Buying Guide

2011 GMC Sierra

Fair Market Price $13,979 1500 Denali 2WD Crew Cab
Motor Trend Rating


15 City / 20 Hwy

Towing (Max):

9,100 lbs.

Payload (Max):

1,937 lbs.

The new line of Sierra trucks from GMC offers many variations and options packages much like its Chevy Silverado counterpart. There are barebones setups that can save the buyers thousands of dollars, but some of the most asked for features may cost more. The Sierra trucks offer a surprisingly generous amount of miles per gallon fuel economy. The GMC Sierra trucks can get as much as 22MPG while it still boasts the ability to tow up to 6,200 pounds. There are very few other models that are as powerful and economic at the same time.

The top of the line engine offered in the Sierra line is a big 4.3 liter V-6 engine that can produce a whopping 403 horsepower. Most trim packages can come in 2WD or 4WD but most owners are not willing to pay for this upgrade unless they are really going to use it often. There are new upgrades to the OnStar system that is available in the 2011 Sierra, the new OnStar 9.0 was just implemented. Other than this update there have been very little if any changes at all since the 2010 release of the Sierra truck.

Bodystyles: Full-size truck
Engines: 4.3L V-6, 4.8L V-8, 5.3L V-8 (two versions), 6.2L V-8
Transmissions: 6-speed automatic, 4-speed automatic
Models: Sierra 1500 (Work Truck, SL (crew cab only), SLE, SLT, Denali, Hybrid)

The 2011 Sierra lineup is essentially a carryover from the previous model year. A few new additions have been made, including new Gray Green Metallic exterior color, GM’s latest OnStar 9.0 and modifications were made to help reduce wind noise in the Sierra’s cabin. Overall, the Sierra’s diverse mix of powertrains, cabs and suspensions make it a formidable offering in the segment.

With its brawny, broad shouldered stance and in-your-face grille, the Sierra looks the part of tough truck. All models with the exception of the Work Truck come with a distinctive chrome hood molding, and a variety of wheel options are available. The Denali model adds a number of distinctive touches.

GMC makes a lot of noise about the Sierra’s ‘pure pickup’ interior touches, which feature larger controls and handles designed to operate easier with gloves. The base trim level is a bit on the bland side, but if you want better amenities, you can step up to the SLT or Denali trims. A wealth of entertainment and connectivity options are available.

The 2011 GMC Sierra offers a diverse mix of powertrain options ranging from a 4.3-liter V-6 rated at 195 horsepower up to GM’s 6.2-liter V-8 (standard on Denali) that outputs a healthy 403 horsepower. Engines are mated to either a four speed or six-speed automatic, and the Sierra can tow as much as 10,700 pounds in its highest configuration. While it isn’t the nimblest truck when it comes to turning circle, the Sierra’s overall ride, which features five suspension configurations ranging from off-road to on-road themed, is more than acceptable for a full-size truck.

GM’s full-size trucks and SUVs are among the safest on the market, and the 2011 Sierra is no different. Not surprisingly, GM’s StabiliTrak stability control system with rollover mitigation technology forms the backbone of the Sierra’s safety suite of features. Seat-mounted side air bags and head curtain side air bags are standard equipment, and the truck’s available safety belt pretensioners are designed to activate in rear end crash situations.

13-15 mpg city/19-22 mpg highway
Hybrid: 21 mpg city/22 mpg highway

  • Diverse overall lineup
  • Fuel efficient models
  • Smooth ride
  • Multiple powertrains
  • Base interior needs updating
  • Cabin storage a bit wanting
  • Balky turning circle

At the top of the full-size truck heap


  • Ford F-Series
  • Dodge Ram
  • Toyota Tundra
  • Nissan Titan

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