2018 GMC Sierra 1500 Expert Review

4.0 Overall Score
Performance 4.0 Comfort 4.0 Styling 4.2 Value 3.9

Editor's Overview

The 2018 GMC Sierra half-ton pickup’s rugged abilities are never in doubt. What may surprise some people, however, is just how versatile this big pickup can be. With trims ranging from basic work truck to the luxurious Denali, the 2018 Sierra half-ton pickup satisfies a broad spectrum of needs. Its best-in-class 12,500-pound max towing doesn’t hurt, either.

You'll Like The 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 If...

Opt for the big 6.2-liter V8 and the right configuration and you’ll get a class-leading 12,500-pound tow rating. The Toyota Tundra can’t match the Sierra’s horsepower and doesn’t offer upscale features like ventilated front seats or adaptive suspension.

You May Not Like The 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 If...

If you’re seeking a diesel or turbocharged engine in your next half-ton pickup, the 2018 GMC Sierra is off the list. You can get a diesel in the smaller GMC Canyon, a less expensive option that nearly matches some of the Sierra’s bed and payload figures.

What's New

For 2018, the GMC Sierra 1500 pickup gains a 7-inch touch-screen audio system with six speakers as standard equipment. A rearview camera is also made standard, while the TPM system now includes Tire Fill Alert to warn when you’ve reached the proper tire pressure.

Interior Features

With big buttons and knobs coated in rubber for easy grip even when wearing gloves, GMC’s 2018 Sierra's roomy interior is built with work in mind. Yet it also can be luxurious, with features such as ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and communication ports that will outnumber most drivers' devices. Cab configurations include regular with a 3-passenger bench, double cab with seating for five or six, and crew cab with the most room for five or six. As should be expected in a big truck, the front seats are massive. Flip-up rear seats offer more cargo versatility.

Exterior Features

We dub GMC’s latest styling experiment "contemporary macho." Like previous GMC trucks, this full-size pickup features blocky styling highlighted by swollen fender flares and a grille that would do a semi-truck proud. With the bold styling come practical innovations like corner steps built into the rear bumper. These provide a foothold for bed access, and by design are covered to mitigate slipping in wet environments. Handgrips and available bed-mounted LED lights are other features we like. Bed lengths range from 5-feet-8 inches to eight feet. Double-cab models have standard front-hinged rear doors for easier access.

Driving Impressions

GMC’s Sierra 1500 pickup for 2018 is really two trucks in one. At first glance, the Sierra is a tough, hard-working full-size pickup posting all the right numbers in the areas of payload, towing and horsepower. But, dig deeper and you’ll find a rather passenger-car-like interior with upper trims bordering on Cadillac-levels of comfort and amenities. The Sierra’s available 5.3-liter V8 fits this truck like a glove, offering excellent power and decent fuel economy. Those who need more can step up to the 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8, but they’ll pay a price both at the dealership and the pump. On the open road the Sierra’s cabin filters out most noise and vibration, and when fitted with the Magnetic Ride Control suspension, GMC’s 2018 Sierra rides and handles like no other truck on the road.

Pricing Notes

With the Sierra's wide range of configurations comes a wide range of prices. A base, regular-cab 2018 GMC Sierra has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just north of $31,000. Double-cab models start closer to $36,000 while Crew Cab models start right around $39,000. Start climbing trim levels and adding options, and prices can climb by tens of thousands of dollars. A fully equipped Sierra Denali can easily break the $70,000 mark. The Sierra's starting price is slightly higher than the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra, while the Nissan Titan Crew Cab starts around $36,500. Before buying, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. The Sierra's resale value is projected to be in line with that of its domestic rivals and the Nissan Titan, but behind that of the segment-leading Toyota Tundra.

Notable Equipment

Even the most basic 2018 GMC Sierra includes features like air conditioning, cruise control, cloth seats and a 6-speaker, 7-inch touch screen with AM/FM radio with USB/SD inputs, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a rearview camera but no CD player. Step up to an SLE trim and you'll get an 8-inch touch screen, cruise control, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and more features. SLT trims bring features like the 5.3-liter V8 engine, dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable pedals and leather-appointed seats. Foremen will appreciate the Sierra Denali's 20-inch chrome wheels, navigation system, Bose audio and leather-clad front bucket seats.

