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2023 GMC Sierra HD: Choosing the Right Trim

GMC was going to give the 2023 GMC Sierra HD a mid-cycle makeover. However, supply chain issues and the microchip shortage pushed that back a year. Consequently, the Sierra HD returns with few changes.

Within the Sierra pecking order, think of the Sierra 1500 as an everyday truck fully capable of accomplishing most transportation, hauling, and towing tasks. But what if that’s not enough? The Sierra HD increases the grunt quotient with a two-tier approach. The Sierra 2500 is the first tier of added hauling and towing capabilities, with the Sierra 3500 being the second tier with even greater aptitude.

Make no mistake; the Heavy Duty versions are flat-out big-job solutions. They are both larger and less fuel-efficient than the 1500. The only sensible reason to opt for a Sierra HD is if your truck must perform beyond the abilities of a 1500, such as in towing. Otherwise, there is no reason to shoulder the higher purchase price and fuel costs the 2500 and 3500 require. Not to mention the everyday parking-type inconveniences a much larger truck presents.

GMC offers the Sierra 2500 HD and Sierra 3500 HD in Regular Cab (Pro and SLE only), Double Cab, and Crew Cab configurations. The standard cargo box is 6.85 feet long, while the long box is 8.2 feet long.

With HD models, it’s all about capacities. Hauling and towing numbers fluctuate wildly depending on the cab configuration, engine, and whether the load is towed on a hitch or as a fifth wheel.

Power and Capability

The rear-wheel-drive (RWD) GMC Sierra 2500 HD can carry as much as 3,715 pounds and tow a maximum load of 18,500 pounds. As impressive as those numbers are, the RWD Sierra 3500 HD can haul 6,985 pounds and tow up to 20,000 pounds.

Need to do more? Adding two more wheels to the rear axle ($1,200) boosts the 3500 HD’s hauling and towing capacities to 6,523 pounds and 36,000 pounds, respectively.

GMC provides a 401-horsepower 6.6-liter V8 mated to a 6-speed automatic as the standard engine. It also produces 464 lb-ft of torque. For maximum hauling power, GMC offers a 445-hp 6.6-liter V8 turbodiesel with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Its maximum torque is an earth-moving 910 lb-ft.

The government doesn’t estimate mileage for HD trucks, but you likely won’t be impressed. Expect around 15 mpg combined. The diesel will be better, especially on the highway.

Although the GMC Sierra HD models are work trucks, they offer plenty of amenities. Besides the differences in work output, the 2500 and 3500 are equipped similarly.

Note: Due to the ongoing microchip shortage, some driver-aid technologies, like front/rear park assist, may not be available until later in the model year.

2023 GMC Sierra 2500 HD Pro
(starting at $41,200), 3500 HD Pro ($42,400)

The listed prices are for the Regular Cab with the long box.

There is nothing fancy about this entry-level trim. It’s a work truck. It comes with 17-inch steel wheels, vinyl flooring, a urethane steering wheel with the tilt-only feature, and manual accessories (windows, locks, and outboard mirrors). It arrives with air conditioning and Teen Driver, allowing parents to set restrictions for young drivers. Also standard are LED exterior lights (headlights, taillights, and daytime running lights).

A 3.5-inch monochromatic driver-information display, an automatic locking rear differential, and a corner-step rear bumper are also standard.

Anchoring the infotainment system is a 7-inch touchscreen. Also included are a 2-speaker (6-speaker in Double Cab and Crew Cab) audio system, Bluetooth, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Two USB ports and a 112-volt power port are also included.

You can flesh out the content by checking some boxes on the options sheet. For example, the Driver Alert Package I adds front-rear park assist, lane-change alert, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. The Driver Alert II Package gains you forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and high-beam assist.

The Convenience Package brings remote keyless entry, the EZ Lift power lock-and-release tailgate, a rear-window defogger, cruise control, and power accessories.

You may also add satellite radio and a spray-on bedliner.

