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2015 GMC Sierra 1500

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/28/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

The 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 gains a new eight-speed automatic transmission in trucks with the 6.2-liter V-8 and two new exterior colors: Emerald Green Metallic and Stone Blue Metallic. All models are now available with a spray-on bedliner, mobile 4G LTE connection (a subscription is available after a three-month trial), up-level trailering mirrors with LED rear guidance lamps, and enhanced IntelliLink with text messaging alerts and Siri Eyes Free. Denali models gain magnetic ride control suspension, and SLE variants now come with a USB port in the upper glove box and 40/20/40 split front bench seat.

Vehicle Summary

2015 GMC Sierra 1500 is a full-size truck available with two bed lengths, three cab styles, and in rear- or four-wheel-drive configurations. Denali models are more upscale with more premium interiors and exclusive exterior styling treatments, such as a chrome grille and polished stainless steel exhausts.

Overview

The 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 offers a V-6 and two V-8 engines a: a 4.3-liter with 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque (297 hp and 330 lb-ft when using E85), a 5.3-liter making 355 hp and 383 lb-ft (380 hp and 416 lb-ft when using E85), and a 6.2-liter rated at 420 hp and 460 lb-ft. All engines come with an automatic transmission; the 4.3-liter and 5.3-liter are paired to a six-speed unit, and the 6.2-liter is mated to a new eight-speed gearbox. Fuel economy is good for the class. V-6 models are the most efficient at 18/24 mpg in rear-drive guise and 17/22 mpg with four-wheel drive. The 5.3-liter doesn't sacrifice much in terms of gas mileage, with rear-drive models achieving 16/23 mpg and four-wheel drive variants at 16/22 mpg. Selecting the 6.2-liter drops fuel economy down to 15/21 mpg in rear-drive models and 14/20 mpg with four-wheel drive.

Performance is good in all 2015 Sierra 1500s, with the V-8s in particular providing enough power for passing, merging, and a pulling large payload. Towing capability is generous with up to 12,000 pounds of capacity in rear-drive crew cab models with the 5-foot-8-inch long bed. Handling is confident for such a large truck; body control and steering feel are both good, but ride quality does suffer slightly as the truck is a little stiff when unloaded.

Interior quality is a 2015 Sierra 1500 strong suite, particularly in Denali models, with modern, well-appointed cabins. Center stack controls are easy to use and have redundant controls, and the truck's gauges and the available navigation system are legible and clear. Seating is excellent with large, comfortable seats front and rear, ideal for long drives.

The 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 has a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars). In IIHS testing, the truck earned a good score on the moderate overlap front category (good is the highest possible score).

What We Think

The 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 remains a capable truck despite GM's conservative approach to the truck's powertrains when it redesigned it for the 2014 model year. Power is good on all engines, particularly V-8-powered Sierras; however, the largest engine — the 6.2-liter — requires premium gas. Additionally, in a 2014 First Test review, we said that the throttle response with the 5.3-liter V-8 is lacking and feels like the truck is in Eco mode. Its six-speed automatic, on the other hand, is too eager to get to upshift, causing the driver to step on the gas more than usual "in order to get the truck moving with any alacrity."

We said in a 2014 First Drive review that the Sierra 1500's interior, with good ergonomics, comfortable seats, solid build quality, and a user-friendly infotainment system, is one of its strong points. Furthermore, it handled well with good steering and had a relatively tight turning radius for such a large vehicle; however, the Sierra 1500's ride is on the stiff side when empty.

You'll Like

  • Good handling for a truck
  • Comfortable seating
  • Roomy and well-appointed cabin

You Won't Like

  • Premium fuel required on the 6.2-liter V-8
  • Slow throttle response with the 5.3-liter V-8
  • Ride is on the stiff side when unloaded

Key Competitors

  • Ford F-150
  • Chevrolet Silverado
  • Ram 1500
  • Nissan Titan
  • Toyota Tundra

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