Limited availability of telescoping steering wheel
Rear visibility isn't all that great
The 2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD is a heavy-duty pickup truck available in four trim levels. The base (Sierra) version comes with basic equipment such as vinyl flooring and steel wheels, but you'll get a lot more if you pick the SLE, SLT or the range-topping Denali. On upper trim levels, items such as a remote-locking tailgate, leather upholstery and navigation become available. There are three cab configurations: regular cab, double cab and crew cab. All are available with two- or four-wheel drive.
The regular cab is available only with a long bed (8.2 feet), while the extended- and crew-cab models can have a standard bed (6.5 feet) or a long bed. Unlike its 3500HD big brother, the Sierra 2500HD is not available with a dual rear-wheel (DRW, or dually) axle. The SLT trim is available only on the double and crew cabs, and the Denali is available only as a crew cab.
The base Sierra comes standard with a 6.0-liter V8 engine (360 hp and 380 lb-ft), a six-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch steel wheels, an automatic locking rear differential, xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, air conditioning, a choice of cloth or vinyl upholstery, a 40/20/40-split front bench with a fold-down center armrest, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, rubber floor covering, a rearview camera, power door locks, cruise control, a tilt-only steering wheel, a 7-inch IntelliLink touchscreen infotainment system and a six-speaker sound system with two USB ports, an auxiliary audio input jack, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth phone and audio, Pandora radio, and voice controls. Optional tech equipment on the base Sierra 2500HD includes OnStar, 4G LTE Wi-Fi and satellite radio.
From the base Sierra on up, you have your choice of engine, too. A turbocharged 6.6-liter diesel V8 (445 hp and 910 lb-ft) is also available, and it is paired to a different six-speed automatic. Buyers can also add a bi-fuel option to the 6.0-liter engine, allowing it to run on gasoline or compressed natural gas.
If the base truck isn't your flavor, then step up to the SLE. It gets most of the base trim's optional tech features plus an upgraded 8-inch central touchscreen, 17-inch alloy wheels, tinted rear windows, a remote locking EZ Lift & Lower tailgate, LED cargo box illumination, remote keyless entry, carpeting, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, HD radio and a CD player.
With a few more luxury items, the SLT trim level feels a bit better equipped than our standard work truck. It adds 18-inch chrome alloy wheels, additional chrome trim, foglights, power-folding mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable and heated front seats (with power lumbar adjustment), driver-seat memory settings, power-adjustable pedals, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote ignition and a 110-volt household-style power outlet.
For a plush and upscale vibe, choose the Denali trim. It will get you even more chrome on the outside, 20-inch wheels, chrome side steps, a spray-in bedliner, a power-sliding rear window with defogger, front and rear parking sensors, a navigation system, wireless phone charging, a Bose audio system, a configurable 8-inch driver information display, upgraded interior trim, ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel.
Most of the upper trims' extra standard features can be added to the lower trim levels as options. Other option highlights, depending on trim level, include different axle ratios, a bed storage box, various tonneau covers, trailering mirrors, a sunroof, a gooseneck/fifth-wheel trailering prep package, and a rear-seat entertainment system. There's also a Driver Alert package, which includes front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, forward collision warning and a safety-alert driver seat. The Z71 suspension package adds hill descent control, skid plates, specially tuned shock absorbers and unique styling tweaks. Also available (on SLT crew-cab models only) is the All Terrain HD package, which includes off-road tires, the spray-in bedliner, a skid plate, the Z71 suspension and a heated steering wheel.