$14,933 - $33,882

2014 GMC Sierra 1500 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 was new.


Performance: 8.2

The 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 impresses reviewers with its smooth, comfortable ride, and reviewers say that the Sierra has plenty of power regardless of which engine is selected.

  • "She goes and she tows, but what's she like to drive? Very pleasant, as you might expect from the upscale truck brand." -- Motor Trend
  • "We drove the Sierra up the coast of Southern California to the Camarillo, where we picked a 23-foot Airstream trailer. Either with or without the trailer, it's amazing how quiet the Sierra is inside the cabin-we would hardly have noticed the nearly 5000-pound trailer behind us if not for the fact that it obstructed the rearward view. And the engine had no trouble handling the extra weight." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "Considering how close the V6 and V8 seemed to be in real-world highway efficiency, and the fact that GMC only charges a petty $895 premium for the 5.3-liter, the V8 seems the no-brainer choice in the showroom, especially if the owner is among the 60 percent who will tow." -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 GMC Sierra 1500's base engine is a 4.3-liter V6 that produces 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. There are two optional V8 engines, which include a 5.3-liter V8 that produces 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque and a 6.2-liter V8 that produces 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. The 6.2-liter V8 is only available on SLT and Denali trims. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard with all engines. According to the EPA, a V6-powered, rear-wheel drive Sierra 1500 achieves 18/24 mpg city/highway, while those with the 5.3-liter V8 achieve 16/23 mpg. The V6-powered Sierra's fuel economy rating is fairly good for the class.

Reviewers agree that the Sierra has plenty of power, regardless of which engine is under the hood. Some say the V6 has ample power for those who don't plan on using their truck for heavy towing, while other test drivers are pleased with the smooth shifts from the transmission.

  • "The 285-hp, 4.3-liter V-6 makes 305 lb-ft of torque and, quite honestly, if you're not towing more than its 7500-pound rating, it's all the truck you need." -- Motor Trend
  • "In our test-drive of a Sierra with the new 5.3-liter V8 engine, it felt capable in nearly every situation." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Power from the 5.3-liter V8 was strong and the well-proven six-speed shifted very smoothly (despite its creamy refinement, the transmission will likely be replaced by an eight-speed automatic in the near future that will deliver better acceleration and improved fuel economy). Punching the throttle from a stand-still left rubber on the pavement, and passing at speed was an effortless maneuver." -- Autoblog
  • "Even without provoking the throttle, the 383 lb-ft of torque give an apology-worthy shove. We recently tested a Silverado LTZ crew cab equipped with the 5.3-liter, and it returned a 0-to-60 time of 6.7 seconds. We have no reason to doubt that a comparably equipped Sierra would accomplish the task in the same time." -- Car and Driver 

Handling and Braking

The 2014 Sierra 1500 earns praise for its refined, comfortable ride. One reviewer says that while the Sierra’s ride comfort can't quite match an air suspension-equipped Ram 1500, the Sierra's ride is one of the most comfortable for a truck with a traditional rear suspension setup. Test drivers also report that the Sierra's steering is accurate and well-weighted and its brakes are plenty strong. Additionally, the Sierra 1500 earns praise for having a tight turning radius, which makes it easier to park and maneuver in tight spaces.

  • "Though the ride isn't quite as plush and sedan-like as you'll find on the Ram 1500 with its optional air suspension, Sierra sets the standard for full-size pickup trucks with leaf springs. The rear end felt planted even over undulating terrain." -- Left Lane News
  • "The ride around town, and on the highway, was very nice. Electrically assisted steering seems to be hit-or-miss these days depending on the automaker, but GMC has done a fine job balancing weight and feedback. Straight-line tracking was good, even though it did feel a bit numb at times. We recall a time when full-size pickups were expected to ride with a bounce (a load in the bed would calm it down). The Sierra apparently didn't get that memo, as its empty ride rivaled that of a late-model full-size SUV - in fact, a blindfolded passenger would have a hard time telling the two apart." -- Autoblog
  • "No matter what engine is under the aluminum hood, both pickups have a quiet demeanor, an occasionally choppy but otherwise soft ride, and a smaller feel from behind the wheel than that of those big-rig-emulating competitors. The Sierra's steering is accurate and doesn't require constant corrections. A firm and confidence-inspiring brake pedal is almost sports-car-like, and the braking distances recorded by the Sierra's Chevrolet analog were class-leading." -- Car and Driver
  • "The steering has a good weight to it and the turning radius is surprisingly tight even when equipped with 4WD." -- Motor Trend

Towing and Hauling

When equipped with the 6.2-liter V8, the 2014 Sierra 1500 can tow up to 12,000 pounds, and a regular cab, long bed Sierra can haul up to 2,108 pounds of cargo. With the 5.3-liter V8, the Sierra can tow up to 11,500 pounds. A few test drivers had the opportunity to tow a trailer with the Sierra equipped with the 5.3-liter V8, and they found that there is plenty of power on tap to maintain speed.

  • "Speaking of towing, we put about 100 miles on the 5.3-liter Sierra with the bulbous Airstream firmly on its bumper. Even though the 5,000-pound trailer was well below the V8's 11,500-pound maximum, it gave us a good idea of how the truck responded to the extra load. During his First Drive of the 2014 Silverado, Zach pulled an empty horse trailer and said, '...you'll never know it's there.' He was spot on. We've towed many different things over the years, but few as competently as the Sierra guided the RV along the highway. As expected, acceleration was down a bit and overtaking slower traffic required a bit more planning. Yet the combo had no difficulty pulling up the steep (nearly seven percent) 2.7-mile long Conejo Grade southbound on US 101." -- Autoblog
  • "Towing ability is a strong point. We had no problem hauling a 5,000-pound Airstream trailer up steep grades with the 5.3-liter engine, and appreciated that the available trailer brake controller is within easy reach of the steering wheel." -- Kelley Blue Book

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