GMC Sierra HD/HD Denali - 2016

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New for 2016

  • HID projector-beam headlamps and GMC signature LED lighting now standard on all models
  • Digital Steering Assist offers enhanced responsiveness, improved road holding and more
  • Available Gooseneck/Fifth Wheel Trailering Prep Package, with spray-in bedliner (late availability)
  • Available wireless phone charging
  • Available remote locking tailgate
  • Adoption of SAE J2807 trailering rating standards
  • GMC IntelliLink with a new, 7-inch-diagonal touchscreen features performance improvements including a faster processor for better performance
  • GMC IntelliLink with an 8-inch-diagonal touchscreen features performance improvements including a faster processor for better performance and, on Denali models, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability
  • Exterior colors: Crimson Red Tintcoat (double cab only), Cardinal Red, Deep Garnet Metallic (crew cab only) and Mahogany Metallic (not available on All Terrain or Denali)

Product Information


No other heavy-duty truck matches the GMC Sierra HD lineup when it comes to offering capability with comfort, quietness and uniquely crafted interiors. It stands alone as the industry’s premium HD truck, building on a 112-year legacy of professional grade heavy-duty trucks with technologies and features that make leveraging its capabilities easier and more enjoyable.

The Denali series is the ultimate expression of GMC and the Sierra Denali HD is the ultimate expression of the Sierra HD range, offering distinctive styling and exclusive amenities that take the truck’s signature comfort and crafted interior environment to the highest level.

And when it comes to the capability on which GMC’s reputation was forged, Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD models – including Sierra Denali HD – are offered with the Duramax 6.6L turbo-diesel and Allison 1000 six-speed transmission, a proven powertrain combination enabling a maximum trailering rating of up to 23,200 pounds (10,523 kg).

New for 2016, Digital Steering Assist power steering on some double cab and crew cab models helps make hauling and trailering easier and more confident, with electronic controls that enhance road holding and stability on the highway regardless of whether the truck is loaded. It also offers greater responsiveness and an improved steering feel. (Not available on WT models or regular cab.)

A new Gooseneck/5th Wheel Trailering Prep Package makes Sierra HD models ready to tow larger trailers right from the factory. It’s available in the first quarter of 2016 for gas- and diesel-equipped models and features a frame-mounted hitch platform and tray that accommodates a gooseneck ball hitch or fifth wheel hitch mounting brakckets, and includes a cargo bed-mounted trailer harness, as well as a spray-in bedliner. A new Gooseneck Completion Kit will also be available from GMC dealers, featuring a 2-5/16-inch ball hitch and two chain tie-downs.

Additional new and updated features for 2016 include:

  • GMC IntelliLink with a 7-inch-diagonal capacitive touchscreen features a new HD radio and performance improvements including a faster processer for better performanceGMC IntelliLink with an 8-inch-diagonal touchscreen features performance improvements including a faster processer for better performance and, on Denali models, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability
  • HID projector-beam headlamps with GMC signature LED lighting now standard on all models
  • Available wireless phone charging
  • Available remote locking tailgate
  • Exterior colors: Crimson Red Tintcoat (double cab only), Cardinal Red, Deep Garnet Metallic (crew cab only) and Mahogany Metallic (not available on All Terrain or Denali).

Also, the 2016 Sierra HDs’ trailering ratings are aligned with SAE J2807 standards, with maximum capacities including:

  • Maximum 2500HD conventional trailering rating of 14,500 pounds (6,577 kg)
  • Maximum 2500HD fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailering rating of 18,000 pounds (8,165 kg)
  • Maximum 3500HD single-rear-wheel conventional trailering rating of 15,000 pounds (6,804 kg)
  • Maximum 3500HD single-rear-wheel fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailering rating of 17,500 pounds (7,938 kg)
  • Maximum 3500HD dual-rear-wheel conventional trailering rating of 20,000 pounds (9,072 kg)
  • Maximum 3500HD dual-rear-wheel fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailering rating of 23,200 pounds (10,523 kg).

