2017 GMC Sierra 3500: Confident, Comfortable, Quiet

Front Quarter-PassengerA II

By Matthew Barnes

A 2017 GMC Sierra 3500 SLT crew-cab long-bed work truck recently fell into our hands, so we took it for a quick spin. With a starting price of $67,260 with destination, it's on par with its competitors. At a little less than 22 feet long and more than 7 feet wide with the mirrors, it's a huge vehicle that won't fit in most garages. It came with the incredibly powerful 6.6-liter Duramax engine putting out 445 horsepower and 910 pounds-feet of torque.

Interior

The Sierra 3500 SLT is spacious and comfortable inside. The SLT comes standard with heated leather front seats, dual zone climate control, Bluetooth, power windows and locks, steering wheel controls and many other amenities. With seating for six people and storage space everywhere, there is no shortage of places to put things. There is plenty of headroom front and rear to accommodate tall drivers and passengers.

Like other GM trucks, the steering wheel is slightly off center to the right of the driver's seat. It doesn't feel right initially, but doesn't take long to get used to. And although sunglasses don't fit in the padded sunglasses holder, it is a good place to put granola bars. A lockable, padded storage box resides below the front center seat; it can hold a laptop or other valuables that need to be secured out of sight.

The driver information center provides lots of useful information including fuel filter life, oil life and transmission temperatures. It does have an indicator for the diesel exhaust fluid, but it doesn't show the actual DEF level until it gets to 30 percent or lower. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make connecting your phone easy. The front center arm rest has two USB ports and a 12-volt outlet, providing plenty of device charging options. There is another USB outlet in the upper glove box, and 12- and 110-volt outlets at the bottom of the center console.

Gauges Night TimeA II

For the rear passengers, there is a single 12-volt outlet at the bottom of the front center seat. The rear seats are equipped with LATCH anchors for child safety seats and a middle fold-down arm rest. They can be folded up to provide a large, open bench or access to the optional under-seat storage.

Exterior

From any angle, this truck is massive. The front grille and hood scoop make the truck look even bigger than it is. The LED running lights and xenon high-intensity discharge projector headlights are great upgrades from previous model years. The truck also has excellent exterior lighting with LED bed lights and rear guidance lamps in the mirrors. In combination, the lights make for easier loading, unloading, trailer backing and lighting up work areas in low-light situations. The DEF tank hangs down lower than any other unprotected part on the truck, which might be an issue for those working on construction sites or when driving off-road. Competitors put the DEF fill behind the fuel door, but GM still places the fill point under the hood. This should be only a minor inconvenience, but an inconvenience nonetheless.

A nice feature for quick fill-ups at the pump is the big-rig fuel-filler opening. This means that larger pumps can be used, greatly reducing the amount of time it takes to fill the fuel tank.

Large Fuel FillA II

The tailgate opens gently, and for those who use a bed cover, it locks whenever the doors are locked. It has both four- and seven-pin trailer connections, and a 2.5-inch receiver — as opposed to the 3-inch receiver Ford uses, which has limited aftermarket options.

How It Drives

The new Duramax is much quieter than the older diesel engines. Gone are the days of diesel engines making significantly more noise than gas engines. The independent front suspension provides a smooth ride for a one-ton truck. The steering is tight with a solid, on-center feel. Parking takes a little more effort and planning, but for those experienced in driving large trucks it's not an issue. The hood scoop stands up enough that it's noticeable, but it doesn't obstruct the driver's view. Depending on the angle of the sun, the hoop scoop does cause some glare.

When pulling a 10,000-pound trailer there is no lack of power going up any grade. The six-speed Allison transmission shifts a little hard, but that's to be expected from a heavy-duty truck. When hypermiling the truck can push 25 mpg, but we averaged about 14 mpg with mixed driving, including some towing. The cruise control does a good job of keeping the set speed, whether accelerating up a grade or using the diesel exhaust brake when going downhill. This is an extremely capable truck, and there are only a handful of people who need the higher tow ratings offered by Ford and Ram.

We'll have more to come as we tow and haul with this truck, and keep its maintenance sheet up to date. Look for more reports in the future.

Car.com photos by Matthew Barnes

 

Side-TowingA II

Bed Lighting II

Rear Lights From MirrorsA II

Low DEF TankA II

Rear Storage II

Trailer Brake  4wd  Headlight Switch II

Upper Glove BoxA II

 

Comments

Mark,

Thanks for posting this article.
What a wonderful truck!
Good work, GMC.
(and I'm a Ram guy!)

=================

Nice article! Fantastic, beautiful truck!!!

