2019 GMC Sierra 3500HD Review

Pros & Cons

  • Prodigious torque from optional diesel engine
  • Quiet cabin for a workhorse truck, even when diesel-equipped
  • Solid build quality and high-end feel
  • Some versions don't offer a telescoping steering column
  • Thick roof pillars create large blind spots
  • Behind class leaders for towing and hauling capability
List Price Range
$52,390 - $79,900

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Which Sierra 3500HD does Edmunds recommend?

If you're looking for a capable heavy-duty truck with an impressive amount of equipment, we recommend the midlevel Sierra SLT. It has a wide range of available option packages along with lots of standard gear such as leather upholstery, heated front seats and power-adjustable seats. And if you want Denali-level creature comforts, you can get most of those as packaged or stand-alone options. For towing heavy trailers, we'd advise getting the 6.6-liter diesel V8.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

The 2019 GMC Sierra 3500HD is a big truck with big capabilities. It's available with two powerful engines — a standard V8 and a turbodiesel option — and both can pull massive trailers or haul monster payloads. On the inside, the Sierra is generously equipped on its base and SLE trim levels and gets lavish on the top-dog Denali model. This GMC is a comfortable and quiet truck that can get the job done.

The Sierra HD isn't alone in its class, however. The Ford and Ram heavy-duty trucks can tow significantly more. They also have interiors with more modern aesthetics along with updated tech interfaces and safety features. A redesigned 2020 model promises to put the Sierra HD back on a competitive footing. Even so, there's still enough good here to make the 2019 Sierra 3500HD worth checking out.

2019 GMC Sierra 3500HD models

The 2019 GMC Sierra 3500HD heavy-duty pickup truck is available in four trim levels: base, SLE, SLT and Denali. All come in a crew-cab body style, with a choice of rear- or four-wheel drive and in either a single rear-wheel (SRW) or dual rear-wheel (DRW, or dually) configuration. Two bed lengths are available: standard 6.6-foot short bed or 8.2-foot long bed.

The base Sierra comes standard with a 6.0-liter V8 engine (360 horsepower and 380 lb-ft), a six-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch steel wheels, an automatic locking rear differential, xenon headlights, air conditioning, a choice of cloth or vinyl upholstery, a 40/20/40-split front bench with a fold-down center armrest, power door locks and windows, cruise control, and a tilt-only steering wheel. Also standard are a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a 7-inch touchscreen, a USB port and a six-speaker stereo.

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

Many options are available for the base Sierra. Highlights include a remote locking tailgate, LED bed lighting, a 110-volt power outlet, satellite radio, and OnStar services with 4G LTE Wi-Fi.

The next rung up on the trim-level ladder is the SLE, which adds to the standard equipment with an 8-inch touchscreen, 18-inch alloy wheels (single rear-wheel models only), tinted rear windows, a remote-locking EZ-Lift tailgate, remote keyless entry, carpeted floor, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, full power accessories, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a CD player, satellite and HD radio, and most of the base Sierra's options.

Next up is our recommendation, the SLT. Building on the SLE's equipment, the SLT adds foglights, power-folding mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, power-adjustable and heated front seats, driver-seat memory functions, power-adjustable pedals, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote start, and a 110-volt household-style power outlet.

For a luxurious take on your hard-working truck, there's the top level with the Denali. It adds 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, an upgraded driver information display, upgraded interior trim, ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

Many of the standard features on upper trims can be added at lower trim levels in grouped packages. Other optional highlights depend on trim level and include different axle ratios, a bed storage box, tonneau covers, trailering mirrors, a sunroof, a gooseneck/fifth-wheel trailering prep package, a rear-seat entertainment system, and a Driver Alert package, which includes front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, forward collision warning and a safety-alert driver's seat.

Only available on the SLT is the All Terrain HD package, which includes 18-inch wheels, the Z71 off-road suspension, skid plates, front and rear parking sensors, and a heated steering wheel. A separate Suspension package (available on the SLE and the SLT) offers hill descent control, skid plates, specially tuned shock absorbers and unique styling treatments.

