The Sierra 2500 HD (for 'heavy duty') and its near twin Chevrolet Silverado 2500 are true rough and tumble workhorses, but with enough creature comforts and modern amenities, they serve as versatile mobile workplaces. High points include a diesel powertrain that's cultured and brawny, and an intuitive infotainment system. However, for day-to-day comfort, we'd avoid the super-stiff Z71 suspension.
Alerts
There are 3 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
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.
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.
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
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2015
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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.
Road Test

The Sierra 2500 HD (for 'heavy duty') and its near twin Chevrolet Silverado 2500 are true rough and tumble workhorses, but with enough creature comforts and modern amenities, they serve as versatile mobile workplaces. High points include a diesel powertrain that's cultured and brawny, and an intuitive infotainment system. However, for day-to-day comfort, we'd avoid the super-stiff Z71 suspension.

The Duramax engine and Allison transmission employed make for an impressive team, allowing the truck to benefit from a swell of smooth flow of power and making towing a breeze. Towing capacity is 18,100 pounds. That powertrain helps the big rig sprint to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds. We measured 14 mpg overall -- 2 mpg less than what we measured in our last tested Silverado 1500 with the gasoline engine.

Seating
3 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 (445 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Fog lamps went out, very hard to replace. Must remove front bumper"

Anonymous, TX (2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali 6.6-L V8 diesel)

"Turn indicator light bulb burned out"

Anonymous, (2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6-L V8 diesel)
Gauges

"The light sensing system reverts to night time driving if you are in a shaded area and it takes way to long when in the sunlight for the gauges and nav system to return to normal. It takes 20 or more seconds if you return to full sunlight."

Daniel M., CA (2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali 6.6-L V8 diesel)
Interior lights

"The light that illuminates the climate control buttons would turn off intermittently. When I took it to the dealer, it worked perfectly. However, most of the time the button is not lit."

Anonymous, CA (2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali 6.6-L V8 diesel)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"The windshield was not 100 percent sealed. It was fixed and all was fine since."

Anonymous, PA (2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLE 6.6-L V8 diesel)

"There was a water leak on the roof antenna when ot rains. This has been corre ted by the Dealer."

Daniel M., CA (2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali 6.6-L V8 diesel)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"This was the same....windshield seal"

Anonymous, PA (2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLE 6.6-L V8 diesel)
Squeaks or rattles

"The passenger seats (front and rear) rattle when they're unoccupied. Although, the brakes were new, there was a frequent front wheel squeak when the brakes were applied."

Benjamin D., CA (2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali 6.6-L V8 diesel)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

"Broken and leaking main radiator hose"

Anonymous, CA (2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali 6.6-L V8 diesel)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

"Exhaust smell in cabin when stopped and idling."

Anonymous, CO (2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6-L V8 diesel)

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"Sometimes downshifts abruptly when slowing down from 3rd gear. I have an appointment with the dealership in two days."

Anonymous, (2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6-L V8 diesel)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Rust

"Running boards are pitting (chrome). Will get them replaced under warranty."

Jonathan H., ME (2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali 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

Electrical failure

"Ac control not working"

Steven M., LA (2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali 6.6-L V8 diesel)

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.

What Owners Say

Radio

"Poor/intermittent XM radio reception"

Anonymous, GA (2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali 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

"Ac did not cool with auto set"

Steven M., LA (2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali 6.6-L V8 diesel)

Engine Minor

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

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

Brakes

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

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.

Engine Major

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

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.

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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