As the last year of this generation before GMC redesigns its full-size pickups for 2014, the Sierra 1500 Hybrid is essentially unchanged for 2013. Aside from its gas-electric powertrain, it's almost identical to the conventional Sierra 1500 Crew Cab, sharing most of its technology, safety features and options
Power comes from a 6-liter Vortec hybrid V8 engine with 332 horsepower and 367 foot-pound of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard, while four-wheel drive is available as an upgrade.
The Sierra pulls an impressive 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway, exceptional fuel economy for a V8-powered pickup truck. Helping it achieve these numbers are a braking system that regenerates the electric motor's battery, and an engine management system that reduces the number of working cylinders when they aren't needed.
The Sierra 1500 Hybrid boasts a cavernous amount of space, and its crew cab is large enough to seat four adults. Hard plastics and utilitarian fabrics dominate the interior, however, and leather upholstery is a recommended option.
The hybrid engine does its best to transition seamlessly from electric to gas as the vehicle accelerates, but can be a bit jerky at times. The pickup has a silky steering system and rides smoothly, like an SUV. It's also eerily quiet by the category's standard -- for many traditional pickup buyers, this might take some getting used to. And while the hybrid can tow small loads in low gear, its capabilities are a bit light when compared to non-hybrid trucks.
While the Sierra 1500 Hybrid's improved fuel economy is more than impressive, the increased cost of the vehicle might counteract any potential savings for buyers -- which is too bad, because the hybrid engine is by far the biggest draw of this model.