Heavy-duty vehicles are taking over the pickup market at the moment and GMCs latest hulking hauler, the 2015 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD Crew Cab SLT, isn’t just a mouthful, it’s a force to be reckoned with. Whether you’re hauling a herd of horses or simply picking up groceries, this truck can do it all.
Automotive lovers small in stature, take note: this is a big truck sure to make your presence on the road unmistakable. Standing next to it you’ll likely be missed altogether but nobody will overlook you once inside this boisterous crew cab. The absence of running boards meant the family experienced some difficulty getting in and out, though they adjusted quickly and were leaping aboard like stuntmen in no time.
But let’s not focus on what the 2015 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD Crew Cab SLT is missing because – thank the automotive gods – there’s a whole lot of impressive inclusions to admire. Take, for example, the 20-inch chrome alum wheels and tough, long-lasting all-terrain tires with wheel arch molding that adorned our Iridium Metallic test model. Or the chrome tailored mirrors with power glass, EZ lift and lower locking tailgate, and front fog lamps. Eye-catching chrome front and rear bumpers frame a fully boxed steel frame, LED running lights and one ferocious GMC grille. Deep-tinted glass and front recovery hooks round out the external highlights, so let’s take a look at the specs.
Like we said, this is a BIG truck, with a wheelbase of 144.2 inches and a hefty 7,213 lbs. curb weight, not surprising considering the fully boxed steel frame. With dimensions measuring 239.3 inches long, 80.1 inches wide, and 78.0 inches height (that’s 6 and a half foot!), be prepared to rule the road.
The cabin’s features are many and marvellous thanks to such generous dimensions. The most noticeable feature is the center console with more USB ports than you could poke an iPhone stick at.
The driver and front passenger seats come standard with leather appointed buckets and adjustable heat settings. Drivers enjoy a tilt and telescoping steering column, leather-wrapped steering wheel, memory adjust seating and power adjustable pedals, while those in the back can literally kick up their heels, gaze skyward out the power sunroof and relax in style.
Whether up front, or in the back, the benefits of dual zone climate control are apparent so don’t be surprised if you quickly become the permanent designated driver. Though with auto dimming inside rear-view mirror, power adjustable pedals and color display driver info, you may very well volunteer your services.
Under the hood, the Sierra 2500HD is just a beefy as you’d expected. Our model came with the Duramax Plus Package, including a 6.6L V-8 turbo diesel engine and Allison 6-speed automatic transmission, assisted by a high capacity air cleaner and 150 amp alternator, for a whopping 397 hp and 765 lb.-ft. of torque. The inclusion of Z71 off-road suspension with twin tube rancho shocks, underbody shield and anti-lock brakes with Duralife Rotors (offering double the service life of regular setups) guarantee a smooth, safe driving experience, with second-to-none braking capacity.
An engine block heater keeps the engine running at optimal capacity and the auto locking PP differential is so smooth you’ll question its existence. Despite the ability to haul up to 8-9 tons, handling is smooth and acceleration is admirable. A trailer brake controller guards against potential difficulty, making long, heavy hauls a breeze. Day-to-day use is also enjoyable, and unbelievably comfortable for a heavy-duty vehicle, until you attempt to park the beast. It can be challenging, for obvious special reasons, but by golly it’s worth it.
Unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency does not perform fuel economy tests on heavy-duty trucks, making mpg numbers a guessing game. Considered commercial vehicles important to the US economy, they are exempt from all testing. After seven days we experienced 15.6 mpg and with no stats to compare this to, we were mildly – yet pleasantly – surprised by the numbers. For such a vast vehicle lower numbers were expected.
We’re certain even the likes of Bill Gates would be impressed with the tech features GMC has crammed into the 2015 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD Crew Cab SLT.
All your standard audio features are here; Bluetooth, CD/MP3 player, steering wheel audio controls, and USB ports. The Bose audio system comprises an 8-inch diagonal color touch screen with IntelliLink (by far the simplest and most user-friendly interface we have used). The OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot with 3GB/3MO data trail was a godsend when attempting to keep rowdy or restless backseat passengers entertained and quiet.
Remaining entertained and connected are secondary to the immense safety enhancements this large truck boasts. The StabiliTrak system, for example, is a must on such a large vehicle as it ensures stability with trailer sway control and hill start assist. The front and rear park assist all-terrain package keeps you on the right path, while the hill descent control function keeps safety in check, as does the tire pressure monitoring system and rear vision camera. Remote vehicle start, universal home remote, and theft deterrent system add to a sense of Fort Knox security to proceedings.
The team at GMC have thrown in a complimentary 6-month subscription to OnStar, which offers directions and connections with automatic crash response and turn-by-turn navigation plus 5 year OnStar basic plan.
The GMC holds is own against competitors such as the Silverado 2500HD 4WD Double Cab LTZ, Ford F-250 4WD SuperCab Lariat and the Ram 2500 4WD Crew Cab Laramie. However, the Sierra’s price tag far exceeds the competition. Our test truck was valued at $62,300, while the 2015 Sierra Double Cab SLT retails at just $46,705. Likewise, the Chevrolet Silverado comes in at $45,885, the Ford SuperCab Lariat at $44,915, and the Ram Crew Cab Laramie at $45,570.
According to GMC, the extra $15,000+ is spent on a more comfortable interior (it is decidedly plush for a truck!), diesel trick-out, extra tech and safety features, bulkier and bigger dimensions and larger hauling capacity than any competitor. However, the lack of EPA and SEA standard towing ratings, make a fair and quantifiable comparison impossible.
If you trust the claims, the extra cash is well worth it and despite being difficult to park we had a hell of a time in this heavy-duty masterpiece. So much so, we wouldn’t mind keeping it (hint, hint GMC!).
Photo Credit: Copyright 2015 Victor Mosqueda / Car Fanatics Blog