$7,055 - $17,969

2009 GMC Sierra 1500 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2009 GMC Sierra 1500 was new.


Performance: 8.5

The 2009 GMC Sierra 1500 has very good power and handling, plus numerous engine and suspension options, making it one of the top-performing vehicles for the class. Cars.com reports, "The Sierra does a good job meeting the demands of the modern truck buyer, as it cruises comfortably but also retains the capability expected of a full-size pickup."

  • "Sufficient power and surprising ride comfort are two hallmarks of the 2009 GMC Sierra 1500." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Though not at the top of the class in terms of steering, and hampered by a slightly larger turning circle than most other trucks, the 2009 GMC Sierra is still a very comfortable and easy truck to drive." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

Reviewers generally say that the Sierrra offers plenty of power, thanks to a wide variety of engines. The base-engine is a 4.3-liter V6, which makes 195 horsepower and 260 pound feet of torque. The next engine level is a 4.8 liter V8, which generates 295 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. Also available is a  5.3- liter V8 that produces 315 horsepower and 338 pound-feet of torque. At the top end of the Sierra's engine options is the 6.2-liter V8 (only available on the crew or extended cab), which makes 403 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque.

  • "Acceleration is more than adequate at all speeds." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Acceleration is certainly acceptable with either the 4.8- or 5.3-liter V8. The optional 6.0-liter V8 can get the truck to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds, while the Sierra Denali is quicker still." -- Edmunds
  • "Acceleration is good, meaning that the GMC Sierra 1500 has no problems entering freeways or changing lanes." -- Washington Post
  • "The 4.3-liter V6 and 4.8-liter V8 should be more than adequate in work truck applications." Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

Test drivers seem generally pleased with the 2009 GMC Sierra 1500's handling abilities. The great majority of reviewers have found that the vehicle handles like a truck; yet, is not as stiff as previous generations. Different suspension options are available, and each is tuned for different performance strengths, with a special Z71 suspension for off-roading among them.

  • "Riding on a fully-boxed frame for more chassis stiffness, with coil-over-shock front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering, the big pickup truck is surprisingly nimble and easy to maneuver." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The new rack and pinion steering enhanced our confidence on the back roads where handling was better than we would expect from such a heavy truck." -- MarketWatch
  • "With an unladen cargo bed the Sierra's ride quality is fairly stiff, but the suspension does a good job soaking up large imperfections in the road. Reasonably precise steering response gives the driver much appreciated confidence when driving at highway speeds." -- Cars.com
  • "One of the trucks we drove had its bed loaded with heavy cargo and the brakes were good enough that nothing dramatic happened when we had to make a hard and fast stop." -- New Car Test Drive

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