Consider this: if Goldilocks was looking at different GMC Sierra trucks (we’ll assume this is years later, she’s befriended the three bears, and wants a powerful full-size truck to make it easier to visit them in the forest), then the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD would be the “just right” option between the 1500 and the 3500HD. The lesson of Goldilocks’ story isn’t just “don’t mess with bears,” it’s that there is typically a middle way that is better than either extreme.
While I’m not sure the Sierra 2500HD is necessarily “better,” than its smaller or bigger siblings, I would certainly say it presents a middle way for people who want more power than the 1500 but don’t quite need what the 3500HD can deliver. That’s important because I would wager that a lot of people fall into that area and for people like us, it’s worthwhile to look into what the 2500HD has to offer. We’ll take a look at the engines available, configurations offered, and the trim levels that GMC offers to make sure this beauty is just right!
Two Engines to Choose From
Personally, I like having a lot of options and choices when it comes to things like the engine of a heavy-duty pickup. So, only having two to choose from when it comes to the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD is a bit of a disappointment, but ultimately meaningful options are more important than just the quantity of options. I would rather have two really good choices to pick from than six different options that are terrible or not very different from each other. So ultimately, two good engines to choose from could be plenty – as long as they are both excellent.
Fortunately, the two options available for the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD are both excellent and provide tremendous power and performance. The standard engine is a Vortec 6.0L Variable Valve Timing V8 SFI engine that provides up to 360hp and 380 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s optimized to handle pretty much any task you can throw at it and can run on E85 blended fuel.
If the standard engine isn’t powerful enough for your needs, then there’s another option that is an absolute beast. The available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8 engine provides up to 445hp and an astounding 910 lb.-ft. of torque, with an Allison 6-speed automatic transmission. This thing is a monster and that torque can make a big difference if you haul a lot of heavy loads or deal with steep grades and inclines.
Four Ideal Configurations
In keeping with my love for options, I’m impressed by how many different configurations you can choose from when putting together a 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD. Ultimately, these boil down to picking from two different cab sizes and two different box lengths, but they are completely interchangeable. Too often I see trucks that give you two cabs and two lengths, but only three total options – note, however, that higher trim levels do have some restrictions.
You can pick either a crew cab or a double cab, which impacts the amount of interior cargo space you have and also the room that anyone in the backseat has. In a crew cab, someone in the back seat will get 40.5 inches of headroom and almost 41 inches of legroom; while in the double cab, a passenger in the back seat gets only 38.67 inches of headroom and less than 35 inches of leg room. So if you plan on having a lot of long-legged passengers in the back seat, you might do them a favor and pick the crew cab.
There is also a choice between either a standard box or a long box for the bed of the truck. A standard box is just under 79 inches in length, while the long box is nearly 98 inches long – a difference of more than a foot and a half in length between them. As I said, you can combine these options in any way you like: a double cab with either a standard box or long box, or a crew cab with either a standard box or a long box.
Four Impressive Trim Levels
While the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD might be the “just right” option for GMC Sierra trucks, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fine-tuned a bit more. That comes from the available trim levels that impact not only the standard features present in the truck but also the options that can be added. Of course, at higher trim levels many of these options become standard, and there’s little need for more available features.
Trim – Sierra Baseline
It starts with the basic Sierra, which includes the Vortec 6.0L V8 engine and an available remote locking tailgate. Interior features include a 3-inch monochromatic Driver Information Center, 7-inch Infotainment system, and available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot functionality. It has basic air conditioning, Bluetooth for phone, and a standard sound system. Safety features include a rear vision camera, available GMC Connected services, but few other options.
Trim – SLE
The 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLE builds upon the baseline package with more features and some tremendous available options. It has the same Vortec 6.0L V8 engine but includes a remote locking tailgate. The SLE trim includes a 4-inch multi-color Driver Information Center, 8-inch Infotainment system, and includes 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot functionality. This trim level has basic air conditioning, available cloth seats, and a standard sound system. The SLE includes GMC Connected services, has audio controls on the steering wheel, and available rear park assist.
Trim – SLT
With the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT trim level, you really step up the available and included options, without quite reaching the level of luxury associated with the Denali. This level is only available for crew cab configurations – with either a standard or long box – but not the double cab. It comes with the same engine as the baseline and SLE trim levels, but the incredibly powerful Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8 engine becomes available for this one.
This trim level has the same 4-inch color Driver Information Center and an 8-inch Infotainment system with available Navigation. A Bose Premium sound system is available with the SLT as are numerous leather-appointed interior options, and it features dual-zone climate controls and heated seats for the driver and front passenger. Safety options are more comprehensive at this level, with available forward collision alert, available front and rear park assist, and available lane departure warning.
Trim – Denali
When it comes to luxury and safety features, the Denali is the pinnacle of what GMC offers for the Sierra 2500HD. It has the same engine as the SLT and the Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8 is available for the Denali too – but this trim is only offered with a crew cab and standard box. The interior features are where the Denali truly shines, with an 8-inch Infotainment system that includes Navigation, an 8-inch Driver Information system, and an included Bose Premium sound system.
Additional features include driver and front passenger heated and ventilated seats, leather-appointed interior standard, a heated steering wheel, and a wireless charging pad. Pretty much every safety feature offered by GMC is standard with the Denali, including forward collision alert, front and rear park assist, lane departure warning, and a safety alert seat. All of these safety features and luxurious touches go a long way to justify the Denali’s substantially higher price tag.