By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.4
On the surface, GMC's Sierra half-ton pickup for 2013 may look like a Chevy Silverado clone, but dig a little deeper and you'll find some subtle and some not-so-subtle differences. The Sierra's engines, transmissions and body configurations are the same, as are the specifications for power, fuel economy and towing. But the 2013 GMC Sierra displays a more professional appearance, with copious amounts of chrome in the grille and more stylish wheel options. There's also the Denali trim that elevates the Sierra to near-Cadillac status. Of course, the 2013 GMC Sierra is still a work truck and so it is equipped with a number of helpful workplace features and options. There is even a Hybrid model, something no other manufacturer outside of GM offers.
If your towing needs run in the 7,000-10,000 pound range, a compact pickup isn't going to cut it; the full-size 2013 GMC Sierra, on the other hand, will. Models range from a basic Work Truck to the frugal 23-mpg Sierra Hybrid to the luxurious Denali.
If your truck needs revolve around light towing and recreational outings, a smaller mid-size or compact pickup might be more desirable. Not only will you save money at the pump, the sticker price is likely to be lower as well.
Changes to the 2013 GMC Sierra half-ton are limited to two new exterior colors and the addition of powertrain grade-braking that uses transmission downshifting to ease stress and temperature build-up on the brake rotors.
Driving Impressions Ample power and a civilized ride are two of the 2013 GMC Sierra's most welcome attributes. The Sierra's rigid chassis and tight panel fitment are made possible by the...fully-boxed ladder frame, while the coil-over-shock front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering provide a level of control uncommon in such a high-center-of-gravity vehicle. Our time in the Sierra covered a number of road surfaces and conditions. Even over the roughest surfaces, the half-ton Sierra's cabin remained calm, bothered neither by noise or vibration. As for engine choices, we think the 4.3-liter V6 is adequate for most light jobs, but we prefer the pulling and passing power provided by the 5.3-liter V8. The ultimate power play belongs to the Denali, which has a 403-horsepower 6.2-liter V8. All of the Sierra's V8 engines can run on E85, and the 5.3-liter V8 includes Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation technology for maximum fuel efficiency.
HEATED AND COOLING SEATS
Standard on the Denali and available on SLT trims, these seats almost guarantee to keep the front occupants cozy in winter and summer.
ACTIVE FUEL MANAGEMENT
The Active Fuel Management system available on the 5.3-liter V8s cuts the operation of four cylinders when they are unneeded and thus enhances fuel economy.
For 2013, the GMC Sierra pickup offers two distinct interiors aimed at satisfying two distinctly different customers. On WT, SL and SLE trims, GMC's "pure pickup" interior theme includes more use of vinyl on the floor coverings, as well as larger door handles and instrument-panel knobs. Moving to the SLT and Denali trims brings the same upscale interior found on the GMC Yukon, providing plenty of soft-touch surfaces, wood-grain trim and, on Denali models, a heated steering wheel. Crew Cab models feature a 60/40-split rear seat with a fold-up seat bottom that creates a large, uninterrupted load floor.Exterior
The 2013 GMC Sierra distinguishes itself from its Chevrolet cousin with a bold 4-bar grille design, more expressive front and rear fender flares and more stylish 20-inch alloy wheels. The GMC Sierra features a large box area with high walls to maximize cargo capacity, although this same design can make it difficult to reach the center of the bed, as is required when accessing a bed-mounted tool box. Another feature we like are the Extended Cab's rear access doors that swing out 170 degrees, making it easy to load people or items into the rear of the cab.
GMC's 2013 Sierra 1500 comes in seven trim levels, from basic to sinfully luxurious. Cloth seats are standard on WT, SE and SLE models, and leather seating is available on SLE models. The Denali is a distinct model unto itself and includes as standard a 6.2-liter V8 engine. SLT models include standard leather seats, the "luxury" instrument panel, 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat, Bose speakers and Bluetooth. The crew-cab SLT version is even more luxurious with rain-sensing windshield wipers and a rear-seat audio system. Even the base trim level includes cruise control, air conditioning, XM Satellite radio and side-impact and head-curtain airbags.
