A black 2022 GMC Sierra 2500 is shown from the front driving on an open road after leaving a used GMC 2500 truck dealer.

Trim it Down: The Trims of the GMC Sierra 2500

If you’re looking for a truck, GMC is the brand to turn to. As the truck division of General Motors, GMC continues to prove itself year after year as one of the best brands when it comes to large vehicles, whether it’s in the form of SUVs or pickup trucks. Because General Motors innovates well ahead of its time, a look through the inventory of a used GMC 2500 truck dealer will have you see that most of the used models can hold their own against new models from other leading brands. So, why pay the extra money for a new vehicle when you can get something just as good for a significantly lower price? The Sierra 2500 HD is a heavy-duty truck, and it won’t leave you wanting for performance capabilities. When thinking about buying a used GMC 2500 truck, though, it’s important to have a firm understanding of the specific trims in which a GMC truck can be purchased. Today we’re going to take a deep dive into GMC’s truck trims so that anyone interested in a used Sierra 2500 HD can get the trim that is just right. Show us what you’ve got, GMC.

SLE and SLT – Premium Performance

Part of what makes GMC vehicles unique and easy to buy is that all of their recent trucks come in the same four trims. The SLE and SLT trims are worth pairing together, as the two of them essentially compose the standard trims for a GMC Sierra 2500 HD. I say “standard,” but these standard trims significantly exceed most standard trims from other truck manufacturers. Standard on a GMC is kind of like premium in most other brands. When used models from recent model years can provide you with 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque, you know you’re not talking about an ordinary vehicle.

The long and the short of it is that the SLE and SLT trims will have you set up with a highly capable truck with extremely high towing capacity (up to 18,510 pounds on the 2018 model), equally generous payload, a dynamic pickup bed, and available off-road features. What’s exciting about GMC’s “standard” trims is that they allow for off-road packages to be added; sometimes, you need to go to the higher trim levels in order to gain access to premium off-road features, but since GMC starts high, you have access to such features from the get-go.

The SLE and SLT trims are similar, and the biggest difference between the two is that the SLT will come with a few more gadgets, gizmos, and technology features. If you’re looking for a standard truck that performs at the level of most other premium trucks, go with the SLE. If you want a standard truck that exceeds most other premium trucks, go with the SLT. The interior in both trims will have you riding in style, too. But, if pure luxury is what you’re seeking, then you’ll want to take a closer look at the Denali trim.

A red 2020 GMC Sierra 2500 is shown from the rear parked in a forest.

Denali – The Summit of Luxury

Chances are that you’ve heard “Denali” thrown around quite a bit over the years in regards to GMC trucks. Those of you who are familiar with the trim know why. Those of you who are not familiar with the trim are about to find out why. The Denali trim is offered across the GMC lineup, and its focus is luxury. The amazing part about this is that, while oftentimes luxury vehicles have to lose some performance capability in order to accommodate fancy interior features, the Denali keeps all of the top-notch performance capability of other used GMC 2500 trucks while turning into a luxury vehicle that excels the refinement of many other luxury trims from other brands. It’s a special thing when you can have the sleekest of designs combined with a V8 engine that offers 420 horsepower. Why not have the best of both worlds?

The Denali trim is perfect for anybody who needs the truck for work but wants to be able to go out on the weekend without feeling like they’re driving their work vehicle around town. The Denali offers a nicer passenger experience and will have better and more innovative technology features. The 2019 Sierra 2500 HD Denali, for example, comes standard with wireless charging, whereas that is an available feature on the SLE and SLT trims. If you want a truck that works for hauling your cargo around just as well as it does for driving your family and friends around, the Denali is the way to go.

Some of you may be reading about the Denali and thinking, “that all sounds great, but that doesn’t sound like the kind of car I want to get dirty.” Well, if you’re looking to get down and dirty in a used GMC 2500, then the brand certainly has a trim for you.

A white 2020 GMC Sierra 2500 AT4 is shown parked towing a trailer.

AT4 – Rough and Ready

The AT4 trim is the newest addition to the GMC family. Having recently become available on every vehicle in the GMC lineup, the AT4 continues to wow performance-loving drivers. The Sierra 2500 HD AT4 first appeared for the 2020 model year, and before we get into that, it is worth noting that anyone looking to buy a used GMC 2500 should certainly look to the 2020 model year. Not only was the AT4 added to the lineup, but the whole truck underwent a significant makeover to make it the most capable heavy-duty truck around. Thanks to its redesigned, longer wheelbase, the truck was able to broaden its horizons, and when it comes to broadening performance horizons, the AT4 is the biggest piece of this.

The AT4 trim is an off-roading trim that redefines what an off-roading trim can and should be. With its own unique suspension, the AT4 does not merely add a few hardware pieces and call itself an off-road vehicle. Instead, it converts the Sierra 2500 into a redesigned (but still recognizable) truck. With added technology such as Traction Select System and Off-Road Mode, the AT4 trim allows drivers to better engage with the terrain and handle trails. One of the more exciting technology additions of the AT4 trim is a 15-inch diagonal head-up display, allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road while staying well-informed as to the vehicle’s vital information.

Not only is the AT4 trim an off-road champion, but its necessary design changes give it a fiercer style than the other trims, so those looking for that bulky heavy-duty pickup look will likely be drawn to this exciting trim.

Getting Specific

When you’re talking about a used truck, you don’t want to talk about things in general terms; you want to dig down into the specifics of what makes a given truck stand out. GMC makes this easy by providing very specific, easily recognizable (and easily remembered) trims. Having a few very specific trims is very helpful, as opposed to some brands which have so many trims with small differences, making them hard to keep straight and hard to remember. Between the SLE and SLT, the Denali, and the AT4, a used GMC Sierra 2500 HD can take on multiple different personalities for multiple different experiences. Whether it’s luxury or performance that is most important to you, you’ll be able to get the one without having to sacrifice the other.