If you’ve got a job requiring heavy-duty towing and hauling, the 2018 GMC Sierra HD is up to the task. The Sierra HD’s cabin will surprise some with its upscale feel and features, and the optional Duramax diesel delivers horsepower and torque near best-in-class. The rugged All Terrain X trim combines HD and off-road abilities in one mean truck.
You'll Like The 2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD If...
If your next heavy-duty pickup needs to be as sophisticated as it is competent, the 2018 GMC Sierra HD has the power and technology to tow and haul like a champ. Denali models offer unsurpassed levels of luxury, while the All Terrain X model is the most off-road-capable Sierra to date.
You May Not Like The 2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD If...
A number of half-tons now offer an oil-burner under the hood, including the Ram 1500 and Nissan Titan XD. The midsize Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon are also options. If you need maximum towing, you’ll find better numbers from the heavy-duty F-Series and Ram trucks.
For 2018, the GMC Sierra HD base trim gets a MyLink 7-inch touch-screen audio system with six speakers as standard equipment. A rearview camera is also made standard, while the TPM system now includes Tire Fill Alert to warn when you’ve reached the proper tire pressure.
Major styling points go to GMC’s 2018 Sierra HD pickup’s interior. The base model brings basic amenities like a front split-bench seat, rearview camera, 7-inch MyLink touch-screen audio, air conditioning, and power windows and locks. Move up to the SLE and you'll get even more features. The top-tier SLT trim offers everything mentioned plus dual-zone climate control, a high-capacity air cleaner, and a suspension package. Then there’s the Denali trim, which is GMC’s halo trim across the board. It brings things like contrast stitching, perforated leather seats, a heated steering wheel and aluminum trim on the instrument panel.
Besides the interior, GMC’s 2018 Sierra HD’s exterior styling is a major game-changer, especially its massive chrome grille and prominent hood scoop. Like the interior, the exterior styling of the Sierra HD closely reflects that of its light-duty offering. HID headlights with LED running lights, a CornerStep rear bumper, and a raised power-dome hood further distinguish the Sierra HD. Regular-cab 2500 and 3500 models are affixed to an 8-foot bed, as is the 3500 crew cab. The double-cab models can be optioned with an 8-foot or a 6-foot 6-inch bed. Dual rear wheels are exclusive to the 3500.
It will surprise no one that the 2018 GMC Sierra HD is a workhorse, but this big truck also has a softer side, one we discovered while cruising over long stretches of highway. Despite its obvious bulk, our Sierra Denali HD was impressively comfortable and easy to drive, with a hushed cabin filled with just about every imaginable luxury and tech feature. The Sierra HD’s Duramax diesel pulled without hesitation, and although the muffled clatter beneath the massive hood still betrays it, GMC’s diesel engine is far quieter and refined than past iterations. During our test time, we did get to do some towing, in this case pulling a 10,000-pound trailer up and over a 6,000-foot elevation, a feat that proved mere child’s play for the Sierra HD. Trailer-sway control kept wag to a minimum, and the diesel-exhaust brake and trusty 6-speed Allison transmission insured a drama-free descent.
If you just want to get into a 2018 GMC Sierra HD regular cab, you can do so by spending just over $36,000 MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price). At the other end of the spectrum, if you’re looking to drop some serious coin, a Sierra Denali 3500 HD crew cab can clear the $65,000 mark. That number may bring a little sticker shock at first, but it does fall in line with the most plush, full-size truck offerings from Ford and Ram. Before buying, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for a 2018 Sierra HD. The resale value of the Sierra HD is also in line with the competition, but opting to go with the Duramax diesel engine will help keep the resale value up.
With the base Sierra HD truck, you get a robust V8 engine, anti-lock disc brakes, air conditioning and stability control. An automatic locking rear differential is also standard on all Sierra HD trucks with the exception of the 2500 HD base model. Climbing up the trim ladder brings you leather seats, steering-wheel-mounted controls and Bluetooth. Both Sierra 2500 and 3500 HD models equipped with a Duramax engine also get an electric-assist heater, which helps to warm the cabin quickly. The All Terrain X adds 18-inch black-painted wheels, Z71 off-road suspension, skidplates and an Eaton automatic locking rear differential.
The 6.6-liter V8 Duramax turbodiesel engine is, without question, the option to get when outfitting your 2018 Sierra 2500 or 3500 HD. Choosing the Duramax engine and 4-wheel drive automatically grants an extra measure of confidence when towing, especially on unpaved roads. Other notable options for the 2500 and 3500 trucks include a touch-screen navigation system, an EZ-Lift tailgate, and a snowplow-prep package. Certain double-cab and crew-cab trims can be equipped with GMC’s Digital Power Assist power steering. The DPA system improves stability and steering feel, helping to make hauling and trailering less stressful.
Once bare-bone boxes, today’s heavy-duty pickup cabs are as comfortable as they are functional, and the 2018 GMC Sierra HD is no exception. Comfortable, wide seats complement large visible gauges, and the rubberized switchgear is designed with the working individual’s needs front and center.
6.6-LITER DURAMAX ENGINE
After receiving a new air-induction system and electronically controlled turbocharging system last year, GMC’s Sierra HD for 2018 now offers one of the best diesel engines in the industry. With 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque, power is never in question. The Duramax is even B20-compatible.
Under the Hood
A 6.0-liter V8 gasoline engine or a 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8 engine provides power to the 2018 GMC Sierra HD. A 6.0-liter V8 powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) is also available, if that's how you roll. Rated at 360 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque, the gasoline engine is stout in its own right, but the Duramax diesel is the real star of the show. Power numbers for the 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V8 check in at 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of twist. The Duramax engine also brings an exhaust-braking system that helps keep the Sierra HD’s speed in check going downhill. A 6-speed automatic transmission reports for duty with either engine, but the Duramax gets the added shift-technology benefits of an Allison 6-speed automatic. The choice of 2-wheel drive (2WD) and 4-wheel drive (4WD) is available throughout the Sierra HD line.
6.0-liter CNG V8
301 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
333 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
360 horsepower @ 3,000 rpm
380 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
6.6-liter turbodiesel V8
445 horsepower @ 2,800 rpm
910 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: NA
What do you call a heavy-duty pickup that can pull, haul and work like there’s no tomorrow, yet offers its passengers a level of comfort and refinement on par with some luxury SUVs? You call it the 2018 GMC Sierra 2500 or 3500 HD. With its available Duramax diesel and 910 lb-ft of torque, the Sierra HD can handle the heaviest loads, although its max tow rating does fall short of trucks from Ford and Ram. Off-road adventurers will love the All Terrain X model, but even the most basic Sierra base trim is easy to love. While it shares much with the Chevy Silverado, the 2018 GMC Sierra HD feels a bit more polished.