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A popular GMC for sale, a red 2023 GMC Sierra 1500, is shown parked off-road in a forest.

How Does the GMC Sierra 1500 Stand Out Against Its Twin, the Chevy Silverado?

As any twin parent would tell you, twins tend to get compared all the time. People assume they are interchangeable when, in reality, twins are their own people with unique capabilities and personalities. The same can be said of the GMC Sierra 1500 and its twin, the Chevy Silverado 1500.

The Sierra and Silverado compete with each other year after year. They have some similarities, sure, but there are arenas in which one has a clear advantage over the other. When looking for a GMC Sierra for sale, you should weigh its strengths against those of the Chevy Silverado to see if you’re getting the brother best equipped to handle your duties.

These are both full-size trucks with strong capabilities, and they’re known for their rugged athleticism when traveling off the beaten path. While the Silverado offers more variety in terms of trim levels and configurations, the Sierra aims more toward refinement, getting more high-end features and being the first of the two to be outfitted with new technology.

So, how exactly does the GMC Sierra stand apart from the Chevy Silverado? From trims and pricing to interior and exterior design elements, here are some of the ways the Sierra makes its bread…

A white 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4 is showing off-roading.

Trim Levels

There are some noticeable price differences between the Silverado and Sierra trim levels. Given how General Motors equips its trim levels, the Sierra markets faster than the Silverado; the SLE, Elevation, SLT, Denali, AT4, Denali Ultimate, and AT4X all pack in a lot of features for the price. The AT4 and AT4X trim levels are off-road oriented and come with standard four-wheel drive (4WD).

When it comes to value, however, the SLE delivers the most for the least. The SLE comes with a 13.4-inch touchscreen display, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, wireless smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a ten-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats upholstered in cloth, a heated steering wheel, SiriusXM Satellite Radio trial access, Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity, and a six-way adjustable tailgate.

The Denali and Denali Ultimate are expensive, sure, but GM goes all-out on making these trim levels feel truly luxurious. Powered by a strong 6.2L V8 engine that delivers power directly to all four wheels, the Denali trims also boast an array of advanced technology; for example, you get a Bose 12-speaker premium sound system, a wireless charging dock for compatible smartphones, and heated rear outboard seats. Best of all, the front seats come with a built-in massaging function—an indispensable feature for curing muscle fatigue.

The Silverado’s trims employ fewer features, but these trims are also lower in cost. The six-way adjustable tailgate is not available for the Silverado, as are the massaging seats. A lot of features—such as Super Cruise and the head-up display—that become standard on the Sierra’s higher trim levels remain eternally optional on the Silverado.

The Silverado LT with the short bed and crew cab is akin to the Sierra SLE in terms of price, and they share infotainment and digital cluster displays. Thus, the former is equipped with a ten-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and heating on the steering wheel and front seats. All things considered, the Sierra might cost more, but it undeniably has the advantage in terms of overall value; you’ll get far more features for your dollar, even if you do have to spend more dollars.

A blue GMC Sierra 1500 Denali is shown parked on grass.


GM outfits both the Sierra 1500 and Silverado 1500 with four-core engines: the 2.7L Turbo four-cylinder gets you 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque; the 3.0L Turbo-Diesel six-cylinder produces 305 hp and 495 lb-ft of torque; the 5.3L V8 generates 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque; and the 6.2L V8 nets you a stunning 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque.

Rear-wheel drive (RWD) is standard to start for both trucks, but most trim levels allow you to outfit your ride with 4WD, which includes a two-speed transfer case. With the 2.7L Turbo, your payload capacity sits at 2,260 lbs with RWD and at 2,140 lbs with 4WD. The 5.3L has a payload capacity of 2,180 (RWD) or 2,110 lbs (4WD); the 6.2L can handle 1,980 lbs; and the 3.0L maxes out at 1,970 (RWD) or 1,960 lbs (4WD).

The 2.7L Turbo’s max towing capacity is 9,500 lbs (RWD) or 9,300 lbs (4WD). On the 5.3L, it is 11,300 (RWD) or 11,000 lbs (4WD); the Silverado’s 6.2L tows 13,300 lbs (4WD only), while the Sierra manages a solid 13,000 lbs. The Silverado’s 3.0L Turbo-Diesel tows up to 13,300 (RWD) or 13,000 lbs (4WD), and the Sierra’s tows 13,200 lbs.

In other words, they’re all pretty competitive in terms of capabilities. However, the Sierra 1500 gets the advantage thanks to its direct electric-assist power-steering system, which you cannot get on the Silverado 1500.

Fuel Economy

The differences in fuel economy are minimal at best, but they do exist. The Sierra 1500 has a higher curb weight since it has way more equipment; it can be anywhere from 30 to 200 lbs or so above the Silverado’s offerings. Transmissions on these trucks have a plethora of gears; for the sake of fuel efficiency, the V8s can even shut down up to six cylinders to conserve more while cruising.

The Turbo four-cylinder engines get 1 MPG more than the V8s, and both trucks come with 24-gallon tanks on the crew and extended cab models. The Sierra 1500 might be heavier than the Silverado, but given that their fuel economies are so similar, the Sierra gets a subtle advantage here, too.

The black dash of a 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 is shown.

Interior / Exterior

The Sierra sets itself leaps and bounds ahead of the Silverado in terms of style. Both vehicles can be customized in a number of ways on the outside, and they both look chic and athletic.

There are plenty of cab and bed configurations available, plus the wheel sizes range anywhere from 17 to 22 inches. You can tell the difference between these trucks based on their wheel arches; the Silverado has more rounded arches, while the Sierra comes with boxy wheel arches. The front grilles are similarly broader in design.

The Denali and higher trims are more refined, with plenty of chrome trim and cabins of greater luxury. For instance, the Silverado has more hard plastics, while the Sierra offers some nice soft-touch surfaces. The Denali’s wood trim and high-grade leather upholstery make the Sierra come off as truly luxurious—better than anything the Silverado can muster.

Is One Truck Better Than the Other?

The GMC Sierra 1500 and Chevy Silverado sure are a lot alike. GM produces them both as competition against other automakers’ full-size pickups, and both are fantastic options with many great features inside them. They are capable of handling tough terrain and can tow and haul heavy loads against the very best of their segment.

While you might be tempted to save more money by buying the Chevy Silverado 1500, the GMC Sierra 1500 offers an immense amount of value. There are many nice features that you can get equipped on the Sierra 1500. Even though these make it a tad heavier than the Silverado 1500, there is not a noticeable difference in terms of power or fuel economy. Consider testing a Sierra 1500 out for yourself to see just how luxurious it feels and how easily it drives.