2012 GMC Sierra 1500

Many drivers deem the 2012 GMC Sierra 1500 to be a good, full sized pick-up truck, even as they believe it’s a little dated compared to the Ram 1500 and the Ford F-150.

They like the power that comes with the Sierra’s V8 engine and the truck’s fuel economy. All in all, it’s a truck for someone who needs a reliable and capable vehicle and who doesn’t care too much about flash.


General Info
Vehicle Type: Truck Base Price: $22,195.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 26 gallons (98l) MPG: 15 city / 20 hwy
Length: 205.6 in. (522.2 cm) Wheel Base: 119 in. (302.2 cm)
Height: 73.6 in. (186.9 cm) Width: 80.0 in. (203.2 cm)
Curb Weight: 4460 lbs (2023 kg) Ground Clearance Front: 7.7 in. (19.5 cm)
Cargo Volume: 60.7 cu ft Maximum Seating: 3 people
Engine: Vortec V6 OHV 2WD Displacement: 4.3 Liter
Horsepower: 195 HP Max RPM: 4600 RPM
Torque: 260 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic
Max Towing Capacity: 4800 lbs (2177 kgs) Maximum Speed: NA
Available Trims & Engine
Option:SL 4.8L V8 VVT MSRP: $30,125; MPG: 14 city / 19 hwy
Option:SLE 4.8L V8 VVT MSRP: $27,965; MPG: 14 city / 19 hwy
Option:SLT 5.3L V8 SFI MSRP: $36,555; MPG: 15 city / 21 hwy
Option:XFE 5.3L V8 VVT MSRP: $34,895; MPG: 15 city / 21 hwy
Option:Denali – 6.2L V8 403 HP 2WD MSRP: $45,485; MPG: 13 city / 18 hwy


Reviewers found the base V6 engine weak and the four speed automatic transmission that comes with the V6 and the 4.8 liter V8 engines woeful. Test drivers found the truck’s turning radius too large. But the 4.8 liter V8 engine delivers 302 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque and the driver can also opt for a mighty 5.3 liter V8 engine that brings 315 horsepower and 335 lb-ft of torque.

Even more powerful is the engine that comes with the Denali. This 6.2 liter V8 engine gives 403 horsepower and 417 lb-ft of torque. These last two engines also come with a six speed automatic transmission. All the Sierra’s engines save the V6 can run on ethanol.


The truck gets 15 miles per gallon in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. It comes in several trims, which starts with the Work Truck or WT and moves up to the Denali. The Sierra comes in a variety of cabs and beds and in two or four wheel drive.

Despite its size, test drivers enjoyed the way the Sierra 1500 handled, though it is nothing like a car’s. The ride is fairly comfortable. The steering is balanced and the brakes are responsive. But what reviewers really liked was the Sierra’s capacity to haul and tow. All of the trims are able to tow a minimum of 7,000 pounds and haul a minimum of 1,513 pounds. Still the Ford F-150 can tow even more than this.


Reviewers complained that the look of the truck was old fashioned, and not in a good way.


Reviewers found the Sierra 1500’s interior un-exiting. It seats from a minimum of three to a maximum of six people and has standard vinyl seats, though you can ask for cloth seats at no extra cost. Only on the SLT and the Denali are leather seats standard.

As for features, the base Sierra 1500 has manual A/C, a radio, power outlets and cruise control as standard, but it can be fitted with all manner of bells and whistles, including remote start, a heated steering wheel wrapped in leather and Bose audio. One benefit of such simple features in the base trim is that they’re easy to operate.

The Sierra’s interior cargo space, which means storage bins and cubbies, is average.


The 2012 GMC Sierra 1500 excelled in crash tests sponsored by the federal government, but didn’t particularly shine in tests conducted by other institutions. It even received a marginal ranking for roof strength from one institute.


The Sierra 1500 has a standard three year or 36,000 mile basic warranty and got a four out of five ranking from J.D. Power and Associates. However, the Sierra had one safety recall that concerned the front seat belts.


Reviewers appreciated that the Sierra can haul and tow a great deal of cargo and that its interior was roomy enough. They also liked its fuel economy.


Reviewers thought the Sierra’s interior features were inferior in all of its trims and they found its four speed transmission paltry.


This segment of trucks are usually dominated by the Ford F-150 (MSRP $23,500; 17 city / 23 hwy) and Chevy Silverado (MSRP $22,195; 17 city / 23 hwy) along with the Sierra, but when Toyota introduced the Tundra (MSRP $25,155; 16 city / 20 hwy), it got just a little more crowded.

Overall Rating
71 out of 100

What others say:

“Three different body styles are available, with the standard Regular Cab having very little space behind its front seats for anything other than narrow objects.”Car Connection

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

“Even over the roughest surfaces, the 2012 GMC Sierra 1500 truck’s cabin remained calm, bothered neither by noise or vibration. While the 4.3-liter V6 is adequate for most light jobs, we prefer the pulling and passing power provided by the 5.3-liter V8.”KBB

“The 2012 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