GMC Sierra 1500

#2 in Full Size Pickup Trucks Overall Score: 8.7 / 10
2017 GMC Sierra 1500 View More Photos »
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2017 GMC Sierra 1500 Overview

The 2017 GMC Sierra 1500 ranks 2 out of 6 Full Size Pickup Trucks.

The 2017 GMC Sierra 1500 features powerful V8 engines and expansive front seats. Additionally, the cabin looks great, especially in higher trims, and the infotainment system is easy to use. However, this isn't the most agile full size pickup truck, and some competitors are more comfortable over rough roads.

SEATING


3-6

MPG


15-18

  CITY


20-24

  HWY

DRIVETRAIN


RWD, 4WD

HP


285-420
See full 2017 GMC Sierra 1500 specs ยป

Pros & Cons

  • Class-leading towing capacity
  • Upscale interior
  • Spacious front seats
  • Intuitive infotainment system
  • Ride feels harsh on bumpy roads
  • Difficult-to-use LATCH connectors

Notable for 2017

  • Some new driver assistance features
  • Higher maximum towing capacity

GMC Sierra 1500 Rankings and Research

The 2017 GMC Sierra 1500 ranking is based on its score within the Full Size Pickup Trucks category. Currently the GMC Sierra 1500 has a score of 8.7 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 27 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

Scorecard

Overall: 8.7
Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 8.7
Safety: 9.2
Reliability: 4_0

Rankings

2017 GMC Sierra 1500 Pictures

2017 GMC Sierra 1500 Review

By Sarah Shelton May 22, 2017

The 2017 GMC Sierra 1500 features powerful V8 engines and expansive front seats. Additionally, the cabin looks great, especially in higher trims, and the infotainment system is easy to use. However, this isn't the most agile full size pickup truck, and some competitors are more comfortable over rough roads.

Is the GMC Sierra 1500 a Good Truck?

The 2017 GMC Sierra 1500 has one of the nicest interiors among its peers and a history of above-average reliability. Its maximum towing capacity of 12,500 pounds is one of the highest in the class, matched only by its corporate cousin, the Chevy Silverado 1500. The Sierra's three engine options – a standard V6 and two available V8s – are powerful and offer better fuel economy than you'll find in competitors. One of this truck's biggest drawbacks is its ride quality. It can feel a bit harsh on rough roads, even for a large pickup.

Should I Buy the GMC Sierra 1500?

You should buy a Sierra 1500 if you want to pamper yourself with one of the best pickup truck interiors (replete with modern technology and an upscale atmosphere) and don't mind spending more money for this level of luxury. However, the Sierra carries a higher starting price ($28,205) than several class rivals, so it isn't the best value. For example, if you need a half-ton truck for heavy towing, you'll be better off buying a Chevy Silverado 1500 (which matches the Sierra's 12,500-pound maximum towing capacity) for a smaller starting price. Ford also offers an appealing alternative: the F-150 has similar comfort and convenience options as the Sierra 1500, as well as a more affordable $26,730 starting price. 

Compare the Sierra 1500, Silverado 1500, and F-150 »

We Did the Research for You: 27 Pieces of Data Analyzed

It's easy to feel bewildered while trying to make your way through countless reviews and comparisons, but we're here to guide you. We've compiled 27 different reviews and data points on the GMC Sierra 1500 to better determine if this is a good pickup truck. We then took our analysis one step further by comparing our findings with the Sierra's top rivals. Our in-depth scrutiny breaks down the pros and cons of each pickup truck so you can better understand which model is the best one for you.

Why You Can Trust Us

We've been reviewing and ranking cars for about a decade and have a combined 75 years of industry experience. Our team of automotive writers, editors, and analysts have more than just personal expertise to help you – we also source dozens of data points for each model we rank, and then compare our findings with competing models to present you with clear, easy-to-understand conclusions. To assure you that our rankings our unbiased, we don't accept expensive trips or gifts from car companies, and a separate team handles our advertising. For all the major expenses in your life – including cars, colleges, hospitals, and homes – U.S. News & World Report is here for you.

How Much Does the GMC Sierra 1500 Cost?

