Car Life Nation

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A red 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 HD SLT is on a highway against a bright blue sky.

Trailering Like a Boss with the 2021 Sierra 2500 HD

When you need a heavy-duty truck for trailering, there are only a few competitors worth your time if you want a reliable vehicle that does the work you need it to do. One of the true pack mules out there is the 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 HD, a truck that was fully redesigned just last year and offers plenty of muscle. Of course, as a GMC model, the 2021 Sierra 2500 HD is also filled with luxury features and cutting edge technologies designed to keep you comfortable and help out with your work. When you need to haul a gooseneck trailer across the county in style, then the Sierra 2500 HD is the truck to get.

For expert trailering potential, the 2021 Sierra HD has some serious tech to make the job easier, and when you need to drive that trailer across the country, you’ll have a cab with all the comforts to keep you going as many hours as it takes. If you’re looking for a truck that offers diesel for the best towing fuel efficiency, look no further. With options like engine brakes when you need to drive through mountains, a Pro-Grade Trailering System, and even remote features to keep an eye on your trailer even when you’re not there, towing a trailer has never been easier.

Engine Options

The 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 HD has two engine choices: a 6.6-liter V8 gas-powered engine and a 6.6-liter V8 turbodiesel. But while these two engines are the same size, they have extremely different power outputs. The gas engine will make 401 hp at 5,200 rpm with 464 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. In contrast, the diesel produces 445 hp at 2,800 rpm with 910 lb-ft of torque at just 1,600 rpm. Each of these engines has a few variables that affect the tow ratings, but the diesel is by far the top choice for handling the heaviest of loads.

If you’re willing to drive a diesel truck, you will soon understand why they have such a reputation for power and reliability. But even before you get behind the wheel of this beast, the numbers speak for themselves. While the gasoline V8 is rated to tow up to 17,370 lbs depending on the configuration, the Duramax diesel can handle up to 18,510 lbs without missing a beat. No matter how you slice it, the diesel beats out all the numbers on the gas engine – especially when you start exploring the less optimal configurations.

To demonstrate, take the difference between the convention and fifth-wheel hitches. For conventional trailers, the gasoline engine can haul up to 14,500 lbs max, regardless of the configuration, while the Duramax can handle up to 18,500 lbs in its crew cab configurations. And if you want to pull a fifth-wheel camper in a crew cab 4×4, then the gasoline engine is limited to 16,650 pounds while the Duramax can handle 18,500 lbs. If you need better payload, you might prefer the lighter gas engine, but for towing, the diesel will give you more power and better fuel efficiency. Even though the diesel takes extra care in the winter months and can cost more to maintain, if you drive a lot, the diesel will last longer anyway.

A black 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 HD Denali is parked in front of trees.

Trailering Features

GMC lined up a number of tech features for buyers planning on towing heavy trailers. In the last ten years, trailering has become far simpler, and each year brings new ways to allow your vehicle to do the hard work for you. With the 2021 Sierra 2500 HD, you have a lot of choices for improving trailering through built-in features and the use of an app on your phone. To begin with, both powertrain options include a special tow/haul mode to optimize shift points for easier towing. However, this feature is just the start.

If you’re still driving a truck without a back-up camera that includes a hitch mode, please do yourself a favor and give some of the tech in the Sierra a try. Having a camera that can switch to hitch mode means you can back up your truck without having to be directed by a partner using sign language or whistles you have to interpret through a rearview mirror. Instead, you get an overhead view of the hitch as you back up toward the trailer, so you know exactly what you need to do to adjust yourself for the perfect hook-up. Taking it a step further, how great would it be to have your trailer rendered invisible so you can see traffic behind you on the highway? That’s what Transparent Trailer View will do. Yes, it’s magical.

If you add the ProGrade Trailering System to your 2021 Sierra, you gain a wide range of features that will make life easier. Aside from the hitch assembly, GMC adds an auto electric parking brake assist, which will keep your trailer from rolling when you put your truck in gear and have to switch your foot from the brake to the gas. Hitch area lighting will make hooking or unhooking your hitch easier in the dark, and an integrated trailer brake controller lets you adjust trailer brake gain on the fly for optimal stopping performance in changing conditions.

With the ProGrade Trailering System, you also gain access to the Trailering app, which has useful features like departure checklists so you never forget all those steps for securing your trailer before you hit the road, a trailer light test, and even theft alert that will sound the horn and lights if anyone tries to unhook your trailer while it’s parked and locked. Through the use of the myGMC app, you can use your smartphone to remotely check on your trailer through the use of the many camera angles available or to operate compatible smart features on your trailers, like operating slide-outs, lights, or other electronics.

As if these features didn’t already make you feel like you only need to wave a wand to get on the road, you have safety features available to make you into a driving wizard. Jack-knife alert will tell you if you’re headed for trouble while maneuvering a trailer. A cargo bed camera allows you to zoom in so you can see if everything is where it should be while you’re on the highway. You also gain a grand total of 15 camera views all around the truck and trailer to help you out when you need to squeeze your trailer through tight spaces. Powered trailer tow mirrors with heating and folding feature are also available, though tow mirrors without the extras are standard.

The black leather steering wheel and dashboard are shown in a 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 HD.

Interior Comforts Better Than Home

Here is the cherry on top of the Sierra 2500 HD: an interior fit for a king. Starting with space, GMC made the 2021 Sierra 2500 HD the best in its class for headroom and legroom. Trucks aren’t always known for having comfortable seats, but the Sierra will keep your back happy while you sit mile after mile. There are also lots of options for interior customization for those who like a little color in their lives. If you’re daring enough to drink any liquid while cruising down the highway, even though you need to get to Goose Forks by sundown, you’ll have no shortage of cup holders, front or back. And your back seat drivers will have lots of space, too.

All the tech connectivity you can ask for is available, like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless charging, and a premium Bose audio system. Heck, you can even have heated rear seats and a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel to stay warm while you climb over mountains in your strapping new truck. Neatniks will approve of all the storage nooks located everywhere in the cabin, including in the back of your rear seats. Not only will the 2021 Sierra 2500 HD allow you to work hard and pull heavy loads, it will let you bring all the comforts of home with you wherever you go.

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