The GMC Sierra 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado share the same platform, but the GMC product is often positioned as a more upscale offering. Mechanically, the trucks are the same. There might be slight differences in curb weight and payload, but they share the same powertrain and chassis components. There are five engines and five suspensions in the lineup.
The Sierra comes in regular, extended and crew cab forms. Standard (6-foot, 6-inch) and long (8-foot) cargo beds are available on regular and extended cabs, while the crew cab gets a short (5-foot, 9-inch) bed. All configurations are available in two- or four-wheel drive. The Sierra comes in four trim levels: Work Truck, SL (crew cab only), SLE and SLT. Most V-8 models are rated to tow around 9,000 pounds, but some models get more than 10,000 pounds with an enhanced trailering package.
New for 2010
GM has dropped the long-running 6.0-liter V-8 engine from the Sierra lineup, leaving the powerful 6.2-liter V-8 for heavy towing needs. The rest of the Sierra's eight-cylinder lineup benefits from increased availability of its new six-speed transmission for regular and extended cab models equipped with the 5.3-liter V-8. Also, the 4.8-liter and 5.3-liter V-8 engines have been enhanced, with variable valve timing for improved emissions and better fuel economy.
Those with portable MP3 players can connect and play their music collections with the truck's audio system through a USB connection. Standard side curtain and side-impact airbags are welcome safety additions.
While GM is trying to differentiate the Silverado and Sierra, the common silhouette is hard to overcome, even with unique front fenders, grille, bumpers, headlamps, cargo box and taillamps. There's also a strong family resemblance with the Chevy Tahoe/Suburban.
- Very wide rear-door openings on extended cab models to load passengers, cargo
- Range of 17-, 18- and 20-inch wheels
- EZ Lift tailgate available
The Sierra showcases two different interior designs. Work Truck and SLE models are more utility-minded, with large controls and door handles that can be operated while wearing gloves. The SLT offers upgraded materials and a different dash design. The Sierra's cab is inviting, spacious and well-organized. Leather seating is available on the SLE and standard on the SLT. The SLT also gets a Bose stereo, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat and a heated windshield-washer system.
- Stadium-style rear seating
- Available power-sliding rear window
- Available moonroof
- Available navigation system on SLE and SLT
- Available rear-seat entertainment system
- Integrated trailer-brake control
Under the Hood
- 195-horsepower, 4.3-liter V-6 with iron block and cylinder heads, cam-in-block, two valves per cylinder and 260 pounds-feet of torque
- 302-hp, 4.8-liter V-8 with iron block and aluminum cylinder heads, cam-in-block, two valves per cylinder and 305 pounds-feet of torque
- Flex-fuel 315-hp (gas) or 326-hp (E85), 5.3-liter V-8 with iron block and aluminum cylinder heads, cam-in-block, two valves per cylinder and 338 pounds-feet of torque (gas) or 350 pounds-feet of torque (E85)
- Flex-fuel 315-hp (gas) or 326-hp (E85), 5.3-liter V-8 with aluminum block and cylinder heads, cam-in-block, two valves per cylinder and 338 pounds-feet of torque (gas) or 350 pounds-feet of torque (E85)
- Flex-fuel 403-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 with aluminum block/cylinder heads, cam-in-block and two valves per cylinder that makes 417 pounds-feet of torque
- Four-speed automatic
- Six-speed automatic
GM is aggressive in promoting the benefits of OnStar 8.0. New-truck buyers get a one-year subscription to the Safe and Sound Plan, after which owners can subscribe annually. If an airbag deploys, OnStar contacts an adviser and can report crash data to emergency services. The Sierra offers roof-mounted side curtain airbags as standard equipment on all trim levels. Seat-mounted side-impact airbags are also standard. An electronic stability system is now standard on all Sierra models.
- Available ultrasonic rear parking assist
- Traction control
- Four-wheel antilock brakes
- Seat belt pretensioners activate in rear-end impacts
Of Interest to Truck Owners
- Maximum gross vehicle weight rating: 7,000 pounds (4x4 crew cab, extended cab)
- Maximum payload capacity: 1,924 pounds (4x2 crew cab short box)
- Maximum towing capacity: 10,700 pounds (4x2 extended cab with enhanced trailer package, 6.2-liter V-8 and 3.73 rear axle)
- Fuel tank capacity: 26 gallons (SWB), 34 gallons (LWB)
- Axle ratio: 3.08:1, 3.23:1, 3.42:1, 3.73:1
- Minimum ground clearance: 8.4 inches (regular cab 4x2 SWB), 9.1 inches (regular cab 4x4 SWB), 8.9 inches (regular cab 4x2 LWB, extended cab 4x2 SWB), 9.5 inches (regular cab 4x4 LWB), 9 inches (extended cab 4x4 SWB, extended cab 4x2 LWB, crew cab), 9.3 inches (extended cab 4x4 LWB)
- Approach angle: 15.6 degrees (regular cab 4x4 SWB), 15.8 degrees (extended cab 4x4 SWB), 15.5 degrees (crew cab 4x4)
- Departure angle: 24.2 degrees (regular cab 4x4 SWB), 22 degrees (extended cab 4x4 SWB), 23.1 degrees (crew cab 4x4)
- Ramp breakover: 24.4 degrees (regular cab 4x4 SWB), 17.8 degrees (extended cab 4x4 SWB), 19.6 degrees (crew cab 4x4)
- Cargo-bed load height: 35.4 inches (regular cab 4x2 SWB), 34.5 inches (regular cab 4x4 LWB), 34.4 inches (extended cab 4x2 SWB), 33.6 inches (extended cab 4x4 LWB), 33.5 inches (crew cab 4x2), 33.8 inches (crew cab 4x4)
- Cargo floor length: 69.3 inches (short bed), 78.8 inches (standard bed), 97.7 inches (long bed)
- Cargo floor width: 62.4 inches
- Cargo floor width at wheel well: 50.6 inches
- Cargo bed depth: 21 inches