2010 GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid Performance

$16,404 - $21,690

2010 GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2010 GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid was new.


Performance: 8.5


Reviewers are impressed with the GMC Sierra Hybrid's high-tech components, but are split on its performance. While most are positive on the day-to-day drivability and fuel economy of the truck, others question if the loss of some towing and hauling capabilities is worth the fuel economy gains.

  • "Except for CVT drone during acceleration and a mushy brake pedal, you won't have any idea that you're not in a regular General Motors pickup." -- Car and Driver
  • "The engine makes 332 horsepower and enables a towing capacity of 6,100 pounds with rear-wheel drive and 5,900 pounds with four-wheel drive - not as much as the regular Sierra's 10,500-pound maximum towing capacity, but not too shabby for a hybrid." -- Cars.com
  • "The big truck was a delight to pilot. The switch from electric to gasoline mode was generally seamless. On an all-day drive, the GMC was perfectly comfortable and with four-wheel drive it made quick work out of steep, muddy roads and rocky hills during a couple of off-road excursions." -- MarketWatch
  • "The GMC Sierra Hybrid is a heavy-duty truck meant for hauling payload and towing. It is designed to be a workhorse and that means adding weight and durability to the frame as well as body structure to absorb payload weight. Weight, however, is not a good partner for electric/hybrid vehicles." -- NADA Guides

Acceleration and Power

The 2010 GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid has a complex powertrain that combines a 6.0 liter V8 engine with two electric motors. The V8 makes 332 horsepower and each electric motor makes 80 horsepower. The Sierra Hybrid makes 367 pound-feet of torque. For the most part, reviewers are impressed with the smooth and seamless power delivery of the two-mode hybrid system.

  • "Sierra Hybrid accelerates from a stop and passes much like conventional models, but a faint surge is felt and heard when it shifts between full electric and gasoline operation. CVT transmission is responsive." -- Consumer Guide
  • " . . .doesn't feel as powerful as 6.0 liters and a claimed 379 hp would suggest. The main culprit is the powertrain's complexity: Floor the Hybrid from a stop and there's a pregnant pause as the truck creeps forward in electric mode, then hurtles away once the gas engine comes online." -- Edmunds
  • "During driving, the engine switched itself off and on seamlessly, with the electronic control system providing a smooth flow of power from any combination of battery and engine." -- HybridCars.com
  • "These Hybrids don't drive the way one might expect a high-mileage pickup would. There is a torquey feel off the line, and a steady, linear response to throttle. Driven flat out from a standing start, the Hybrid is reminiscent of a regular gas V8-powered pickup. And it can hit 0-to-60 mph, GM says, in less than 8.4 seconds."-- Popular Mechanics
  • "A feather foot on the go pedal will get the ball rolling without starting up the engine, and at speeds of up to 30 mph, the truck is capable of traveling without a single drop of gas -- a feat we were able to replicate several times on our trip. " -- Autoblog

Fuel Economy

Given that the Sierra Hybrid is a full-size truck, reviewers are suitably impressed with its fuel economy. The EPA estimates the two-wheel drive model gets 21/22 mpg city/highway. The four-wheel drive model gets an EPA-estimated 21/22 mpg city/highway. A gas-only Sierra, equipped with the same 6.0 liter V8 engine, only gets an EPA estimated 13/18 mpg city/highway.

  • "GM says the hybrid powertrain adds roughly $3,000 to a comparable non-hybrid pickup, which returns just 14 mpg / 20 mpg. Racking up 10,000 miles a year, split equally between city and highway travel, the hybrid system saves about 140 gallons of gasoline annually. That's more fuel than you would save by jumping from a Toyota Camry to a Camry Hybrid-although not quite as big a savings as switching from that conventional Camry to a Prius." -- HybridCars.com
  • "Overall, you're looking at an approximate 40-percent improvement in city fuel economy compared to a regular Sierra, though the improvement in highway mileage is much less dramatic." -- Edmunds
  • "During a 30-mile tour of practically every San Antonio neighborhood, I achieved an amazing 25 mpg. Without causing any significant hindrance to traffic, the Sierra's electric motors handled propulsion duties most of the time with the engine starting only occasionally to power one of the electric motors operating in generator mode. " -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Rated at 20 mpg both in the city and on the highway, our four-wheel-drive tester's in-town rating actually bests the Toyota Camry V6 and ties even the most frugal Subaru offered in North America. . . . Over 20 minutes of traffic snarl cruising, the trip computer showed 27 mpg since the gas engine rarely needed to kick in." -- Left Lane News

Handling and Braking

Several reviewers note that General Motors makes trucks that drive and handle well, and the 2010 GMC Sierra Hybrid lives up to reviewer expectations for a full-size truck. Reviewers single out the braking as a high point. While the Sierra Hybrid uses regenerative braking, like other hybrids, the brakes don't have the grabby feel that often plagues such systems. 

  • "Being these are large pickups, there's noticeable body lean in fast turns and quick changes of direction. The steering is nicely weighted, if a bit numb, and the brakes are responsive with fine pedal feel." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The brakes feel strong and remarkably progressive for a hybrid." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "Ride quality is good; only certain bumps and surfaces betray the solid rear axle. Everything felt solidly bolted together, and we heard no squeaks or rattles at all. At speed, wind noise was apparent, but tolerable." -- HybridCars.com
  • "With the bed empty, the back end tends to jump around a bit, especially under hard breaking. There is nothing particularity wrong with this sort of classic pick-up handling and ride, but today the bar is set higher (read more car-like road handling) by many of the Sierra's competitors" -- D.C. Examiner

Hauling and Towing

The Sierra Hybrid gets mixed reviews for hauling and towing. Some reviewers are impressed that the truck can tow at low speeds on electric power alone, while others note that hauling and towing brings the Sierra Hybrid's fuel economy down to the level of a gas-only truck, but without the same capacities. A Sierra Hybrid can tow 6,100 pounds, but a 6.0 liter gas-only Sierra can tow 9,500 pounds.

  • "I recorded 10 mpg while towing, about the same I've experienced towing similar sized boats with large conventional-powertrain pickup trucks." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "We did quite a few stop-and-go city traffic loops with the boat in place, and checking the mileage computer, saw we were logging 13.9 mpg." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "The Sierra hybrid towed our trailer capably, but its upper limit is 6100 pounds. A conventional four-wheel-drive, 6.0-liter Sierra is good for 9500 pounds and can handle up to 10,400 with the max trailering option ($1155). The hybrid's payload tops out at 1418 pounds, and a conventional Sierra crew cab with the 6.0-liter is rated for 1714." -- Car and Driver
  • "The rear- or four-wheel drive pickups can tow up to 6,100 pounds, but also have the ability to travel up to about 30 m.p.h. in electric-only mode when they're not loaded." -- Detroit Free Press
  • "Not only can the Sierra Hybrid tow up to 6100 lb., it can do so while running in all-electric mode up to a speed of 30 mph, whether the load is in the form of pulling a boat or a bed full of cargo." -- Road and Track
  • "The truck's most impressive feat by far was towing that boat uphill-on electricity alone-for almost a minute." -- HybridCars.com
  • "A quick spin on another short loop proved that the electrically-assisted pickup was rather adept when it comes time to hook up a trailer, which we tested with 5,300-pounds of dead weight. Even with such a large load, a very light press of the accelerator would get the truck rolling solely on electricity." -- Autoblog


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