Sierra HD lineup
Regular, double cab and crew cab models are offered across the lineup. 2500HD and 3500HD regular cab models are matched an 8’ box, while 2500HD double cab and crew cab models are available with 6’6” or 8’ boxes. Sierra 3500HD double cab is offered exclusively with the 8’ box, while 3500HD crew cabs are available with the 6’6” and 8’ boxes. Dual-rear-wheel configurations are also available on 3500HD.

Trim levels include a Sierra base model (1SA trim), as well as SLE, SLT and Denali – the ultimate expression of GMC’s Professional Grade ethos. It accounts for approximately half of Sierra HD crew cab retail sales; and it is offered exclusively as a crew cab, matching do-it-all capability with an exclusive package of design and upscale interior amenities.

Additionally, the All Terrain HD premium off-road package is offered on SLT crew cab 4WD models, featuring unique 18-inch chrome aluminum wheels and all-terrain tires (20-inch wheels are available), spray-on bedliner, Z71 suspension with Rancho twin-tube shocks, underbody shield and Front and Rear Park Assist. Exterior cues include an All Terrain grille insert and chrome grille surround, as well as body-color front and rear bumpers. Inside is a heated steering wheel, All Terrain sill plates, carpeted floor mats and a gauge cluster featuring an inclinometer.

The Z71 suspension is also available on SLE and SLT models without the All Terrain package.

Gas and Duramax diesel powertrains are offered across the lineup, including a bi-fuel option that allows the gas engine to run on compressed natural gas. The Duramax has been developed to operate for at least 200,000 miles (322,000 km) on a rough-duty cycle without the need for a major overhaul.

The powertrains contribute to the Sierra HDs’ greater payload and towing ratings than previous models, including a maximum conventional trailering rating of 20,000 pounds (9,072 kg) and a max fifth-wheel/gooseneck trailering rating of 23,200 pounds (10,523 kg).

Additional features for the 2016 Sierra HD lineup include:

  • Standard CornerStep rear bumper, EZ Lift and Lower tailgate (standard on SLE, SLT and Denali), standard locking tailgate, standard upper tie-downs and other features that make cargo handling easier
  • Standard StabiliTrak with Trailer Sway Control on all models, including 3500HD dually
  • Integrated cruise control, auto grade braking and diesel exhaust braking, for greater driving control and reduced brake wear on grades
  • New Digital Steering Assist power steering, which enables easier handling and maneuverability, greater steering response, greater road-holding capability and greater stability control assistance. It is standard on SLE and SLT double cab and crew cab models, and standard on Denali (not available on WT or regular cab)
  • Available Gooseneck/Fifth Wheel Trailering Prep Package offered on Duramax-equipped models (available in first quarter of 2016) features factory-installed hitch platform and tray for gooseneck ball hitch or fifth wheel hitch. It also includes a convenient, cargo bed-mounted trailer harness located on the driver-side bed wall, just behind the tailgate opening, and a spray-in bedliner. A Gooseneck Completion Kit with a 2-5/16-inch ball hitch and two chain tie-downs will be available from GMC dealers.

All models are backed by GMC Pro Grade Protection, including a three-year/36,000-miles bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Sierra Denali HD details
The distinctive Sierra Denali HD is the ultimate expression of GMC’s Professional Grade ethos and features a signature chrome grille, unique 20-inch chrome aluminum wheels, body-color front and rear bumpers and unique interior decorative trim. Complementing the soft-touch instrument panel trim and aluminum trim are Denali-specific interior details, including script on the bright door sills and embossed into the front seats.

Sierra Denali’s high-tech interior also features an exclusive eight-inch customizable driver display that can show relevant settings, audio and navigation information in the instrument panel. Sierra Denali’s standard eight-inch Color Touch navigation radio with IntelliLink serves as the main hub for Bluetooth-connected phones and portable devices connected through five standard USB ports.

Other features standard on Sierra Denali include HID projector-beam headlamps with GMC’s LED signature lighting, new remote locking tailgate, new wireless phone charging, a Bose audio system, heated and vented leather front bucket seats, a heated steering wheel, a power sliding rear window with defogger and a spray-on bed liner that includes the Denali logo.

