The first GMC truck was built in 1909 under the General Motors Truck Co. nameplate, but it was not branded as GMC. In 1911, shortly after the company’s formation through the Rapid Motor Vehicle Co. and Reliance Motor Co. merger, the company produced the first truck with the GMC Trucks logo on it. The name was changed to GMC in 1913. While the GMC and Chevrolet lineups were identical for decades and the lineups still share many of the same body parts, the target audience for GMC trucks is luxury buyers who often plan to use them in urban settings.
The price that you will pay for a GMC truck depends on many different factors. The lineup is divided into three distinct segments. The light-duty base truck is the Sierra 1500, and it starts about $29,600. The starting point of the heavy-duty truck segment is the Sierra HD, and it starts at about $40,000. The third segment is the midsize trucks, like the Canyon, and they start at $22,200.
While GMC is more high-end than other truck lines, you may see many features built into them that are attractive to luxury buyers that you pay extra for with other companies.
Overall, GMC trucks hold their value better than most vehicles over the first five years. While most vehicles lose 50.2% of their value, GMC trucks lose about 39.8% of their value.
After analyzing 36,555 original owners of 2017 model-year vehicles, J.D. Power gave GMC five segment-reliability awards. While none of these awards were for GMC trucks, it proves the company’s commitment to making reliable vehicles.
The Sierra 1500 starts at $31,000 and comes in regular, double, or crew cabs with standard, long, or short boxes. There are five trim level options in two-wheel drive and five trim level options available in four-wheel drive. Depending on the exact configuration, this vehicle gets between 17 and 20 miles per gallon with a gas engine and between 24 and 26 miles per gallon with a diesel engine. Several engine-and-transmission configurations are available, including a 2.7-liter turbo engine with an eight-speed transmission, a 4.3-liter V-6 engine with a six-speed automatic transmission, a 5.3-liter V-8 engine with a six-speed transmission, and a 3.0-liter diesel engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
The Sierra 1500 long box is 98.2 inches long, the standard box is 79.44 inches long, and the short box is 69.92 inches long. Depending on the trim level chosen, up to 10 different packages are available, including off-roading, trailering, cargo convenience, and snow-plow-ready options.
• Sierra AT4
The AT4 is the only four-wheel-drive configuration available in a GMC light-duty truck. Buyers can choose from a 5.3-liter or a 6.2-liter V-8 petroleum engine or a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engine. With other Sierra 1500 trim options, buyers can choose between jet-black or dark-slate interiors, but this trim level comes with only a jet-black interior. Packages available at this trim level include off-road performance, upgraded technology, driver-alert, and cargo-convenience.
• Sierra 1500 Denali
The Sierra 1500 Denali, which has a starting price of $54,700, comes in a crew cab configuration with either a 69.92-inch short box or a 79.44-inch standard box. Choose the two-wheel-drive option if you mainly drive on highways and streets, or opt for the four-wheel-drive option if you often face harsher conditions. While most Sierra 1500 Denalis have 10-speed automatic transmissions, you can choose a 5.3-liter V-8 engine, a 3.0-liter I-6 engine, or a 6.2-liter V-8 engine. This light-duty truck gets about 18 miles per gallon combined. It is available with a carbon-fiber body and power steps for additional costs, plus you can choose various packages, including driver-alert, technology, and convenience packages for this five-passenger vehicle.
If you are looking for a GMC heavy-duty truck, then you have four different options to choose from.
Sierra 2500 HD
Capable of carrying a maximum payload of 3,979 pounds, the Sierra 2500 HD starts at $40,000. It is available as a regular cab with a long bed, a double cab with standard or long bed, or a crew cab with a standard or long bed. The long beds measure 98.27 inches long and standard beds measure 82.20 inches long. Both two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive configurations are available.
There are five different trim levels available in the Sierra 2500 HD. Depending on which trim level you choose, this GMC truck comes with a 6.6-liter V-8 engine paired with a six-speed transmission or a 6.6-liter turbo-diesel engine with a 10-speed transmission, with or without power takeoff. Upgrade the look and feel of your Sierra 2500 HD with a premium package featuring a sliding-rear window or a technology package with an 8-inch driver display.
