The GMC Sierra trucks are just cleverly designed to deliver the most of what the pickup truck buyers demand. They still don’t go with aluminum or with turbo or diesel engines but they successfully stay competitive with hauling and towing ratings, and also in terms of fuel economy and driving performance. As for GMC Sierra 1500 model, it is classified as a full-size pickup truck and its mechanical structure is nearly identical to the Chevy’s Silverado 1500. As main rivals for this truck are considered mentioned Silverado 1500, Nissan Titan, Toyota Tundra, Ram 1500 and of course top-selling Ford F-150.
The model has been redesigned for 2014 model year and charges included new engines and drivetrains, refreshed styling, upgraded interiors, and improvements related to modern infotainment and safety features. The next 2015 model hasn’t brought many changes and they mostly were turned to upgrading of electronics and new trim was added as well. Coming to the 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 and this model year, the changes are limited on the refreshed front side, some equipment upgrades, new Denali Ultimate trim while mechanical aspect remains based on the last redesign. The model is available in three cub styles and in total of seven trims.
2016 GMC Sierra 1500: Performance
In the engine bay, the 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 doesn’t insist on downsizing and turbocharging trend and it doesn’t offer diesel unit as well but with one V-6 and two strong V-8 engines it successfully remains relevant in all needed aspects. The base engine which is standard on all trims except on the SLT and Denali is a 4.3 liter V-6 unit which as other two options features direct injection, cylinder deactivation and variable valve timing which all should improve fuel efficiency. It generates 285 HP and torque of 305 pound-feet and comes matched with a six-speed automatic gearbox. This gearbox deliver smooth shifts and it is also precise and reliable under the high loads. This combination transfers power to either rear- or all-wheels. As for towing capacity of this powertrain it allows up to 7,600 pounds. In terms of fuel economy, it returns 18 mpg city and 24 mpg in highway drive while with all-wheel drive score drops to 17/22 mpg respectively. For more pulling power you have to spend more money and then you get a 5.3 liter V-8 powerplant which on demand makes 355 HP and torque hits 383 lb-ft. This powerful and reliable engine is available with an eight-speed automatic transmission in higher grades. When properly equipped this powertrain allows up to 11,000 pounds of towing capacity. EPA ratings are better for this engine when combined with six-speed automatic and with rear wheel drive it returns 16/23 mpg city/highway while with all-wheel drive highway score is at 22 mpg. In case of eight speed and rear wheel drive the result is at 16/22 mpg and with power on all wheels it is 15/21 mpg. The most powerful option is 6.2 liter V-8 engine and it is on the SLT and Denali models. It is capable for 420 HP and torque peak of 460 lb-ft. Massive towing capacity is up to 12,000 pounds while fuel economy for both drive options is 15/21 mpg city/freeway.
When it comes to stability and handling, all models are underpinned with front strut and with leaf-springs on the rear side. The models also use electric power assisted steering and for stopping power specially designed brakes for long life cycle. The suspension manages smooth and confident ride but this model isn’t as refined as Ram which uses air suspension. However this are slightly better with higher-level models which are available with magnetic ride control. With its steering system Sierra is in line with Ram models and moves are quick and well weighted. The models also can be opted with all-terrain trim which adds Z71 suspension with Rancho shocks tuned for off-roads, skin plate on the transfer case, locking rear differential and off-road tires. This package is also available on Denali trims.
2016 GMC Sierra 1500: Styling, Interior
From the visual point of view, the 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 promotes some changes mostly related to the front fascia and lighting clusters. It is totally restyled for the 2014 model year and now we will notice bolder grille version and refreshed LED lights. Projector beam and LED signature lighting are available on the first three trims while LED headlights are available on Denali trims. The same trim also adds new 22-inch wheels and powered steps. A locking tailgate is also new on the Sierra models. Overall, this model features bold and boxy exterior with muscular lines and squared-off fenders. The hood is also nicely shaped and it adds to its appearance more rugged tone.
Inside design is simple and efficient but rich trims give it more refinement. The dash is broad and upright and it houses nicely arranged center stack with IntelliLink touch screen and other large and practical controls. More controls are available at the left side of the steering wheel which also includes some buttons. Large center console offer place for cup holders and divides front seats. The seat comes in form of the bench or buckets depending on the trims, available with cloth and leather upholstery and with power, heating and cooling functionality. The good driving position is easy to found and in the case of Crew Cab model rear leg and head space are great.
Body styles, Trims, Safety
The Sierras are available as the Regular Cab, Double Cab and Crew Cab models. The Regular Cabs are with two doors and two bed dimensions including 6.6 and 8 foot. The Double Cab models include 6.6 foot beds while the Crew Cabs come with four full-size doors and with either 5.8 or 6.6 foot beds. For this model year, Sierra offers trims that are base, Elevation Edition, SLE, SLT, All-Terrain and two more Denali and Denali Ultimate. In all Sierra models we will find keyless entry, air conditioning, a 4.2 inch color screen with AM/FM radio, 17-inch wheels, cloth seats, integrated steps in the rear bumper. With Elevation Edition additional are a 7-inch touch screen based IntelliLink infotainment system, WiFi hotspot, OnStar system which includes 4G LTE, remote keyless entry, locking tailgate, LED fog lights, a 110 volt power outlet, heated outer mirrors with power functionality, a locking rear differential and 20-inch wheels. When the model is arranged with SLE trim it also includes, power functionality for locks, mirrors and windows, CD player, SD card reader, more USB ports, four 12 volt and one in-cabin 110- volt outlet. Luxury equipped Denali models will include unique 20-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights, chromed grille, aluminum trim inserts on the dash, body colored bumpers, magnetic ride suspension, etc. It also comprises eight inch configurable display in the gauges, navigation, smartphone compatibility, Bose sound system, heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, etc. On the Denali ultimate offer is expanded with power steps, chrome tow hooks, 22-inch wheels, sun roof and some advanced safety options. Leather upholstery for seats is optional with also ventilating and heating functionality. As it is mentioned earlier Z71 off-road kit brings, Rancho shocks, skid plates, hill-descant control. All-Terrain package is only available on Crew Cabs on SLE or SLT trims. For the safety purposes, this model includes airbags, stability control, trailer sway control, hill-start assist, etc. Optional or standard on some models are features like rearview camera and parking sensors. Package which includes some advanced systems like forward collision alert, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning is also available.
2016 GMC Sierra 1500: Conclusion, Price
So, the 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 is smart choice, very configurable and it satisfies all needs in terms of performance, fuel economy and towing. The price for this model has starting point at $28,000 for base Regular Cab model with rear-wheel drive and hits $54,540 for Crew Cab four-wheel drive Denali version.