|Base||4.3-liter V6 Flex-fuel (FFV), V8 Gas, 5.3-liter V8 Gas||6-Speed Automatic, TBC||Rear Wheel Drive, Four Wheel Drive||$27,695||$29,000|
|SLE||4.3-liter V6 Flex-fuel (FFV), V8 Gas, 5.3-liter V8 Gas||6-Speed Automatic, TBC||Rear Wheel Drive, Four Wheel Drive||$33,380||$35,700|
|SLT||5.3-liter V8 Gas||6-Speed Automatic||Rear Wheel Drive, Four Wheel Drive||$40,018||$42,800|
|Denali||5.3-liter V8 Gas||8-Speed Automatic||Rear Wheel Drive, Four Wheel Drive||$49,462||$52,900|
by Chris Wall
Starting at just over $28,000 the bold and chunky GMC Sierra is a good-looking truck that will be great as a workhorse, but has the size and available features to be a pretty comfortable daily driver too. The engine lineup is good, as is the spec list, and for the tech junkies the truck can be turned into a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot complete with Bluetooth, wireless charging and a great optional Bose sound system headed up by the intuitive IntelliLink infotainment shared across the GM product range. While the Sierra range shares things with the Silverado range, it manages to come across as a little more upper class and less work truck.
As with most trucks there’s a function over form approach to the cabin space, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a nice place to be. Bucket seats, a range of trims and finishes and great space is where the GMC Sierra 1500 can feel like a daily driver. The mod-cons added in to make life easier, the wireless charging option is handy and leaves a secure spot for your smart phone while it’s connected to the truck via Bluetooth.
Space in the smaller cabins seats three comfortably and when optioned in the crew cab size, you can double that number. Swapping out the front bench seat for the available power-adjustable bucket seats is the best choice for comfort though. This also allows for more storage space with a centre console. If you want more and more importantly, if budget allows, then the Denali trim is the option to take. Luxury is the name of the game here.
Driving a truck is a lot different to a sedan, but with a comfortable cabin it can feel better to drive and with the new generation EcoTec engines and their associated transmissions being smooth in operation things are comfortable. The power delivery is good with the torque coming in at the right point to make the large body feel less cumbersome. While the trucks that take bigger loads have stiffer suspension and make for a harsh ride when unladen, the GMC Sierra 1500 is in the sweet spot.
The drive is quite similar in the rear-wheel drive optioned trucks compared to the all-wheel drive options, but when conditions get slippery or traction is a must, the all-wheel drive is obviously the better one, four beats two any day. If the 22-inch wheels are a must-have, they do let you feel bumps more, but of looks are important the ride quality will just have to suffer.
The GMC Sierra 1500 trucks can be had with a few engine choices in varying capacities. Kicking off the range is the 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V6, and as expected, it’s the least powerful. This choice affords power of 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque, which can haul 7,000 lbs. A size up sees the option of the 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8, and with more capacity and two extra cylinders this one offers up 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. This is will be the most popular choice being just over $1,200 more than the 5.3-liter option, and the fact that it can handle 9,100 lbs. is a good selling point. Throw an extra $12,000 into the mix and you can have the 11,7-00 lbs.-pulling 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8 that makes a great 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Transmissions some in 6-speed and 8-speed automatic guise, the biggest motor only available with the latter.
With trucks, there’s a lot of weight, especially when hauling a load that can compromise handling. As expected, the safety is there to help, so the GMC Sierra 1500 can be had with low speed forward automatic braking, forward collision alert and lane keep assist. Different packages give different things of course, like the Max Trailering Package that beefs up safety for trucks destined for a life of towing, so it includes things like an auto locking rear differential, uprated spring and shock rates as well as a trailer brake controller. Equipment is good, it’s on par with the Chevrolet Silverado but is slightly classier in execution, and the infotainment system is one of the best and easiest to use. A great feature is the Teen Driver function that monitors how the truck is driven by the young ones.
The GMC Sierra 1500 is the entry into the GMC truck range, and it’s a very good option for those in need of a truck. It is a GM product and so it’s very similar to the Chevrolet Silverado expect it’s a rung up in the features and comfort stakes. While it is up to the task of doing heavy hauling, it will be great as a dedicated daily-driven truck. Trim levels are good, and there’s a Denali option that gives things an air of luxury, but for this you will be paying a premium. It is better than the other trucks in this class? It’s definitely on par, but to get it to the best spec you best have plenty Dollars in the bank.