• Sierra 3500 HD
With a maximum payload of 7,442 pounds and capable of towing up to 35,500 pounds, the Sierra 3500 HD may be the right choice. You can find regular cabs with long beds, double cabs with long beds, and crew cabs with standard and long beds. Two-wheel and four-wheel configurations are both available, and you can choose between five different trim levels. All Sierra 3500 HD trucks have either a 6.6-liter V-8 gasoline or diesel engine paired with a six-speed or ten-speed automatic transmission. Select between six packages that enhance towing, technology, or the looks of your pickup depending on the trim level that you select.
• Sierra HD Denali
Another option offered by GMC in heavy-duty trucks is the Sierra HD Denali. The Sierra HD 2500 Denali starts at about $63,700, and it is available as a crew cab with a standard or long bed. You can pick between a 6.6-liter gas or diesel-powered engine. Seven packages are available, including a gooseneck package. You may also want to consider the Denali Ultimate Package that includes a power sunroof and a rear camera mirror.
The Sierra HD 3500 Denali starts at about $64,900, and it is available as a crew cab with a long or standard bed. It can carry up to 6,610 pounds and pull up to 31,180 pounds. Like the Sierra HD 2500 Denali, you can get the Denali Ultimate Package and seven other packages for this truck that allow you to pull a gooseneck trailer or use it as a snowplow.
• Sierra Chassis
With a maximum payload of 7,571 pounds, the Sierra Chassis is a perfect choice if you need a flat-bed truck. The maximum gross vehicle weight rating is 14,000 pounds, and the maximum gross curb weight rating is 40,000 pounds.
If you are looking for a smaller truck, consider the options in GMC’s medium-duty lineup. GMC Canyon trucks have a base price of $22,000 and feature extended and crew cabs. Two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive options are available. Engine choices include a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 3.6-liter V-6.
At least seven different packages are available to upgrade your Canyon, including a power package that improves the air-intake system and a convenience package that adds steps to your GMC pickup. An interior protection package that helps keep your vehicle looking new is also available.
The cost to maintain your vehicle depends on how you use the GMC truck, which model you chose, and your driving habits. It may cost you about $1,000 to repair a GMC Sierra 1500 over its first five years. The popularity of these trucks means that parts are usually very easy to find. In many cases, GMC trucks share the same platforms, engines, and transmissions with comparable Chevrolet trucks.
GMC trucks often feature Adaptive Ride Control suspension. This system uses active dampers to control the amount of damping every two milliseconds. The system also uses wheel-to-body position sensors at every wheel to provide a smoother ride. Finally, a dedicated control senses the amount of heave, pitch, and body roll that the car is experiencing so that the driver and passengers stay comfortable.
Another feature found on many GMC trucks is the Multi-Pro tailgate. This feature that acts like a tailgate within a tailgate aids those riding in the truck in many ways. This tailgate can open and close remotely by merely pushing a button. The vertical barrier can be lifted while the primary tailgate is left down when you need to haul longer objects. When lowered, you can also stand on it so that you get a boost of about 7 inches into the air, which can be extremely helpful when trying to reach things in the truck’s bed.
Many different safety features are available on GMC trucks. The exact features found on the GMC truck that you are considering depend on its make and trim level.
In many cases, you can opt for additional safety packages, like the Driver Alert II package that adds lane keep assist with lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, forward collision alert, following distance indicator, adaptive cruise control with a camera, and IntelliBeam.
What’s Next?/Future Projects
GMC hopes to have a new Canyon pickup by late spring 2021. This pickup will be the first medium-size truck with off-roading capabilities. The truck is likely to be powered by a 308-horsepower V-6 gas engine with a 2.8-liter diesel engine to become available later. You may be able to sit in luxurious leather-appointed front seats while holding a heated steering wheel and listening to your Bose Premium Audio System.