The 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 did not get big changes this year, and actually did not need it. Sierra, who shares the design with the Chevy Silverado, is very capable when it comes to towing and is an impressive and luxurious truck.
Offered with three different engines and with multiple bed and body configurations, the 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 can be customized like a full-size truck on the road these days. It can tow over 12,000 pounds and is also available with a long list of fancy and safety features. There are some drawbacks with the Sierra, including a slightly sluggish base powertrain and outdated interior. But overall it is an attractive offer from the GMC in a very competitive class.
Trim and Features
The 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 is light-duty pickup truck available in four trim levels: base, SLE, SLT and Denali. The regular cabs are offered with a standard bed (6 feet 7 inches) or an extended bed (8 feet). The double cabs come only with the standard bed. The crew cabs are available with a standard bed or a short bed (5 feet 9 inches).
Standard features for the base Sierra trim include 17-inch steel wheels, power locks, automatic xenon headlamps, power windows, a locking tailgate, cruise control, air conditioning, a tilt-only steering wheel, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, USB connectivity, a 7-inch touchscreen interface and a six-speaker sound system.
The optional Convenience package adds heated power mirrors, a remote-locking tailgate, LED cargo box lighting, remote keyless entry and a 110-volt AC outlet. The Elevation Edition includes those items along with body-color exterior trim, special 20-inch black alloy wheels, LED foglights and OnStar communications with Wi-Fi hotspot and 4G LTE.
The 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE trim level adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a damped tailgate, an upgraded 8-inch touchscreen and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The SLE Convenience package adds a rear window defogger, rear parking sensors, power-adjustable pedals and a sliding rear window. The Preferred package adds remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable driver seat and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel (V8 only). The SLE Value package adds those items plus a rear locking differential and trailering equipment. Other options include a power-adjustable front passenger seat, a full center console, leather upholstery and wireless smartphone charging.
The 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT adds power-folding and heated mirrors, heated front seats and leather upholstery. Other options include full LED headlights, a sunroof, a power-sliding rear window, front and rear parking sensors, a spray-in bedliner, a heated steering wheel, navigation and a seven-speaker Bose audio system.
The SLT Enhanced Driver Alert package includes driver assistance features such as lane departure warning and intervention and a forward collision warning system with low-speed automatic emergency braking.
The 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT double and crew cabs are eligible for two off-road-focused packages called the All-Terrain and All-Terrain X. The All-Terrain package adds a few features mentioned above along with an underbody shield, an off-road suspension featuring Rancho shocks and exterior styling changes. The All-Terrain X package is similar but minus the off-road suspension.
The Denali comes with most of the features available plus 20-inch wheels, exclusive adaptive suspension dampers and unique interior appointments.
The 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 base and SLE is powered by a 4.3-liter V6 engine that produces 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission and as with every Sierra 1500, either rear or four-wheel drive. EPA fuel economy estimates at 20 mpg combined (18 city/24 highway) for rear-wheel drive and 19 mpg combined (17 city/22 highway) with 4WD. Properly equipped, the maximum towing capacity of 7,600 pounds.
Standard on the 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT and Denali and optional on other trim is a 5.3-liter V8 engine generates 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. The SLT and Denali get an eight-speed automatic transmission, but the base and SLE include a six-speed automatic. EPA fuel economy estimates at 19 mpg (16 city/23 highway) with the six-speed and 18 (16 city/22 highway). Properly equipped, this engine can tow up to 11,100 pounds.
Available for the SLT and Denali is a 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. In performance testing, the 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab with this engine accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. EPA estimates fuel economy returns 17 mpg combined (15 city/21 highway). Properly equipped, this engine can tow up to 12,000 pounds.
To be honest, the 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 cabin is not that special when compared to Ram 1500 or Ford F-150. Higher trim levels are certainly luxurious, but overall, the Sierra 1500 is more focused on functionality. At the same time, material interiors and build quality are much better, especially on lower trims. There are also many bin and storage areas, and the center console in Sierras five passenger offers USB ports to keep your device connected and charged.
Comfort and space compete in the 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 three cab. The rear seats in the crew cabin are not as friendly as those offered by Ford or Ram, but families will still find plenty of space there. Flipping the rear seat opens a flat load floor.
The IntelliLink infotainment interface handles various audio, navigation and phone functions, and deserves praise for clear intuitive controls. It’s getting better since its upgraded processing speed and the addition of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay make calling up playlists, podcasts, contacts and certain apps much easier.
Release Date and Price
The 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 is on sale and arriving now at dealers nationwide. Key competitors include the Ford F-150, RAM 1500 and Chevy Silverado.
The base Sierra trim based on the configuration, starts at $30,000 (include the $1,295 destination fee). The SLE trim starts at $36,700. The SLT trim wich available in the crew cab and double cab is priced at $43,825. The range-topping Denali trim is only available with crew cab is priced at $53,900.