2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD

2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab Review

Comfortable, quiet and capable, the 2017 Sierra 2500HD is a heavy-duty truck that can do it all.
4 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Travis Langness
Edmunds Editor

With its considerable capabilities and luxurious interior, the 2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD is an excellent choice for a heavy-duty truck. The revised 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 gives the Sierra HD massive towing and hauling power, too.

Whether you're going with a basic work truck or you want something with enough comfort and luxury to drive across the country, the Sierra 2500HD is a strong choice for a heavy-duty pickup. Available with two powerful engines and in several different cab configurations, the 2500HD can be tailored to fit your priorities, whether interior space, cargo room or maximum towing capacity. Ford and Ram also make robust pickups for extreme towing duties, but we think the 2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD is a strong all-arounder and a truck we'd definitely recommend taking a look at.



what's new

For 2017, the GMC Sierra 2500HD gets an updated version of its optional 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 engine. It's more powerful this year, boasting a stout 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque. A revised hood-mounted air intake for the diesel engine is also part of the deal. Finally, the 2500HD gets a standard Teen Driver mode that allows owners to set parameters for secondary drivers.

we recommend

One of the most appealing versions of the 2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD is the SLT trim level, equipped with the optional 6.6-liter turbodiesel engine. The SLT comes with items such as leather upholstery and power-adjustable pedals, and with the diesel engine you can tow almost anything you put behind it. Most of the functional items you'll need are standard or optional on the SLT, too, including packages such as the one for the Z71 suspension.

trim levels & features

The 2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD is a heavy-duty pickup truck available in four trim levels. The base version comes with basic equipment such as vinyl flooring and steel wheels, but you'll get a lot more if you pick the SLE, SLT or the range-topping Denali. On upper trim levels, items such as a remote-locking tailgate, leather upholstery and navigation become available. There are three cab configurations: regular cab, double cab and crew cab. All are available with two- or four-wheel drive.

The regular cab is available only with a long bed (8 feet), while the extended- and crew-cab models can have 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. The SLT trim is available only on the double and crew cabs, and the Denali is available only as a crew cab.

The base Sierra comes standard with a 6.0-liter V8 engine (360 hp and 380 lb-ft), a six-speed automatic transmission, 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, cruise control, a tilt-only steering wheel, a 4.2-inch central display and a four-speaker (regular cab) or a six-speaker sound system with a USB port and an auxiliary audio input jack.

Optional tech equipment on the base Sierra 2500HD is a 7-inch IntelliLink touchscreen infotainment system that includesOnStar, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, voice controls, satellite radio, Pandora internet radio and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility.

From the base Sierra on up, you have your choice of engine, too. A turbocharged 6.6-liter diesel V8 (445 hp and 910 lb-ft) is also available, and it is paired to a different six-speed automatic.

If the base truck isn't your flavor, then step up to the SLE. It gets most of the base trim's optional tech features plus an upgraded 8-inch central touchscreen, 17-inch alloy wheels, tinted rear windows, a remote locking EZ-Lift and Lower tailgate, LED cargo box illumination, a rearview camera, remote keyless entry, carpeting, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, HD radio and a CD player.

With a few more luxury items, the SLT trim level feels a bit better equipped than our standard work truck. It adds 18-inch chromed alloy wheels, additional chrome trim, foglights, power-folding mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable and heated front seats (with power lumbar adjustment), driver-seat 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.

For a plush and upscale vibe, choose the Denali trim. It will get you even more chrome on the outside, 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.

Most 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 warning and a safety-alert driver seat), a gooseneck/fifth-wheel trailering prep package and a rear-seat entertainment system. The Z71 suspension package adds hill descent control, skid plates, specially tuned shock absorbers and unique styling tweaks. Also available (on SLT models only) is the All Terrain HD package, which includes the spray-in bedliner, the Z71 suspension and a heated steering wheel.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD (6.6L turbodiesel V8; 6-speed automatic). The Silverado is essentially the GMC Sierra's twin, so many of our observations will apply. Since 2015, the Sierra has received a few updates, including this year's revised 6.6-liter turbodiesel engine. We've updated our review to reflect those changes.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall4.0 / 5.0

Driving

4.5 / 5.0

Braking4.0 / 5.0
Steering4.0 / 5.0
Handling4.5 / 5.0
Drivability4.0 / 5.0

Comfort

4.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort4.0 / 5.0
Ride comfort4.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration4.5 / 5.0

