The GMC Sierra, the Chevrolet Silverado's counterpart, first hit sales lots in the 1999 model year. Though it had been known in the past as a trim level of the C/K pickup truck, the trim's overwhelming popularity prompted the maker to create a Sierra standalone model. In the beginning, the GMC Sierra 3500HD was the luxury trim level of their C/K. But, the full-size pickup did not gain the 3500 trim until 2001. Then the one-ton pickup truck gained the badge "GMC Sierra 3500HD." Dually wheels were available from the model's birth. "Dually" means that there are dual wheels on either side of the rear that supply additional support and stability for heavier towing and hauling needs. Though the 2WD trim is not the bestselling trim for this model, it has increased in popularity recently because more and more consumers are turning to the heavy duty model. Since many private owners don't use the GMC Sierra 3500HD Dually 2WD for incredibly demanding hauling and towing, the 2WD version has become a popular choice.
The Sierra 3500HD comes standard with up-to-date technological equipment and has recently gained attention for the OnStar system, which includes roadside assistance, automatic collision alerts, and airbag deployment sensors. A free one-year subscription to the program is supplied with the purchase of the Sierra 3500HD. Nevertheless, there are naysayers that disparage the turn-by-turn navigation services that come with OnStar, arguing that it is misleading to refer to it as turn-by-turn navigation because the directional commands are provided by an OnStar representative who speaks directly to the driver, rather than instruction on a touchscreen built into the dash.
With three impressive V8 engine models, the 3500HD Dually 2WD has long been deemed one of the most powerful pickups on American roads and is a standard that many other makers strive to achieve. The potential for up to 360 horsepower makes an impact on both buyers and critics. Two manual transmissions and three different automatics have been available since the model's inception as well.
The GMC Sierra is set to get a hybrid trim level for the 2009 model year, but some critics and consumers are hesitant to believe the hype. Most are concerned that the model will lose power, but GMC has insisted that the hybrid will be equivalent to the gas-powered version. It is unclear if the 3500HD will get the "green" treatment though, and GMC is keeping tight lipped about the specific details.