The heavy-duty Sierra has a stiff ride and lacks a selectable 4WD system. The 2500 and 3500 HD models are offered in two- and four-wheel drive as well as the dual rear-wheel setup known as a Dually. The standard engine is a 353-hp, 6.0- liter V8, and a 365-hp, 6.6-liter turbodiesel that delivers 660 foot-pounds of torque is also available.
Alerts
There are 5 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
NA
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
NA
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
NA
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
NA
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
NA
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
NA
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
NA
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
NA
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
NA
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
NA
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
NA
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
NA
2011
2012
NA
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. ESC available from 2009, standard from 2011. Side and head protection air bags available from 2011.
Model Summary
The heavy-duty Sierra has a stiff ride and lacks a selectable 4WD system. The 2500 and 3500 HD models are offered in two- and four-wheel drive as well as the dual rear-wheel setup known as a Dually. The standard engine is a 353-hp, 6.0- liter V8, and a 365-hp, 6.6-liter turbodiesel that delivers 660 foot-pounds of torque is also available. It can haul up to 2,200 pounds of payload and tow a heavy trailer, and it returned 13 mpg overall in our tests. The engine is punchy and not too noisy, and the Allison six-speed automatic is smooth. ESC is standard on some extended- and crew-cab models.
Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
4WD , Rear
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
extended cab
regular cab
crew cab
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 6-liter V8 (360 hp)
  • 6.6-liter V8 turbodiesel (365 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Clear coat on right side of box is peeling badly"

Anonymous, AB (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLE 6.6-L V8 diesel)
Rust

"Around both rear wheel wells"

Anonymous, AB (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLE 6.6-L V8 diesel)

"Rust first appeared on the rear cargo box about 3 years ago and has steadily gotten worse despite efforts to fix it. Seems like the body is self destructing."

Anonymous, MD (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD WT 6.0-L V8)

"I haven't been able to stop the area above the rear fender wells from rusting it's been repaired a couple of times. I also own a 2007 Toyota Corolla that is 2 years older with twice the miles and driven in the same conditions that has NO rust issue."

Anonymous, MD (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD WT 6.0-L V8)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"air bag warning light came on and I traced it to a sensor on the front radiator support. Sensor was factory defective and was cracked and almost fell apart when I removed it."

Anonymous, MD (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD WT 6.0-L V8)

"The front radiator support airbag sensor mounting bolt was over torqued at the factory causing it to crack. This allowed moisture to enter the sensor causing it to short out and bringing the warning light on. Cost me $50 for a replacement sensor which I installed myself. Airbag/safety components should be warranted for the life of the vehicle."

Anonymous, MD (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD WT 6.0-L V8)
Pipes

"Tailpipe separates from the muffler"

Anonymous, WI (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLE 6.0-L V8)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"batteries good for 210k miles. replaced with agm batteries."

John B., CO (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6-L V8 diesel)

"After 8 years, the 2 OEM batteries failed. Replaced both batteries."

Syd B., ON (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6-L V8 diesel)
Spark plugs or wires failure

"Glow Plug Failure in engine. Experiencing Knocking and poor fuel economy"

Syd B., ON (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6-L V8 diesel)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Shocks or struts

"worn out replaced."

John B., CO (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6-L V8 diesel)
Tire wear is uneven

"Poor alignment and torsion bar adjustment from dealer installed snow plow."

Anonymous, (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD WT 6.0-L V8)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"The dashboard squeaks constantly"

Anonymous, MT (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD 6.6-L V8 diesel)

"Ventillation motor makes a lot of noise especially in cold weather until it warms up"

Anonymous, WI (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6-L V8 diesel)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Parking brake

"Vehicle failed MA state inspection due to parking brake no working. Approx $600 to replace brake linings and corroded cable guides. (A pretty expensive inspections sticker!)"

Carlton J., MA (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.0-L V8)
Rotors

"They don,t last and this is the second time I have had to replace rotors,calipers & pads"

Dennis M., NS (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD WT 6.6-L V8 diesel)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Differential

"When turning, with the trailer connected, the drive torque chatters, vibrating the truck. This has been a problem since new, but GM will do nothing about it. The problem has not become worse, nor has there been a failure"

Anonymous, MD (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD 6.6-L V8 diesel)

"Had to replace worn out differential"

John B., CO (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6-L V8 diesel)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Problem(s) fueling the tank

"I loan my truck from time to time. Twice in the last two years individuals have put gas instead of desiel in the tank. An easy thing to do if you are not use to driving a desiel. It is a 7 to 8 thousand dollar repair. You can't put desiel in a gasoline vehicle so they should come up with a way to idiot prove a desiel where gas can't be put in it or at lease limit the damage it can cause."

Anonymous, TX (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLE 6.6-L V8 diesel)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

"The heater blew cold air and the a/c blew warm air"

Anonymous, AZ (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD 6.6-L V8 diesel)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

"Front door hinge roller seized up. Will replace myself"

Anonymous, WI (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6-L V8 diesel)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"Engine developed a problem with valve lifters/cam shaft near the end of a drive from Indiana to Arizona which required installation of a new engine. The old engine had 34,000 miles, had been regularly serviced and checked over and oil changed prior to this trip"

Janice E., IN (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD 6.0-L V8)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Warning lights

"Consistent warning light about tire pressure...problem resolved ... Warning light stayed on... Numerous visits to dealership to determine problem... Warning light off for now"

Anonymous, VA (2009 GMC Sierra 2500HD 6.0-L V8)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

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