2012 GMC Sierra HD

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2012 GMC Sierra HD Review

Note: This review was created when the 2012 GMC Sierra HD was new.

The 2012 GMC Sierra HD has a good reliability rating, a luxurious interior and a smooth ride, but its competitors offer better towing capacity and interior tech that's more useful.

Research & Ratings

Currently, the GMC Sierra HD has a score of 7.8 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 19 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 7.9
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 6.7
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 GMC Sierra HD Overview

If you’re looking for a truck that stands out with the most interior luxury in its class, the best off-road capability or the highest towing capacity, you’ll want to shop elsewhere. Test drivers say the Sierra HD’s interior is comfortable and well-made, but though its top-of-the-line Denali trim is luxurious, it can’t compete with high-tech, work-focused offerings like Ford Work Solutions or the Ram HD’s opulent Laramie trim. However, the Sierra’s seats are comfortable and roomy, and its electronics are straightforward and easy-to-use.

Test drivers also like the Sierra’s accurate steering and available diesel engine, as well as its compliant ride. Most reviewers say that although the Sierra can feel unwieldy and hard to park, it’s better than most. Many reviewers say that the Sierra HD is a great truck for those who truly need tons of towing capacity or an all-around workhorse. "With its considerable capabilities and comfortable nature, the 2012 GMC Sierra 2500HD is an excellent choice for a heavy-duty truck,” says Edmunds. However, since the Sierra HD is outdone by the Ford Super Duty’s towing capacity and the Ram HD Laramie Limited’s interior, it might be worth it to consider the other entries in the class as well.

Other Heavy-Duty Trucks to Consider

For even better towing capacity than the GMC Sierra HD, consider the 2012 Ford Super Duty trucks. The F-450 can tow more than any other truck in its class, though some reviewers say this isn’t an apt comparison because of the F-450’s classification as a commercial truck. Still, the Ford’s 24,500-pound towing capacity, in addition to its well-made interior and comfortable ride, make it a good choice for those who need the most out of their truck.

Some reviewers say the 2012 Ram HD’s higher trims are some of the most luxurious in the class. The GMC Sierra HD Denali might be near-luxurious, but it doesn’t come close to boasting the same features as the Ram, like a voice-controlled multimedia system with a 20-gigabyte hard drive, a manual transmission or 800 pound-feet of torque from its diesel engine. The Ram does have a lower reliability score than the Sierra does, though.

Compare the GMC Sierra HD, Ford Super Duty and Ram HD »

Details: GMC Sierra HD

The GMC Sierra HD comes as either a 2500 HD or 3500 HD model, in Work Truck, SLE, SLT and Denali trims. Both models come standard with two-wheel drive and a gas engine, though four-wheel drive and a diesel engine are available on all models. The 3500 HD model is available with either single or dual rear wheels. The GMC Sierra doesn’t get many updates for 2012, since it received a lot last year. This year, the Sierra gets an updated hard drive-based navigation system and Denali trims get standard heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel and a rearview camera.

Because the 2012 GMC Sierra HD hasn’t seen many significant updates for 2012, this review includes research from previous model years.

See the full list of 2012 GMC Sierra HD specs »

  • “These big rigs boast car-like driving characteristics with impressive hauling and towing capabilities, along with class-exclusive features such as all-surface 4WD. They're a must-see for heavy-duty pickup shoppers.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "If you're a GMC loyalist, the 2012 GMC Sierra HD truck line is bound to keep you coming back for more.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "These big pickups have more strength and capability than most drivers will ever need.” -- Car and Driver

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