Interior

4.0 / 5.0

Ease of use4.5 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out4.5 / 5.0
Roominess4.0 / 5.0
Visibility3.0 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
With 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque, the 2500's optional 6.6-liter turbodiesel V8 is right in line with its top competitors. The 2017 Sierra HD is also impressively composed and easy to handle when the road gets curvy.

acceleration

Even before recent updates, the optional diesel engine was the one to get. It had smooth, nearly instantaneous power delivery at all times. We achieved 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds with the old engine, which is remarkable for a heavy-duty pickup. We expect this new engine to be even better.

braking

edmunds rating
In everyday driving, the brake pedal action is pretty linear, but at times the slightly spongy pedal makes it feel as if the brakes aren't all that strong. Our track-tested panic-stop distance from 60 mph — 144 feet — is a bit longer than average for the segment.

steering

edmunds rating
For such a large, heavy-duty truck, there's good steering, with good weighting (typically it's too light) and some feedback. It's a slow ratio, though, which means it requires several rotations of the wheel on back roads.

handling

edmunds rating
Handling is aided by precise steering and well-controlled body roll through corners. The suspension reacts pretty well to midcorner bumps. You're not buying a heavy-duty truck for its handling abilities, but it's nice to know this one isn't a slouch around corners.

drivability

edmunds rating
The six-speed automatic transmission is mostly smooth, but the 1-2 upshift can be abrupt. And it's smart, letting the engine's massive torque do the work instead of downshifting. In town, throttle pedal action is supple, and the brakes are never touchy.

comfort

edmunds rating
Everyday comfort in the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD is pretty good overall. The front seats are supportive for the long haul, and the ride quality is decent for a heavy-duty truck. We are also impressed with how quiet the cabin is.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
Despite thick padding, the front seats aren't all that plush, and the seatbacks in particular are on the hard side. The rear seat cushions feel softer than the front ones and envelop you more. The rear seatback is at a nice angle for all-day riding.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
Considering the Sierra 2500HD was designed with towing and hauling in mind, it's a decent-riding truck. It exhibits some of the typical jiggling on concrete freeways, and big bumps upset it, but overall this truck is pretty livable.

noise & vibration

edmunds rating
This is an impressively quiet truck. The previous-generation diesel had a bit of ever-present clatter, especially when cold and at low speeds, but it was never obnoxious. There's hardly any wind noise, and the big truck tires don't sound like big truck tires.

interior

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There are high-quality materials, a large amount of space and plenty of storage areas inside the 2500. We love the damped tailgate's action, as well as the integrated bumper step.

ease of use

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The instrument panel is legible and clear, and the IntelliLink touchscreen responds relatively quickly to inputs. Buttons and knobs are generously sized and intuitive. But the cruise control can overshoot your desired speed on downhills, even when the "smart" exhaust brake is invoked.

getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
As with pretty much any 2500 series truck, the Sierra sits high. It's a definite step up to get in, but entry is made easier thanks to the optional running boards and the standard grab handles at each door.

roominess

edmunds rating
Up front, there's enormous amounts of headroom and plenty of space to stretch out sideways. It would be nice if there was a dead pedal as a resting spot for the driver's left foot. There's tons of rear headroom with excellent foot space underneath the front seats.

visibility

edmunds rating
For a truck this big, the front windshield pillars are refreshingly narrow. But the roof pillar behind the driver and the grab handle restrict the driver's lane-change view, and the rearview mirror and side mirrors could be larger. Otherwise, this is an airy cabin with tall side windows.

utility

edmunds rating
Few owners will ever get near the theoretical tow limit of a truck as capable of the GMC Sierra 2500HD. However, with its newly revised diesel engine it has some of the top towing numbers in the class.

small-item storage

There's a large center-console storage compartment that doubles as a big armrest, multiple cupholders, and plenty of pockets for whatever you've brought along. This truck can tow the big things and haul plenty of the small stuff, too.

cargo space

A large cabin with a fold-up 60/40-split rear seat means there's plenty of room for tools or whatever other precious cargo you'd like to keep locked up inside. There are also a number of optional tonneau covers for the back if that's where you'd rather store your things.

technology

GMC's IntelliLink infotainment system was improved in 2016 with faster processors and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. The navigation display similarly impresses with easy address input and readable graphics.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.