Make no mistake, this truck is big.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Heavy-duty vehicles are special-purpose instruments designed to tow immense hundreds and haul mountains of stuff in all types of situations. Like different HD pickups, the 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 AT4’s basic lack of refinement, low gasoline effectivity and ponderous dynamics make residing with it each day a problem when you do not want the huge functionality it affords.

Like

Towing and hauling capabilityRefined powertrainIngenious tailgate

Do not Like

Lackluster performanceSame outdated interiorBrash styling

Offering a bit of additional model and off-road functionality, the Sierra 2500 AT4 fashions function darkish chrome exterior accents, body-color bumpers and a daring grille design. The usual bright-red restoration hooks look nice and needs to be tremendous helpful on the path. Guaranteeing this truck can take you out into the wilderness, it comes with Rancho shocks, a locking rear differential and normal 18-inch wheels with Michelin all-terrain tires, although this instance rolls on swanky 20-inch rims.

Larger is not all the time higher

With a crew-cab physique and off-road suspension, this Sierra is gigantic, a few trailer hitch in need of 21 toes in size, and that is with simply the 82-inch, standard-length mattress. Its elevated cab provides you skyscraper views of surrounding visitors and makes climbing onboard a chore. Excluding the gargantuan telescopic towing mirrors, its physique is not any wider than a GMC Sierra or Chevy Silverado 1500’s, however this factor feels prefer it takes up a lane and a half, a sensation that is accentuated by its virtually comically raised hood that partly obscures ahead visibility and frightens pets and babies.

Maneuverability is a problem with this truck. Parking might be tense, and I instinctively swing extensive for each flip to keep away from clipping curbs or scraping different automobiles. The Sierra 2500 is not actually any greater than rival heavy-duty pickups from Ford and Ram, but it surely positive feels a measurement or two bigger.

Serving to make issues just a little extra manageable, GMC affords a spread of helpful applied sciences. The out there ProGrade Trailering system, as an example, supplies as much as 15 totally different digital camera views. This features a neat transparent-trailer function that makes use of video to make it seem like there’s nothing behind the truck. A rear digital camera mirror can also be supplied, which shows real-time video on a display screen mounted beneath the rear-view mirror glass, offering a a lot wider area of view.

For people who often tow, this truck affords a great deal of intelligent options that may make it a lot much less tense. A intelligent automated electrical parking brake retains the truck from rolling that small quantity once you shift into park, one thing that may make hooking up a trailer fairly irritating. The towing mirrors can prolong or retract on the push of a button, hill-start help and hill-descent management assist preserve hundreds protected and safe when traversing mountainous terrain, and tow/haul mode will even stay engaged on the subsequent key cycle so you do not have to manually flip it on once more. That is all nice stuff, however maybe the Sierra’s cleverest function is definitely its easiest one.

20-inch wheels look downright tiny on this massive truck.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

By the numbers

So that you all the time know precisely what your specific truck is rated to tow or haul, GMC features a sticker on the door jamb that spells every little thing out, just like the gross automobile weight score, most payload, typical trailering capability, curb weight and extra. This takes the guesswork out of how a lot you’ll be able to safely deal with.

Flexing its muscular tissues, this Sierra 2500’s most payload score is 3,232 kilos and it may well tow as much as 14,500 kilos with the hitch. Hook a gooseneck trailer up as a substitute, and that determine will increase to a formidable 16,620 kilos.

Yet another variety of notice: six. That is what number of capabilities the Sierra’s out there MultiPro Tailgate affords. This is without doubt one of the most modern pickup truck options to come back out within the final 20 years. This ingenious setup has what quantities to a small gate inside the primary tailgate, which helps you to haul freight extra securely, simply attain objects saved within the mattress and it even works as a step so you’ll be able to conveniently climb into the cargo field.

The MultiPro Tailgate is without doubt one of the Sierra’s most modern options.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Modest efficiency, conceited consumption

The Sierra 2500’s normal 6.6-liter gasoline V8 is potent sounding and easy working, however even with the truck mattress empty and no trailer in tow it feels overmatched. Regardless of having direct gasoline injection and even variable valve timing, this engine simply would not appear to carry out like one thing with 401 horsepower and 464 pound-feet of torque ought to. It is not notably punchy round city, and merging onto the freeway takes longer than anticipated, the silky and astute six-speed automated transmission doing its finest to assist get this rig on top of things. I blame the Sierra’s towering physique, mammoth frontal space and ready-for-action weight of seven,418 kilos for this pokey efficiency. Drivers who want extra functionality and confidence (or simply wish to roll some coal) can get a 6.6-liter Duramax diesel matched with a 10-speed gearbox, although you pay by means of the nostril for the privilege of burning oil. This powertrain provides about 10 grand to the truck’s price ticket.

Because the Sierra 2500’s gross automobile weight score is bigger than 8,500 kilos, it is exempt from fuel-economy testing. Nonetheless, unladen, in real-world driving, I’ve averaged round 14 miles per gallon in keeping with the journey pc, which is not too horrible for one thing of this measurement and weight.

The truck’s experience is unquestionably on the agency aspect, but it surely’s not so starchy that it crashes over bumps or shatters your backbone. The experience is a contact harsher than I might like, however this stiffness is important so you are not sitting on the bump stops when the mattress’s stuffed with cargo. Load this GMC up with bricks, gravel or a wire or two of firewood and I wager it will experience rattling close to like a Lexus. The Sierra’s steering is gradual and imprecise, plus it is vulnerable to let the truck wander a bit, however the unbiased entrance suspension provides it an edge over competing heavy-duty vehicles, which nonetheless include stable entrance axles.

This inside is uninteresting and drab.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Large truck, tiny screens

GM’s current-generation pickups will not be identified for his or her stellar interiors. Silverado and Sierra cabins in each light- and heavy-duty type are low-budget affairs fabricated from unattractive onerous plastic. The seats are flat, and lots of the secondary controls are of low high quality. Ram has a transparent benefit on this space and even Ford’s older vehicles are a hair nicer.

The Sierra AT4’s infotainment system with built-in navigation is straightforward to make use of and responsive, but it surely’s displayed on an 8-inch touchscreen that appears tiny on such an expansive dashboard. Additional cheapening the expertise, this panel’s viewing angles will not be nice, with the colours simply washing out.

The $7,975 AT4 Premium Package deal features a vary of facilities comparable to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that each join wirelessly, rear cross-traffic alert, entrance and rear parking sensors and automated excessive beams. It additionally will get you a transparent and crisp head-up show and GMC’s Security Alert Seat, which vibrates to warn the motive force of hazard.

The Sierra HD is one robust truck.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Consolation on this truck is combined. The ten-way power-adjustable driver’s chair is agency however practically freed from any bolstering. It is reduce for somebody a number of occasions heavier than me. The backseat, nonetheless, is sort of good, providing warmth for the outboard passengers and miles of legroom due to the crew-cab physique.

Pony up, cowboy

Along with that AT4 Premium Package deal, this Sierra 2500 additionally options vibrant Cayenne Crimson Tintcoat paint, a $645 possibility, plus it is fitted with the $545 gooseneck/fifth-wheel prep possibility. Together with $1,595 in vacation spot charges, it checks out for $68,160, a steep value to make certain, however one which’s not completely unreasonable for the potential it affords. That determine can also be according to a comparably outfitted Ram Energy Wagon or a Ford F-250 with the Tremor bundle.

The 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 is succesful and hard-working. It is a truck I can respect, even when it is one I do not love.

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