Before adding extras, a new GMC Sierra 1500 will cost you between $28,205 and $55,605. This starting price is a little above average among full size pickup trucks. If that number is a little steep for your budget, opting for a base Ford F-150 or Ram 1500 can lower your purchase price by about $1,600. The nearly identical Chevy Silverado 1500 is another less expensive option that can save you about $620 off the purchase price. Standard features in the Sierra 1500 are pretty typical (rear-wheel drive, a basic stereo with a 4.2-inch display screen, a powertrain that pairs a V6 engine with an automatic transmission, and more). GMC offers lots of ways to customize your Sierra 1500, starting with a variety of packages that upgrade select features and often cost less than stepping up to the next trim level. The Convenience package, for example, adds power locks to the doors and tailgate, a rearview camera, power windows, heated mirrors, and a 110-volt AC power outlet. With a cost of $1,200, adding this package to the base Sierra 1500 versus moving up to the $34,955 SLE trim will save you money.

The base Sierra 1500 comes standard in a Regular Cab configuration that seats three people on a bench seat. If you want more room for passengers, the Double Cab gives you room for six and comes with a $32,230 starting price. The $36,720 Crew Cab also holds six people, but offers about 6 inches of extra legroom in the rear seat (a welcome extension for tall travelers). Four-wheel drive is available for between $3,008 and $3,801 (depending on the trim), as is a 5.3-liter V8 engine (which costs a little under $1,100) and a 6.2-liter V8 engine (approximately $2,450 more).

Before you head to your GMC dealer, you can find the best price in your region by using our U.S. News Best Price Program. Each month, we also update available manufacturer incentives on our GMC deals page.

GMC Sierra 1500 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: GMC Sierra 1500 or Chevy Silverado 1500?

The GMC Sierra 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 have a lot in common. Besides the fact that both are built by General Motors, these pickup trucks share the same standard V6 engine, V8 engine options, and class-leading maximum towing capacity. With both models saturated with communal components, it can be a bit tricky to find what sets the Silverado and Sierra apart. It boils down to two categories: price and comfort. The Silverado is less expensive, with a starting price that will leave an extra $620 in your wallet compared to the Sierra ($27,585 versus $28,205). With about the same standard amenities and a history of higher predicted reliability scores, the Silverado is a better value. The Sierra, on the other hand, has a nicer interior; among its highlights are more upscale materials. When you're shopping, spend some time inside each truck. If the fit and finish of the Sierra 1500 doesn't blow you away, you'll save some money and get a more reliable truck by driving away in a Silverado 1500 instead.

Which Is Better: GMC Sierra 1500 or Ford F-150?

When comparing base trims, a Ford F-150 will cost you about $1,500 less than a Sierra 1500. One of the most noticeable differences is inside, where the F-150 can feel a bit drab in comparison to the luxe Sierra. However, the Ford outperforms the GMC in crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and earns a Top Safety Pick designation. If you want a beefier engine than the standard 285-horsepower V6, a V8 and two twin-turbocharged V6 engines are available. There’s also a meaty 450-horsepower V6 that powers the off-road performance model, the F-150 Raptor. You can outfit an F-150 to tow up to 12,200 pounds, which comes close to the Sierra's 12,500-pound towing capacity. However, the F-150's payload capacity blows the Sierra out of the water (3,270 pounds versus 2,250 pounds). All of these advantages make the F-150 a great value over the Sierra. If the Ford's base cabin still feels too austere for you, check out the F-150 XLT trim. It comes with cruise control, Ford MyKey (a system similar to GMC's Teen Driver), power locking doors and tailgate, a CD player, and the SYNC infotainment interface. Its $32,100 starting price saves you a couple thousand dollars over the Sierra 1500 SLE ($34,995).

Compare the Sierra 1500, Silverado 1500, and F-150 »

Sierra 1500 Interior

How Many People Does the Sierra 1500 Seat?

The Sierra 1500 Regular Cab has a single row of seats that can hold three people. A second row of seats is added in Double Cab and Crew Cab models, allowing you to carry up to six people. The Sierra's front seats provide ample space for almost any driver. The available power-adjustable front seats also make it easy to find a comfortable driving position. Comfort in the rear seats varies by cab configuration. Adults riding in the back of Double Cab models might feel cramped, but Crew Cab models offer ample space for everyone. Additionally, the cabin is quiet and constructed from top-quality materials, especially in the top trim levels.

Sierra 1500 and Car Seats

The Double Cab and Crew Cab Sierra 1500 models can fit three car seats in the rear – with three tether anchors and two sets of lower anchors – but expect to shed some sweat and tears using the truck's LATCH hardware. The Sierra 1500’s LATCH system earns a rating of Poor (the lowest rating) from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Its tether anchors can be confused with other hardware, and the lower anchors are no picnic either. They're set deep in the seat and are hard to access, and it requires a lot of force to connect a child seat to them.