Driving

The optional 6.6-liter turbodiesel is an impressive engine that gives the 3500HD big towing numbers and impressive acceleration. Steering and braking are less impressive, but objectively this truck performs well by most standards that matter to truck buyers.

Acceleration

The 6.6-liter diesel makes massive torque and more than sufficient power, which give it a surge of acceleration off the line. Surprisingly, it does 0-60 mph in just 7.7 seconds. In-town acceleration is more reserved, but there's still plenty of power to get up to freeway speed.

Braking

The brake pedal feel is strong and consistent in everything other than full panic-stop scenarios. During Edmunds testing, we were able to press the pedal all the way to the floor, which is far from ideal.

Steering

The steering is well-weighted, but it takes several full revolutions of the steering wheel to turn this rig. There isn't much of a connection between the steering wheel and the tires, but that didn't factor too heavily into our score since most vehicles in this class feel similar.

Handling

The big surprise is how well this gargantuan vehicle takes turns. There's minimal body roll around corners unless you're going way too fast. In parking lots and tight spaces, it maneuvers well enough for a dual rear-wheel setup, but this truck won't be your grocery-getter.

Drivability

: The low-end torque gives plenty of off-the-line acceleration, and shifts from the six-speed automatic are smooth even under full-throttle acceleration. The cruise control and the exhaust brake keep a good handle on the 3500's downhill speed. Out in the open country, this truck is very drivable.

Off-road

There are several laser-focused full-size trucks with specific tires, suspension and clearances designed for going off-road. This 3500HD dually is not one of those trucks. Four-wheel drive will help with inclement weather, but the stiff suspension and its sheer size limit its dirt-road capabilities.

Comfort

Overall comfort isn't the Sierra 3500's strong suit. Trucks in this size range aren't exactly bastions of comfort, but this one is particularly rough on the senses with a combo of stiff seats, lots of wind noise and a rigid suspension. A big payload, however, settles things down a lot.

Seat comfort

The front seats are well-padded and well-bolstered on the sides for lateral support, while the rear seats are relatively flat. The seat padding in both the front and rear is overly firm, though, and will take some serious breaking in to get comfortable.

Ride comfort

The stiff leaf-spring suspension means the 3500HD has a rigid, uncomfortable ride when unladen. Load it up with a heavy payload or a big trailer, though, and the ride quality is significantly better. We're giving the latter more weight because we assume a dually is unlikely to be an "air hauler."

Noise & vibration

While there isn't as much road noise as you'd expect from the dual rear wheels, there is quite a bit of wind noise from the square front end and big mirrors. The diesel engine rumbles a bit, too, but it isn't particularly grating or abrasive and it's relatively smooth while cruising on the highway.

Interior

The interior is likable and user-friendly. Hop in and you'll operate almost all the controls without busting out the manual. It has a no-nonsense vibe, but that's not necessarily a bad thing in this segment.

Ease of use

The dashboard is about as basic and user-friendly as they come. The buttons are large and readable, within arm's reach and easy to operate. The solid switchgear contributes to ease of use.

Getting in/getting out

The proper grab handles and side steps help with entry, but it's still a tall truck. Most adults will have to do some climbing to get in. Keep in mind that this is pretty standard for the segment. It's not any harder to get in and out of the Sierra than any of its main rivals.

Driving position

The optional power-adjustable pedals, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and highly adjustable driver's seat mean you can pretty much get the position you want. As with most trucks this big, seating position may be a bit high for shorter drivers, but it isn't a deal-breaker.

Roominess

Pick any seating position in the 3500HD, and you'll have plenty of room to spread out. Headroom, legroom and shoulder room are all extensive inside this massive cabin. Pretty much every crew-cab 3500-series truck provides lots of space, and the GMC is no exception.

Visibility

The massive windshield and door pillars give the 3500 big blind spots. The large towing mirrors help with lane changes, but knowing where this truck's corners are can be tough. A rearview camera is standard, but competitors offer surround-view cameras and the GMC doesn't.

Quality

The body panels and interior pieces are well put-together, without any rattling, shaking or malfunctioning during our test.

