2023 GMC Sierra 1500 Review: This Luxurious Beast Is Incredibly Durable
2023 GMC Sierra 1500 review highlights:
- 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 – $37,100 – $80,500
- Best of What’s New Award – Popular Science
- Pros: Excellent off-roading capabilities, smooth ride, well-planned interior
- Cons: Weak fuel economy, limited visibility, prices climb quickly
- Score: 8.4 out of 10
A stout redesign in 2022 put the GMC Sierra 1500 back on the map as a serious competitor. It’s similar to the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 but has more luxurious features to enhance work, play, and daily commuting.
There are tons of configurations, allowing drivers to find the perfect option for individual needs. Choose between a single-cab, double-cab, or four-door crew cab with beds ranging from 5.8 to 8.2 feet.
The four-engine options include an impressive diesel variant with plenty of torque and a powerful 6.2-liter V8 option. This truck has the third highest towing capacity at 13,200 lbs with a lavish tech-filled interior that includes a vibrant 13.2-inch touchscreen with tons of camera views.
2023 Sierra 1500: What’s new?
The 2023 Sierra 1500 is primarily a carryover option from 2022.
- The AT4X AEV Eddition builds upon its off-roading capabilities with steel bumpers, a winch, additional skid plates, and beefier tires.
- Also, the Sierra Safety Plus package is now standard with the AT4 trim.
- It’s part of the fourth Sierra 1500 generation that was introduced in 2019.
Which GMC Sierra 1500 trim is best?
There are eight 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 trims:
- GMC Sierra 1500 Pro: $37,100
- SLV: $47,700
- Elevation: $49,300
- SLT: $53,200
- Denali: $63,800
- AT4: $64,400
- AT4X: $77,500
- Denali Ultimate: $80,500
The GMC Sierra 1500 SLT trim creates a nice balance of features for comfort and work. It makes things more practical for professional use with benefits for the entire family, such as heated seats, additional USB ports, remote start, cruise control, and the MultiPro tailgate.
However, the Denali Ultimate trim is hard to resist with the unique Super Cruise semi-automated driving system.
How does the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 drive?
The 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 has an impressive amount of power on tap. The standard 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine kicks things off with 310 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque. You can upgrade to the 5.3-liter V8 engine for 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque.
We’ve tested the turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six diesel engine with 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque and the 6.2-liter V8 with 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. The V8 is faster, but the diesel does a lot better on fuel.
The four-cylinder and 5.3-liter engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The other engines get a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Overall, the Sierra 1500 has a smooth power delivery with quick gear shifts and confident brakes. However, at lower speeds, the brakes could provide a little more feedback. It takes a little practice to master smooth stops.
With the 6.2-liter V8 engine, the Sierra 1500 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 5.4 seconds, which is pretty exciting. You may notice a little heft around sharp curves, depending on the trim level. But it corners well. The Denali Ulitmate is more composed than the AT4X.
The turning radius ranges between 22.35 to 25.35 feet, depending on your build. The truck is nimble and easy to park.
The multiple camera views and the 360-degree overview camera make it easy to maneuver in tight areas. However, the AT4X swings out wider than expected, but it doesn’t take long to get used to.
Can the 2023 GMC Sierra go off-roading?
Yes, the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 is a stout off-roader. We’ve taken the Denali Ultimate, and the AT4X on the trails, and the AT4X has notable upgrades to consider. However, the Denali Ultimate is still an excellent option for joyriding.
There might not be a super off-roading model like the Ford F-150 Raptor R and the Ram 1500 TRX in the line-up, but the Sierra is perfectly capable of climbing over obstacles and powering through mud and ruts.
The AT4X trim has an 11.8-inch ground clearance and rides on 18-inch wheels wrapped in 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Mud-Terrain tires. The suspension includes an off-road-specific chassis and calibrations.
Unique off-road tuned springs are paired with Multmatic DSSV spool-valve dampers to increase suspension travel by 50 mm and 25 mm compared to the AT4 model. The steel bumpers had winching capabilities and red recovery hooks.
A larger steel transfer case shield protects the chassis, and you’ll find e-lockers in the front and rear.
We enjoyed the Off-Raod mode more than the Terrian Mode. The Terrain Mode is a little stiffer but fine for casual adventures. The Off-Road mode is more comfortable, with a stronger brake response. Most trucks offer different modes for snow or mud, but these options are efficient.
In the mud, slush, and ice, the Sierra felt confident and in control. It was resistant to slipping and sliding, with plenty of traction to climb over slick inclines. We slipped more than the truck did while getting out to capture footage.
Use the one-pedal rock crawling mode to take some of the work out of the process. You don’t have to worry about keeping a foot on the brake.
Is the GMC Sierra 1500 comfortable?
Yes, the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 is quite comfortable, though it may not be as smooth as the Ram 1500. The Denali Ulitmate trim glides over the pavement with silky refinement, but the AT4X trim is slightly bumpier.
It’s impressive over gravel, dirt, and trails through the woods. Significant impacts are quickly settled without sending vibrations through the cabin. Also, the interior is pretty quiet, but the larger tires on the AT4X trim contribute to wind and road noise at higher speeds.
You don’t have to raise your voice to cover the noise, and the audio system covers it pretty nicely. Also, the diesel and 6.2-liter V8 provide low, throaty engine roars upon hard acceleration.
The 16-way power front seats are massive, well-padded, and have tons of adjustment controls. They provide hours of comfort on and off the pavement. The heated and ventilated seats are strong and effective, and the automatic climate controls automatically adjust to temperature fluctuations.
