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2016 GMC Sierra 1500 Overview
The half-ton pickup truck is easily one of the most popular vehicles here in the U.S., and GMC’s 2016 Sierra 1500 lineup certainly does the segment proud. Again offered with a handsome profile and a choice of 3 powerplants, this medium-duty workhorse also continues to offer standard rear-wheel drive (RWD) and an optional 4-wheel-drive (4WD) configuration that includes a 2-speed transfer case and auto-locking hubs.
The Sierra 1500's usual 4 trim levels return for 2016, including the entry-level Base, the up-featured SLE, the SLT, and the top-shelf Denali. The Base and SLE trim levels are available in all 3 cab choices (2-door Regular Cab, 4-door Double Cab, and the expanded 4-door Crew Cab), while the SLT is available as a Double Cab or Crew Cab, and the flagship Denali as a Crew Cab only. There is also a small choice in bed length: a 6.6-foot bed comes standard with all cabs, an 8-foot bed is available with a Regular Cab, and a shorter 5.8-foot bed is available with Crew Cabs.
The 2016 Sierra 1500 also shares a few upgrades with its Chevy Silverado 1500 cousin, including new LED headlights, fog lights, and taillights, a slightly larger grille, and a few tweaks to the front fascia and the rear bumper--a few reviewers have pointed out that the Sierra’s styling improvements are a bit more subtle than those of the Silverado. Also expected to debut in the 2016 Sierra/Silverado are a couple of tweaks to GM’s OnStar/IntelliLink infotainment system, including Apple CarPlay apps and Android Auto smartphone functions. An 8-speed shiftable automatic transmission that’s currently available on upper Sierra 1500 trims may see wider availability as well.
Look for a 4.3-liter Flex-Fuel V6 engine to return standard aboard the 2016 Sierra 1500 Base and SLE trim levels, mated with a 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission and producing 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque. Mileage for the V6 is again estimated at 18 mpg city/24 highway/20 combined with RWD and 17/22/19 with 4WD, and max towing capacity is rated at 7,200 pounds when properly equipped.
A 5.3-liter V8 engine returns standard on the 2016 Sierra 1500 SLT and Denali, with the 8-speed shiftable automatic, putting out 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. Look for better fuel economy from the 8-speed than the current estimates of 16/23/19 with RWD and 16/22/18 with 4WD, and a max towing capacity of 11,200 pounds. The SLT and Denali trim levels will also offer an optional 6.2-liter V8 mated with the 8-speed shiftable automatic. Expect 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque out of this big V8, with gas mileage estimated to remain 15/21/17 in both RWD and 4WD versions, and a max towing capacity of 12,000 pounds.
Complementing the new styling tweaks in the 2016 Sierra 1500 are 17-, 18-, and 20-inch steel or alloy wheels, power-adjustable and power-folding outside mirrors, an “E-Z-lift” tailgate, side-steps, and an LED cargo box light. Both the SLT and Denali again sport a standard trailer hitch and wiring, and the flagship Denali features a locking rear differential and GM’s touted Magnetic Ride Control with adaptive suspension dampers.
The 2016 Sierra 1500's interior will offer cloth or leather upholstery, heated and ventilated power-adjustable front seats, front bench or front bucket seats, full power accessories, cruise control, and either a tilt-only steering wheel in lower level versions or telescoping tilt-wheel steering in higher trims. Upper trims also add a rear-view camera, front and rear parking sensors, remote engine start, a power-sliding rear window, dual-zone automatic climate control, memory for driver's settings, power-adjustable pedals, and a heated steering wheel. All trims starting with the SLE include 4G LTE hotspot capability, Bluetooth-integrated OnStar telematics, and, in the Denali, standard GPS navigation, all interfaced with an 8-inch touchscreen display.
Options for the Sierra 1500 include the off-road-ready Z71 package, featuring a beefed-up suspension, a heavy-duty air filter, descent control, and skid plates, along with various rear axle ratios, an integrated trailer brake controller, a power sunroof, and rear-seat Blu-ray/DVD entertainment.
Safety equipment aboard the Sierra 1500 includes standard 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear side-mounted airbags, front and rear head-protection airbags, daytime running lights, a post-collision safety system, and OnStar emergency alerts and communications. All trims other than the Base include LED front fog/driving lights, while the SLT and Denali trim levels include a remote antitheft alarm. A newly upgraded Driver Alert package, including lane-departure warnings, a forward collision alert, and a safety alert driver’s seat, is also a safety option for 2016. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the current Sierra 1500 iterations its highest score of 5 stars for overall crashworthiness, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awards this medium-duty GM pickup its best Good rating in limited crash testing.
The 2016 Sierra 1500, which consistently gathers kudos for its performance, ride comfort, and features, will once again challenge Ford’s all-aluminum-body F-150, Ram’s 1500 (which offers a turbodiesel powerplant), and Toyota’s Tundra, which features the much-lauded TRD off-road package.
Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.
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2016 GMC Sierra 1500 Top Comparisons
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