2011 GMC Sierra HD Interior
This interior review was written when the 2011 GMC Sierra HD was new.
This year, GMC Sierra HD buyers can choose between four interiors: base Work Truck, SLE, SLT and Denali. The base Work Truck trim, like most other base trims in heavy-duty trucks, is pretty sparse. It starts at $28,415 for the 2500HD and its standard features include single-zone manual air conditioning, an AM/FM stereo and front cup holders. If you want power windows or locks, a CD player or running boards, you’ll have to pay extra. Stepping up to the Sierra SLE adds $6,410 to the 2500HD but only $3,670 to the 3500HD, bringing their sticker prices up to $34,825 and $37,830, respectively. For the extra money, you’ll get heated outside rearview mirrors, an AM/FM/CD player, cruise control and power windows with driver-side auto up and down.
The higher SLT trim increases the 2500HD’s price by a full $11,260 above the base MSRP to reach a price of $39,675. The 3500HD’s sticker grows about $9,100 above its base Work Truck trim to $43,240. Upgrading to the SLT trim on either model adds 10-way power heated leather front seats, remote start, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, a heavy-duty trailering package and a Bose audio system with CD/MP3 player and USB input.
Though SLT trims sound pretty luxurious for a heavy-duty pickup truck, opting for the Denali trim will add even more opulence. Power-adjustable pedals, an AM/FM/XM radio with MP3-compatible six-disc CD changer and the option to add a rear-seat DVD entertainment system all come with the Denali trim. The Denali trim adds more than $15,200 to the 2500HD’s asking price, growing its MSRP to $43,650, and about $10,200 to the 3500HD’s base price, bringing its sticker up to $44,350. If you’re considering opting for the 2500HD Denali, keep in mind that the 3500HD Denali only costs about $700 more. At this point, the difference in price is so small and the difference in performance is so significant that you might as well shell out the extra money for the larger model.
Some reviewers say that the less expensive trims feel cheap and could use a redesign. Still, many truck buyers will make their purchasing decisions based on durability and ease of care, rather than high-tech features, so a Spartan interior coated with plastic won’t be a downside for everyone.
- "The matte finish may be dull and uninteresting, but this is a work truck first and foremost, and the space and ergonomics don't offer anything to complain about.” -- Autoblog
- "More significantly, the interiors are essentially the same as those introduced on GM's trucks four years ago. While functionality is roughly equal, the other guys -- most notably Ford -- have moved ahead on the cabin environment. The previously unavailable Denali trim helps, but only at the top price.” -- Popular Mechanics
- "However, the cabin still has somewhat of a low rent feel to it, particularly where the top of the dash surface is concerned and the glove box door, which features a rather flimsy handle.” -- AutoGuide.com
The GMC Sierra HD can seat up to six, depending on the cabin configuration. Some reviewers find that filling all six seats with adults can make the cabin a bit cramped, but it’s plenty spacious otherwise. The front seats are available in bucket or bench styles, and the back seat in extended and crew cabs are available only as a bench. Reviewers don’t say much about the seats, but the few who mention them say they’re comfortable. One writer mentions that Ford’s and Dodge’s crew cab models offer more spacious back seat accommodations, and another says that the back bench seat is uncomfortable.
- "The crew cab interior is spacious enough for four or five adults, and the leather-trimmed seats offer good comfort over long distances.” -- Automobile Magazine
- "Beyond the quiet, the crew cab was exactly that, with second-row seat room big enough to accommodate three adults in comfort.” -- Autoblog
- “The front seats are quite comfortable, though some drivers might find the driving position a bit awkward because of the tilt-only steering wheel (it's too close to the dash) and gas and brake pedals that are far apart in order to accommodate work boots. The extended cab's rear seats are acceptable in terms of comfort, and the crew cab is certainly roomier, though the crew cab trucks from Dodge and Ford provide slightly roomier rear quarters.” -- Edmunds
- “Both headroom and legroom are expansive. Bench and bucket seats are both long-haul comfortable… [Rear seat] legroom is ample in crew cabs, but tight in extendeds with the front seat more than halfway back. Extended-cab seats have an uncomfortably upright backrest; crew cab's backrest is set at a more comfortable angle.” -- Consumer Guide
Like most heavy-duty trucks, the GMC Sierra HD offers interior features found in vehicles ranging from Spartan work-trucks to luxury SUVs. The base WT trim comes standard with air conditioning, a four-speaker audio system and a front passenger assist handle. This trim is pretty bare, but great for a buyer whose priorities are more about the truck’s towing and hauling capabilities and less about comfort. However, shoppers who want their truck to be tough at the work site but gentle on the commute can add as much as $15,235 to the price of the 2500HD by choosing the top-of-the-line Denali trim. Navigation does not come standard on any trims, but is a $2,250 option on SLT and Denali models.
While the Sierra HD can be outfitted with features that will be comfortable enough for daily commutes and meet requirements at the job site, shoppers should keep in mind that other heavy-duty truck manufacturers offer better interiors. The Ford Work Solutions system that the comes with Ford’s Super Duty pickups can keep track of your tools, your crew and can even print invoices. It’s praised by nearly every reviewer who uses it for its intuitiveness and innovation. If you don’t need this type of crew-chief system, but you’re looking for an even more upscale interior, try the Ram Heavy Duty Laramie Longhorn models. Some reviewers have said that Laramie Longhorn models are the most luxurious of all heavy-duty pickups, with a standard heated steering wheel, remote start, power chrome heated mirrors with memory positioning and even heated rear seats.
- “With mobile WiFi, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, XM Satellite Radio and navigation, plus multiple charge points for multiple devices, these new trucks can be highly capable mobile workplaces.” – Kelley Blue Book
- "And with a rig this big, I'd prefer to have the rearview camera system to make trailer hookup a snap. For a $55,930 truck, a $450 backup camera system is a drop in the bucket, and a worthwhile option.” -- Automobile Magazine
Reviewers are tight-lipped when it comes to discussing the interior cargo area inside the Sierra HD. In fact, GMC doesn’t even cite the amount of interior cargo space in any of the cab styles. Most reviewers mention that there are plenty of cubbies for Sierra HD owners to store cell phones, iPods and other small items, though one says that cabin storage is just adequate.
- “A variety of useful compartments provides out-of-sight storage for everything from work gloves to laptops.” -- Kelley Blue Book
- “Small-items storage is ample overall and varies somewhat by model and equipment. Some have dual glove boxes and dual door-mounted cupholders. Bucket-seat Sierras have gigantic center-console bin; bench-seat models have handy partitioned console storage in the fold-down center backrest.” -- Consumer Guide
- “Mediocre cabin storage.” -- Edmunds