GMC Sierra 1500 Limited vs. GMC Sierra 1500

By

Automotive Editor

Willis Kuelthau gradated from Williams College and works as a writer for a variety of websites. In addition to cars, he loves writing about the outdoors and music. He currently resides in Philadelphia.


, Automotive Editor - January 3, 2019

Contents

The GMC Sierra 1500 got a full redesign for 2019, but GMC isn’t quite ready to throw in the towel on the outgoing model. Instead, they’re keeping it around as the Sierra 1500 Limited. Despite sharing a badge, differences between the two trucks are significant. The Sierra 1500 Limited is aimed as a streamlined value pick, but the Sierra 1500 is newer and more customizable. Read on for details.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Sierra 1500 Limited & Sierra 1500 »

What the Sierra 1500 Limited Gets Right

Tweaked slightly for 2019, the Sierra 1500 Limited is effectively a 2018 Sierra 1500 with some options pre-selected. It’s meant to be a budget buy, but finding value takes some digging. All Limited trucks come with a double cab and a standard bed, which streamlines available options. Most features are similar to the Sierra 1500, but the Limited comes with a standard trailering package, including an automatic locking rear differential. The Sierra 1500 Limited also boasts an easy-lift tailgate, which is absent on base 1500 models.

The real price differences come in the packages. Feature bundles vary between the 1500 and 1500 Limited, but those bundles tend to be cheaper on the Limited. Adding exterior options like a tonneau cover costs less than it would on the 1500, for example.

And although the Limited sits on an older platform, it doesn’t lag in technology. The same seven-inch touchscreen decorates the dashboard, complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

What the Sierra 1500 Gets Right

As the new kid on the block, the Sierra 1500 has a fresher platform and a fuller lineup. With three cab styles, five engine options, and six trims, the 1500’s customization dwarfs that of the 1500 Limited. The option of a crew cab alone will be enough to draw many buyers.

While donning its new sheet metal, the Sierra 1500 shed weight. The truck is lighter than the 2018 model and the Sierra 1500 Limited, and it comes out ahead on handling and fuel economy as a result. And speaking of fuel economy, the 1500’s engine lineup includes smaller and more frugal engines, which may make more sense for some buyers.

As it's in its debut model year, we expected the Sierra 1500 to be the more expensive truck, and it is, but not by much. The 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 Limited carries a starting price of $36,595, while the all-new Sierra 1500 is only $800 more at $37,395 (all prices include the $1,495 destination charge). Furthermore, an equivalently spec'd Sierra 1500 is actually slightly cheaper than a Limited, with the difference generally under $1,000 (depending on trim).

Simplicity Without Savings

Among the labyrinthine configurators attached to most pickups, it's refreshing to see a streamlined truck that knows its audience. But in the case of the Sierra, the value of the 1500 Limited is just too narrow. The Sierra 1500 is newer, lighter, and more customizable, and it can be cheaper to boot. Absent significant cash incentives on the Limited, most buyers will find the Sierra 1500 the better value.

Our Verdict: GMC Sierra 1500

GMC likely isn’t counting on big sales for the Sierra 1500 Limited, but the decision to keep it around remains a little perplexing. It restricts trim selection without providing significant value. From where we’re standing, the GMC Sierra 1500 looks like the clear winner.

Take a closer look at the GMC Sierra 1500 Limited »

Take a closer look at the GMC Sierra 1500 »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Willis Kuelthau gradated from Williams College and works as a writer for a variety of websites. In addition to cars, he loves writing about the outdoors and music. He currently resides in Philadelphia.