Utility

By most standards, the 3500HD certainly is utilitarian. It can tow and haul massive loads, and it has abundant interior storage. However, redesigned offerings from Ford and Ram outclass it by pretty much every measurement. And in the arms race that is towing capacity, it falls behind by a few tons. Next year's Sierra HD should do better.

Small-item storage

There's an abundance of pockets in the front and rear — doors, center console, two gloveboxes. If you can't find a place for your stuff in this truck, you just have too much stuff. Some competitors have smarter slight storage solutions for phones and devices, but only by a small margin.

Cargo space

As with pretty much every other heavy-duty truck, the Sierra 3500HD is available with a standard bed (6 feet 6 inches) and a long bed (8 feet 1 inch). Our test truck had the long bed, which allows for a massive amount of cargo space. The rear seats fold up for big interior storage as well.

Child safety seat accommodation

The 3500 can fit three car seats in the back without much fuss. There are two sets of easily accessible lower LATCH anchors and three shelf anchors that are a bit harder to reach. The trick, of course, is hoisting the kids up into their high perches.

Towing

The 6.6-liter turbodiesel has massive torque and power, but the towing capacities are significantly lower than those of its Ram and Ford competitors. Cruise control, exhaust braking and transmission logic are all very good while towing.

Hauling

When you're not towing your fifth wheel, you can haul any variety of beds, dressers and various household furniture pieces in the back of the 3500HD. The payload rating is only a few hundred pounds below class leaders.

Technology

Using the Sierra's infotainment interface is pretty simple, but we had several usability issues with our test vehicle. The finicky voice controls and subpar device integration made for a frustrating user experience.

Audio & navigation

The menu logic on the touchscreen system is easy to understand, but it's not the most elegant in the class. The touchscreen responses are slower than with class leaders. While we like the optional 8-inch touchscreen, it doesn't stand out much from rival systems.

Smartphone integration

Our experience with smartphone devices was poor, with many dropped connections over the course of the test. We generally like the interface when it's working, but even then it takes quite a bit of time to load music. It's best to use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Voice control

Several attempts to use the built-in voice controls fell short, with a success rate of about 50 percent. It was easier to use the physical knobs and touchscreen controls. That said, Siri and Google Voice can be accessed if you've paired your smartphone by holding the talk button longer.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2019 GMC Sierra 3500HD.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Surprised
Matt,02/19/2020
SLT 4dr Crew Cab SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A)
Put about 1000 miles on mine, and so far, the whole family is impressed. Mileage has been great and I am shocked at how quiet the cabin is. So far, I must say, I’m a bit spoiled now.

Safety

Our experts like the Sierra 3500HD models:

OnStar Telematics
This optional system adds items such as roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen-vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.
Lane Departure Warning
Alerts the driver when he or she is drifting out of the lane, which is especially helpful on a large truck like this.
Teen Driver Mode
Uses custom vehicle settings to limit certain driving features such as vehicle speed and radio volume for secondary drivers.

More about the 2019 GMC Sierra 3500HD

Used 2019 GMC Sierra 3500HD Overview

The Used 2019 GMC Sierra 3500HD is offered in the following submodels: Sierra 3500HD Crew Cab. Available styles include SLE 4dr Crew Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB DRW (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 Crew Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), Denali 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Crew Cab SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), Denali 4dr Crew Cab LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), Denali 4dr Crew Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), Denali 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Crew Cab LB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), Denali 4dr Crew Cab SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), Denali 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB DRW (6.0L 8cyl 6A), 4dr Crew Cab SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A), and 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (6.0L 8cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2019 GMC Sierra 3500HD?

Price comparisons for Used 2019 GMC Sierra 3500HD trim styles:

  • The Used 2019 GMC Sierra 3500HD Denali is priced between $52,390 and$79,900 with odometer readings between 14638 and87888 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 2019 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) 2019 GMC Sierra 3500HD for sale near. There are currently 7 used and CPO 2019 Sierra 3500HDS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $52,390 and mileage as low as 14638 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 2019 GMC Sierra 3500HD.

Can't find a used 2019 GMC Sierra 3500HDs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

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Should I lease or buy a 2019 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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