2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD Double Cab Review
Edmunds expert review
The 2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD is a highly capable heavy-duty truck with lots of extras. It can tow over 14,000 pounds, seat six and it's wrapped up in an attractive package. If you need more capability than the Sierra 1500 but don't want the added expense or size of the 3500, the 2500 is the obvious choice.
For 2018, the Sierra 2500HD doesn't change much, and that's not necessarily a negative. A previously optional 7-inch touchscreen (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) is now standard but there are no updates to powertrains, suspension or features availability. That means that the 2500HD is still well-built and high-class and as utilitarian as it needs to be. It also means you can still get tech items such as the user-friendly Intellilink infotainment interface or the optional Driver Alert package, which adds parking sensors, lane departure warning and forward collision warning.
Of course, you'll also want to check out its corporate sibling, the Chevrolet Silverado 2500. It's mechanically the same, but it's priced lower and with less luxury equipment. For buyers who can do without the luxury gear, the Silverado is certainly worth a closer look. On its own merits, though, the 2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD is certainly a desirable truck with a lot to offer, even to the most demanding of truck owners.
What's new for 2018
Trim levels & features
The 2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD is a heavy-duty pickup truck available in four trim levels. The base (Sierra) 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 (8.2 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, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, rubber floor covering, a rearview camera, power door locks, cruise control, a tilt-only steering wheel, a 7-inch IntelliLink touchscreen infotainment system and a six-speaker sound system with two USB ports, an auxiliary audio input jack, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth phone and audio, Pandora radio, and voice controls. Optional tech equipment on the base Sierra 2500HD includes OnStar, 4G LTE Wi-Fi and satellite radio.
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. Buyers can also add a bi-fuel option to the 6.0-liter engine, allowing it to run on gasoline or compressed natural gas.
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 & Lower tailgate, LED cargo box illumination, remote keyless entry, carpeting, 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 chrome 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 gooseneck/fifth-wheel trailering prep package, and a rear-seat entertainment system. There's also a Driver Alert package, which includes front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, forward collision warning and a safety-alert driver seat. The Z71 suspension package adds hill descent control, skid plates, specially tuned shock absorbers and unique styling tweaks. Also available (on SLT crew-cab models only) is the All Terrain HD package, which includes off-road tires, the spray-in bedliner, a skid plate, the Z71 suspension and a heated steering wheel.
Noise & vibration
Ease of use
Getting in/getting out
Child safety seat accommodation4.0
Audio & navigation
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.