Need to quit putting the controls on the left side. Very weird location

Dan
How often do u adjust your light switch, change in and out of drive options> As for the trailer brake...this is a GM with the great Allison Tranny,,GM HD have great braking and trailer control. I have a HD work truck with large trailer, my personal ride is a HD and tow a 5th and in combined driving I can count on one hand the number of times I have manually had to use the brake controller, also majority of people are right handed and drive with their right hand on the steering wheel...frees up the left for brake controller on the left.

I like to drive with my left and the right is on the armrest, touching screen, a/c, radio, or old lady...

I am very happy with my Honda Prius.

Looks like that GMC has the cocoa/dune interior color trim. Very nicely appointed 3500 series Sierra. A couple colleagues of mine have recently dumped their late model 3500 series Rams for this series of GM twin with a Duramax and they can't believe the level of refinement, handling and power that the GM offers. They are not going back to a solid front axle truck again.

@Ha..., it was so much easier with a bench style seat too...

@GMSRGREAT..., back in 2000 I was considering a GMC 3500HD to start a small scale snow plowing business. I was doing lawn service out of a half ton but that was a little too light for a plow. In my opinion, the Super Duty was too much truck. I think it was actually the 2500HD that was right in the sweet spot..., it would handle all of my daily driving too. I ended up subbing myself out for plowing, but that would have been the truck for my needs...

I was at a few local GM dealers lately to look at the new 2500hd Chevy or GMC and the availability is very limited. The one salesman told me that they are selling them as fast as they can build them and that I might have order one. I think they need to expand their plant's capacity !!! IMO they would have no problem selling these things if they would double production. I wonder if they do not want to build too many to stay within the CAFE requirements. The RAM' 2500's are also nice.

Who were the dickheads that said PUTC was Ford biased?

There is no doubt the GMC Dmax trucks are very reliable and capable. There are lots of them around here and everyone has good reports about them.

GM the real truck leader for the win! Pissing off the girls like Lionel.

Will the next generation GM trucks have vents in the back of the center console. My F150 has vents, two USB ports , a 110 outlet and a 12 volt receptacle. Ram has vents and outlets.

to bad it does not have auto-4wd for driving on intermitten wet icy streets...other wise it's da bomb

Don't mention the steering wheel alignment, especially so early on, if you want to retain credibility.

Also, the fuel filler neck on trucks have been of the larger variety for a while now. Well over 10 years. I would think the people pickuptrucks would know this.

@Lionel, one article on a GM truck does not make up for the 65% of articles being Ford or pro Ford.

Site actually doesn't like or own any Ford but you GM nutswingers take any praise of Ford as being pro Ford. smh.

GM the real truck leader for the win! Pissing off the girls like Lionel.

Posted by: johnny doe | Dec 29, 2017 8:44:36 PM

@ johnny dum dum aka GMSUCKS; wrong girls, its a fact GOVT motors full size trucks still a distant No.2 following-the-leader (soon to be No.3 after RAM...ooch!) to the F-series; US favorite full size trucks for over 41 yrs & counting...:-)

Most of you don't need a heavy-super duty truck when a F-150 has up to a 14,000 towing and 3300 lbs payload matched with the powerful Eco-Boost engine!

It's pathetic that a tiny 2.7 L 6 cyl can out-perform the GM 6.2 and Ram 6.4 V8
NOT only does the 2.7 Ecoboost have more power it offers the BEST gas mileage

It's pathetic that a tiny 2.7 L 6 cyl can out-perform the GM 6.2 and Ram 6.4 V8
NOT only does the 2.7 Ecoboost have more power it offers the BEST gas mileage

Posted by: Ecoboost Rules | Dec 31, 2017 1:46:57 AM

That must be some special 2.7 you have because it's bigger sister couldn't match the 6.2 chevy.

https://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/01/whats-the-best-light-duty-truck-for-towing-2016-texas-truck-showdown.html

I hate Ford.

On the TFLtruck towing comparison video between the GMC 2500 and the RAM 2500, the GMC 2500 lost due to:

-Low ground clearance for inappropriate placement of the DEF deposit
-Impossibility to correctly attach the trailer hitches to the truck, due to bad design
-Downhill, the truck was not able to keep speed constant without the cruise control

I Don't know if the 3500 has the same issues.

On the TFLtruck towing comparison video between the GMC 2500 and the RAM 2500, the GMC 2500 lost due to:

-Low ground clearance for inappropriate placement of the DEF deposit
-Impossibility to correctly attach the trailer hitches to the truck, due to bad design
-Downhill, the truck was not able to keep speed constant without the cruise control

I Don't know if the 3500 has the same issues.

@ Robert--- Do you smoke lot's of drugs ?

