If you’re searching for a dependable pickup truck with ample power and capability, then the GMC Sierra has got to be one of your choices. This staple of the GMC lineup has been around since 1998. It still continues to offer reliable performance combined with its rugged styling that makes it quite an attractive pick as a daily driver for any worker.
The model has enjoyed continued praise from owners and media, the GMC Sierra 1500 has become a popular option even for those in the used car market. But which model year is perfect for you? Check out some of our top picks for this cousin of the Chevy Silverado and discover the best GMC Sierra years.
1999 Model Year GMC Sierra 1500 (2nd Generation)
The 1999 GMC Sierra 1500, part of the second generation model family, showcases a bold and square design with neat outlines and wide wheel arches. Additionally, this year saw the first edition of the two-tone paint system that added an extra hint of elegance to this hefty truck.
More than just an aesthetically pleasing design, the 1999 GMC Sierra 1500 has made a name for itself as one of the most dependable and reliable GMC Sierra models on the market. Additionally, this solid truck features many useful functions ideal for everyday driving needs.
For the 1999 GMC Sierra 1500, there are several options available. The base trim utilizes a Vortec 4.3-liter V6 engine that produces 200 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque.
There is also the option of a 5.0-liter V8 engine with 255 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque. Depending on the configuration, this engine can be paired with either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission.
When it comes to market price, the used 1999 GMC Sierra 1500 is priced reasonably. Depending on the condition and options of the vehicle, it usually ranges in cost from $1,200 to $6,000.
2006 Model Year GMC Sierra 1500 (2nd Generation)
The 2006 GMC Sierra 1500, our next entry from the second generation of this pickup truck family, brings improved power and performance thanks to its new 6.6L Duramax V8 engine. This advanced engine was designed to provide exceptional fuel efficiency as well as enhanced power and torque figures.
In terms of design, the 2006 GMC Sierra 1500 has a handsome exterior that is slightly more rounded than its predecessors. It also features subtle chrome accents and an aerodynamic design to reduce drag, making it ideal for long drives.
Although the base trim utilizes the 4.3-liter V6 engine with 195 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, you can upgrade to the 5.3-liter V8 engine with 295 horsepower and 335 lb-ft of torque. This engine is also paired with either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission, depending on the configuration.
The market price for a used 2006 GMC Sierra 1500 varies but generally falls between $5,000 and $28,000. This model is well worth the investment if you’re looking for a dependable and powerful pickup truck.
2012 Model Year GMC Sierra 1500 (3rd Generation)
Our next selection is the third-generation 2012 GMC Sierra 1500 pickup truck, which astounds with its modernized design. Not only does this vehicle flaunt a chic aesthetic, but it also holds many advanced technologies like an adjustable suspension system, blind spot monitoring for added safety, forward collision warning alerts to prevent accidents, and even automatic parking assist that makes maneuvering easy.
This isn’t just an attractive truck; it also has a formidable punch. The 2012 GMC Sierra 1500 comes with a standard 4.3-liter V6 engine that can generate 195 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, granting you plenty of power to take your journeys beyond expectation!
This year’s model was made available in a variety of trim levels, ranging from the basic Work Truck up to the luxurious Denali. However, its most impressive aspect is no doubt its 5.3-liter V8 engine with 315 horsepower and 335 lb-ft of torque that gives it an outstanding advantage over competing models.
The 2012 GMC Sierra 1500 is a powerhouse of performance and power that won’t hurt your wallet. Prices for these used vehicles range from an affordable $7,000 to the highest-end option at no more than $28,000, depending on condition and features.
The only caveat that you might run into is its low reliability ratings that this GMC Sierra received compared to the other model years on this list. It averages a 4.3, whereas the others hover around 4.8 reliability rating. It’s probably not going to be a deal-breaker for you, but it’s worth noting.
2020 Model Year GMC Sierra 1500 (5th Generation)
Finally, we arrive at the fifth-generation 2020 GMC Sierra 1500. This model is credited for its reliability and advanced design features that guarantee a comfortable ride.
This pickup truck has a wide selection of gasoline and diesel engines to choose from, including smaller 2.7-liter turbocharged units that offer improved fuel economy while still packing enough power and torque to get the job done.
Not only that, but the 2020 model year also included trailering mirrors and modern technology options like a touchscreen infotainment system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and more.
With plenty of connectivity features, drivers can make their journeys an enjoyable experience every time they hit the road. Add in excellent crash test ratings and you’ve got a winner.
What’s more, customer feedback indicates fewer complaints from owners of the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 compared to the 2019 model year.
The 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 is available in various trim levels with different configurations and power outputs. The base option has a 4.3-liter V6 engine that produces 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque, while the highest level offers an 8-cylinder 6.2-liter engine with 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque.
The market price used for a 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 ranges from $32,000 to $44,000, depending on the model and features included. With its appealing fuel economy and high performance, this is one used truck you don’t want to miss.
What’s the Best GMC Sierra 1500 for You?
With these four GMC Sierra 1500 models to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down your choice. But rest assured that each model offers its own advantages.
It’s important to be aware that excessive oil consumption and engine failure are common GMC Sierra problems in certain model years. But if you stick to these years for the GMC Sierra 1500, you should be in good shape. Just make sure you check to ensure the vehicle you have your eye on doesn’t suffer from any of these frequently reported problems.
Ultimately, the decision of which GMC Sierra 1500 is ideal for you rests in your hands. With a wealth of options to pick from, you are bound to find one that perfectly meets your needs and expectations.
There are known common problems with the GMC Sierra. Just avoid the problematic model years.