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GMC Sierra

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The GMC Sierra is GMC's flagship truck and comes in three sizes from the 1500 models to the 3500 models (midsize to full-size pickup truck categories). It is identical to the popular Chevy Silverado minus minor aesthetic differences such as the logos and the grille area. It was first introduced in 1998 and is still in production as one of the best selling trucks in America. Models have a front-engine rear or four-wheel drive layout and come in two-door regular cab, three, and four-door extended cab, four-door crew cab, or dually body styles. It is known for dependability and power.


Origins of the GMC Sierra are murky. It first became the "GMC Sierra" in 1998 but since 1930 its twin, the Silverado had been the designation for many different pickups in the Chevrolet lineup and similarly forms of "Sierra" were common decades prior including High Sierra, Sierra Grande, and Sierra Classic. All of these were to distinguish different levels of the C/K models, the predecessors to GMC's flagship pickup line. Particularly for the various trucks they offer, it is not unusual for Chevrolet to mimic its parent company GMC, in fact most corresponding trucks are identical in every meaningful way, however originally the Silverado was marketed as the standard version while the Sierra was considered the higher trim level. This soon ended and by the 2000s they again were near identical models each offering a number of trim levels within their own lineup. Sales for the Sierra and for the Silverado have been massive and it is one of the most popular trucks in the world. The Silverado outsells the Sierra by a very large margin, often the hundreds of thousands, however like other trucks by these two makers GMC produces far less. In reality they are all produced in the same plants and are the same vehicles outside of the logos and other design details. Combined sales have been over half a million every year except 2009 and 2010 when they dropped to just below 500,000. 2005 was their top selling year maxing out at 935,468 units sold. The first generation models include those made from 1998 through 2007. These included quarter, half and one ton models with a long list of V-6 and V-8 engines fitted a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual. The second generation (2007 to the present) saw a descent power boost across the line and minor exterior modifications. A CVT was added along with a six-speed automatic and the manual models were discontinued. Hybrids were also introduced with the second generation.


The GMC Sierra shares the Silverado's reputation for dependability, durability, and power. It is one of the most common vehicles for contractors in the construction and utility fields and is also a very common vehicle among law enforcement and other government agencies. The sales figures are staggering and its only true competition in this regard is the Ford F-Series. Much of this success may be owed to the large number of options available. It is not unusual for a model year to feature over 100 different base models, these all counting (as far as sales figures) as one model where other car makers may put various corresponding models under different nameplates and only offer 1-5 base models for a given brand. Sales are not the only area where these trucks are being praised however. They also have a very long list of awards through the years including 1999 Motor Trend Truck of the Year, 2001 Motor Trend Truck of the Year in the Heavy Duty category, 2001 Car and Driver Best Pickup Truck, 2002 Car and Driver Best Pickup Truck, 2003 Car and Driver Best Pickup Truck, 2007 North American Truck of the Year, 2007 Motor Trend Truck of the Year, 2007 ICOTY International Truck of the Year, and 2011 Heavy Duty model Motor Trend Truck of the Year.


The 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 gets a 195-hp 4.3-liter V-6, 302-hp 4.8-liter V-8, 315-hp 5.3-liter V-8, or a 403-hp 6.2-liter V-8 paired with a four or six-speed automatic transmission. It gets 12/18 to 15/22 mpg city/highway. It is priced from $23,590 to $49,130. There are 33 base models to choose from. Trim levels include Work Truck, SLE1, SL, Xtra Fuel Economy, SLT, and Denali. 4x2 and 4x4 models are available, regular, extended and crew cabs. The 2013 GMC Sierra 2500 Sierra 2500HD gets a 322 or a 360-hp six-liter V-8 (regular gas, flex, or gaseous fuel compatible) engine or a 397-hp 6.6-liter V-8 diesel. All modes get a six-speed automatic transmission. Price ranges from $29,550 to $50,010. There are 30 base models available combining 4x2 and 4x4, regular, crew, extended, different bed sizes, and Work Truck, SLE, SLT, and Denali trim levels. The larger model is the 2013 Sierra 3500HD. This gets a 322-hp six-liter V-8 or a 397-hp 6.6-liter V-8. All models get a six-speed automatic transmission. There are 42 base models to choose from with similar combinations of bed size, 4x4 or 4x2, and the same available trim levels as the 1500 and the 2500. The newest Sierra and the only significant change throughout the long life of the popular vehicle is the 2013 Sierra 1500 Hybrid. It has a 332-hp six-liter V-8 engine that works with the hybrid engine and a four-speed automatic CVT with overdrive and auto-manual. It gets an estimated 20/23 mpg city/highway and is priced from $41,305 to $51,485.


There have been very few changes to the GMC Sierra over the years outside of minor exterior adjustments and slight mechanical upgrades to produce more power. The hybrid model has been the furthest deviation from the Sierra script over the years with significant hybrid advancements like the ability to reach 20 mph with a 5000 pound trailer using only the electric engine.