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The GMC Sierra Model Overview

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No matter what 2007-2018 Sierra model you have, you can spruce up the exterior with added trim. Items like stainless steel rocker panels, chrome side moldings, and door sills add a flavor of style and attractiveness to your truck. Other items like bug deflectors and wind deflectors add extra functionality to your rig.

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The GMC Sierra appears to live in the shadow of the Chevy Silverado. It’s almost the identical twin of the Silverado—it’s based on the same platform with some noticeably different visual cues. Let’s visit the history of the GMC Sierra and then delve into the overview of the late-model trucks ranging from 2007-2018.

GMC Sierra Overview: 2007-2014

The year 2007 was a significant year for GMC trucks. It would be a split year for these trucks; the generation prior would be offered along with the latest and greatest. For the split year, the 2007 could be purchased as a standard 2007 GMC or a Classic version that matched the 2006 and earlier designs. The differences were not very subtle, though, which is what’s wild about this move. 

The trucks would be entirely redesigned from top to bottom, and inside and out. The more bubble shaped early 2000’s look would be overhauled into an almost square body throwback design. For this year the submodels available would also vary. The submodels offered would be as follows:

  • WT: This trim level was the “work Truck” level. This was the entry level and came with limited features as it was straight forward with its purpose.
  • SLE: The next level up from the WT the SLE was the everyday driver’s first choice. It’s fitted with luxury options making it a bit more welcoming.
  • SLT: The SLT is simply an upgraded version of the SLE. In previous years Customers who were looking to order an SLT level truck would have to select the proper features. These features would range from driver’s seat memory to power adjustable pedals and everything in between. In the year to come, this feature would become a trim level of its own but still very similar to the SLE. 
  • Denali: This is the premier trim level of the GMC Sierra. Its features are state of the art including premium sound systems and full leather seating. 

2007-2014 Trim Packages Explained

The trim package was of course used to indicate exactly what was included with the truck from the factory. Depending on what trim package was chosen, different options would be available both for appearance and luxury, along with the mechanical components.

As far as the powertrain goes, there would be some slight variances for this generation over prior years again. The 1500 series would come with more options than their heavy-duty companions. For the GMC Sierra 1500 we would see:

  • 4.6L V6 (195 hp; 260 lb/ft of torque)
  • 4.8L V8 (285 hp; 295 lb/ft)
  • 5.3L V8 (315 hp; 338 lb/ft)
  • 6.0L V8 (367 hp; 375 lb/ft)

The 2500 and 3500-series trucks would arrive with:

  • 6.0L V8 (353 hp; 373 lb/ft)
  • 6.6L V8 Duramax Diesel (365 hp; 660 lb/ft)

Among these trucks were typically standard cab configurations. The 1500, 2500 and 3500 series trucks could be purchased with a standard cab, extended cab or crew cab. They would also be available with different bed options.

The 1500 trucks would come available with the short 5.5-foot bed, 6.5-foot bed and of course an 8-foot bed. That being said the heavy-duty counterparts would only come with either a 6.5-foot bed or an 8-foot bed. 

2007-2014 Tow Ratings

Towing is a major part of owning a pickup truck. If you’re planning to utilize these trucks for their towing capacity you need to know the capabilities of each platform. This generation of sierra’s towing capacities are as follows:

  • Sierra 1500: 4400 - 9,600 lbs.
  • Sierra 2500: 9300 - 10,400 lbs.
  • Sierra 3500: 8500 - 13,000 lbs.

These ratings are subject to variances based on year, engine, and differential in the chosen vehicle. 

GMC Sierra Overview: 2014-2017

In 2014, the Sierra 1500 would again go back to the drawing boards while the 2500 and 3500 would ride through the year on the prior generation’s platform. We will review this generation as a whole. The new design would feature sharper styling cues and again the powertrain and trim packages would change up a bit as well. The submodels are as follows:

  • Base
  • SLT
  • SLE
  • Denali

The biggest change is the trim level would fade away and the base-model trim package would be introduced. As far as the power plants go, the 1500 would see some updates. Compared to previous years the submodels have the same principles, and the only difference really lies within the luxury options and what’s available to the modern market. The available GMC Sierra 1500 from 2014-2017 engines would now be:

  • 4.3L V6 (285 hp; 305lb/ft of torque)
  • 5.3L V8 (355 hp; 383 lb/ft)
  • 6.2L V8 (420 hp; 460 lb/ft)

In these later years, the engine options have been ramped up quite a bit with updated displacement options as well. The Sierra 2500 and 3500 would also see an update in power, but the engine options would carry over. The below ratings are the engine options available to the heavy-duty trucks:

  • 6.0L V8 (360 h; 322 lb/ft)
  • 6.6L V8 Duramax Diesel (397 hp; 765 lb/ft)

The new Sierras were well beyond prior generations in power and performance, and the styling is magnificent. These trucks carried over the same bed options as prior years, which meant the 1500 would be the only truck available with the 5.5-foot bed. It did also come with the 6.5- and 8-foot beds, which were the only options for the heavy-duty GMC Sierras.

A new cab option would also arrive with this new generation of GMC trucks. To replace the extended cab, GMC would introduce the double-cab design. The double cab would no longer feature a tight back seat area with rearward swing open doors. It would be a revamped set up with a full spacious bench seat and traditional style doors that allowed passengers to sit more comfortably and open their door at their own will. 

This double-cab design can be a little harder to identify—it appears almost identical to a full-sized crew cab truck. The main difference is the doors on a double cab are physically shorter. This setup will also change the rear seating options. A crew cab can be fitted with a more luxurious split bench seat whereas the double cab is fitted with a more basic full bench. Though seating count is technically the same, the crew cab is definitely more accommodating to the rear passengers. That’s not to say they couldn’t make due in a double cab. 

Early on it was stated the GMC Sierra would appear to live in the Silverado’s shadow. This couldn’t be further from the truth. GMC has been building trucks for over 100 years, and in fact was developed as a company to produce just trucks. In the early days the name was actually General Motors Trucking Company. Due to its history, GMC is a top name in the truck industry, and the late model trucks are a testament to the name that’s been at it for over a century. 

Again, towing capacity can be the sole reason to consider picking up one of these trucks. These are the ratings available to today’s GMC Sierra:

  • Sierra 1500: 5500 – 9400 lbs.
  • Sierra 2500: 13,000 - 14,500 lbs.
  • Sierra 3500: 13,000 - 14,500 lbs.
Fitment includes: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Denali, Hybrid, SL, SLE, STL, WT, XFE, Base