It is no secret that today’s heavy-duty trucks are pricier than ever. However, what if money was no option and building the ultimate truck was possible? With hypothetical money, we decided to build the ultimate diesel-powered warrior from GMC. Although the 2023s are on the horizon but not yet on the GMC website, we can at least see how much the ultimate 2022 Sierra is and what you can expect out of it. Think we can get over $100,000?
For starters, the base price (MSRP for this trim level) on this truck with no additional upgrades, is $72,200 (ouch). We are going to tack on four-wheel drive, the highest package possible for this pickup, and hit every upgrade that we think is necessary for a truck that will more than likely be put to the test daily. Like most trucks, ours would be used day in and day out, so we’re going to document what one can expect with a purchase of one of these heavy haulers.
Configuration: 4×4, Dual Rear Wheel, Denali
To begin building our truck, a few choices need to be made. The ’22 GMC Sierra 3500 HD has a few options available. For starters, do we order a regular cab long bed, double cab long bed, crew cab standard bed, or a crew cab long bed? We opted to go with a crew cab, long bed Sierra. With a box length of 98.27-inches, the price starts at $47,995. The Sierra is obviously offered in both two and four-wheel drive as well as single and dual-rear-wheel axles.
We also opted to order dual rear wheels because, why not? When the selection was made to go with four-wheel drive, mixed with the Allison 10-speed automatic transmission and the legendary 6.6-liter Duramax engine ($9,750), the price jumped significantly. We’re now facing $85,045. Again, ouch.
The 6.6-liter engine churns out 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, the Allison transmission is ready for anything. The Allison is electronically controlled with overdrive resulting in smooth-shifting performance. It features a Tow/Haul mode that reduces shift cycling for better control and improved cooling when towing or hauling heavy loads. Also, it features an Auto Grade Braking system that automatically downshifts when needed to enable engine braking, helping to slow the vehicle on downhill grades and reduce brake wear.
GMC offers a single standard color (Summit White) and eight premium colors (Onyx Black, Quicksilver Metallic, Pacific Blue Metallic, Forest Metallic, Ebony Twilight Metallic, Hunter Metallic, Cayenne Red Tintcoat, and our choice, White Frost Tintcoat). Of these options, our White Frost is the most expensive ($1,095).
When looking inside the Sierra, you have two choices: Jet black, forged-perforated leather seats, or dark walnut/dark ash grey with forged-perforated leather. Just because black seems like a segment standard, we opted for the dark walnut/dark ash grey. Note that neither of these options is at an additional cost. Thanks for the freebie, GMC! With our configuration, powerplant, color, and interior chosen, it’s time to move on to the packages.
At GMC, We Have The Packages
Right when we thought we were done tacking on more costs, the budget continues to rise. The package area of the build sheet is when things get costly. Because we chose a Denali, we obviously went with the first available choice. The Denali Ultimate Package. At a — for some reason — the discounted price of $1,770, we are getting the works. What comes with this? You’re getting a power sunroof, rearview mirror camera combo, and GM’s multi-color, diagonal, 15-inch heads-up display.
When you select the Denali Ultimate Package, you’re also getting the Technology Package. This addition earns you GM’s 8-inch diagonal digital driver information center (standard on Denali models). Next, just because we can, we’ve also upgraded to the cargo convenience package. This $535 upgrade includes a console-mounted safe and rear under-seat storage.
We aren’t done, though. Lastly, in the package department, we made one final selection of the gooseneck hitch package. This affords us a pre-installed gooseneck ball and chain tie-down kit making hooking up a trailer the day of purchase possible.
Looking Good On The Outside
This 3500 HD comes standard with 17-inch forged, polished aluminum wheels wrapped in a set of LT235/80R17E all-season tires. However, we want this truck to stand out, so, we upgraded to the LT235/80R17E all-terrain tires ($200 extra). And since some of our readers live in cold climates, we felt it necessary to include the cost of upgrading with a high idle switch for those cold mornings.
A high idle switch is an additional $200. But why stop there, dual alternators were added. The dual alternators give you one 220 amp unit as well as a 170 amp unit. For the suspension, we’ve added the heavy-duty front spring and camper package. This was designed to help maintain handling and ride quality while towing a trailer or carrying a significant load. The last thing we added before we move into the interior upgrades is in the back.
GM’s Multi-Pro tailgate is something we simply had to have. While we were ordering, we added the Multi-Pro tailgate step lights and Kicker audio system. With friends around, truck owners can blast the radio from the truck out back and be able to see the steps directing you into the bed space. This upgrade cost a total of $1,025. Remember, we have an endless hypothetical budget, so why not?
The included touchscreen display offers AM/FM radio, a SiriusXM subscription, and navigation. With these techy accessories come Bluetooth, Apple, and Android capabilities. With the system, we’ll be able to navigate phone calls and text messages using voice activation and steering wheel controls. Other interior upgrades include all-weather floor mats ($230), sport pedal covers ($185), an auxiliary trailer camera ($595), and trailer tire pressure and temperature sensors ($50).
One thing to note about the GMC pickups is that Onstar is a nonnegotiable add-on. This is a three-year agreement with Onstar and it costs an additional $1,500. Seems unnecessary, but it is included whether you want it or not. This brings us to a total price of $92,225. While this may seem crazy, trucks aren’t cheap anymore. If consumers want a cheaper version of this, it is certainly possible, but wave goodbye to a lot of the bells and whistles.
Overall, the amount of money we dream about spending will get GMC’s best. We’ll have the nicest, most expensive color, all-terrain tires that will last for thousands of miles, a super-durable 6.6-liter Duramax with 445 horsepower, a war-ready Allison 10-speed transmission, and a ton of towing capacity. The Sierra 3500 HD comes in different configurations as mentioned, but we’ll give you the details on our current, ongoing build.
With a 4×4, crew cab, long bed, and dual-rear-wheel Sierra, here are the towing statistics.
- MAX GCWR – 40,000-pounds
- MAX CONVENTIONAL HITCH- 20,000-pounds
- MAX FIFTH WHEEL HITCH- 31,180-pounds
- MAX GOOSENECK HITCH- 31,180-pounds
- MAX PAYLOAD- 5,662-pounds.
Not too shabby for $92,225. This is what we would build. Are you thinking about a new GMC? Hopefully, the 2023s will be available soon and you can have the truck of your dreams. Click here and start building now to make sure you get everything you want.