2011 GMC Sierra 1500

In ranking the best full size pickup trucks currently in the market, the 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 is at number three. This is out of a field of seven on the list of the same category. Having undergone a redesign in 2007, it returned to prominence boasting of enhanced features for comfortable driving.


The GMC Sierra 1500 have five engines. Four are V8s: 4.8L, 5.3L FlexFuel, 5.3L, and 6.2L; and the Regular and Extended Cab trims can be equipped with the V6 engine. Of the two types of engines, the V6 is seen as lacking in power. However, with these engine options, a customer can maximize fuel economy according to their choice.

Handling the Sierra 1500 is typically stiff but for its size, it is manageable. Available suspension options are Z60 for street performance and Z71 for off-roading. This vehicle offers a top-notch performance in hauling up to 1,980 pounds depending on the cab and the box size.

Exterior & Interior

The external appearance of the Sierra is an imposing figure which is typical to full size trucks. Although some consider it outdated, the utility options it offers make up for it. Different cargo beds are offered in each of its cab models. An option that can be found on all cab types is the E-Z lift tailgate that is lockable. These varied configurations make the truck’s utility valuable.

The vehicle’s interior follows a minimalist interior design. This is indicated by the limited storage space for small items. The back bench seat allows the middle smaller portion to be folded as an armrest. Depending on the trim and model, seat features may be adjustable and reclining. One advantage is obvious though: the seats are comfortable and the interior is spacious.

Safety & Reliability

Safety test results vary from that given by the federal government and the insurance industry. Overall, it scored four stars in government tests. For specifics, frontal crashes earned it four stars and ‘good’ ratings, five star and ‘acceptable’ in side crashes, and four stars in roll over tests. OnStar and a series of airbags are available.

J.D Power gave the 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 a 7 on its reliability score, which is based on quality and dependability data gathered within three years of the vehicle’s production.

The Competition

The Ram 1500 (MSRP $20,810; 14 city / 20 hwy) has excellent handling, the engine is powerful, the interior is luxurious, and the storage options are smart; however, the V6 engine is underpowered and its reliability is questionable. On the hand, the Ford F-150 (MSRP $22,060; 15 city / 19 hwy) has a handsome interior and a polished exterior with an excellent towing capacity. It has a higher base price from among full size trucks and does not promise a comfortable ride.

From across the shores, Toyota’s Tundra (MSRP $24,435; 16 city / 20 hwy) offers multiple configurations in its cab models and its engines are powerful but it has a low fuel economy potential and it provides an uncomfortable ride. Next to it is the Nissan Titan (MSRP $27,410; 13 city / 18 hwy) which is characterized by a good handling and ride experience, gauges and controls are laid out effectively, and it offers a standard V8 engine. However; its towing capacity is low and it is rigid in terms of customization.


  • The vehicle is highly customizable.
  • The vehicle has various configurations.
  • It boasts a remarkable towing and loading ability.
  • The interior is spacious and the seats comfortable.


  • The V6 engine is slow.
  • The interior storage space is sparse.
  • The standard interior features are limited.
  • Additional standard features mean extra costs.

Overall Rating
69 out of 100

What others say:

“The 2011 GMC Sierra wins over truck buyers with lots of options for cargo and cabin space, in gas-only and in hybrid models.”Car Connection

“Being these are large pickups, there’s noticeable body lean in fast turns and quick changes of direction with the Z85 suspension. Z60 and Z71 suspensions improve handling only slightly. The steering is nicely weighted, if a bit numb, and the brakes are responsive with fine pedal feel.”Consumer Guide

“The Chevrolet Silverado and its GMC Sierra twin are well-rounded pickups with optional full-time 4WD and a generous payload capacity. Ride quality is decent and handling is secure. The new six-speed automatic slightly improves fuel economy and acceleration. Reliability has been average.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“The 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 is a worthy competitor among fresher rivals, bolstered by a wide range of body styles, capable performance and a comfortable ride.”Edmunds


General Info
Vehicle Type: Pick Up Truck Base Price: $21,235.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 26 gallons (98 liters) MPG: 15 city / 20 hwy
Length: 205.6 in. (522 cm) Width: 80 in. (203 cm)
Height: 73.6 in. (186 cm) Wheel Base: 119 in. (302 cm)
Curb Weight: 4463 lbs (2024 kg) Ground Clearance(rear): 13.1 in. (33 cm)
Payload Capacity: 1937 lbs Maximum Seating: 3 people
Engine: Vortec V6 OHV Displacement: 4.3 liters
Horsepower: 195 HP Max RPM: 4600 RPM
Torque: 260 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic
Max Trailering Capacity: 4800 lbs (2177 kgs) Maximum Speed: NA
Available Trims & Engine
Option:Sierra 1500 Work Truck 4.8L V8 MSRP: $29,760,; MPG: 14 city / 19 hwy
Option:Sierra 1500 SL 4.8L V8 MSRP: $30,950; MPG: 14 city / 19 hwy
Option:Sierra 1500 SLE 4.8L V8 MSRP: $32,220; MPG: 14 city / 19 hwy
Option:Sierra 1500 SLT 5.3L: V8 MSRP: $39,510; MPG: 15 city / 21 hwy
Option:Sierra Xtra Fuel Economy V8 MSRP: $33,980; MPG: 15 city / 22 hwy