GMC Sierra 3500HD "Best Overall Truck"
The 2012 GMC Sierra 3500HD earned PickupTruck.com's top spot, garnishing title of Best Overall Truck after this year's Heavy Duty Hurt Locker test. The test compared similarly equipped heavy-duty models from GMC, RAM Trucks, and Ford. The test was conducted over 2,200 miles of terrain between Denver, Colo. and Laughlin, Nev. between July 11th-18th.
The GMC Sierra 3500HD offers a 6.0-liter gasoline V8 that produces 322 horsepower. The Ford F-350 comes with a 6.2-liter V8 producing 316 HP, and the RAM 3500 was the only model tested that featured an inline-6 diesel engine, producing 350 HP. All models feature standard four-wheel drive, and four-wheel antilock disc brakes.
The Sierra yielded the best-in-class results for towing; including both conventional ball-and-hitch and fifth wheel towing. GMC's engineers revamped the pickup box sills, rear springs, u-bolts, and box mounts. The result was a heavy-duty pickup truck capable of towing up to 23,000 pounds. The 2011 model, by comparison, was capable of towing only 21,700 pounds. Comparatively, both the RAM Trucks 3500 and Ford F-350 are capable of towing 22,700 pounds when pulling a fifth wheel.
The dually model Sierra also received best-in-class payload. The regular cab Sierra 3500 HD features a 7,215-payload capacity. The Ford F-350 was almost identical, offering 7,110 pounds maximum payload capacity. RAM's 3500 model came in last again, offering a mere 5,190 pounds maximum payload capacity.
The dually model's updated trailer hitch increases conventional towing from 17,000 pounds to 18,000 pounds. The Ford F-350 is a close second, capable of pulling 17,500 pounds via conventional towing. RAM Trucks came in last in conventional towing; the 3500 model is only capable of 12,050 pounds of conventional towing.