Sierra 1500 Interior Quality

Inside the Sierra 1500, it feels more like you're riding in a premium sedan than a full size pickup truck. You'll find one of the nicest interiors in the class here, especially in higher trims. Some Sierra 1500 models sport upscale materials (like full leather upholstery), but all models feature durable materials and a quiet cabin.

Sierra 1500 Cargo Space

Depending on which cab you pick, there are three bed lengths you can choose from for your Sierra 1500: the 6-foot-6-inch Standard Box, the 5-foot-8-inch Short Box, and the 8-foot Long Box. The bed features a step in the corner of the rear bumper to make it easier to climb into the bed, and you can also opt for GMC's EZ-Lift and Lower tailgate, which makes it easier to open and close the tailgate.

With the standard front bench seat, the middle seat doubles as a console when you fold the seatback down and offers additional storage beneath the bottom cushion. If you opt for bucket seats in the front, the Sierra 1500 comes with a floor console between the seats. Besides cup holders, this gives you a cubby large enough to hold folders and smaller compartments for your cell phone and other personal items. The available rear bench seat folds up when you want an oversized cargo area in the cabin. There's also an available storage container that keeps your belongings safe in a long bin underneath the rear seat. 

Sierra 1500 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Whether you plan to use the Sierra 1500 as a weekday work truck or for weekend getaways with the family, you'll be glad to know that all but the base model feature the user-friendly IntelliLink infotainment system. It's available with navigation, satellite radio, a 7- or 8-inch touch screen, and smartphone connectivity options like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You can learn more about these platforms by reading What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

IntelliLink makes it easy to sync your smartphone with your truck, and it responds to pinch and swipe gestures, making it easy to control. Don't get too excited about the voice recognition feature, however; it doesn't work very well when trying to control the navigation and audio systems.

Read more about interior »

Sierra 1500 Performance

Sierra 1500 Engine: Three Potent Engine Choices

The 2017 Sierra 1500 comes standard with a 4.3-liter V6 and a six-speed automatic transmission. This duo has enough force (with a 285-horsepower rating) to handle most everyday scenarios, but if you need more brawn, there are two V8 engines to pick from. The 5.3-liter V8 puts out 355 horsepower and can handle most daily driving and towing responsibilities. Still, if you plan to do heavy towing and hauling, you'll probably want the 6.2-liter V8, which produces 420 horsepower. The larger V8 also delivers outstanding acceleration. In select models, an eight-speed transmission is available with the V8 engines.

Sierra 1500 Gas Mileage: Respectable Fuel Economy

Understandably, the most economical version of the Sierra 1500 uses the V6 engine. This iteration gets 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway, which is higher than the Ford F-150’s rating of 17 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway.

Don't worry if you need to step up to one of the available V8 engines, as neither will drastically affect your fuel costs. The smaller V8 with a six-speed automatic transmission has an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 16/23 mpg city/highway, while the larger V8 combined with the eight-speed automatic transmission is rated at 15/21 mpg city/highway. This is better than what you'll get in the V8-powered versions of the Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra.

Sierra 1500 Ride and Handling: Smooth and Composed, Except on Rough Roads

The Sierra has responsive steering and powerful brakes, and it feels pretty smooth and quiet on the highway. You'll want to slow down when you take turns, though, as the Sierra isn't the most maneuverable truck. Some rivals have better handling. The standard suspension has a hard time smoothing out washboards and rough terrain, and it can get a bit jarring when there are multiple bumps in quick succession.

Sierra 1500 Dimensions and Weight

The length and weight of the Sierra 1500 depends on which model you are configuring. On the small end is the Sierra 1500 Regular Cab, which is about 17 feet long (205 inches) and has a curb weight of 4,510 pounds when outfitted with the Standard Box and rear-wheel drive. The Sierra 1500 Crew Cab is the largest version, spanning almost 20 feet (238.8 inches) from end to end and tipping the scales at about 5,300 pounds. GMC Sierra 1500 bed dimensions include the 6-foot-6-inch Standard Box, the 8-foot Long Box, and the 5-foot-8-inch Short Box.    

