IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
Like the nearly identical Chevrolet Silverado, the Sierra is a capable, refined truck offering an impressive array of features.
Ride comfort and interior ergonomics, while good, are a step behind those of the Ram 1500.
Full-time 4WD (rather than less-convenient part-time) is offered on most models. The available 6.2-liter V8 offers class-leading power.
WHAT IS IT?
GMC’s Sierra is a near clone of the Chevrolet Silverado, though it’s differentiated with unique styling, a slightly different equipment mix, and a slightly more upscale ambiance. Regular cab, extended cab, and crew cab body styles are offered, as are V6 and V8 engines and full-time 4WD.
Sierra’s updates for 2016 include new front-end styling with LED running lights, an available remote locking tailgate, upgraded IntelliLink infotainment systems with Apple CarPlay capability, and wireless device charging on models with front bucket seats. Base, SLE, and SLT models get HID projector headlights; LED headlights are standard on Sierra Denali and available on SLT. LED taillights are standard on SLT, All Terrain, and Sierra Denali. Power-articulating assist steps are newly available on the Sierra Denali Crew Cab. The Driver Alert Package on SLT and Sierra Denali adds automatic high-beam control and lane-keep assist. Base double-cab models get an Elevation Edition appearance package. Availability of the 8-speed automatic transmission, which was previously offered only with the 6.2-liter V8, is expanded to the 5.3-liter V8 models in SLT and Sierra Denali trim.
In a similar Silverado 2WD crew cab equipped with the 5.3-liter V8, we averaged 18.6 mpg in a mix of city/highway driving. That compares favorably with the EPA combined rating of 19 mpg; the 5.3’s EPA rating is 16 city/23 highway with rear-wheel drive and 16/22 with 4-wheel drive. The standard 4.3-liter V6 is rated at 18/24 with 2WD and 17/22 with 4WD when equipped with the 6-speed automatic transmission; fuel-economy numbers with the 8-speed automatic were not available at press time. The 6.2-liter V8 is rated at 15/21 with 2WD or 4WD. All engines can use regular-grade fuel, though premium is recommended for the 6.2 for best performance.
VALUE IN CLASS
The GMC Sierra stacks up well against class rivals, and—like its Chevrolet Silverado sibling—offers strong, refined engines, good on-road behavior, plenty of handy in-cabin storage, and an impressively quiet driving environment; top-line models such as the Denali add a healthy dose of luxury to the mix. Sierra lags the Ram 1500 in ride quality, but it’s a strong competitor in this class.
|BASE PRICE RANGE||$27,275 – $53,865|
|BODY STYLES||REGULAR, EXTENDED, AND CREW CAB|
|AVAILABLE ENGINES||285-HP, 4.3-LITER V6; 355-HP 5.3-LITER V8; 420-HP 6.2-LITER V8|
|DRIVE WHEELS||Rear or 4-Wheel Drive|
|EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE||15-24 MPG|
Other Best Buys in this Class
Chevrolet Silverado 1500