New for 2016

The GMC Sierra 1500 debuts with new styling and details, including a fresh look that moves its world-class design to the next level. It has new engineering features including High-Intensity Discharge (HID) LED signature projector-beam headlamps, slender LED fog lamps, a new grille design and new LED tail lamps on some trims.

Reliable and Tough

The GMC Sierra, the best-selling truck in the GMC family, has just come off its top selling year since 2006, and 2016 is projected to be highly positive as well. Engineering innovations in this year's model include Intellibeam headlamp control, which senses oncoming traffic and automatically changes high beams, and Lane Keep Assist, which helps keep the vehicle in the proper lane by applying slight steering adjustments while traveling; the Denali trim level also comes with power-articulating steps that make it much easier to climb in and out of the cab.

Powertrain and Performance

The GMC Sierra 1500 features a 5.3 liter V8 EcoTec3 engine that provides the most efficient fuel economy of a full-size pickup. The 6.2 liter version packs 420 horsepower, surpassing all other light duty pickups, while the 4.3 liter V6 produces 285 horsepower with 305 pound-feet of torque.

The standard transmission is a six-speed automatic, with an eight-speed available as an option. Owners can expect mileage in the 18-24 mpg range,* which is normal for this class of truck, and they won't need to worry about rear wheel slippage when hauling; in fact, the Eaton Locker automatic locking system for the rear differential locks down the rear wheels when it senses any slippage — the result is better traction, safety and control.

The standard engine will provide a lot of power for light towing and general tasks, while the V8 is powerful with a transmission that's light, smooth and silky.

Rear-wheel drive comes standard, with four-wheel drive available for drivers who want extra traction for heavy weather or off-road conditions. A feature available for the Denali line is Magnetic Ride Control, which monitors the conditions of the road and maintains a smooth ride by changing the suspension automatically. The Sierra's ride is smooth and comfortable, with accurate steering and responsive handling — a good balance of feedback and weight.

Additional specs include a 12,000-pound towing capacity and a maximum payload of just over 2200 pounds; this strength means towing and hauling is easy with the transmission's tow/haul selection that maintains gears longer. A rear-view camera makes it simple to hook up a trailer.

Features and Trims

The GMC Sierra, which retails for an MSRP ranging from $27,500 to just over $54,000, hasn't seen a design upgrade since 2014, and this year offers some exciting modifications. The new front-end design includes better distinction between trim levels with new LED headlamps that feature HID projector-beams, while LED fog lamps are new for various lines. The Denali and SLT trim levels have LED signature headlamps as a standard feature.

Owners can also look forward to a new wheel design with 20-inch chrome cladding, while the GMC IntelliLink has new touch screen features and a faster processor. Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ are standard on the Elevation and available on the base Sierra trim level.

Design

The 2016 GMC Sierra has a well-equipped, quiet cabin, with comfortable seats and an easy-to-use entertainment system; the upper trim levels are elegant and luxurious. It takes a little time to get used to operating the voice-control system, but the result is a convenient feature that adds to safe driving as well. The rear seats fold down for additional storage and convenience.

There is ample storage in the cabin, and the Denali line features lots of chrome trim for an extra luxurious look. GMC's Sierra cabin is quiet, keeping road noise out and providing a good environment for music or talking on a hands-free phone, and all buttons and knobs are prominent and large, making it easy to adjust each feature the right amount.

Safety

As in the past, safety is a priority with the GMC Sierra. Features include driver air bags; side head air bag; side air bag; passenger air bag; rear head air bag; daytime running lights; front tow hooks; 4-wheel ABS; traction control; turn signal mirrors; Electronic Stability Control and 4-wheel disc brakes.

Other safety features include a Center High Mounted Stop Light, occupancy sensor, seat belt pretensioners, ignition disable and side impact bars.

Bottom Line

The 2016 GMC Sierra continues the tradition of rock-solid reliability, smooth ride, high performance and comfortable surroundings. With a number of trim levels, from a well-equipped base model to the luxurious Denali line, there is a Sierra for every budget and taste. With a refreshed look that includes distinctive "C" headlamps for the Denali, as well as advanced LED lighting for both headlamps and tail lamps, the GMC Sierra is once again setting the pace for style, performance, safety, ride, handling and towing capacity in its class.

For more information, or to schedule a test drive of the new GMC Sierra 1500, be sure to contact or visit us at Rivertown Buick GMC today.

* EPA-estimated.

**The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. See your GMC dealer for details.