Sierra HD design and exterior features
Sierra HD trucks are the face of GMC’s Professional Grade aesthetic. All models feature a bold power-dome hood, HID headlamps and GMC’s signature LED lighting (daytime running lamps).    

The bodies on all models feature inlaid doors, which fit into recesses in the bodyside to help reduce wind noise for a quieter cab, and the double cab body features front-hinged rear doors with outside pull handles at the rear, for easy access in tight parking spaces.

Sierra HDs’ strong 6’6” and 8’ cargo boxes are designed to last longer with tough, rolled-steel floors, while offering great flexibility. They come with a two-tier loading design and offer more than four feet of loading space between the wheel houses, allowing standard 4’ x 8’ sheets of plywood to stack flatly on the box floor.

Available body-style/ box-length configurations include:

  • Regular cab with 8’ box – 2500HD and 3500HD
  • Double cab with 6’6” box – 2500HD only
  • Double cab with 8’ box – 2500HD and 3500HD
  • Crew cab with 6’6” box – 2500HD and 3500HD
  • Crew cab with 8’ box – 2500HD and 3500HD.

A factory-installed spray-in bed liner is available (standard on Denali) and LED cargo box lighting is standard on SLE, SLT and Denali models.

The CornerStep rear bumper is standard on all models and provides easier access when it’s time to climb in the box or retrieve items from it. It features integrated steps at each corner designed to accommodate large boots, with textured pads for sure-footed grip.

Additionally, a new remote locking tailgate is standard on SLE, SLT and Denali – and is available on the base model.

The EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate is standard on SLE, SLT and Denali models, along with LED cargo box lighting. With the EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate, an internal torsion bar reduces the effort to raise, while a rotary damper allows for a controlled and more gradual lowering motion when opening it.

Sierra HD interior details
The Sierra’s interior is roomy, quiet and functional, with a strong cab structure the foundation for its refinement. Nearly two-thirds of the cab is made of high-strength steel, while shear-style body mounts are used to tune out both up-and-down and side-to-side movement for a quiet, comfortable ride. Double and crew cab models have a set of hydraulic body mounts to further isolate the cabs.

The instrument panel has an intuitive six-gauge cluster. Standard models include a 3.5-inch driver information center display in the middle of the instrument cluster, with a 4.2-inch color driver information center display, for vehicle and infotainment data, standard on SLE, SLT and Sierra Denali. Ambient lighting highlights all functional areas, such as the “4x4” and headlamp switches, as well as the radio, for easier viewing at night.

All models have extensive interior storage, tailored to the way customers use their trucks. The center console – available on vehicles with front bucket seats – offers nearly 1 cubic foot (24.5 liters) of combined storage space, with the depth and width to conceal a laptop computer. Additionally, the locking console accommodates hanging files for owners who use their truck as a rolling office, as well as controls for overhead ambient lighting, map pockets along the side, movable cup holders and reconfigurable compartments. It also includes five USB ports, two 12-volt power points, a 110-volt outlet and a cord management system, allowing owners to leave their phone charger plugged in for quicker access when it’s needed, but remains concealed and without a dangling cord when it’s not. Plus, there’s a location on the console designed specifically for cell phone storage.

The fold-down center armrest on standard models and other models equipped with the 40/20/40-split bench seat offers covered storage and connectivity, with two USB ports and two 12-volt power points.

New wireless phone charging allows compatible phones to be charged without having to connect or disconnect wires or cables. It is available on SLE and SLT double cab and crew cab models with standard bucket seats; and it is standard on Sierra Denali.

Front seating configurations across the range include:

  • Sierra – Standard 40/20/40-split vinyl bench seat with fold-down armrest that includes covered storage and three integrated cup holders. Cloth seating is available
  • SLE – Standard 40/20/40-split cloth bench seat with fold-down armrest that includes covered storage and three integrated cup holders. Heated, leather-trimmed bench seat available and heated, cloth front bucket seats are available
  • SLT – Standard leather-trimmed 40/20/40-split bench seat with fold-down armrest that includes covered storage and three integrated cup holders, lockable under-seat storage compartment. Heated, leather front bucket seats are available
  • Denali – Full-feature leather-appointed, heated and vented front bucket seats with 12-way driver and passenger power adjustments, including four-way power lumbar control and two-position driver memory.