Convenience features offered on SLE and SLT models include touch-screen navigation/sound system, power-operated moonroof, rear backup camera and a power-sliding rear window. The Denali trim offers heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel and rear backup camera as standard. The 2013 GMC Sierra offers five distinct suspension systems, each tailored to suit specific driving requirements. They include Z83 for a solid, smooth ride; Z85 for enhanced handling and trailer towing; Z71 for enhanced off-road capability; Z60 for street performance with 20-inch wheels; and NHT for maximum towing capacity.
While we expect the 4.3-liter V6 and 4.8-liter V8 to be more than adequate in Work Truck applications, we recommend the 5.3-liter V8 engines, most with cast-iron blocks and some with aluminum, but all with Active Fuel Management and variable valve timing. And for those who want more power or towing capacity, the 6.2-liter V8, available only on the Denali trim level, is tops in its class, offering significantly more power and torque with very little penalty in fuel economy. The 2013 Sierra Hybrid truck features a 6.0-liter Vortec V8 with an electric motor/generator built into the transmission. The two-mode system employs two 60-kilowatt electric motors that can power the truck on pure electric at low speeds or assist the gasoline engine at higher speeds.
195 horsepower @ 4,600 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 2,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20 mpg (2WD), 14/18 mpg (4WD)
302 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
305 lb-ft of torque @ 4,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19 mpg (2WD), 13/18 mpg (4WD), 10/14 mpg (E85, 2WD), 10/13 mpg (E85, 4WD)
5.3-liter V8 Flex-Fuel
315 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
326 horsepower @ 5,300 rpm (E85)
335 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
348 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm (E85)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 mpg (gasoline), 11/16 mpg (2WD, E85), 15/22 mpg (XFE), 11/16 mpg (XFE, E85), 15/21 mpg (4WD), 11/16 mpg (4WD, E85)
403 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
417 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 mpg (2WD), 12/18 mpg (4WD), 9/13 mpg (E85, 2WD), 9/13 mpg (E85, 4WD)
6.0-liter V8 hybrid
332 horsepower @ 5,100 rpm
367 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/23 mpg
By TKEE on Thursday, January 08, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Drives great, fair price."
Cons: "Camera aand sensors needed."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"This truck performance is satisfactory. However, it was purchased site unseen, ordered form out of town dealer. It is much too tall and hard to get in to drive. I cannot, without a step ladder or long handle cleaning tool clean the windshield or get anything from the bed without climbing over the tailgate. I never attempt to wash it. I would not have purchased if I had known these problems. I would not buy another one because of above facts. My wife will not drive it. There is no reason for making this tall vehicle. If there an intelligent answer please publish it."
31 people out of 56 found this review helpful
By Dawg Man on Monday, December 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have had Ford trucks and some chevy trucks in past years. This truck is the best by far. 25,000 miles and no squeaks or towing problems. Love the smooth ride and the interior is comfortable and all instrument panel signs are easy to read. Love this truck for long trips."
72 people out of 143 found this review helpful
By Coyatee on Wednesday, November 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfort, visibilty, handling, load capacity, power"
Cons: "Fuel mileage."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Excellent long distance, and short run, vehicle. Drive coast to coast in comfort and safety. Love the visability, handling and power."
20 people out of 32 found this review helpful
By truckin! on Sunday, November 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "tough, reliable, fun"
Cons: "more power, cheap interior"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"i bought this as my first truck. ive had it for 2 years now and love it! never had a problem with it and it is fun to drive. i use this at the ranch i work at and it will do almost anything i need it to. and it will get anywhere i need it to go."
14 people out of 29 found this review helpful
By AnnaBanana on Tuesday, November 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Wish I had one!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Great if all you do is flat highway. Not good on hills and worthless for towing. Can't wait to dump it."
14 people out of 38 found this review helpful
By county Kyle on Sunday, November 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "good truck, good price"
Cons: "vent valve has went bad after 38,000 miles"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"It is a good truck that is not w/t but without the price tag of the sle model. In most cases under the expensive frills, their all the same truck."
26 people out of 55 found this review helpful