Notable Options

Add-ons are available across the 2018 Sierra pickup line. All Sierras can be ordered as 2-wheel drive (2WD) or 4-wheel (4WD), while those seeking the most power and towing capability should look to the 6.2-liter V8 available on Sierra SLT and Denali models. Options include the Driver Alert Package with low-speed automatic braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, IntelliBeam headlights and forward-collision alert, plus front and rear park-assist. The All-Terrain Package features off-road suspension with Rancho shocks, an underbody shield and 18-inch wheels. Interior comforts include heated and cooled front seats, navigation, a power sunroof and a rear-seat entertainment system.

Favorite Features

CONNECTED INFOTAINMENT

GMC’s 2018 Sierra pickup comes standard with a 7-inch audio screen and optional 8-inch version, both equipped with IntelliLink. With up to five USB ports, available 4G LTE Wi-Fi and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, everything stored in your smartphone can now be part of your truck’s infotainment system.


DRIVER-ALERT SEAT

Part of the Sierra’s optional lane-departure and forward-collision warning systems, the Driver-Alert Seat sends a slight vibration through either the left- or right-side driver’s seat cushion to warn when the truck is drifting from its intended lane.


Under the Hood

Three engine choices are available for the 2018 GMC Sierra: a 4.3-liter V6, 5.3-liter V8 and the top-dog 6.2-liter V8 available for SLT and Denali models. The V6 is linked to a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter employ an 8-speed automatic, but only when ordered with the SLE and Denali trim. All three engines have laudable towing capacity, including the V6's max of 7,600 pounds. The 6.2-liter V8 can pull up to 12,500 pounds. With the ability to tow 11,100 pounds and a highway rating of 23 mpg, the 5.3-liter V8 is the middle child in GMC's engine lineup. All engines use direct injection and Active Fuel Management, which allows them to run on fewer cylinders and thus use less fuel.


4.3-liter V6

285 horsepower @ 5,300 rpm

305 lb-ft of torque @ 3,900 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/24 mpg (2WD), 17/22 mpg (4WD)


5.3-liter V8

355 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm

383 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg (2WD), 16/22 mpg (4WD)


6.2-liter V8

420 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm

460 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 mpg (2WD), 15/20 mpg (4WD)

Editors' Notes

The 2018 GMC Sierra half-ton pickup’s rugged abilities are never in doubt. What may surprise some, however, is just how versatile this big pickup can be. With trims ranging from from basic work truck to the luxurious Denali, the 2018 Sierra 1500 pickup satisfies a broad spectrum of needs and price points. The Sierra does share its platform with the Chevy Silverado, but we think there’s enough visual distinction to justify the two platforms. However, models without the big 6.2-liter V8 lag behind the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 in the areas of conventional towing and payload. On the flip side, GMC’s 2018 Sierra will likely hold its value better than the Ram, and it performs better in IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) crash tests.

Road Test Video Reviews

2018 GMC Sierra 1500 Owner Reviews

4.67
48 Reviews
81% 13% 2% 2 star 0% 4%
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2018 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT -- Spacious cab with plenty of power under the hood.

I have owned my 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT for a couple months now and I really enjoy it. Starting with the interior, I bought the crew cab which is very spacious & comfortable for people riding in the back. The rear seats fold up (if needed) with 60/40 split. The front seats are powered heated seats with the option of two memory settings. The center console is very spacious with a 2-cup holder, an integrated phone holder, 3-prong power outlet, 2 USB ports & 12V port. The display is a nice size for the infotainment system which allows you to utilize Android auto & Apple CarPlay. Overhead console has a universal garage door opener feature, along with a switch for the powered back window. The instrument panel is not overly clustered or lacking like I've seen in over vehicles. The exterior of the vehicle is eye catching; I have gotten plenty of compliments on how nice looking my truck is. The body of the truck has a somewhat aggressive look but also feels luxurious at the same time for a pick up truck. The 20' wheels fit nicely on the truck & help give it a nice stance. The engine has nice power to it when not towing but the acceleration of the pedal travel to engage acceleration is not the best but when you put your foot down on it really good, you feel the power from the engine. I'm really enjoying my truck and I look forward to driving for years to come.