Several available equipment packages bundle popular features across the model range:

  • Sierra Convenience Package – offered on standard models, it features heated, power-adjustable outside mirrors, remote keyless entry, Rear Vision camera, 110-volt AC power outlet, remote locking tailgate and LED cargo box lighting. Power windows are included on regular cab models (they are standard on double and crew cab)
  • SLE Convenience Package – offered on double cab and crew cab models and includes power-adjustable pedals, Rear Park Assist, rear-window defogger, sliding rear window and chrome mirror caps.
  • SLE Preferred Package – includes driver 10-way power seat adjuster (with 40/20/40 split-bench cloth seat), remote vehicle starter system, front foglamps, rear-window defogger, manual tilting/telescopic steering column, 110-volt AC power outlet and Universal Home Remote. Double cab and crew cab models include dual-zone climate control.
  • Driver Alert Package – is available on SLE, SLT and Denali, and includes Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Safety Alert Seat and Front and Rear Park Assist.

Connectivity includes IntelliLink with new phone integration technology, OnStar 4G LTE
Upgrades and enhancements for 2016 include an all-new radio with a 7-inch-diagonal color touchscreen that’s available on the base-model 1SA trim and an 8-inch system offered on higher trim levels and equipment packages.

Both radios offer improved system speed and performance, faster, more accurate map loading, faster service reprogramming and redesigned navigation interfaces, including a quick list of recently browsed points of interest, point of interest country grouping, last destination screen and visual landmark indication with map guidance (on navigation radios only). The 8-inch radio offers enhanced voice command execution, while the new 7-inch radio uses pass-through voice recognition synched with the user’s phone.

Also new for Sierra 8-inch radio systems is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability (Denali models only). Each provides simple and smart use of smartphones in the vehicle, integrating certain phone functions onto IntelliLink’s color touchscreen and allowing users to call up music, navigation apps and more via compatible phones.

Complementing IntelliLink to enhance Sierra’s connectivity is OnStar 4G LTE with a Wi-Fi hotspot. It provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot supports up to seven mobile devices and is on whenever the vehicle is on and comes with a three-month/three-gigabyte data trial. It is available on the 1SA and standard on SLE, SLT and Denali models.

At the time of purchase, six months of an OnStar Guidance plan includes all of OnStar’s advisor-based safety and security features, including Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Assistance, as well as turn-by-turn navigation.

Five years of a subscription-free OnStar Basic Plan includes RemoteLink Key Fob Services, allowing owners to remotely start and lock/unlock a car (if properly equipped), and activate the horn and lights from anywhere with a data connection. It also includes OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics, which runs monthly checks of a vehicle’s engine, transmission, anti-lock brakes and more, and Dealer Maintenance Notification, which sends diagnostic report directly to a preferred dealer simplify service scheduling.

Proven Duramax turbo-diesel
The Duramax 6.6L turbo-diesel is available across the lineup and has proven itself with a strong record of performance, capability and durability. It led the industry with first-in-class common-rail fuel injection and aluminum heads with a six-bolts-per-cylinder design.

It is rated at 397 horsepower (296 kW) at 3,000 rpm and 765 lb.-ft. of torque (1,037 Nm) at 1,600 rpm, contributing to their tremendous capability – including a maximum towing rating of 23,200 pounds on Sierra 3500HD. Horsepower is reduced slightly for some commercial chassis cab models.

Architectural features include a rigid cast iron cylinder block with induction-hardened cylinder bores; four-bolt, cross-drilled main bearing caps; forged steel, nitride-hardened crankshaft; aluminum pistons with jet-spray oil cooling; aluminum cylinder heads with four valves per cylinder; water-cooled turbocharger; integrated oil cooler and a charge-cooled turbocharging system.

The Duramax’s variable vane geometry turbocharger makes downhill towing less stressful, with an integrated exhaust brake system. Matched with the Allison 1000 transmission, it creates added backpressure in the exhaust, resulting in negative torque during deceleration and downhill driving, enhancing driver control and prolonging brake pad life.

