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2017 GMC Sierra 1500 Overview
The full-size pickup is a fixture on American highways these days, and GMC’s half-ton Sierra 1500 is arguably among the best-looking and best-equipped of the bunch. For 2017, this capable Jimmy, a close relative of Chevy’s Silverado 1500, gets a few upgrades and changes to its already impressive list of features, including new 18-inch off-road tires, capless fuel fill, and Android Auto smartphone apps added to GM’s IntelliLink infotainment setup. There are also two new exterior color selections due for the upcoming model year, a noteworthy upgrade to the available Enhanced Driver Alert safety package, and some minor changes to various other options packages.
Again for 2017, the Sierra 1500 will offer three cab configurations: the 2-door, 3-passenger Regular Cab, the 4-door, 5/6-passenger Double Cab, and the roomier 4-door, 5/6-passenger Crew Cab. Three bed lengths are also available: the 8-foot long bed (Regular Cab only), the 6.6-foot standard bed (all cabs), and the 5.8-foot short bed (Crew Cab only).
The Sierra 1500 comes in four trim levels: the Base, SLE, SLT, and Denali. The first 2 are available in all cab configurations, the SLT only in Double and Crew Cab versions, and the Denali only as a Crew Cab.
Of course, the 2017 Sierra 1500 lineup is again delivered with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD), while all trim levels return eligible for optional part-time 4-wheel drive (4WD) that boasts low-range gearing, auto-locking hubs, and, in higher trim levels, an electronic locking rear differential.
The standard engine in the Base and SLE is a 4.6-liter V6 putting out 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque, mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission with a tow/haul mode. Look for mileage numbers to reflect the current 18 mpg city/24 highway/20 combined for RWD trims and 17/22/19 for 4WD versions. Max towing capacity returns at 7,600 pounds when properly equipped.
The Sierra 1500 SLT and Denali trim levels are delivered with a 355-hp 5.3-liter V8 engine that’s optional on the lower trims. This mill is paired with either the standard 6-speed automatic or an available 8-speed automatic (also boasting a tow/haul mode) which, as the numbers show, doesn’t help much with fuel efficiency. EPA-estimated mileage for current RWD trims toting the 6-speed is 16/23/19, or 16/22/18 with 4WD. With the 8-speed automatic, fuel efficiency checks in at 16/22/18 with RWD and 15/21/17 with 4WD. One advantage the 8-speed automatic does offer over the 6-speed is a tighter gear ratio that’s more suitable for trailer towing, which is maxed out at 11,100 pounds.
Also returning for the 2017 Sierra 1500 is a 6.2-liter V8 that mates with the 8-speed automatic transmission. Look for 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque from this hefty V8, while towing capacity is upped to 12,000 pounds. Current mileage numbers for both RWD and 4WD editions packing the larger V8 remain 15/21/17.
Depending on the trim level selected, expect the Sierra 1500 to again boast such exterior features as 17-, 18-, or 20-inch steel or alloy wheels, a trailer hitch and wiring, and step running boards.
Inside, look for cloth or leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, full power accessories, and cruise control; a tilt-only steering wheel and manual air conditioning on lower trims; and telescoping tilt-wheel steering and dual-zone automatic climate control on higher trims. All trims also offer a standard 4.2-inch driver information display, with upper trims boasting a remote garage door opener, a rear-view camera, memory for driver settings, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. The Denali adds standard power-adjustable pedals, front and rear parking sensors, and a heated steering wheel.
All trims other than the Base feature Bluetooth-integrated OnStar directions and connections technology, and the SLT and Denali also include standard IntelliLink infotainment with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capability and new Android Auto smartphone apps. The SLT gets a 7-inch touchscreen, the Denali a standard 8-inch display with integrated GPS navigation.
Expect the 2017 Sierra Base to pack an AM/FM stereo with 4 or 6 speakers (depending on the cab configuration) and an auxiliary audio input. The SLE adds a CD/MP3 player and internet radio, while the SLT tosses in satellite radio. The top-shelf Denali is expected to feature a standard 7-speaker Bose premium audio system.
The popular 4WD-only Z71 Off-Road package offers an auto-locking rear differential, off-road shock absorbers, underbody shielding, a spray-in bedliner, and 22-inch alloy wheels mounting all-terrain tires.
Further available equipment is expected to include various rear axle ratios, a power sunroof, rear-seat Blu-ray DVD entertainment, power-folding side-steps, LED cabin lighting, and new 18-inch all-terrain tires. An optional integrated trailer braking controller and various upgraded towing packages are expected to return for 2017, as is the optional SLT-oriented Texas package, which offers 20-inch polished alloy wheels, chrome tubular side steps, and the Bose premium sound system.
Look for the 2017 Sierra 1500 lineup to carry standard 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, front and (in Double and Crew Cab trims) rear head curtain airbags, LED daytime running lights, and a post-collision safety system. For 2017, a teen driver mode that’s similar to Ford’s programmable MyKey speed- and audio-limiting safety feature is expected to debut across the lineup. Higher trims also offer standard turn-signal-integrated mirrors, OnStar emergency telematics, and a remote antitheft alarm.
The Sierra 1500 SLT and Denali will become eligible for an enhanced Driver Alert package boasting lane-departure warnings, automatic high/low-beam headlights, a safety-alert driver’s seat, and forward collision warning, now with automatic collision-mitigation braking.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the current Sierra 1500 its highest score of 5 stars for overall crashworthiness, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awards the Sierra its best score of Good on all tests except the small-overlap frontal offset portion, for which it received a second-lowest score of Marginal.
The 2017 Sierra 1500 is slated to go on sale in the late summer of 2016, when it will again challenge the likes of Ford’s F-150, Ram’s 1500, Nissan’s Titan XD, and the Chevy Silverado 1500.
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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