- Damien J

Lots of legroom, comfortable seats, rides smooth, safe, and looks good.

I love my GMC sierra. It is large and roomy. The back seat has a lot of space, which is great when you have a car seat or two back there. I am able to have a car seat on the one side, fold up the two other seats, and change my child's diaper. I am confident that I could fit 3 car seats comfortably in the back. I haven't had any trouble with any of the technology that the truck comes with either. I was rear ended, and besides the bumper, the truck, me, and my child were all 100% fine and that to me is worth everything. Nothing has been wrong with it so far, besides routine oil changes. We have the OnStar feature, which is great. Another thing I love is the seat memory, and heated seats and steering wheel. Overall a fantastic truck. Drives smooth, and has tons of cup holders/ storage. The only reason I would ever get something different is if I needed more seating. I would still get a gm though.

- Hannah D

The GMC sierra is an awesome drive and ride.

This is a very comfortable ride. We love the heated seats and steering wheel. Seats can also be set to cool. The seats have. Lumbar support that helps on long drives. Back seat is spacious and comfortable. Pulling our 5th wheel trailer is very easy. We hardly notice it behind us. This is a diesel and I think it has more power than a gas vehicle. We were pleased that our mileage is about 13 miles to the gallon when we are pulling the fifth wheel. We have gotten as much as 23 miles to the gallon highway driving without the 5th wheel.

- Terry B

The Most Pleasurable Truck to Drive

This is the best vehicle I have ever owned. The comfort level is superior. The seats Contour and fit your body very well. The seats also adjust well. All of my Bluetooth from my iPhone or iPad connect effortlessly. The tailgate comes down easily with no slamming, it glides very smoothly. This truck is the smoothest driving vehicle I have ever owned. Looking inside the hood it is the cleanest vehicle I have ever owned. When I say clean I mean the way the vehicle is designed under the hood.

- L F

If you like trucks you will love this model.

The sierra is a very good truck to ride in. The ride is smooth, your higher than most people in cars. You feel safe wrapped inside of this truck. It has power to spare and drives like a dream. It has access player which most vehicles do not have anymore. There is no cap for your gas tank. That took a little getting used to. The only problem I have is all the computerized equipment which takes a lot of time to master and get use to it.

- Thomas P

Perfect city truck, with an occasional trip to the country

The truck has a very smooth ride, nice acceleration and braking. The bucket seats feel nice, especially with the cooled seats on a hot Texas summer day. The telescoping steering wheel is nice, you can position yourself perfectly in the driver seat. The Bluetooth speaker is nice and clear. The apple play was well, especially with GPS. The truck is too new to have any problems, I only have 21,000 miles on it.

- marcus R

GMC sierra works like a truck on the farm!

Normally I drive a hd long bed Chevy diesel but had to switch to a short bed light duty gas powered truck. It is not as strong as the diesel for pulling heavy farm wagons and trailers and it does not hold as much in the short bed. It gets excellent gas mileage for a v8 engine, near 33 on the highway. It has a great sound system and a sunroof. It is more like a passenger car than a truck in ride and comfort features.

- Bill D

It is an okay vehicle

The truck is very sturdy and gets great mileage. It is small, so there is not a lot of room in the back two seats. The seat belts always slip down, so it is difficult to find. The handle on the passenger door is loose, so I always have to roll down the window and open the door from the outside, . The truck does not go very fast, put it does have a lot of room in the bed of the truck.

- Nadia R

The drive is always smooth no matter where I go

Gas is an issue since it is a truck of course but overall a great drive with loads of space as well as comfortability. The ac in this thing really cools out the whole car so it's nice in those summer days. If you are looking for something spacious and enjoyable to drive then look no further than this truck or any of the newer models

- Alejandro A

Good value for the money spent.

Vehicle has e-assist really helps in stop and go driving, I really enjoy the drivability and handling of vehicle. The leather seats, and heated steering wheel make cold driving a pleasure. Driver memory settings are nice, it makes changing drivers enjoyable. The factory running boards, bed cover, and mud flaps are also nice.

- Steve P

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