Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

2018 GMC Sierra

Getting to Know the 2018 GMC Sierra

So you know you want a new 2018 GMC Sierra but don’t know where to begin. What trim level should you choose? How powerful of an engine do you really need to get by? These are all typical questions that new prospective truck owners have to answer in order to find the best configuration for their future full-size truck. The great thing is it doesn’t take much thinking and research to determine what perfect trim would be your best option.

The advantage of the Sierra platform is you get choices and possibilities. From the drivetrain and power plants to all the interior features, the Sierra is a full-size truck with possibilities. This is, in part, by design from GMC itself. Knowing that not all full-size truck owners are the same with the same needs, they have taken the time to craft several trim levels for a variety of purposes.

Here’s a look at all the different things you should think about when deciding on which Sierra trim you should ultimately choose for your next full-size truck.


The Lighter Options

Even though you have settled on buying a full-size truck, that is only part of the overall decision-making process. Determining what kind of full-size truck you will eventually buy is the next step. The Sierra lineup comes with a variety of different trims that emphasize efficiency or general power and performance. Depending on your needs and wants from your future vehicle, you may find that a light duty truck is the better option.

If you can sacrifice the top horsepower and towing capacity of the larger engines the Sierra offers, the lower trim models such as the 1500 and 1500 Denali are great options for a daily commuter for general use around town. They still will give you plenty of towing capacity and cargo space with the same exact cabin and bed features as a higher model. The only thing you really have to give up is maximum performance and power.

With these lower trims, you should expect a maximum towing capacity of up to 12,500 pounds. The more luxurious Denali model sacrifices some towing capacity for better interior touches an active safety features. The 1500 is a good middle-of-the-road option that makes up the difference between the full heavy duty options and the less powerful, midsize Canyon.

With lighter duty vehicles come better gas mileage. The 1500, for example, when paired with a rear wheel drive, averages around 19 to 21 miles per gallon combined. This is a good fuel rating to save some money at the gas station when it comes time to fill up without sacrificing too much in terms of overall performance.


Heavy Duty Options

On the opposite end of the Sierra trim lineup, you will find the true workhorses the model represents. Going all the way to professional, customized commercial trucks, the Sierra HD and HD Denali represent the maximum amount of power and towing capacity you can expect from GMC. Compared to other full-size truck options, these trim lines are extremely competitive for those people wanting the best performance.

Quite often, these trucks are the best choice for people needing to use a pickup for professional purposes. Whether you have a job with a lot of equipment and cargo or work out in rural areas, the combined cargo space and greater horsepower and torque in an engine like the 6.2 L V8 can offer will easily handle most heavy tasks you can throw at the Sierra. The customizability of the chassis, including the ability to switch out the typical bed for something larger, is virtually unrivaled. When you want the most in terms of tool boxes, cargo space, and general flexibility, these top-tier GMC Sierra trims are hard to beat.

You will also find a lot of personal uses for the HD and HD Denali as well. Like all upper GMC trims, both come with more standard safety and convenience features, particularly active safety features systems such as forward collision detection, blind-spot monitoring, cross traffic alerts, and more. To get the most standard from any GMC truck, the Sierra HD Denali is the perfect pick if you don’t mind the premium price tag.


Exploring Your Options

The best thing about this year’s platform is the range of options you have available. From choosing different trims to the accessories and technology packages GMC has to offer, it is easy to find the right Sierra to fit your needs. The best move to make before you start test driving different Sierra trims is to come up with your list of must-haves beforehand. Sit down and think about how you intend to use this full-size pickup. How much cargo will it need to carry and tow? What kind of interior space and perks do you need? Will you be using this vehicle as a daily commuter?

How you answer these questions will help you determine which trim line and optional packages will be a better fit. Anything that requires more power will require the V8 engine options from the heavy-duty trim lines. For daily commuters and more all-around options, the light-duty 1500 and 1500 Denali trim lines are a good place to start.

In the end, it is up to you to decide what really matters for your next full-size pickup. The main way to get the best use and productivity along with a great driving experience from a truck is to find the option that fits your budget and overall needs. In other words, the truck that fits you like a glove will be the best option for your money. Anything else is mostly just a waste of time.


Start Your Journey Today

The best way to find out how a Sierra will fit into your lifestyle is to test drive one. Get down to your local dealership to get some expert assistance from qualified GMC salespeople. They will be able to give you all the ins and outs and details you need to make the best decision. They will also answer any particular questions you may have right then and there.

If you don’t want to visit a dealership in person, check out the GMC website or your local dealership website for specific details on the existing lineup and current inventory you have available. There’s nothing like the present to get started on finding that dream truck today.