Adding the $1,795 destination fee to the 2500 HD Pro base price brings the total to $42,995. With no money down, financing for 60 months at 3% interest works out to about $773 per month. See 2023 GMC Sierra HD Pro models for sale

2023 GMC Sierra HD Pro includes:

LED exterior lighting – This includes the auto on/off headlights, taillights, and daytime running lights. LEDs illuminate a wider and longer area than regular incandescent or halogen lights. That means they are also easier for other drivers to see.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay – These allow your smartphone to interface with your vehicle. Not only can you access the music on your phone, but you can also send and receive messages and calls, and so forth, through your vehicle’s media system.

Locking rear differential – Electronically operated, this differential automatically locks itself to ensure the rear wheels spin at the same speed. This is particularly helpful when off-roading.

2023 GMC Sierra 2500/3500 HD SLE
(starting at $46,500), 3500 HD SLE ($47,700)

The listed prices are for the Regular Cab with the long box.

To the Pro’s features, the SLE adds 17-inch alloy wheels, the MultiPro 6-function tailgate with EZ Lift lock-and-release, and an integrated trailer-brake control. Also standard are full-power accessories (windows, door locks, and outboard mirrors) and remote keyless entry. A wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, OnStar capability, and Wi-Fi capability are standard, too.

Also included are carpeted flooring, heated outboard mirrors, and a 4.2-inch color driver-information display.

The SLE Convenience Package will gain you dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, and a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel. A rear-window defogger, proximity keyless entry with push-button start, remote start, and more are also part of the package. At the same time, the SLE Preferred Package adds a bed-mounted 120-V outlet, an upgraded infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen, satellite-radio capability, a HomeLink transceiver, and more.

Many of the Pro’s options, like the Driver Alert packages, are still available.

Adding the destination fee to the 2500 HD SLE base price totals $48,295. Financing for 60 months at 3% interest with no money down works out to a monthly payment of about $868. See 2023 GMC Sierra HD SLE models for sale

2023 GMC Sierra 2500/3500 HD SLE includes:

MultiPro tailgate – This multi-configurable tailgate opens in various ways, increasing its functionality.

Remote keyless entry – You can unlock and lock the vehicle remotely when in range using the fob.

Heated outboard mirrors – Electrically heated, these mirrors automatically clear away ice, snow, and fog.

2023 GMC Sierra 2500/3500 HD SLT
(starting at $56,100), 3500 HD SLT ($59,100)

The listed prices are for the 2500 Double Cab with the standard box and the 3500 Crew Cab with the standard box.

Stepping up to the SLT means a bounce in creature comforts. It includes dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, more USB ports, and 10-way power-adjustable front seats. Also standard are memory for the driver’s seat and outboard mirrors, a heated steering wheel, LED fog lights, 18-inch alloy wheels, wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto.

Satellite radio, a rear-window defogger, remote start, proximity keyless entry (with push-button start), and a bed-mounted 120-volt power port, are included. Also, making the grade is a tilt-and-telescope steering wheel and Hitch Guidance with Hitch View, which makes connecting a trailer much easier.

The SLT Convenience Package adds bucket seats, a center console, ventilated front seats, a power-sliding rear window, and a HomeLink transceiver.

GMC also offers the Driver Alert packages (contents listed above) in the SLT.

Adding the destination fee to the 2500 HD SLT base price equals $57,895. At 3% interest, financing for 60 months with no money down works out to a monthly payment of approximately $1,040. See 2023 GMC Sierra HD SLT models for sale

2023 GMC Sierra 2500/3500 HD SLT includes:

Dual-zone automatic climate control – A set-and-forget system, it divides the vehicle into left and right regions, providing separate temperature settings for each. Once set, it automatically maintains the preset temperatures.

Remote start – When within range, you can start the Sierra HD from outside the vehicle with the key fob. It’s handy for precooling the vehicle in summer and preheating it in winter.

Proximity keyless entry – If the key fob is on your person, the doors automatically unlock when you approach. Push-button start is paired with proximity keyless entry.

