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2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

In terms of towing and hauling capabilities, the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD is among the baddest pickup trucks in the land. While the new 2500HD is built to work hard throughout the day, a refined ride and quiet cabin make it a soothing truck for cruising the highway. An optional Off-Road Z71 package also enables the Sierra 2500HD to tackle rugged trails. An impressive number of high-tech features come standard. Could this be the best heavy-duty pickup on the market?

What's New for 2019?

GMC decided to not make any changes to the Sierra 2500HD's styling or available features. However, the regular-cab body style has been discontinued.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD – The Pros

1. Built to Handle Rigorous Demands

The 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD is engineered to be tougher than a regular full-sized pickup. This is the perfect upgrade from the light-duty Sierra 1500. It features a reinforced frame, which can take a major pounding. From construction sites to rural farms, the GMC Sierra 2500HD can handle a number of different environments. An automatic locking rear differential comes standard, which helps drivers to better manage slippery conditions.

2. Strong V8 Engines

You should give the base V8 engine some serious thought. It develops a solid 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. GMC rates this engine to tow up to 14,800 pounds. Whether you're hauling a load of lumber or pulling a small bulldozer, there should be plenty of power on tap. Drivers needing enhanced towing capabilities should step up to the diesel V8 engine, which punches out 445 horsepower and a compelling 910 pound-feet of torque.

3. Confidence-Inspiring Driving Dynamics

The Sierra 2500HD's sheer size will intimidate some drivers. Despite the truck's large stature, it's actually quite easy to drive. Because of the Sierra 2500HD's well-weighted steering system, maneuvering it on the highway does not take a lot of effort. You will always be able to easily control this big pickup. Although the Sierra 2500HD's weight is felt when taking curves, it still maintains a stable character. A wide stance helps the Sierra 2500HD to stay settled.

4. All Terrain HD Package

While all versions of the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD are built tough, some drivers will need just a few more off-road upgrades. This is why GMC offers the All Terrain HD package. It includes a Z71 suspension, which is specially tuned for rough landscapes. Off-road tires also help the Sierra 2500HD to gobble up challenging trails. Underbody skid plates and hill descent control also come with the package. Aside from enhancing the truck's off-road prowess, this package also gives the Sierra 2500HD an especially adventurous appearance.

5. Looks Very Powerful

The 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD has the looks to match its powerful performance. A sculpted chrome grille and signature LED lightning help the Sierra 2500HD to stand apart from today's other heavy-duty pickups. Diesel models feature a muscular hood scoop, which helps maximize the engine's output. A polished exhaust tip is available as well. An exclusive set of 20-inch chrome wheels and chrome side steps are found on the luxurious Denali trim.

6. Good Day-to-Day Comfort

You won't mind driving the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD on an everyday basis. Well-bolstered seats enable you to really wind down. Because the cushions are so wide, everyone will experience great comfort. Ventilated and heated seat functions are found on the range-topping Sierra 2500HD Denali. Of course, there's also an abundance of room inside the truck's five-passenger cabin. Regardless of your size, you'll be able to comfortably fit in the back.

7. Popular Features Come Standard

While the base 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD may not be big on style, it doesn't feel like a basic commercial vehicle. Most of the truck's most popular features come standard. While xenon headlamps ensure good visibility at night, a backup camera helps you to ease out of tight spots. A standard 4G Wi-Fi hot spot gives you a reliable link to the internet. Some of the other notable features include Pandora radio, an OnStar communications system, and Bluetooth streaming.

8. Driver Alert Package

Although the optional Driver Alert package is an extra cost, it's well worth the money. You'll be able to ride with a more secure feeling. While forward collision warning prepares you to brake for obstacles, lane departure alert helps prevent you from drifting on the highway. Meanwhile, an innovative Safety Alert Seat pulsates to warn drivers of potential danger. Parking sensors are included in the Driver Alert package as well.

9. Denali Trim Delivers the Luxury

While the Sierra 1500HD Denali is just as capable as the other trims, there's no overlooking its plush accommodations. Aside from delivering the maximum comfort on long trips, the Denali model also comes equipped with an additional number of high-tech goodies. Travelers will especially enjoy the navigation system. Some of the other Denali niceties include a Bose premium audio system, wireless charging, and a power-sliding rear window.

10. Features Are Easy to Use

When driving the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD, everything is right at your fingertips. Steering wheel-mounted controls enable you to quickly answer phone calls and adjust the stereo system. Big knobs and a simple design make the climate control system a breeze to use. The Sierra 2500HD's lack of driving distractions help you to better focus on the road.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD – The Cons

1. NHTSA Four-Star Overall Safety Rating

In contrast to the light-duty Sierra 1500, the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD failed to earn a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA. While the truck scored well in most of the organization's crash tests, it only received a three-star rating in the rollover test. This issue may concern some buyers. Furthermore, keep in mind that automatic emergency braking is not offered.

2. Can't Change Your Own Gears

Like the overwhelming majority of modern pickup trucks, the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD doesn't offer a manual transmission. Although most people will be perfectly happy with the automatic transmission, some drivers will desire the unmatched control of a manual gearbox. The good news is that you can get a manual transmission on the 2019 Ram 2500.

3. Can't Match the Fuel Efficiency of a Light-Duty Truck

Although the EPA does not evaluate the fuel economy of heavy-duty trucks, don't expect the Sierra 2500HD to be as efficient as the lighter Sierra 1500. On the bright side, owners of the diesel-powered Sierra 2500HD have averaged up to 19 mpg. Rivals, such as the Ford F-150 Super Duty and the Ram 2500, tend to guzzle down diesel fuel at a higher rate.

4. Prices Can Swell on the Upper Trims

When compared to the competition, prices for the new 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD prove to be very reasonable. Nevertheless, expect to pay a lot of money for the upper trims. Before adding any options, the leather-appointed Sierra 2500HD Denali will cost you more than $56,000. Fortunately, this luxurious model does come loaded with plenty of nice equipment.

5. Still a Big Truck

You can't camouflage the Sierra 2500HD's large size. It's a big truck that doesn't easily fit into small spots. This could be a problem for the drivers who spend most of their time in a congested city. If you don't need a heavy-duty workhorse, consider the midsize GMC Canyon.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition

The 2019 Ford F-250 is one of the Sierra 2500HD's challengers. Although the Ford F-250's diesel engine may pack just a bit more torque, most drivers won't notice a big difference in performance. Ford's SYNC 3 infotainment system ranks ahead of GMC's IntelliLink system. Adaptive cruise control is a feature not offered on the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD.

The 2019 Ram 2500 is another heavy-duty powerhouse. An available manual gearbox gives it a slight edge over the Sierra 2500HD. Drivers looking to tackle some seriously hardcore terrain should check out the Ram 2500 Power Wagon. It's among today's best pickup trucks for off-roading.

You should also test drive the 2019 Nissan Titan XD. Drivers enjoy the Titan XD's controlled handling and surprisingly cushioned ride. Its brakes also inspire more confidence. However, you won't be able to tow as much weight in the Nissan Titan XD.


It's easy to recommend the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD. It's spacious, tough as nails, and load with the features that today's drivers desire the most. While the Sierra 2500HD will meet your towing and hauling expectations, don't expect it to match the light-duty 1500's fuel efficiency. If you're looking to travel in great comfort, don't hesitate to get the plush Denali trim. Before buying a new Sierra 2500HD, be aware of its three-star rollover rating from the NHTSA.

Previous GMC Sierra 2500HD Buying Guides:

Why buy a 2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD? w/ pros vs cons