2018 GMC Sierra 1500 Preview


Competes with: Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Nissan Titan, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra

Looks like: The 2017 GMC Sierra 1500

Drivetrain: 285-horsepower (305 pounds-feet of torque), 4.3-liter V-6; 355-horsepower (383 pounds-feet of torque), 5.3-liter V-8; 420-horsepower (460 pounds-feet of torque), 6.2-liter V-8; six-speed transmission for 4.3-liter and 5.3-liter, and eight-speed optional for 5.3-liter and standard for 6.2-liter; two- and four-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Late 2017

For model-year 2018, there is relatively little change for the GMC Sierra 1500 pickup truck. The Sierra 1500 is the lower-volume structural twin to the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 half-ton pickup and shares many of the same assets and liabilities, but there are quite a few trim package and pricing differences. It's worth noting that the average transaction prices for GMC pickups are typically higher than Chevy, reflecting their premium marketing posture.

Among the few distinguishing offerings for GMC, the Sierra 1500 offers the All Terrain X package and Denali premium-priced trim exclusively, the latter of which is one of the few vehicles (along with the Silverado 1500 and Ford F-150) to offer 22-inch aluminum wheels in the segment. Denali trims are only offered on crew cabs.

One of the most interesting features and abilities of the GMC Sierra 1500 is that it offers the best towing in the segment thanks in large part to a heavy-duty NHT ordering package. The package upgrades to a larger 9.76-inch rear axle that offers 12,500 pounds of towing when optioned appropriately. Additionally, there is an upgraded driver assistance technology (called eAssist) that improves overall fuel economy when included.

The GMC Sierra 1500 offers four trims that include a base-level Sierra (its work truck) package that starts right around $30,000, with the remaining more well-equipped levels being SLE, SLT and top-of-the-line Denali, as well as offering several special editions like the Elevation and All Terrain. The Sierra 1500 comes in both two- and four-wheel drive, with four separate wheelbases to accommodate both short- and long-bed regular cab models, a double-cab pickup with a 6-foot-6-inch bed, and a crew cab model that can be had with either a 5-foot-8-inch bed or 6-foot-6-inch bed.

The 2018 models have no new powertrain or driveline options, but we've been  from our spy photographers saying they've seen and heard some heavily disguised GM pickups (likely the new 2019 models) with what sounds like a small diesel engine. Engine choices include the base-level all-aluminum 4.3-liter V-6, and two all-aluminum V-8s – one the 5.3-liter and the other the 6.2-liter.

All GM engine choices for the half-ton models have direct injection and active fuel management (cutting fuel to select cylinders) for extra fuel economy during lighter loads. Two-wheel-drive EPA-estimated city/highway/combined fuel economy for the three engines are 18/24/20 mpg, 16/23/19 mpg and 15/21/17 mpg, respectively. Additionally, depending on configuration and needs, the GMC offers four different axle ratios: 3.08:1, 3.23:1, 3.42:1 and 3.73:1.

As for safety technology, again, GMC shares all of the same Chevy technologies, just in different trim package configurations. Standard safety equipment in the GMC Sierra 1500 pickups includes six airbags comprising front, head-curtain side airbags for outboard passengers, and seat-mounted side airbags for the driver and passengers; a rearview camera; and StabiliTrak with rollover mitigation technology, trailer sway control and hill start assist. SLE and SLT trims add forward collision alert, safety alert driver seat, IntelliBeam headlights, lane keep assist and lane departure warning, front and rear park assist, and low-speed forward auto braking.

Here's a list of the upgrades and changes to the 2018 GMC Sierra 1500:

  • New colors offered for 2018 include Deep Mahogany Metallic and Red Quartz Tintcoat
  • Tire pressure monitor system now includes tire fill alert
  • Base model (1SA) now includes 7-inch color touch radio, six-speaker sound system (in regular cab) and rear-vision camera
  • Range-extending eAssist system available across the country

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