2024 GMC Sierra HD Hands On Preview: 5 Stand Out Features of the Heavy Duty Truck

Lee Bailie
by Lee Bailie
2024 gmc sierra hd hands on preview 5 stand out features of the heavy duty truck

Some may think heavy duty trucks should only be about brawn and not beauty. Brute strength, but not fine craftsmanship.

GMC begs to differ with these notions, as its forthcoming 2024 Sierra HD is not only a truck with massive towing claims, but is also quite a luxurious place to spend time in.

From big high definition screens to open-pore Paldao wood trim and full-grain leather seating and door panels, and 12-speaker Bose premium audio, the 2024 Sierra HD’s cabin is among the most luxurious of any full-size truck on the road. This is especially true in Denali trim.

2024 gmc sierra hd hands on preview 5 stand out features of the heavy duty truck

But its luxe, high-tech interior is backed by impressive capability, as its two engines, a 6.6-liter diesel and a 6.6-liter gas, more than pull their weight with towing capacities that are eye-popping to say the least.

During its recent reveal in Detroit, we had the opportunity to go hands on with the 2024 Sierra HD Denali Ultimate, in both 2500 and 3500 trim. Here, in no specific order, are five aspects we found to be most intriguing.

All about the claims

2024 gmc sierra hd hands on preview 5 stand out features of the heavy duty truck

It is often said that HD trucks are all about claims, towing claims especially. On this front, the 2024 Sierra HD does not disappoint.

SEE ALSO: 2024 GMC Sierra HD Adds a Lot of Luxury to Heavy Duty Pickups

Its max towing numbers across the range are simply incredible: up to 21,900 pounds with the 2500HD Crew Cab (best in class), up to 22,500 pounds with 2500HD (4,000 pounds more than the outgoing model), and up to 36,000 pounds with the 3500HD.

2024 GMC Sierra HD – More refined powertrains

2024 gmc sierra hd hands on preview 5 stand out features of the heavy duty truck

As was the case previously, the new Sierra HD is available with two engines, both of which pair to a 10-speed Allison automatic transmission.

The 6.6-liter Duramax turbo diesel V8 (470 hp / 975 lb-ft.) features 25 percent more low-end torque that the outgoing model, along with several other changes. Among these are an all-new, more efficient turbocharger, increasing power and torque throughout the rev range. There’s also improved engine braking, new cylinder heads with improved cooling jackets, new high-flow fuel injectors and more.

The 6.6-liter gas engine (401 hp / 464 lb-ft.), meanwhile, receives several enhancements as well, including smaller steps between gears with the 10-speed Allison automatic versus the old 6-speed gearbox. The main benefit of smaller steps is it allows the engine to hold closer to peak output for longer durations.

Heavy Duty Luxury inside and out

2024 gmc sierra hd hands on preview 5 stand out features of the heavy duty truck

Perhaps nothing is more striking about the 2024 Sierra HD than its shift towards the premium end of the truck segment. It’s a move which is perfectly exemplified by the Denali Ultimate, a new top-level grade for the Sierra HD, and is also available for the Sierra light duty pick-up.

The pre-production unit we sat in is exquisitely detailed and includes a variety of fine materials including full-grain leather seating, door panels and console cover, stainless steel speaker grilles, brushed metal accents including engine start / stop button, plus Paldoa open-pore wood trim in the dashboard. Piano black inserts, softer trim panels in the dash, doors and center console, along with contrast stitching and Denali badging, make the Denali Ultimate cabin a place one will want to spend time in.

On the outside, all 2024 GMC Sierra HD’s receive an updated front bumper, fascia and new grille and wheel designs. The Denali Ultimate receives unique Vader chrome, model-specific 20-inch ultra-bright machined aluminum wheels, and high gloss black accents. It also has unique fender badging with the topography of Mount Denali, the highest peak in North America and where the Denali name derives.

2024 GMC Sierra HD – New digital displays

2024 gmc sierra hd hands on preview 5 stand out features of the heavy duty truck

A noticeable area of improvement the 2024 Sierra HD are its screens. The main multimedia touchscreen is a 13.4-inch diagonal unit that GMC says is the largest in its class. This landscape-oriented digital panel offers deep levels of customization, can support user preferences, and can run multiple apps in a split-screen view. The display also features Google Built-in enabling users to link their Google accounts to their vehicle, although it is not mandatory. Wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto also come standard.

SEE ALSO: 2022 GMC Sierra AT4X and Denali Ultimate Review

The 2024 Sierra HD is also available with a 12.3-inch-diagonal customizable digital instrument cluster display and a 15-inch multi-color diagonal head-up display.

Advanced trailering tech

2024 gmc sierra hd hands on preview 5 stand out features of the heavy duty truck

The 2024 Sierra HD also comes with some spiffy new advanced trailering tech. Among these are Transparent Trailer View for Gooseneck and Fifth Wheel Trailering, which allows the driver to see through the trailer. This industry-first feature (according to GMC) uses a camera mounted at the rear of the truck, along with an accessory camera to stitch together a view of the area behind the truck and trailer.

Another new feature is Trailer Side Blind Zone Alert, which extends blind zone alerts to blind zone areas around the trailer. Two other new trailering features of note are GCW Alert, which warns the driver if the vehicle and trailer are exceeding the truck’s Gross Combined Weight Rating. Finally, Adaptive Cruise Control with Trailering accounts for additional drag and longer braking distances when pulling a trailer.

For those interested in the 2024 GMC Sierra HD, expect it to go on sale in the first quarter of 2023.

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