2807 trailering standard, but one thing's for certain: That's a whole lot of capability by just about anyone's standards.

Beyond the brawn, the Sierra 2500 HD has plenty to recommend it. Building on the improvements of last year's redesign, the 2016 model gets meaningful upgrades like standard xenon headlights and LED accent lights, an available remote locking tailgate and enhanced infotainment systems with faster processors and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. The surprisingly pleasant driving experience carries over, including a relatively smooth and hushed ride that's augmented by an upgraded steering system on fancier models for 2016. Add a choice of three body styles, two bed lengths and a wide range of trim levels and the Sierra 2500HD can be everything from a basic work truck to a classy high-end hauler.

It's worth noting that the GMC Sierra 2500HD is virtually identical to the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, with the exception of minor styling details and a few exclusive standard features and options. You'll also want to check out the rival Ford F-250 Super Duty and Ram 2500, which offer similar strengths and amenities. Ultimately, though, it's hard to go wrong with the 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD if you need a truck that can handle pretty much anything.

2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD models

The 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD is offered in regular cab, double cab and crew cab body styles with a choice of two- or four-wheel drive. The regular cab is available only with a long bed (8 feet), while the extended cab and crew cab models can be mated to either a standard bed (6.5 feet) or a long bed. Unlike its 3500HD big brother, the Sierra 2500HD is not available with a dual-rear-wheel (DRW, or "dually") axle.

Trim levels start at the base Sierra and climb to the SLE, SLT and range-topping Denali. The SLT trim is available only on the double and crew cabs, while the Denali is available only as a crew cab.

The entry-level Sierra comes standard with chrome bumpers, 17-inch steel wheels, an automatic locking rear differential, xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, air-conditioning, a choice of cloth or vinyl upholstery, a 40/20/40-split front bench with a fold-down center armrest, rubber floor covering, power door locks, manual crank windows, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel, a 4.2-inch central display and a four-speaker (regular cab) or six-speaker sound system with a USB port and an auxiliary audio input jack.

Optional on the base Sierra 2500HD is a 7-inch IntelliLink touchscreen infotainment system that includes OnStar, 4G LTE WiFi, Bluetooth, voice controls, satellite radio, Pandora Internet radio and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Stepping up to the SLE adds those optional infotainment features as standard along with an upgraded 8-inch central touchscreen, 17-inch alloy wheels, tinted rear windows, a remote locking EZ lift/lower tailgate, LED cargo box illumination, a rearview camera, remote keyless entry, carpeting, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, full power accessories, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 4.2-inch driver information display, HD radio and a CD player.

The SLT trim level adds 18-inch chrome alloy wheels, additional chrome trim, foglights, power-folding mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated eight-way power front seats (with power lumbar), driver memory settings, power-adjustable pedals, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote ignition and a 110-volt household-style power outlet.

On top of the SLT features, the Denali will get you more chrome exterior accents, 20-inch wheels, chrome side steps, a spray-in bedliner, a power-sliding rear window with defogger, front and rear parking sensors, a navigation system, wireless phone charging, a Bose audio system, a configurable 8-inch driver information display, upgraded interior trim, ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

Some of the upper trims' extra standard features can be added to the lower trim levels as options. Other option highlights, depending on trim level, include different axle ratios, a bed storage box, various tonneau covers, trailering mirrors, a sunroof, a Driver Alert package (includes front and rear parking sensors, lane-departure warning, forward-collision alert and a safety alert driver seat), a gooseneck/fifth-wheel trailering prep package and a rear-seat entertainment system. Also available is the Z71 Off-Road package, which includes 18-inch wheels, hill descent control, skid plates, specially tuned shock absorbers, a different front stabilizer bar and unique styling tweaks.

2016 Highlights

For 2016, the GMC Sierra 2500HD gets standard xenon headlights and LED running lights, while new options include wireless phone charging, a remote locking tailgate, a gooseneck/fifth-wheel trailering prep package and a 7-inch IntelliLink touchscreen interface. Both the new 7-inch interface and the premium 8-inch version get a faster processor and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Additionally, an upgraded Digital Steering Assist system debuts on higher-end models.

Performance & mpg

The 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD is offered with a choice of two different engines. A 6.0-liter V8 engine that produces 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque is standard, as is a six-speed automatic transmission. Buyers can opt for a bi-fuel version of this engine, allowing the truck to run on either gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG). When operating on CNG, power output drops to 301 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque. A turbocharged 6.6-liter diesel V8 that puts out 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque, paired to a different six-speed automatic, is available as an option.

Rear-wheel drive is standard for all models, with four-wheel drive optional.

Properly equipped, a 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD can haul up to 3,534 pounds of payload. It can tow up to 14,500 pounds with a standard ball hitch and 18,000 pounds with a fifth-wheel/gooseneck hitch.

At the Edmunds test track, a diesel-powered Sierra 2500HD 4x4 Crew Cab hit 60 mph in just 7.0 seconds. That's impressively quick for any heavy-duty pickup, let alone one with a crew cab and four-wheel drive.


Standard safety features on the 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control (with trailer sway control), front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Standard on all except the base trim is OnStar (includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen-vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation). Upper trims also include power-adjustable pedals, a rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors.

Optional safety equipment includes the Driver Alert package which bundles the parking sensors with lane-departure warning, forward-collision alert and a safety alert seat.

In Edmunds brake testing, the abovementioned diesel-powered Sierra 2500HD 4x4 Crew Cab needed 144 feet to stop from 60 mph. That's on the long side for this segment, even given the test truck's formidable curb weight.

In government crash tests, the Sierra 2500HD crew cab models received four out of five stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for total frontal protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. The other body styles had only received side-impact ratings (five stars) as of this writing.