The Duramax also provides outstanding cold-weather performance, with  microprocessor-controlled glow plugs capable of gas engine-like start performance in less than three seconds in temperatures as low as -20 degrees F (-29 C), without a block heater.  

Advanced emission control technology makes the Duramax one of the cleanest diesels in the segment. NOx emissions are controlled via a Selective Catalyst Reduction aftertreatment system that uses urea-based Diesel (Emission) Exhaust Fluid (DEF), which is housed in a 5.3-gallon (20 L) tank and needs to be replenished about every 5,000 miles (8,000 km). Electrically heated lines feed the DEF to the emission system to ensure adequate delivery in cold weather.

The system also incorporates GM’s second-generation diesel particulate filter system. Unlike most of the competition, the Duramax regenerates its diesel particulate filter using a downstream injection of diesel fuel directly into the exhaust stream and can travel up to 700 miles (1,125 km) between regenerations. The use of downstream injection helps improve engine life by eliminating concerns surrounding the possibility of diesel fuel contaminating engine oil, which can happen when fuel used for regeneration is introduced directly into the cylinder. 

Allison 1000 transmission
The Allison 1000 backs the Duramax engine with features that support its tremendous torque with driver-control features that make hauling and towing easier – including the smart exhaust brake system. It features a class-first range selection function, which allows the driver to easily select the desired gears to match driving conditions, such as towing a trailer on a steep grade.

The Allison 1000’s six-speed configuration also contributes to greater efficiency, with lower engine speed on the highway. Both the fifth and sixth gears are overdrives (turning slower than engine speed), with a sixth-gear ratio of 0.62:1. A lower cruising rpm also contributes to a quieter interior on the highway.

Additional features include:

  • Power take off – It offers 250 lb.-ft. of torque for excellent performance in PTO applications, such as snowplows. There are two locations (right- and left-hand sides of the transmission) for PTO accessories – such as hydraulic pumps – to be attached on the transmission
  • Driver Shift Control – This feature allows the driver to manually select and hold a gear to satisfy a variety of driving scenarios. The easy tap-up/tap-down shift control holds the desired gear, but also protects the engine by inhibiting downshifts when the engine speed is above allowable rpm limits.
  • Tow/haul mode – The driver-selectable tow/haul mode provides greater driver control and trailering performance in certain conditions, such as steep grades. When engaged, shift schedules are optimized so that the system locks the torque converter earlier to minimize heat gain and to take greater advantage of engine braking when vehicle is traveling downhill.
  • Cab warm-up (elevated idle) – In certain low-temperature circumstances, the engine speed is raised and the transmission increases the load on the engine, allowing the engine to produce heat quicker and warm up the truck’s interior faster. The idle speed varies with the engine coolant temperature and the normal idle resumes when it reaches 154 degrees F (68 C). The feature is also enabled when the engine is started via remote starting.
  • Easy maintenance – The Allison 1000 has an easily removable, spin-on filter with a long, 60,000-mile change interval. Another internal filter is rated for the life of the transmission. Some competitors’ transmissions offer longer filter change intervals, but require more intensive, time-consuming change procedures that include removing the oil pan.

Smart exhaust brake system
The highly integrated, driver-selectable exhaust brake system uses the compression power of the Duramax engine to improve vehicle control and reduce brake pad wear. When the exhaust brake is engaged in cruise mode, exhaust cruise grade braking will help the cruise control system maintain the desired vehicle speed when travelling downhill, keeping the driver from having to apply the brakes and exit cruise control to maintain speed.

When the exhaust brake is engaged in non-cruise mode, the transmission and the exhaust brake deliver the correct amount of braking to assist in vehicle control, regardless of vehicle load. The system provides more engine braking with this feature for a heavier vehicle, for example.

Exhaust grade braking is one of the best examples of the Duramax engine and Allison transmission working as a seamless powertrain unit. It is a smart system that varies the amount of brakes needed for the vehicle, load and grade. The engagement of the system is smooth and quiet, while its performance enhances the driver’s feeling of control.

