The 2009 GMC Sierra lineup consists of the 1500, 2500HD, 3500HD and the luxurious Denali. The 1500 is the half-ton pickup suitable for personal use, while the Denali gets its own 403-horsepower 6.2L aluminum V8 engine. In between lie the trucks designed for work upon which GMC has made their "Professional Grade" reputation. Like many pickups today, the 2500/3500HDs are available in a wide variety of configurations, all of which are available with either two- or four-wheel drive.
The Sierra 2500HD allows a combined passenger/cargo weight of nearly 4,000 pounds depending on cab type, bed length and drivetrain, while the 3500HD can handle up to 5,300 pounds when configured with dual rear wheels. This is the optimum selection to take advantage of the 3500HD's 13,000-pound towing capacity.
All GMC Sierras have a very appealing interior, with handles and knobs designed to be operated while wearing work gloves. Under-seat storage enhances utility, as does a cavernous double glove box.
Three cab styles are available (regular, extended and crew cab) and three box configurations are available (standard, long, and dual rear-wheel). The extended cab has two rear-hinged, half doors that open 170 degrees and have fully opening windows. Crew cab models have four full-size doors and space for six adults. Both the extended cab and crew cab have a rear seat bottom that handily folds up out of the way without the need of a release lever.
3500HD models come in two additional variants, identified by SRW (single rear wheels) or DRW (Dual rear wheels). The DRW models offer enhanced stability for those who routinely tow trailers near the upper end of capacity.
Most folks will get by just fine with the standard 6.0L gas V8 engine that uses variable valve timing to produce 353-horsepower and 373 ft-lbs of torque. It is backed up by the latest version of General Motors' six-speed Hydra-Matic transmission.
For those who need maximum grunt, a 6.6L diesel engine makes only slightly more horsepower (365), but its 660 ft-lbs of torque should be capable of doing just about any job. This torque-monster is backed up by a 6-speed Allison automatic transmission.
Two suspensions are offered on the HD trucks. In addition to a standard suspension, the optional Z71 suspension is aimed towards off-road use and includes skid plates along with other additional equipment.
GMC's HD series has a bold appearance, especially in front, with a wider grille, domed hood and broader fenders. The HD trucks boast a ladder frame, a hydroformed front section, a structure designed for better crash protection, recirculating-ball steering gear aimed at improving steering feel, and a strong four-wheel disc brake system with anti-lock. The brakes feature an integrated trailer brake controller.
Trims run the range in price and comfort. The WT (Work Truck) comes with an interior designed to stand up to rough duty, but features a CD player and air condition standard. The SLE 3SA adds such niceties as cruise control, power door locks, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and dual-zone climate control. Finally, the SLT 4SA adds a premium leather interior with 10-way power adjustable seats, Bluetooth connectibility, a Bose stereo, power folding mirrors and even heated windshield wiper fluid.
Some of the more notable options include power-adjustable pedals, rearview camera, a remote starting system, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system on crew cabs, an EZ Lift tailgate and a power-sliding rear window on extended and crew cabs. A wide range of audio systems includes MP3- and DVD-compatible players.
Professional Grade Tool For Work
A Plethora Of Choices.
The GMC Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD see few changes for 2009. An updated version of OnStar offers both turn-by-turn navigation and is Bluetooth compatible, and XM satellite radio now provides real-time traffic reports, known as NavTraffic. Electronic stability control is now standard on both 2- and 4-wheel drive extended and crew cab models with a standard cargo box. A rearview camera that does not require the navigation system is now also available. New colors include Carbon Black Metallic and Midnight Blue Metallic, while Dark Blue Metallic and Medium Brown Metallic have been discontinued.
The 2009 GMC Sierra HD lineup has the segment-best gross combined weight rating of up to 18,500 pounds, and the segment-best trailer weight rating of 13,000 pounds--both important numbers considering their intended duty as heavy haulers and commercial rigs. And with extensive noise-reduction measures, it has one of the quietest interiors among heavy-duty trucks.