The 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD offers a surprisingly comfortable ride quality for a heavy-duty pickup. Measured against its Sierra 1500 sibling, there's more wind and tire noise, but the cabin still manages to remain pretty quiet overall. Handling is decent, with body roll reasonably well controlled in turns and a light, precise steering feel. The SLE (except regular cabs), SLT and Denali trims also get an upgraded steering system called Digital Steering Assist. That said, as with all big pickups, maneuverability is often a challenge, especially in tight spaces.

When there's a big payload to haul or a sizable trailer to move, of course, the Sierra 2500HD shoulders the load without breaking a sweat, especially when fitted with the optional torque-monster turbodiesel engine. The diesel engine's exhaust brake is a welcome feature when descending long grades fully loaded, particularly since it works in conjunction with the transmission's automatic downshifts. The cruise control system is tied into this loop, helping to better hold your set speed on steep hills.


Inside the 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD you'll find an interior that ranges from work-truck basic on the entry-level model to downright posh on the top-of-the-line Denali. In general, though, materials quality is satisfying, and the design is both attractive and functional. Gauges are easy to see, and important everyday controls like climate and audio knobs are well-placed and dead simple to use. Upper trim levels even feature nice details like accent stitching atop the dash.

The available 4.2-inch and 8-inch information displays located between the tach and speedo are easy to read and reconfigure. The GMC IntelliLink touchscreen displays, meanwhile, offer sharp graphics and intuitive operation, along with handy Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration to bring your smartphone fully into the driving experience.

In terms of seating, the various front seat options offer good comfort and support. The only quibble here is that the base and SLE models' lack of a telescoping steering wheel may make it difficult for some folks to find a comfortable driving position (note that the telescoping wheel is optional on SLE). Rear seats on crew-cab models avoid a common pickup pitfall with seatbacks and bottom cushions that don't force occupants into an uncomfortable bolt upright position.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Lots of wows but some why did they do this's?
SLT 4dr Crew Cab SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A)
Be sure to take this truck on an extended test drive. I was in the car business for 30 years and must be a slow learner but didn't heed my own advice. The cabin is very nice and comfortable which is important because we are driving long distances pulling a 5th wheel. Performance and towing capability are good but I think the published tow rating is optimistic. I am pulling a 14,500# unit and feel I am undersized. GMC rates this truck to pull 17,100- it's a diesel. The engine and trans are fine but the suspension is light. My other sore spot is the the sloppy steering. It's light without an load and terrible when pulling. I wouldn't recommend this product and will be not keeping it for long.
Who says Valentines are always red!
Daniel E Garcia,02/22/2017
Denali 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A)
Picked up a stone blue 2016 2500 Denali from Bayer Motors in Comanche TX. Best truck ever, as my wife says. 500 mile drive to dealer was definitely worth it. Looking for a big loaded truck? Call Jeremy. It’s been a year and this truck has been a real workhorse. Pulling trees and clearing/hauling are no problem. Has been our best truck to date
Life long GM fan is loosing faith.
Joe Davis,05/17/2017
SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A)
Some painted bumpers do not hold up. Eight months old and my bumper has no less than twenty chips. Some as big as a quarter. The dealer did not want to stand behind it and said don't bring it back here... Wow.
Denali 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A)
I bought my truck as a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle almost 2 years ago with the primary purpose of towing a 35' travel trailer. It had about 16k miles on it when I bought it and currently has less than 45k miles. We went with the diesel (model in the review says 6.0L since diesel wasn't listed as an option) since we eventually want to get a heavier 5th Wheel camper. I'm now considering getting rid of it due to the number of times I've had to return for service. The check engine light has come on 3 times in the past 2 months (EGR valve, mass airflow sensor and DEF heater). The truck left us stranded out of town with the camper when the mass airflow sensor failed. Besides the check engine light, there was a power steering fluid leak (known by GM due to Service Bulletin) and some sort of known issue with a bad weld on the diesel exhaust that apparently causes excessive smoke. I'm anticipating that being a problem one of these days. Not sure that I can rely on this truck for what I bought if for.I'm extremely disappointed so far and since this is my first time purchasing a GM product, I'll likely not return as a customer in the future.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover20.4%

More about the 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD

Used 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD Overview

The Used 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD is offered in the following submodels: Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, Sierra 2500HD Regular Cab, Sierra 2500HD Double Cab. Available styles include Denali 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Double Cab 4WD SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Crew Cab SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Double Cab 4WD SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Double Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Double Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 2dr Regular Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Double Cab 4WD SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Crew Cab SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 2dr Regular Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Crew Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Double Cab SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Double Cab SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Crew Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Double Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Double Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), Denali 4dr Crew Cab SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Double Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Double Cab SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), and SLT 4dr Double Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A). Pre-owned GMC Sierra 2500HD models are available with a 6.0 L-liter flex-fuel (FFV) engine, with output up to 360 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD comes with four wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed automatic. The Used 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali is priced between $52,895 and$63,998 with odometer readings between 60791 and109107 miles.
  • The Used 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD Base is priced between $37,495 and$62,995 with odometer readings between 33404 and132697 miles.
  • The Used 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT is priced between $42,800 and$57,990 with odometer readings between 35188 and94321 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HDS are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD for sale near. There are currently 12 used and CPO 2016 Sierra 2500HDS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $37,495 and mileage as low as 33404 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD.

Can't find a used 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HDs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used GMC Sierra 2500HD for sale - 5 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $11,589.

Find a used GMC for sale - 1 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $13,649.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC Sierra 2500HD for sale - 11 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $20,791.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC for sale - 8 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $13,550.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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