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GMC Sierra 2500 HD 4WD Crew Cab SLT with the All-Terrain X package

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2017 GMC Sierra 2500 HD 4WD Crew Cab SLT with the All-Terrain X package

By Tom Gomez

As I have mentioned in various articles, I am a hardcore Chevy guy, or I should say GM oriented, because I enjoy all GM products and not to say that the other makes of trucks are bad, I just like GM products.

Now, with that said, I got the assignment to test drive the new 2017 GMC Sierra 2500 HD 4WD Crew Cab with the All-Terrain X package. Cool, I thought? New anything is cool to drive and a new GMC would be awesome right? I went to Page One Automotive, a company that provides the media with new vehicles to test drive and review (very friendly staff and super helpful).

As I got into the heavily gated facility, I saw brand new everything! All makes and models of cars and trucks, I felt like the little Bee Girl in the MTV video of the band Blind Melon where she feels left out because, well, she dresses like a Bee, and opens a gate and everyone inside the gate are dressed like Bees just like her and she finally feels like she belongs.

I don’t dress like a bee, but I do feel left out unless I am around cars or trucks. As I waited for the GM contact to bring the GMC around for me, I was thinking 2017 pick-up truck—that should be fun.

2017 GMC Sierra 2500 HD 4WD Crew Cab SLT with the All-Terrain X package

Then I walked out and there it was. OMG, it was like the sun was shining only on the truck, you know like you see in the movies where the ray of bright sunshine is streaming down on earth from heaven. Yeah, it was like that.

My favorite color is black until a darker color comes along, and guess what? The GMC was black, with black wheels, black interior, black bumper, and even black tires ☺. I was wearing a black t-shirt and black jeans with black socks and I have black hair. I was one with the truck!

I hope my photos do it justice and you folks can get the depth of this truck and the ginormousnous of this truck. Yeah, it’s a made up word, but you get the idea of where I am going with this. The truck is huge!

The test truck as I said is a 2017 GMC Sierra “All Terrain” edition and our truck was “murdered out” as I stated before black everything. Now if you’re not into black the truck does come in Summit White. Which I think is funny because it sounds like a girl I use to go to school with in third grade. Oh, my mistake her name was “Summer White” not Summit. That would be weird, wouldn’t it? Okay, back to the review.

The first thing you notice behind the steering wheel is the massive hood that dominates the view. My first instinct is, it’s like driving an 18-wheeler. If you’re not use to driving a large truck of any kind this will take a little getting use to. The second thing you’ll notice is the instrument panel. I strongly suggest that you as the new proud owner, take some time and read the manual to help identify and get the most out of your new truck. Now I know that half of you guys or girls will say, I don’t need to read no stinkin’ manual. Well, I can be that way sometimes, but if I’m going to pay $70,000 on a new truck, you can be sure I’m going to read about every nut and bolt and option and how to operate it to the fullest. So yeah, take a couple of hours getting familiar with this awesome truck.

2017 GMC Sierra 2500 HD 4WD Crew Cab SLT with the All-Terrain X package

Our test truck is a four-wheel drive and with a push of button you can switch from two-wheel to four-wheel drive, and hit the off road with confidence. Those looking for more off-roading capabilities can add the Z71 off-road suspension package as an option on the All Terrain X, adding performance Rancho shocks, Hill Descent Control, and a shield for the underbody transfer case. Speaking of off road, I noticed that the plastic tank that holds the BLU DEF (diesel additive) hangs below the frame rail a bit. The problem with that is if you really get crazy and do some real off-roading, that plastic tank most likely is going to be the first victim of a large rock, or if you high center the truck, you can bet that tank is toast. I would relocate the tank in a more protective area or at least have a metal skid plate under it.

Two engine choices are available under this crew cab pickup’s massive hood – the 6.0-liter gas V8 or the all-new Duramax 6.6-liter turbo-diesel V8. The gasoline-powered V8 continues to make 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque, while the new Duramax turbo-diesel generates 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque. If you notice there is a hood scoop. Is it functional you ask? Hell yes it is! It’s a little deceiving when you first open the hood it looks like the hood scoop is just for looks , but when you trace the plumbing it goes straight to the induction system and yes it works!

Our test truck had the 6.6 turbo diesel V8 and yeah it is awesome. I have only owned one diesel in my lifetime and I hated it. It smelled like diesel fuel all the time and had the smell inside the vehicle and was noisy. Granted it was an 80s model and yes we have come a long way since those smelly days, but that perception of a diesel truck always made me not want one.

I make a lot of references to rock bands and music because aside from cars and trucks, I love music. So to quote one of my favorite bands, Mike Ness and a Social Distortion song “I was wrong”, I was wrong about the new 2017 6.6 Turbo diesel. One, it didn’t smell, two, it is probably one of the most quiet diesel engines on the planet. Inside the very luxurious, functional cab you cannot hear the diesel engine unless you accelerate hard then you can hear the faint sound of a turbo diesel, but normal acceleration not much different than a gas engine and it does have tremendous torque. After only one day of driving this diesel I was hooked!

