If there’s one class of driver that knows what’s best for them, it’s the pickup truck drivers. They do their research, and many of the most popular pickup trucks in America have earned that status by proving their worth; you can’t fake perfection. However, one pickup truck many drivers are flocking to is the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500. The GMC Sierra 1500 is a popular pickup truck, and the 2023 model is slated to keep up its popularity because it’s a vehicle drivers can rely on to make the workday easier.
The 2023 GMC Sierra has a starting price of $37,200 for the base model, the Pro.[a] At the base level, the Sierra 1500 gives you a fully-fledged GMC experience with few exceptions. The GMC Pro performs admirably, but GMC allows drivers to customize their truck with an additional powertrain to opt for and an available six-function multipro tailgate, among others. The Pro is a fantastic value proposition given its specs, but those looking to enhance their trucking experience in many ways, like performance, luxury, and technology, should consider a higher-tier trim like the SLE, Elevation, SLT, the off-road-ready AT4 or AT4X, the Denali, and legendary Denali Ultimate with the strongest available engine coming standard and a trove of features at no additional cost.
GMC offers drivers plenty of ways of achieving their desired performance with the 2023 Sierra 1500. There are four available engine options for the Sierra 1500, all of which offer exceptional performance, and some are more fuel-efficient than others. The standard engine is a turbocharged 2.7L I-4 engine paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Many drivers will get what they’re looking for with the base engine. Given that it's the only engine of the bunch to include the 8-speed transmission rather than the 10-speed automatic transmission, some drivers understandably might not need more.
The base turbocharged engine produces 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque, along with a maximum towing capacity of 9,400 lbs. Some drivers may recall the Sierra 1500’s base model used to tow 7,900 lbs, but that’s because of a 4.3L V6 engine which hasn’t been used in the lineup since the 2021 model. Regardless of which configuration you pick with your 2023 Sierra 1500, the payload capacity remains a favorable 2,240 lbs. Because the base engine is turbocharged, it has the second most fuel-efficient ratings of the bunch, with an EPA-estimated rating of 19 MPG in the city and 22 MPG on the highway.
The next available engine, which is available on the Pro, SLE, and Elevation, and standard on the SLT and Denali, is a 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine that increases the output to 355 hp but a slightly decreased 383 lb-ft of torque. The main draw to the 5.3L V8 engine is its maximum towing capacity of 11,100 lbs, a 195% increase over the base engine.
A subgroup of drivers will be pleased to know GMC has retained the Sierra 1500’s popular Duramax Turbo-Diesel 3.0L I-6 engine, which will undoubtedly satisfy the drivers looking for the engine with the best towing capacity and fuel efficiency. Turbo-diesel engines provide the best of both worlds, and the one inside the Sierra 1500 is no exception. The Turbo-Diesel 3.0L I-6 engine is available on the SLE, Elevation, SLT, Denali, and Denali Ultimate but comes standard with the AT4. With the turbo-diesel engine, the Sierra 1500 outputs 305 hp and 495 lb-ft of torque, and the towing capacity is increased to 13,200 lbs, nearly 18% more than the 5.3L V8 and 40% more than the turbocharged 2.7L V8 engine.
Lastly, a massive 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 engine is available on the SLT, AT4, and Denali but comes standard on the AT4X and Denali Ultimate. With the 6.2L V8 engine, the Sierra 1500 creates a hearty 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. With a slightly lower torque output than the turbo-diesel engine, the 420 hp offsets this quite well, and the Sierra 1500 can still tow 13,000 lbs with the engine.
The 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 has more features than you’ll know what to do with. Whether you purchase the base model or a higher-trim, the Sierra 1500 will give you an enjoyable experience stacked with exciting features, some of which you certainly won’t find on every pickup truck. For example, GMC utilizes Super Cruise in the Sierra 1500, a technology that debuted with the Chevy Bolt EUV. Super Cruise is a technology that brings us one step closer to the world of autonomous driving.
The underlying nature of Super Cruise is rather complex, but from the driver’s point-of-view, it’s a seamless experience. GM has been making more roads compatible with Super Cruise; over 200,000 miles are compatible across the United States. When you’re driving on a compatible road, the light bar on the steering wheel turns green, and once it’s done so, you can take your foot off the gas and your hands off the wheel. Not only will the Sierra 1500 provide steering input, but it’ll also accelerate and decelerate depending on the surrounding traffic situation. While you still need to be alert while using this feature, it does provide added relief and comfort on those long trips.
It’s also worth mentioning the GMC Pro Safety suite comes standard on the Sierra 1500, no matter which model you purchase. Pickup trucks are some of the safest vehicles on the road because of their durable frames, but the advanced safety features of the GMC Pro Safety take reliability to a new level. Which features come with this safety suite? With GMC Pro Safety, your Sierra 1500 comes with features like lane departure warning coupled with lane keep assist, and for autonomous braking, there’s a forward collision alert working in unison with automatic emergency braking and front pedestrian braking. Also coming standard with the Sierra 1500 are IntelliBeam headlights that automatically dim and brighten depending on current road conditions and oncoming traffic.
The only screen size for the Sierra 1500’s infotainment center is a massive 13.4-inch touchscreen, which measures larger than most laptops. With the more widescreen design of the infotainment center, it truly looks spectacular. With the infotainment center, features like a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot are available, along with features like wireless Apple CrarPlay and Android Auto, and include software designed to make the lives of towing enthusiasts easier, like the ProGrade Trailering System.
The ProGrade Trailering System includes features like a digital checklist to check the temperature of your trailer’s tires and how much air is in them. Alternatively to the infotainment center’s Prograde Trailering System, you can download an app to your iPhone or Android device that gives you much of the same info but is available when you’re outside the vehicle. However, the infotainment center is also the viewport for the fourteen camera angles you can switch between, including highly-helpful ones like bird’s-eye and the transparent trailer view to see vehicles behind your trailer.
There’s plenty of room for cargo with the Sierra 1500, whether you’re storing belongings in the truck bed or utilizing the maximum 13,200 lbs of towing capacity. With a payload capacity of 2,240 lbs, you can fit heavy cargo in the back of your truck, but that’s not what makes the bed of the Sierra 1500 as special as it is. With the Sierra 1500, you get the Multi-Pro Tailgate which not only opens the traditional way of pulling the door down, but there are a total of six ways to open the tailgate. One of the most useful ways to utilize the Multi-Pro Tailgate includes opening the step so you can climb into the truck with ease.
Another crucial function is the load stop, which functions as a barrier to prevent cargo from falling out, and extends further outwards past the back of the truck, which allows for longer cargo to be stored with zero risk of it falling out of the back while traveling. Alternatively, you can use the tailgate to create a work surface, whether you need a spot to put your clipboard, laptop, beverage, and more. The Multi-Pro Tailgate changes how truck drivers access their cargo, and once you’ve owned a truck with one, you won’t want to go back.
The Sierra 1500 can be purchased with one of three available bed lengths, which include short, standard, and long beds. As the payload capacity remains the same across the board, the size of your truck bed will dictate how long your cargo can be, not how heavy. With the short bed, the 2023 Sierra 1500 offers 62.9 cu.ft. of space, which increases to 71.7 cu.ft. on the standard bed, a nearly 14% expansion. However, if you need to maximize the versatility of your pickup truck, you should opt for a Sierra 1500 with a long bed because of its impressive 89.1 cu.ft of space. It's a 24% improvement over the standard bed and a sizable 41.6% more than the short bed.