Sierra 1500 Towing Capacity

For 2017, GMC has increased the Sierra's towing capacity. It is now one of the class leaders in this regard, matched only by its sibling, the Chevrolet Silverado. When properly equipped, the Sierra has a max tow rating of 12,500 pounds. The transmission also has a tow/haul mode that holds gears longer when pulling a heavy trailer. The Sierra has a maximum payload of 2,250 pounds.

Read more about performance »

Sierra 1500 Reliability

Is the GMC Sierra 1500 Reliable?

Looking back over the current generation – which includes the 2014 through 2016 model years – the Sierra 1500 has posted above-average reliability scores. That continues for 2017 as the Sierra earns four out of five from J.D. Power. The Ford F-150 has the same rating, while the Chevrolet Silverado has the highest score in the class at 4.5 out of five.

GMC Sierra 1500 Warranty

The 2017 GMC Sierra 1500 comes with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Sierra 1500 Safety

Sierra 1500 Crash Test Results

The 2017 Sierra earns a five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It also earns a rating of Good (the highest rating) in four out of five crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, though it does receive a rating of Marginal (the second-lowest rating) in the small overlap front crash test. Overall, the Sierra has one of the highest safety scores of any full size truck.

Sierra 1500 Safety Features

In addition to performing well in crash tests, the Sierra has plenty of driver assistance features. Parents will love Teen Driver. This standard feature lets you set speed controls for the truck even when you're not driving it, giving you a little more peace of mind when you hand the keys over to junior.

There are several available active safety features as well. These include highway aids like lane keep assist, which helps prevent you from veering out of your lane and into the path of other vehicles on the highway. There are also features like forward collision alert and forward automatic braking, which can help you avoid low-speed crashes. The available safety alert seat vibrates certain sections of the seat in conjunction with the other driving aids to warn you of various driving hazards or conditions – like if you’re approaching a vehicle too closely, for instance.

Read more about safety »

Which Sierra 1500 Model Is Right for Me?

The starting price of a 2017 GMC Sierra 1500 stretches between $28,205 on the low end and $55,605 for the top-line trim. An extensive assortment of configurations and trims gives you lots of leeway when it comes to setting up the right truck for you. This includes three cab configurations (Regular, Double, and Crew), three box sizes (Standard, Long, and Short), and four trims (base, SLE, SLT, and Denali). When building your pickup truck, keep in mind that the combinations are not endless; each trim is limited to select bed and box sizes. You can find more details on the most popular Sierra 1500 configurations below.

The standard elements of a base Sierra 1500 include a 4.3-liter V6 engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive, a Regular Cab, and a 6-foot-6-inch bed. Upgrading from rear-wheel drive to four-wheel drive will cost $3,008-$3,801, depending on the cab/bed configuration. For just under $1,100, you can beef up your powertrain with the available 5.3-liter V8. A 6.2-liter V8 paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission is also available in select Double and Crew Cab models for between $2,495 and $2,695.

Pricing on packages and extras can vary by trim. Some of the available offerings include the All Terrain package, which costs $2,670 and adds an off-road suspension, power-adjustable and heated front seats, and a Bose premium audio system. The Preferred package costs $795-$1,290 and includes a power-adjustable driver's seat, remote start, and a 110-volt power outlet. In SLT models, the Preferred package also includes front and rear parking sensors and a heated steering wheel. For a cost of $945, the Enhanced Driver Alert package includes lane keep assist, forward collision alert, automatic forward braking, front and rear parking sensors, and a safety alert seat. The Convenience package costs $1,200 and adds a rearview camera and a 110-volt power outlet. In SLE models, the Convenience package also includes rear parking sensors.

The Sierra 1500 SLE is an excellent trim for budget-conscious buyers who also want more comfort features than the plain-Jane base model. It adds $6,750 to the cost of a base Sierra 1500 Regular Cab (or $5,195 if you're building a Sierra 1500 Double Cab), but you get a lot of extras for the added dough. One of the first differences you'll notice inside is that the base infotainment center and its 4.2-inch screen are replaced with a bigger, snazzier system. The SLE's 8-inch screen recognizes gestures like pinching and swiping and comes with the intuitive IntelliLink interface. You can connect your phone using Bluetooth for audio streaming and hands-free phone calls. Expanded smartphone integration is also on board, thanks to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Other standard features added with this trim include a Wi-Fi hot spot, audio controls on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, HD Radio, a CD player, satellite radio, power windows, a rearview camera, and the EZ-Lift and Lower tailgate.

