GMC Sierra HD Gas
As our only non-crew cab tester, the Sierra HD gas was up for every challenge we threw at it, just with tighter rear leg room. Spartan compared to the leather-clad Denali HD, the Sierra still impressed us with good power, a smooth ride, and a functional, albeit vanilla, interior. The variable valve timing and new cam profile on the GMC's 6.0L emphasize low-end torque and really help to get the truck up to speed easily, helped in no small part to the 6L90's low First gear. The one test that surprised us was our passing tests while hauling up the grade. With our gas trucks, we pulled the trailer up the grade and slowed down to the pace of the big rigs, around 30 mph, and then simulated passing, mashing the throttle and climbing to 60 mph. Down on horsepower and torque compared to the Ford's 6.2L, the GMC 6.0L still managed to hit 60 mph over two seconds faster, partly because of the Ford taking a full second to make the proper shift midway through the simulated pass.
Examining ride quality, the IFS on the GMCs gave it an advantage and it received high marks for comfortable daily driving characteristics. After critiquing the numbers and driver impressions, we have to give the nod to the GMCs for ride quality. Priced at $40,000, the Sierra HD came in as the "budget" truck in the test and for a monthly payment of $650, you get a truck that is capable of hauling, towing, and cruising in comfort, without the perks of leather, navigation, or a Duramax.
2011 GMC 2500 SLE 4WD
It was the one that...did everything well and we could almost afford
Down to business:
360 hp @ 5,400 rpm
380 lb-ft @ 4,200 rpm
6L90 six-speed automatic transmission
MSRP, including destination: $40,706
5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty
30-60 mph tow test: 20.22 seconds