2017 GMC Sierra 2500 HD 4WD Crew Cab SLT with the All-Terrain X package (Tom Gomez)

The quickest identifier of the All Terrain X package is the bed-mounted sports bar surrounding the back window. It features mounting points for optional LED off-road lights and sail panels with sunken lettering spelling out “SIERRA” in red script. An incorporated center high-mounted stop light resides in the center of the main horizontal bar. The LED roof lights are an added touch that really defines that this is a big truck.

As we mentioned before , the All Terrain X sports blacked-out 18-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in aggressive LT27/65-series Goodyear Duratrac MT tires. And since the All Terrain X package builds on the Z71 Off-Road package, the truck comes with upgraded Rancho shock absorbers, underbody skid plating, tow hooks, deleted front air dam, and the Eaton G80 Automatic Locking rear differential.

RIDE
A lot of your readers will ask ‘how’s the ride?” Well the ride is pretty good as with most new”anything” this behemoth rides like a ½ ton truck on the freeway and in town is not bad. Turning radius was pretty good as we purposely made legal U turns on busy city streets while other drivers stared in horror that we weren’t going to make the turn. We wanted to yell out the window, “Watch this!” or “I am a professional ma’am.”

So, with all this beefiness the truck handles great in town and on the freeway, but how does it handle on the off road? A couple of things..if you are going to construction sites or out to the desert pulling a loaded toy hauler this truck will definitely do it and then some.

But if you have been watching off road racing on TV and the trucks are flying over giant hills and are hauling ass through the desert at 140 mph. Well, you can forget that.

Bear in mind that these production trucks are made for the everyday guy or girl that will haul stuff from the lumber yard, pull trailers and haul equipment to and from a construction site.

I truly loved this truck and the thought of taking it offroad and getting all the black shiny parts dirty was unheard of to me. But how could I tell you wonderful people how this HD does off road? If we didn’t take it off road? So we did!

For horsepower and torque you can’t get much better than the 6.6 turbo diesel and it handled every hill and ditch we went through. Now let me say that we kind of crept through and rock crawled our way through this uneven terrain. But then we thought, hey, that’s not a true test, let’s go faster and see what happens?

The purpose of this article is to tell you wonderful folks the do’s and don’ts of the capabilities and handling of vehicles, right? Right!

With that said, do not go pedal to the metal and think you’re Ivan “Ironman Stewart” or other famed off road racer Brian Deegan. Yes the truck will climb and traverse any terrain you want. But if you think that doing this at 50-60 mph, the answer is NO.

The big Sierra itself is a great truck, and it has the looks and the ability to go anywhere, but trying to go racing through the back country is not advised. There isn’t enough travel on the suspension and the shocks are a little on the “Light” side to handle the weight at high speeds which can make it unsafe, especially if you’re a novice off roader.

So use common sense when it comes to off roading folks and you’ll be fine.

2017 GMC Sierra 2500 HD 4WD Crew Cab SLT with the All-Terrain X package

INTERIOR
What can we say about the interior that hasn’t been said already? I have two words …Black leather. The 2017 GMC 2500 HD is covered in it. Not just leather but it pretty much has everything that a high end luxury car has. Power everything, windows, door locks, heated seats, power fold away outside mirrors, back up camera, power sunroof, power back sliding window, power adjustable pedals, whew! Can I stop now, I think you get the idea?

Oh yeah, GPS, hands free cell phone and SIRIUS radio. So you can pick your favorite genre of music, I can tell you we were stuck on Judas Priest and Motorhead all week.

The whole interior is very easy to use and is comfortable on long trips. The one thing that I noticed and maybe that’s why I keep coming back to GM products, is even with all the new amenities that this truck offers, the one thing that was familiar to me and made me smile was the familiarity of the turning the key and the adjustment of the tilt steering in a one-two motion.

It had the same comfortable feel as my 1999 Chevy Suburban. Pure GM.
If you think about it my 99 Suburban is 19 years old and runs awesome, and to have a 19 year old vehicle have the same tight comfortable feel as a 2017 GMC truck is Nirvana for me and proves how GM trucks are continuously quality built.

2017 GMC Sierra 2500 HD 4WD Crew Cab SLT with the All-Terrain X package

ON THE STREETS OF L.A. AND SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
After some serious time maneuvering through dry creeks and steep hills it was time to really test the 2017 GMC HD 2500 Diesel. What? You may ask? Isn’t the rough terrain steep hills, desert conditions, rattlesnakes and the occasional horny Toad, rough conditions? No it isn’t.

Quick note, I never understood why they called them horny toads because if they were that horny, you would see them everywhere, right? Just Kidding!

If any of you have driven the mean streets of L.A. or cruised the wonderful freeways of Southern California, you know we have traffic. It use to be bad morning traffic and in the afternoon 5:00 everybody going home bad traffic.

Now it’s all day bumper-to-bumper bad traffic. Where are you people coming from and where are you going?

