2006 GMC Sierra 3500 Review

Used Sierra 3500 for sale
List Price Estimate:$5,391 - $9,828
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GMC Sierra 3500 model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Multiple drivetrain configurations, substantial towing and hauling capacities, compliant ride quality.
  • Interior design is showing its age, spotty build quality, cheap interior materials.

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2006 GMC Sierra 3500 models

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.

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2006 Highlights

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.

Performance & mpg

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2006 GMC Sierra 3500.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
A Truck that puts a smile on your face!
don lewis,11/23/2009
SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A)
I have owned this truck since 2006 and now have 56000 miles on it. The Duramax/Allison combo outshines the rest. I have hauled volleyball teams, 15000lbs 5th wheel up the Cascades, to work everyday and a multiple runs crosscounty and I smile everytime I start this truck up. Do I have complaints? One, the roof liner fit and finish leaves alot to be desired :( I have drove the rest and this is hands down the best. A Quiet diesel that can smoke the tires. I laugh when the Toyota boys try to pull something heavy up the mountains, they just don't have it. It will be the last truck I own.
4.88 out of 5 stars
Best vehicle i have owned
mark mcrae,08/31/2006
SLT 4dr Extended Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A)
Bought deisel truck for camper and boat. this truck goes over mountain passes like the load isn't there, 15,000lbs. I bought an aftermarket engine program to increase performance, and with this chip I get 20mpg empty, 15mpg with boat or camper, 13mpg with boat and camper. Programer takes 5 minutes and allows me to program for specific loads or to put it back to stock settings, recommend this. There has not been 1 problem with truck and have already put on 12,000 miles in the first 4 months. Very happy customer.
2.13 out of 5 stars
A disaster
MyGMCLemon,04/28/2006
SL1 4dr Crew Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A)
I am absoultely horrified that I have a brand new vehicle that actually just shuts itself off while I am driving. It has now been into the dealership twice with only 1200 miles on it. Since they can not get codes out of the computer they can not isolate the problem and fix it. This truck has been a nightmare. It has been to the dealership twice now for repair. I still do not have it back and they still can not figure out what is wrong.
4.75 out of 5 stars
My retirement truck that I love !!
my86gmc,03/16/2009
SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A)
Best truck I have ever owned, period. Not sure what these other bad reviews are about? I have had no major problems. This truck pulls my 5th wheel better than anything on the road. Many Diesel magazines have given this truck its best in class award, and for good reason. Its a very comfortable truck to drive and loves to be hot rodded around. I'm at 45000 miles looking forward to many years of driving and towing with this. I added a Delco navigation unit plus a Delco 6 cd changer, it was well worth the price.

More about the 2006 GMC Sierra 3500

Used 2006 GMC Sierra 3500 Overview

The Used 2006 GMC Sierra 3500 is offered in the following submodels: Sierra 3500 Crew Cab, Sierra 3500 Regular Cab, Sierra 3500 Extended Cab. Available styles include SL1 4dr Extended Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SL1 4dr Extended Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLE2 4dr Crew Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SL1 4dr Crew Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 4dr Extended Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SL1 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLE2 4dr Extended Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 4dr Crew Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLT 4dr Extended Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLE2 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 4dr Crew Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SL1 4dr Crew Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLT 4dr Extended Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLE2 4dr Crew Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 4dr Extended Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLE2 4dr Extended Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLE2 4dr Extended Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), Work Truck 4dr Crew Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A), Work Truck 4dr Extended Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SL1 4dr Extended Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLE2 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLT 4dr Extended Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), Work Truck 4dr Extended Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 4dr Extended Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 4dr Extended Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A), Work Truck 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), Work Truck 4dr Extended Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SL1 4dr Extended Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLT 4dr Extended Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SL1 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A), Work Truck 4dr Crew Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLE2 4dr Extended Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SL1 2dr Regular Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SL1 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), Work Truck 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A), Work Truck 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 2dr Regular Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), Work Truck 2dr Regular Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 4A), Work Truck 4dr Extended Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 5M), Work Truck 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 5M), and SL1 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 5M). Pre-owned GMC Sierra 3500 models are available with a 6.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 300 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2006 GMC Sierra 3500 comes with rear wheel drive, and four wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic. The Used 2006 GMC Sierra 3500 comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2006 GMC Sierra 3500?

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 2006 GMC Sierra 3500s 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) 2006 GMC Sierra 3500 for sale near. 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 2006 GMC Sierra 3500.

Can't find a used 2006 GMC Sierra 3500s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used GMC Sierra 3500 for sale - 6 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $16,403.

Find a used GMC for sale - 8 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $16,878.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC Sierra 3500 for sale - 9 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $25,023.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC for sale - 4 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $12,103.

Should I lease or buy a 2006 GMC Sierra 3500?

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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