GMC Sierra 1500

Choosing a Sierra 1500 Regular Cab with a 6-foot-6-inch bed (the base configuration) carries a starting price of $28,205 and gives you room for up to three people. Opting for an 8-foot bed will cost you an extra $390. Sierra 1500 Double Cab models can fit six people and are only available with the 6-foot-6-inch bed. These models have a starting price of $32,230.

The base Sierra trim comes with cloth or vinyl upholstery, a four-speaker audio system, a 4.2-inch display screen, a USB port, and the Teen Driver system (a valuable tool that allows you to set limits on audio volume, restrict the maximum driving speed, and add extra safety reminders for other drivers). These features are pretty much the same as what a base Silverado 1500 comes with. You’ll get more standard amenities with the GMC than the Ford F-150, which comes with cloth seats, a basic radio, and an auxiliary jack. However, you'll pay almost $1,500 more for the Sierra.

GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab

If you want the most amount of space in the cab, you'll want a Sierra 1500 Crew Cab model. These come standard with a 5-foot-8-inch bed and start at $36,720. Crew Cab models can be outfitted with a 6-foot-6-inch bed for an additional $4,545, and are available in all four trims.

The biggest difference between the Crew Cab and Double Cab models is the size of the cab. Both hold six people, but you'll get a much roomier back seat with the Crew Cab – it offers 40.5 inches of headroom (versus 38.7 inches in the Double Cab) and 40.9 inches of legroom (in comparison to the Double Cab's 34.6 inches). The Crew Cab can be built with either the Standard or the Short Box, while the Double Cab only comes with a Standard Box and is not available in the Denali trim.  

GMC Sierra 1500 SLT

The Sierra 1500 SLT comes standard with a 5.3-liter V8 engine. It has a starting price of $42,080 with the Double Cab and $44,540 with the Crew Cab. Added amenities include dual-zone automatic climate control, a household-style 110-volt power outlet in the front, leather upholstery, heated front seats, and heated, power-folding mirrors. The SLT trim also comes with an automatic rear locking differential and a trailering package, and it increases wheel size from the standard 17-inch wheels to 18-inch wheels with polished aluminum rims. The All Terrain package can be added to the SLT trim for $2,670, and it adds a Z71 off-road suspension, unique interior and exterior styling, and a Bose audio system, among its notable features.

GMC Sierra 1500 Denali

The top-line Sierra 1500 Denali is only available in the Crew Cab configuration, and it comes with a $52,155 starting price. Like the SLT trim, the Denali comes with the 5.3-liter V8 engine, but this trim also adds on an eight-speed automatic transmission. It pampers you and your passengers with a premium Bose audio system, navigation, a heated steering wheel, wireless charging for smartphones, and front bucket seats that coddle you with heat, ventilation, and full leather upholstery. The Denali trim is also the only Sierra 1500 that comes standard with the Enhanced Driver Alert package. This suite of driver assistance features includes lane keep assist, automatic high beams, low-speed forward automatic braking, front and rear parking sensors, forward collision alert, and a safety alert seat.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local GMC dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our GMC deals page.

See 2017 Sierra 1500 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Sierra 1500 has a classier interior than most full size pickup trucks. Other noteworthy attributes are its excellent towing abilities, respectable fuel economy, and ample selection of amenities for both work and play. With a starting price higher than average, though, the Sierra's value is questionable. You can spend less on a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and get a pickup with the same class-leading towing capacity and a better reliability rating. The Ford F-150 is also an appealing alternative, offering you a higher payload capacity, better safety scores, and a lower purchase price.  

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The current generation GMC Sierra 1500 pickup truck enters its third model year in 2017, having received a substantial refresh last year. It's still a rebadged twin to the Chevrolet Silverado, so very little separates the two trucks beyond cosmetics and sticker price. Still, both are uniformly accomplished, and if the GMC Sierra's looks appeal to you more than do the Silverado's, well, that's fine by us. The choice ultimately comes down to a matter of taste. For 2017 the GMC Sierra glides along nearly unchanged. It brings a few minor upgrades such as active grille shutters that reduce aerodynamic drag, a capless fuel-filler neck and some enhancements to the infotainment system. Otherwise, this remains the same trusty and widely competent pickup that it has been for the past few years." -- Edmunds
  • "Although it shares much of its chassis and mechanicals with the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC stamps its own upscale brand on the Sierra, giving it the feel of a work truck for the boss rather than the crew." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
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