Sierra 1500
John Diether
Automotive Editor - November 19, 2015

2016 GMC Sierra 1500 OVERVIEW

Like the mechanically identical Chevy Silverado, the GMC Sierra 1500 plays to a diverse crowd who all agree on one thing: there's no substitute for a full-size pickup truck. Within that group, buyers who want an extra measure of style or just something different have naturally gravitated toward the GMC.

What's New for 2016

The Sierra 1500 gains a new front-end treatment featuring a resculpted hood, fresh grille, and updated lighting. An eight-speed automatic transmission makes its way into more models. The MyLink infotainment system gets full smartphone integration. Newly available features include lane keeping assist, automatic high beams, and a remote locking tailgate.

GMC Sierra 1500 Front Quarter

Choosing Your GMC Sierra 1500

Like its Chevy twin, the Sierra is available with three cab styles: Regular, Double, and Crew. The Double Cab features a rear seat and narrow rear doors, while the Crew Cab is a bona fide four-door with adult-size legroom in back. Regular and Double Cabs come with a 6.5-foot bed; an 8-foot bed is optional on the Regular Cab only. As for the Crew Cab, the standard box is slightly shorter than the others at 5.75 feet, but the 6.5-foot bed is available as an upgrade.

5.75-foot Bed6.5-foot Bed8-foot Bed
Regular CabN/AStandardOptional
Double CabN/AStandardN/A
Crew CabStandardOptionalN/A

The engine roster starts with a 285-horsepower 4.3-liter V6. Beyond that, there are two V8s: a 5.3-liter with 335 horsepower and a 6.2-liter that makes a stout 420 horsepower.

Towing capacity maxes out at 7,600 pounds with the V6, 11,500 with the 5.3-liter, and an even 12,000 pounds with the 6.2-liter.

A six-speed automatic transmission comes standard with the V6 and 5.3-liter engines. An eight-speed unit is optional for the 5.3-liter and standard with the 6.2-liter. Four-wheel drive is available across the board.

Like all full-size pickups, the 1500 covers an enormous swath of market territory across its five trim levels:


Comes with all the necessities like air conditioning, cruise control, power locks, 17-inch steel wheels, cloth or vinyl seats, a four-speaker AM/FM sound system, and a rubber floor covering (carpeting available). Double and Crew configurations also get power window. You can spruce things up with Convenience package, which adds keyless entry, a remote locking tailgate, LED cargo box lighting, heated power mirrors, a rearview camera, a household-style power outlet, and power windows for the Regular Cab. The new Elevation Edition carries those features, plus 20-inch black aluminum wheels, body-color exterior trim, LED foglamps, GMC's IntelliLink infotainment interface, and a locking rear differential for two-wheel drive models.


Comes standard with the most of the Base model's options, plus GMC's E-Z Lift and Lower Tailgate, Bluetooth phone and audio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, deep-tint glass, stainless-steel finish wheels, OnStar, and an upgraded version of IntelliLink with satellite and Internet radio. The SLE can get a Convenience package of its own with power-adjustable pedals, rear parking sensors, a power-sliding rear window, and a rear defogger. There's also an SLE Preferred package with a power driver seat, remote start, and a telescoping steering wheel. Double and Crew models also get dual-zone climate control and a universal garage door opener. Those features are also included on the Carbon-22 Edition, which adds 22-inch alloy wheels, a black grille surround, side steps, and a towing package. Leather upholstery is available.


Builds on the SLE with standard leather upholstery, heated front seats with passenger power and driver memory, an anti-theft system, additional chrome trim, 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The SLT Preferred package adds front parking sensors and a heated steering wheel. The SLT is available in Double and Crew configurations with the 5.3-liter V8 and eight-speed automatic standard. The 6.2-liter becomes available at this level.


Comes fully loaded with an upgraded leather interior, ventilated front seats, navigation, a premium Bose sound system, entry steps, an adaptive suspension, 20-inch wheels, and unique exterior chrome trim and lighting. A rear video entertainment system is optional. The Denali comes as a Crew Cab only with your choice of all three engines.

All SLE and above models are eligible for a Driver Alert package with front collision alert, lane keeping assist, automatic high beams, and a vibrating safety alert in the driver seat. The SLE and SLT can get the off-road Z71 package, which furnishes hill-descent control, skid plates, special shock absorbers, a heavy-duty air cleaner, recovery hooks, and various appearance elements.

CarsDirect Tip

The SLE is our pick for combined work and personal use. It can be skewed toward either end depending on your needs without threatening your budget.

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GMC Sierra 1500 Rear Quarter


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