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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 GMC Sierra 1500

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Expert's Rating


MPG 14 City / 19 Highway
  • Powerful engine options
  • Strong automatic transmission
  • Solid and durable frame
  • Few standard safety features
  • Chrome trim may not be for everyone
, Automotive Editor -
The GMC Sierra is a solid option for a heavy-duty pickup truck.


Though the Sierra 1500 debuted in the 1999 model year -- 14 years ago -- it seems that Sierra has always been a part of the General Motors lineup. The 2013 model year is a carryover, as it has no changes to speak of.

The Sierra 1500 comes in six trim levels – Work Truck, SL, SLE, XE, SLT, and Denali – and each one serves its own specific purpose. The Work Truck is designed to take all sorts of abuse without breaking the owner’s heart; it comes with a durable vinyl interior, rubber floor mats and a basic audio system. The SL makes the cabin more comfortable with cloth seats and a CD player. The SLE adds even more comfort by offering premium cloth seating and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The XE enhances fuel economy with features like lighter wheels and a six-speed transmission. The SLT makes the Sierra a near-luxury vehicle with its addition of leather seating and an upgraded audio system. Finally, the Denali completes the Sierra’s transformation into a luxury vehicle with premium leather seating, heated seats, and a DVD player.

The Sierra also has a range of cab styles and bed lengths. Combined with its array of trim levels, the Sierra 1500 gives buyers nearly infinite customization. And the 10,700-pound maximum towing capacity makes it capable of handling anything you throw at it.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 GMC Sierra 1500
Starting price

2013 GMC Sierra 1500 Work Truck

Recommended for: Buyers who use their trucks at a job site

GMC's base Sierra 1500 is the Work Truck. It comes standard with a 4.3-liter V6 engine that produces 195 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, 17-inch steel wheels, an AM/FM stereo, cruise control, vinyl seating and manual climate control.

2013 GMC Sierra 1500
Starting price

2013 GMC Sierra 1500 SL

Recommended for: Buyers looking for basic comfort features

The SL adds some basic amenities to the Work Truck, making it more comfortable as a daily commuter. Its 4.8-liter V8 generates 302 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque, and is connected to a four-speed automatic transmission. Standard equipment includes chromed 17-inch steel wheels, a chrome grille and power mirrors. It also features a CD player with MP3 capabilities, carpeting and cloth seating, and power windows and door locks.

2013 GMC Sierra 1500
Starting price

2013 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE

Recommended for: Buyers who like the feel of a leather-wrapped steering wheel in their hands

The SLE adds to the SL: Under-seat storage, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, premium cloth upholstery and visor-mounted vanity mirrors.

2013 GMC Sierra 1500
Starting price

2013 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT

Recommended for: Buyers who demand premium features, like a leather interior and Bluetooth connectivity

The SLT features a 5.3-liter V8 engine with 315 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque, chromed 18-inch aluminum wheels, body-color door handles, fog lamps and heated power folding mirrors.

It also offers a seven-speaker Bose audio system with a USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front bucket seats and leather upholstery.

2013 GMC Sierra 1500
Starting price

2013 GMC Sierra 1500 Xtra Fuel Economy

Recommended for: Buyers who place a priority on fuel economy

Available only as a Crew Cab, the Xtra Fuel Economy (XFE) adds high-efficiency features to the SLE. The 5.3-liter V8 is mated to a six-speed manual transmission, and behaves like a four-cylinder engine under light load. Seventeen-inch aluminum wheels lower curb weight.

2013 GMC Sierra 1500
Starting price

2013 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali

Recommended for: Buyers who want their pickup to double as a luxury car

The Denali transforms the Sierra 1500 into a luxury vehicle. Its 6.2-liter engine, which produces 403 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque, is standard -- as are a six-speed automatic transmission, 20-inch aluminum wheels, body-color bumpers, chrome door handles and fog lamps.

It also features a seven-speaker Bose premium sound system with AM/FM/CD/DVD/MP3 capabilities, Nuance leather upholstery with heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and Universal Home Remote control.

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