V-8 power is standard
The standard engine in all 2500HD and 3500HD models is the proven 6.0L FlexFuel V-8, which can run on gas, E85 or a mixture of both. It’s rated at 360 horsepower (268 kW) and 380 lb.-ft. of torque (515 Nm) on gas. It is also offered in a bi-fuel version and is rated at 301 horsepower (225 kW) and 333 lb.-ft. (452 Nm) on CNG.

The 6.0L is part of the legendary small block engine family, which was introduced in 1955. All iterations share basic architectural cues, including 4.400-inch cylinder bore centers and cam-in-block valve actuation. It is a simpler, lighter and more-compact design than many overhead-cam engines, with intrinsic attributes well-suited to the performance heavy-duty truck customers demand – particularly torque that’s developed early and maintained over a broad rpm range.

In fact, approximately 90 percent of peak torque available at only 2,000 rpm, for confidence and ease of operation with a full load or trailer, particularly on steep grades. Additional engine highlights include:

  • Deep-skirt iron cylinder block with cross-bolted main caps for strength, durability and refinement
  • High-flow aluminum cylinder heads that help produce more power and sustain longer across the rpm range
  • Polymer-coated pistons with full-floating wrist pins that offer lower friction, for greater performance and efficiency
  • Steel camshaft for long-term performance and durability
  • Steel roller rockers add stiffness, allowing greater engine speed with less vibration
  • Hydraulic roller lifters reduce friction for greater efficiency and wear resistance
  • Steel camshaft for long-term performance and durability
  • Regulated voltage control that enhances efficiency by reducing the draw on the alternator
  • Coil-near-plug ignition features an individual coil for each spark plug to deliver maximum voltage and consistent spark density, with no variation between cylinders.

Heavy-duty foundation and vehicle control technologies
All Sierra HD models feature fully boxed frame assemblies – 18 different assemblies that accommodate more than 150 possible vehicle configurations across the lineup.

A short-long arm/torsion bar front suspension features forged steel upper control arms and precision-machined cast iron lower control arms. Five different torsion bar rates support five different front gross axle weight ratings to help stabilize the range of trim heights of various models under load – including snow plows – while enhancing appearance, handling, durability, tire wear and alignment.

At the rear, an asymmetrical leaf-spring design minimizes axle hop and enhances traction control efficiency. A two-stage leaf-spring design is used on 2500HD models and three-stage design is employed on 3500HD model.

Sierra HD’s advanced vehicle control technologies are designed to make tough jobs easier and more comfortable, while also contributing to a safe driving experience, particularly when hauling cargo or towing a trailer.

StabiliTrak electronic stability control is standard on all single-rear-wheel models and 3500HD dual-rear-wheel models. It incorporates trailer sway control and hill start assist. Additionally, available cruise control, auto grade braking, and diesel exhaust brake features help the vehicle maintain a set speed up and down grades, even when towing a heavy trailer.

With the diesel exhaust brake feature, the turbocharger is used to smoothly and quietly create additional backpressure in the engine to help slow the vehicle. The combination of the exhaust brake and the automatic transmission downshifts helps the driver maintain the desired speed, even on steep grades.

New Digital Steering Assist – standard on SLE and SLT double cab and crew cab models, as well as Denali – also enhances driver control, maneuverability and highway stability. It adapts technology similar to active rack-and-pinion systems for the Sierra HD’s recirculating ball power steering system, providing corrections to enhance stability on the highway, enhance stability control assistance and more. It also helps make Sierra HDs feel more maneuverable and responsive to the driver.

A rear-vision camera system is standard on SLE, SLT and Denali, providing a view of items behind the vehicle. It can also assist with lining up in front of a trailer.

GMC has manufactured trucks since 1902, with innovation and engineering excellence built into all GMC vehicles. The brand is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small SUV and Acadia crossover. GMC’s highest-volume vehicle, the Sierra pickup, is the most powerful light-duty pickup on the market, and the first full-size pickup to receive the highest-possible five-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration changed its New Car Assessment Program for the 2011 model year. Details on all GMC models are available at, on Twitter at @thisisgmc or at