2023 GMC Sierra 2500/3500 HD AT4
(starting at $64,100), 3500 HD AT4 ($65,300)

The AT4 comes only with the Crew Cab and 4WD. It’s priced here with the standard cargo box.

If doing more than mild off-roading is high on the list of things to do with your Sierra HD, the AT4 grade is your best bet. It features the Autotrac 2-speed transfer case, an off-road suspension, hill-descent control, skid plates, and twin-tube Ranchero shocks.

The SLT content also adds front bucket seats, a center console, premium floor liners, more USB ports, a spray-on bedliner, and ventilated front seats. Heated rear seats and red recovery hooks are standard, as well.

The Driver Alert packages are available. There also is an AT4 Preferred Package with a bed-view camera, a surround-view camera with trailer-view provisions, and a HomeLink transceiver. A power-sliding rear window and the upgraded infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen, a Bose audio system, and navigation are also added.

Adding the $1,795 destination fee to the 2500 HD AT4 base price brings the total to $65,895. Financing for 60 months at 3% interest with no money down comes to a monthly payment of about $1,184. See 2023 GMC Sierra HD AT4 models for sale

2023 GMC Sierra 2500/3500 HD AT4 includes:

Skid plates – Covering the oil pan, front axle, and transfer case, these metal sheets provide protection from rocky terrain.

Autotrac transfer case – This 2-speed transfer case allows the Sierra HD to shift into and out of 4WD. Driver-selectable settings include 2Hi, 4Hi, 4Lo, and neutral.

Hill-descent control – This is essentially cruise control for low-speed downhill driving.

2023 GMC Sierra 2500/3500 HD Denali
(starting at $70,600), 3500 HD Denali ($71,800)

The listed prices are for the Crew Cab with the standard cargo box and 4WD.

Representing the ultimate in Sierra HD luxury, the Denali makes most of the options on previous trims standard. It gains features like 20-inch chrome wheels, more chrome exterior accents, and all the driver-aid technologies in the two Driver Alert packages.

It also adds an 8-inch color digital driver-information and gauge display, a haptic safety-alert driver’s seat, and all the features in the AT4 Preferred Package. Perforated-leather seats and wireless phone charging also join the standard features.

As you might expect, there isn’t much left to put on an options list. The Technology Package provides a digital camera as a rearview mirror, and a head-up display. Instead, you may opt for the Denali Ultimate Package, which bundles the Technology Package with a power sunroof.

Adding the destination fee to the 2500 HD Denali base price equals $72,395. With no money down, financing for 60 months at 3% interest works out to about $1,301. See 2023 GMC Sierra HD Denali models for sale

2023 GMC Sierra 2500/3500 HD Denali includes:

Safety and driver-aid technologies – The Denali provides a full range of safety technologies like forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, high-beam assist, lane-change alert, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Surround-view camera – It provides a 360-degree bird’s-eye view around the vehicle. This is particularly valuable when parking.

HomeLink – This universal transceiver offers programming for your automatic garage door and other functions like your home’s interior lights.


What is the best 2023 GMC Sierra HD trim level?

In terms of value, we think the SLE is the best GMC Sierra HD trim level. It’s an excellent cost versus content proposition.

Which 2023 GMC Sierra HD get the best mpg?

Although the U.S. government doesn’t rate the fuel economy of this class of truck, it’s safe to say any trim level of the GMC Sierra HD with the 6.6-liter V8 turbodiesel and 10-speed automatic transmission will deliver the best mileage.

Which 2023 GMC Sierra HD trim level offers the most safety?

Every Sierra HD trim level is available with the two Driver Alert packages, which are bundles of safety and driver-aid technologies. They include front-rear park assist, lane-change alert, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and more.

Russ Heaps
Russ Heaps
Russ Heaps is an author specializing in automotive, financial and travel news. For nearly 35 years he has covered the automotive industry for newspapers, magazines and internet websites. His resume includes The Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald, The Washington Times and numerous other daily newspapers through syndication. He edited Auto World magazine, and helped create and edit NOPI Street... Read More about Russ Heaps

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