I can't stand stupid Ford owners.....u guys only case whenever something comes up is...."we sell more trucks """ blah..blah blah...

The duramax is far superior than your junk powerjoke!!
No matter how many times it beats it in a comparison....u guys are so "lost in your own little worlds "....u can't tell your heads from your asses!!!
Your the reason why I can't stand Ford! Happy New Year...BTW....to all the civil people who post on here and give real FACTS...unlike Ford lies propaganda

Most of you don't need a heavy-super duty truck when a F-150 has up to a 14,000 towing and 3300 lbs payload matched with the powerful Eco-Boost engine!

It's pathetic that a tiny 2.7 L 6 cyl can out-perform the GM 6.2 and Ram 6.4 V8
NOT only does the 2.7 Ecoboost have more power it offers the BEST gas mileage


Posted by: Ecoboost Rules | Dec 31, 2017 1:46:57 AM

No way in heck would i trust my 3.5 F150 to tow antwhere near 14000 lbs. I had to tow a 8000 lb TT the other day and it was not at all stable when the winds hit, and the fuel economy is pathetic at 5000 rpm to keep the load moving. I have towed 7k lbs quite a bit, this is as much as i feel the truck can tow safely. The fuel economy is very disapointing. I am looking forward to the new diesel options.

The Duramax has beat the powerstroke and Cummins for the last 10 years on any independant tow tests. Pretty hard to argue that the Duramax is the King of the big diesel pick ups.

Blah blah blah, ain’t nobody care about Duracraps, Ford SD annihialates the Chevy/GMC HD combined. That nutcase TNT is laughable, nobody cares what you think, you really need a life, you’re pathetic. And I hope you have a crappy new year!!!

So anyways, GM can add 1000hp to that engine, people still won’t buy it. Look at the facts

THE POWERJOKE, NOT MUCH OF A ENGINE.
IF YOU WANT QUALITY BUY A MIGHTY DURAMAX.

Boy Frank's rants just explain a portion of how mentally unstable he really is!! Please, for all our sakes...this new year check into a mental facility and do us all a favor!! That way we don't have to listen to your lies!!

@TNTGMC. @Frank

"Pot, meet Kettle"

Seriously, guys like you are the reason many people have stopped viewing and commenting on this site.

These new diesel trucks are so close in performance and capability that it simply comes down to personal preference. So to claim that one brand is junk and another brand is far superior is complete ignorance. I currently own an F150 but would be very happy to drive one of these newer GMCs.

@ curt

Never said anything degrating!! Reread my post...its Frank who States inappropriate wasteful, hateful statements!
As for saying one is superior...look at all the facts and comparisons. The duramax wins and does it by not bragging that it has highest payload, towing, HP, TQ, ect....
That's the point I was making but you can make your own opinion

@TNTyrGMC; another typical GOVT motors wanker who best argument is defer blame; just face it, the numbers speak for themselves - GMC sales were minus most of 2017, good luck with 2018.

@ Lionel

Your statements are getting just as bad as Frank's. Speaks volumes on how low your IQ is! Talk about defer...thats all u ever do..NEVER FACTS!! Just outrageous rants that mean nothing!

@TNTyrGMC; you're the idiot avoiding facts, stick to the subject; it's a fact GMC is at the bottom of sales between the US made full size trucks...get over it, dumba$$!!!

Nothing really special here. The only things done much differently than others are minor detriments like offset steering, pathetic DEF tank/fill locations. The rest is all very run of the mill for a $67+K vehicle although they didn't say how it crash tested.

Nothing really special here.

Posted by: Clint | Jan 2, 2018 6:20:51 AM

The special part is felt when you drive it. Of course, you will never know because of your blind Ford bias.

@ Lionel

Oh how small minded you are!!! Revert constantly to name calling. U poor soul.

Stay on topic?? I'm talking about the Sierra Duramax! Isn't that what article is about!! You are so clueless in your rants..You don't even remember what you say...again. .Low IQ!!!

I like to drive with my left and the right is on the armrest, touching screen, a/c, radio, or old lady...
Posted by: Ha | Dec 29, 2017 11:07:19 AM

Which is why I like that GM trucks have the steering wheel shifted slightlly to the right. I can rest my right arm on the armrest and still be able to reach the steering wheel, AC, radio, touchscreen, my honey, etc.

@TNTyrGMC; you just confirmed my point...again; belittling anyone who opposes you...certainly confirms yr low IQ, typical GOVT motor fangirl.

@ Lionel

You have a point?? That there is news to me!

Go to another site and spread your hatred rants somewhere else! Those are the only points you ever make!

The front grill looks like a heating element. Is that supposed to
look nice? Nope.



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