The rear seats are a bit stiffer but provide plenty of comfort for adults to stretch out and relax. They have a relaxed incline level with tons of knee room and head space. The middle seat isn’t impacted by a large bump in the middle of the floor like you’ll find in the Toyota Tundra.
Is the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 interior nice?
Yes, the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 has a well-crafted, durable interior filled with high-quality materials such as full-grain leather upholstery and pops of authentic Vanta Ash wood trim pieces.
Dual-tone designs, aluminum trim, and accent stitching attract the eye. Plus, the suede headliner and plush carpeting add a sense of luxury refinement. However, the AT4X has rubberized weather mats with carpet inserts that attract mud. They add a bit to the cleaning process.
Overall, the layout is well-planned and convenient. Everything you need is easily within each. Shorter folks may have a difficult time itching the edge of the massive touchscreen, but there are buttons on the steering wheel and physical controls that are easier to access.
The Sierra has a smaller sunroof than its rivals, but it allows plenty of natural light to enter the cabin. Also, the board hood and thick C-pillars limit visibility, but the camera views make up for the difference.
The optional running boards and rock sliders help make up for the higher entry-level, and there are plenty of handles to grab while climbing in. The doors open wide to help make installing child seats and loading cargo easier.
How is the GMC Sierra 1500’s tech?
The 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 can be a little distracting at first because buttons are everywhere! There are plenty of things to select around the steering wheel and 13.4-inch infotainment display.
It’s powered by Google and works very quickly. The built-in navigation is solid and never lost connection in areas without cellphone coverage. Also, the built-in Wi-fi hotspot has a speedy connection.
The head-up display provides crucial driver information without being distracting, and you can adjust its height and stats. You can remove those options if you don’t want to see the speed limit or compass.
It took a bit of time to figure out the digital gauge cluster, but it provides tons of helpful information, such as your pitch and roll, directions, and fuel economy.
We’re impressed by the optional premium Bose audio systems that deliver crisp, high-quality sound. It’s easy to connect your phone with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. Plus, the wireless phone charging pad is in a convenient, secure spot where your phone stays put.
There is an optional speaker system that’s built into the tailgate with Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, and an auxiliary port to play your favorite tunes at the construction site or tailgate.
Does the Sierra 1500 have a good fuel economy?
The 2023 Gmc Sierra 1500 is a bit thirsty. It gets an EPA-estimated 15 mpg in the city and up to 20 mpg on the highway with 4WD equipped. We hovered around 16 mpg while on the highway and around town. Off-roading dropped our fuel economy to about 11.6 mpg.
You can do better with the diesel engine that gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and up to 33 mpg on the highway. However, we got about 22 mpg on the highway and 16 mpg while off-roading.
How does the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 do with cargo space and towing?
The 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 can tow up to 13,200 lbs and carry a payload of up to 2,270 lbs. Features such as the in-bed camera view, trailer-hitch view, trailer blind-spot monitoring, and the integrated trailer brake controller come in handy.
The optional carbon-fiber composite bed is extremely durable. Also, access to the bed is easy thanks to built-in corner bumper steps. The bed has plenty of tie-downs and a 120-volt outlet to power devices.
You can do a lot with the MultiPro tailgate. It turns into a step with a handle that can hold up to 375 lbs. It extends to make the truckbed longer and becomes a helpful tool shelf.
Storage is one of the areas where the Sierra really shines. There are tons of trays, storage cubbies, and cup holders to take advantage of. The glove box is massive, and there is a bonus cubby above the glove box.
The floor in the back is mostly flat, and it only takes a second to fold the seats up. Some trims include an organization tray under the rear seats.
How safe is the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500?
According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 is pretty safe. The structure and roll cage could use some improvement, but the roof strength earned a ‘Good’ score, which is the highest score possible.
It earned a ‘Good’ score in most of the safety crash tests, but it did get a few ‘Acceptable,’ ‘Marginal,’ and ‘Poor’ ratings. The child seats earned a ‘Marginal’ score because the tethers are located too deeply in the seats and could be confused with other hardware.
The safety features in the Sierra didn’t seem too sensitive or intrusive. But they do cause the bottom of your seat to vibrate, which can be surprising at times.
Standard safety features include:
- Forward collision warning
- Automatic emergency braking
- Lane-departure warning
- Lane-keeping assistance,
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Rear-cross traffic alert
How reliable is the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500?
According to U.S.News, J.D.Power gave the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 a reliability ranking of 86 out of 100. This is an above-average score. Anything between 91 and 100 is the best, but scores between 81 and 90 are great. Scores between 70 to 80 are average.
The GMC Sierra 1500 is expected to reach 250,000 miles before needing expensive repairs. Some models easily surpass 300,000 miles, and a few examples are still going with over 400,000 miles on the odometer. It’s a durable truck that’s meant to last.
It costs about $744 to maintain the GMC Sierra 1500 annually. This is a bit higher than the average industry cost of $652.
MotorBiscuit provides the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 with a score of 8.4 out of 10
The experts at MotorBiscuit award the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 with a score of 8.4 out of 10. While the GMC Sierra 1500 is comfortable, durable, and has excellent off-roading chops, the Ram 1500 is still a bit more comfortable.
Moving up in trim levels provides access to a well-crafted, plush interior. However, prices jump pretty quickly. The Sierra has an impressive amount of cargo space to take advantage of with easy access.
Also, the tech is quite innovative, but the dash is pretty cluttered with buttons. The camera systems and off-roading modes are easy to use, but the digital gauge cluster could be more intuitive. Plus, the SuperCruise tech is limited to the Denali Ultimate trim.
The upgrades from 2022 provide significant improvements to consider, and we hope to take the AT4X AEV model for a spin through the woods soon.