2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD Review

Pros & Cons

  • Impressive hauling and towing capabilities
  • refined and quiet ride
  • strong diesel engine
  • solid build quality.
  • Limited availability of telescoping steering wheel.
List Price Estimate
$22,927 - $27,441

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Edmunds' Expert Review

With its considerable capabilities and comfortable nature, the 2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD is an excellent choice for a heavy-duty truck.

Vehicle overview

The 2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD is designed to feel right at home in the most demanding towing and hauling situations. If you need a workhorse that brings maximum brute force to the job, this could very well be your next truck. To wit, the Sierra 3500HD has a maximum payload rating of 6,111 pounds and a maximum towing capacity of 23,200 pounds. Those numbers are slightly different this year, as GMC has adopted the SAE J2807 trailering standard, but one thing's for certain; that's a massive amount of capability by just about anyone's standards.

Fresh off last year's redesign, the Sierra 3500HD gets a number of useful upgrades for 2016, including standard xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights, available wireless phone charging, a remote locking tailgate and improved IntelliLink infotainment systems with faster processors and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. One thing that hasn't changed is the 3500HD's agreeable driving character, enhanced on pricier models this year by a Digital Steering Assist system designed to improve both precision and maneuverability. With two burly engines and a choice of rear- or four-wheel drive, plus three body styles, two available bed lengths and four different trim levels, the Sierra 3500HD can be configured for a wide variety of business and personal applications.

Then again, so can its virtually identical twin, the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD, as well as the Ford F-350 Super Duty and the Ram 3500, all three of which are excellent alternatives. It's also worth considering the 2500-level trucks if you're not absolutely sure you need the extra brawn. But if nothing less than the toughest heavy-duty pickup truck will do, the 2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD is a must-drive based on its refined nature, beefy powertrains and industrial-grade skill set.

2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD models

The 2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD is offered in regular cab, double cab and crew cab body styles with a choice of two- or four-wheel drive. All cab styles can be had in either single-rear-wheel (SRW) or dual-rear-wheel (DRW, or "dually") configuration, and all come with a long bed (8 feet) except the crew cab, which in SRW form offers a choice of the long bed or a standard bed (6.5 feet).

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, 18-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 3500HD 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 items plus an upgraded 8-inch central touchscreen, 18-inch alloy wheels (single-rear-wheel models only), 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, a CD player and HD radio.

The SLT trim level adds more 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, 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 3500HD gets standard xenon headlights and LED daytime 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 3500HD 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 3500HD can haul up to 6,111 pounds of payload. It can tow up to 20,000 pounds with a standard ball hitch and 23,200 pounds with a fifth-wheel/gooseneck hitch.

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD 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 includes the front and rear parking sensors plus lane-departure warning, forward-collision alert and a safety alert seat.

Driving

The 2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD offers a relatively 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, however, the Sierra 3500HD 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.

Interior

Inside the 2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD 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 unnatural position that's too upright to be comfortable.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD.

5(33%)
4(16%)
3(0%)
2(18%)
1(33%)
3.0
6 reviews
Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