I am a “seasoned California driver” and I have seen it all in my commutes to and from Orange county and L.A. and yes, it can be brutal, unless you’re driving a 2017 GMC Sierra HD 6.6 diesel.

One, this truck is like a freight train it’s big and long, so these little commuter Kamikaze drivers who like to cut you off or speed up and then dive right in front of you and hit the brakes, well they actually take the time to decide if that’s a good idea or not. Granted not all of them, there are still some who have a death wish. They speed up, glance at you about 20- times trying to decide whether to cut you off and risk getting impaled by a giant black bumper or to stay in their lane. So in this case bigger is better.

2017 GMC Sierra 2500 HD 4WD Crew Cab SLT with the All-Terrain X package

Two, this truck is got all the amenities of a luxury car. Comfortable leather seating, ice cold air conditioning, badass sound system and because you sit up high a great view of what’s happening down the road. Not only that but the GPS will let you know what’s going on before you get there. The first time we experience that, we thought we were getting a phone call from the sound system! LOL ! In a sense we were.

So right in the middle of listening to Motorhead, a lady’s voice came on and said there was road construction and the next exit was closed. WTF was our initial thought? Where did that come from? But she was right, construction and the exit was closed.

So we were well informed of traffic and road conditions and we knew about how long we were going to be stuck in traffic.

Thirdly, the truck is a diesel, diesels rarely get hot under extreme conditions and they were made to idle for hours with no ill effects. So sitting in 105 degree heat bumper to bumper with every irate driver in southern California wasn’t that bad. In fact quite relaxing knowing that you weren’t going to overheat anytime soon and with ice cold airconditioning and tunes, yeah it was “Very Fine”.

Granted we could have used a burger and a cold drink while we waited but we did head that way eventually.

Speaking of eating. For us personally if we are spending $70,000 on a vehicle the last thing we are going to do is ruin the “New car smell” with a stanky McDonalds burger and fries. It doesn’t have to be McDonalds, but anything fried is sure to infect the luscious leather smell and well, there goes your new truck.

Now back to some in town driving. Because it’s a big truck you would think we would be limited to where we can go in town with tight turns and small parking lots. If you have never owned a large pickup truck you should practice because it takes some getting use to . Now the factory backup camera and front sensors are really helpful to let you know exactly how close you are to another car or anything that might damage your rig.

Duramax Turbo-Diesel V8 under the hood (Tom Gomez)

Another safety feature and very useful was the factory “Nerf bars” or for you civilians the tubed step running bars, that let you get in and out of the big truck with ease. We experienced something that is a huge pet peeve for us and that’s the habitual “door dingers”. We wish these people would simply “stay home”.

We stopped at a local grocery store to buy supplies and naturally we park 80 feet away from everyone so that no one will ding our perfectly shiny black doors. As we came out, there is a black Tahoe right next to us! So close the woman can barely get out of her vehicle. We couldn’t resist and we asked her what made her choose to park so close when there are plenty of places to park closer to the store. Her answer? She saw the Black GMC and because her Tahoe was Black she wanted to park next to it. Not making this up folks! We then asked her , “why so close that you can barely get out?”

She admitted, that was a mistake and she misjudged the distance but she didn’t want to move since she was already parked. She also admitted that the “Nerf bars” side steps did damage her door when she swung it open to get out!

Yea! Victory! The GMC defended itself from the “Habitual door dinger”.

BOTTOMLINE
The truck has brains and beauty and the complete functionality for what it was made for. The aggressive off road look is for the most part is very good, but don’t let the big wheels and tires lure you into the next Baja 1000. Maybe as a heavy duty reliable truck to tow the loaded car trailer with your real off road race truck, then yes, buy it.

One last thing, speaking of trailers, the truck is equipped with an engine brake which cuts out some of the compression on the cylinders to slow the vehicle down especially under a load when you’re going downhill. Some of you hardcore guys know this as a “Jake brake” on semi trucks. The only difference is on the 2017 GMC Sierra HD you don’t hear that obnoxious BRRRRaaaaaaappp. Sound, that all truckers know.

So, we hope that we were informative and gave you an idea what to expect when you want to purchase this very cool vehicle.

For us here at LACAR.COM, we are going to ask for a raise so that we can go out and purchase this vehicle and be on a perpetual test drive!

Happy motoring people!

For more information about GMC products, go to gmc.com.

6.6 Liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel V8 (Tom Gomez)

THE MAIN INGREDIENTS

Name of vehicle:
2017 GMC Sierra 2500 HD 4WD Crew Cab SLT with All-Terrain X package

Price:
$52,390 (configured base)
$10,690 (Duramax Plus package)
$2,990 (All-Terrain X package)
$69,765 (price as tested)

EPA fuel economy rating:
Not EPA rated

Engine:
Duramax 6.6 liter Turbo-Diesel V8

Transmission:
Allison 1000 6-speed automatic

Drive configuration:
Front engine, four-wheel drive

EPA size classification*:
Standard pickup truck 4WD

2017 GMC Sierra 2500 HD 4WD Crew Cab SLT with the All-Terrain X package (Tom Gomez)

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