GMC Sierra: Review

The new Sierra isn't much different from last year, but there are a few notable improvements. Overall, this is a good-looking, somewhat elegant, hard-working truck with a good safety rating. It has some impressive bells and whistles, like the intuitive infotainment system, and a slightly higher towing capacity in the crew cab models. GMC is also offering some excellent deals and incentives right now. Find out what you need to know to get the right Sierra for you.


Has the Sierra received any awards?

Car and Driver gave the Sierra 1500 4 out of 5 stars and the 4th spot in their ranking of Full-size Pickup Trucks. The 1, 2 and 3-spots went to the Ford F-150, Ford F-150 Raptor and the Chevy Silverado 1500. U.S. News & World Report put the Sierra 1500 in the number 2 slot in their ranking of full-size pickup trucks. The Ford F-150 got their number 1 spot. They gave the Sierra an overall score of 8.7 out of 10 with a 9.2 safety rating. They like the towing capacity, interior, front seats, and infotainment system. They did not like that it doesn't have a smooth ride on rough roads and the LATCH connectors (for child car seats) are difficult to use. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the Sierra a five-star crash test rating, which is the highest rating. The Sierra also earned a "Good" rating, also the highest possible, in four of the five crash tests done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).


Does GMC ever offer any good deals or incentives on the Sierra?

Yes. You can get a Sierra 1500 (excluding crew cab) with 0% APR financing for 72 months if you take delivery by 5/31/2017. If you really want the crew cab, you can get that with 3.9% financing for 60 months, as long as you take delivery by 5/31/2017. They are also offering almost $10,000 in incentives right now on the 2017 GMC Sierra 1500 4WD Crew Cab with the SLT Premium Plus Package.


Are the GMC Sierras expensive?

Their base prices are not terribly expensive but watch the add-ons. The price climbs quickly if you start adding optional features. Base prices are: $28,405 for the 1500, $34,190 for the 2500HD, $34,720 for the Sierra Elevation, $35,290 for the 3500HD, $50,510 for the Sierra All Terrain, $52,505 for the 1500 Denali, $55,595 for the 2500 Denali HD and $55,580 for the 3500 Denali HD. These prices are for the most basic truck. Just as an example, if you decide you want the Sierra 1500, 2 wheel drive, crew cab with the short bed, the price jumps up to $37,715 net. That's with the smallest engine. If you bump that up to 4 wheel drive and the 5.3L engine, the price jumps up to $42,060. So, build carefully if you are on a tight budget.


Do the Sierras get good gas mileage?

The Sierra 1500 is listed as getting 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway, which isn't really terrible for a full-size truck. During testing, though, Car and Driver got 15 to 18 mpg in the city and 20 to 24 mpg on the highway. The Sierra Denali gets around 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.


Does the Sierra have any high-tech bells and whistles?

Yes. Nearly all models come with an IntelliLink infotainment system that is very easy to use. You can get satellite radio, a 7- or 8-inch touchscreen, navigation and smartphone connectivity. The only Sierra this isn't available in is the most basic 1500.


Did GMC make any big changes to the new Sierra?

The Sierra had a fairly major overhaul in 2016, so there aren't many changes to the new Sierra. They introduced the capless fuel filler, made automatic grille shutters standard, made the Enhanced Driver Alert package available and added a low-speed automated braking system as an available option. The driver alert package has lane-keeping assist, rear and front parking sensors, a vibrating safety alert seat, forward-collision alert and automatic headlights. The GM Teen Driver technology is now standard on Sierras. This is a feature for parents to monitor their teenage drivers.


Does the Sierra come in different bed sizes?

Yes, there are three different bed sizes from which to choose and three different cab configurations. The options are a 5.8-foot bed, 6.5-foot bed or an 8-foot bed and the single cab, crew cab or a slightly larger crew cab. The 8-foot bed comes with the single cab. There are also a couple of different seat options. You can get the three-across front bench seat or bucket seats with a center console.


What trim packages are available on the Sierra?

There are four trim packages available this year. You can get the plain Sierra, SLE, SLT or Denali. The Sierra and SLE come with the 4.3L EcoTec3 V6 engine standard. If you jump up to the SLT or Denali, you get the 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine. The 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 engine is an available option with the SLT and Denali packages. They also come with leather-appointed seating, a rear vision camera, Eaton automatic locking rear differential and LED taillamps standard.


How many Sierra models are there for?

There are eight different Sierra models this year. The Sierra 1500, Elevation, All Terrain, 2500HD, 3500HD, Sierra 1500 Denali, Sierra 2500 Denali HD and the Sierra 3500 Denali HD. What is the difference between the Sierra and the Sierra Denali? The Sierra is the basic truck. The Sierra Denali is the beefed-up version. It comes with nicer features, and there is the option of a more powerful engine.

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