I love my truck
Jon ellis,08/18/2016
Denali 4dr Crew Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A)
I have a 2015 gmc 3500 dually with the durmax. I also put 24 inch 18 wheel style wheels with larger tires. My truck rides great and i had as much as 21 mpg on the hwy. I average about 15mpg but i do a lot of stop and go and sitting in Atlanta traffic. I have a 26 foot trailer and when i pull it it doesnt even feel any different. I had a ford f350 prior and i had nothing but issues. I also have new a ls460 but i rather drive my truck.
Had every brand of truck. This is the BEST!
zolman@evansville.net,08/31/2017
SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A)
First of all Edmunds doesn't give the Duramax / Allison option to review. That is what mine is so it might not compare to other reviewers. The some of previous reviewers must have been driving a completely different truck then I was. Some of those reviews just didn't make sense to me. This is an awesome truck. It's more "luxury car" like then any truck I've ever driven. And now I have had 40,000 miles of trouble free use. My wife enjoys driving it because she has great visibility and it is so easy to handle for the "beast" that it is. It easily handles my 39 ', 15,300 5th Wheel toy hauler with a 2 700lb. mototcycles. You actually don't even know all that load is back there. As it has gotten more miles on it the MPG has improved. I know this is hard to believe but at 40MPH I've gotten over 30 MPG. At interstate speeds of 70-75 MPG it averages over 21 MPG. Pulling my 17,000lb 5th Wheel trailer I get 11.5. One of the problems for GM is that they build such a good truck that I can’t even consider a new purchase. This truck is all I need and the new enhancements don’t add much to what I already have.
Should have kept my ford
Z Costello,06/14/2016
Denali 4dr Crew Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A)
Bought this truck brand new. Needed a dually for towing. Thought I couldn't go wrong with a new Denali diesel. Was I wrong. Digital steering assist whines in the steering column when at idle. Ridiculous for a $70k truck. I also have cabin noise issues. I can hear the ticking of exhaust coming from dash area on driver side. Not well insulated for outside noises. And just last week noticed I have about 2 inches of play in the steering wheel. Hard to control at highway speeds. Gm has been terrible to deal with. They say everything is normal for this truck. Completely unexceptable. Traded my Ford F-350 for this.....big mistake. I am pursuing lemon law on this truck. Has been in dealer 3 times for same issue. Going in again to see if they can fix. Gm doesn't have a fix therefore it's normal. That's not gonna fly. *Just to update. Took my truck in again for issues listed above. As expected GM has no fix for problems. They agreed the digital assisted steering is noisy but they don't know how to fix so they chalked it up to a normal characteristic of the truck. Really bad service. I'll be going back to a Ford soon. Never had an issue with my F350's.
2016 gmc sierra denali 3500
Vlad park,02/07/2016
Denali 4dr Crew Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A)
Tranny kicks after coming to a complete stop,dealer says its gas slushing in tank. B.S Towing a load you get a bad viration that you feel on gas petal .not confortable driving over 60 mph to much vibration. To much electronics freezes radio once in while. When you have weight in bed approx 1000lb lifts front end it make your front end rattle.dealer said that was normal...every problem is normal.

Features & Specs

MPG
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 3
6-speed automatic
Flex-fuel (ffv)
360 hp @ 5400 rpm
MPG
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 3
6-speed automatic
Flex-fuel (ffv)
360 hp @ 5400 rpm
MPG
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 3
6-speed automatic
Flex-fuel (ffv)
360 hp @ 5400 rpm
MPG
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 3
6-speed automatic
Flex-fuel (ffv)
360 hp @ 5400 rpm
See all Used 2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD features & specs
More about the 2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD

Used 2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD Overview

The Used 2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD is offered in the following submodels: Sierra 3500HD Crew Cab, Sierra 3500HD Regular Cab, Sierra 3500HD Double Cab. Available styles include Denali 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), Denali 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), Denali 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Double Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Crew Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), Denali 4dr Crew Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Double Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Double Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Crew Cab SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Double Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Double Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), Denali 4dr Crew Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 2dr Regular Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Crew Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Double Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Double Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Double Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 2dr Regular Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Double Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Crew Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Crew Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), Denali 4dr Crew Cab SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 2dr Regular Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Double Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 2dr Regular Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Double Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Crew Cab SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), and 4dr Double Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD Denali is priced between $54,995 and$55,000 with odometer readings between 21831 and52936 miles.

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Which used 2016 GMC Sierra 3500HDS 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 3500HD for sale near. There are currently 3 used and CPO 2016 Sierra 3500HDS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $39,999 and mileage as low as 21831 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 3500HD.

Can't find a used 2016 GMC Sierra 3500HDs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used GMC Sierra 3500HD for sale - 10 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $19,548.

Find a used GMC for sale - 11 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $23,337.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC Sierra 3500HD for sale - 6 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $11,194.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC for sale - 6 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $17,221.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD?

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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