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Used cars comes with risks because it doesn’t have a warranty. However, if you’re in the market for a used GMC pickup truck, you’re in luck. Three Sierra 1500 model years have withstood the test of time and feature the highest predicted reliability scores. 

Closeup of the dealership license plate holder surround on a GMC SUV.
A truck dealership | Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Best used GMC Sierra model years

In a recent review of the “Best Used Full-Size Trucks under $25K for 2023,” U.S. News ranked 70 pickup truck model years from best to worst. The review included Ram, GMC, Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota, Cadillac, and Nissan trucks. Overall, 10 used GMC Sierra model years made the list, three of those occupying the top four spots. 

2010 GMC Sierra 1500

The 2010 GMC Sierra 1500 placed second on the used truck list, behind the 2013 Ram 1500, thanks to its low price, trim variety, and available engine offerings. Used 2010 Sierra prices range from $8,213 to $18,288 compared to its original MSRP range of $20,850 to $46,435. 

The base Sierra is a regular cab Work Truck (WT) trim with two-wheel drive (2WD) and a 119-inch wheelbase. On the other hand, the range-topping, all-wheel drive (AWD) 143.5-inch wheelbase crew cab 2010 GMC Sierra Denali carries the highest price and the most luxury. Other trims such as SLE, SL, and SLT combine various cab configurations, drivetrains, and engine options to fill different needs. 

The base 195-horsepower 4.3-liter V6 gets 15 mpg city and 20 mpg highway in the 2WD WT Sierra. At the highest trim level, the Sierra Denali comes with a 6.2-liter V8 with 403 horsepower and 12 mpg city and 19 mpg highway fuel mileage estimates. Other engine options include a 4.8-liter V8 with 302 horsepower and a 5.3-liter V8 with 315 horsepower, with fuel mileage ratings similar to the V6’s. 

2011 GMC Sierra 1500

The top 2011 full-size pickup, the 2011 Sierra placed third on the best used pickup truck list. Prices for a used 2011 Sierra fall between $9,465 and $17,123, but the original MSRP ranged from $21,235 to over $47,000. 

Trim levels remained unchanged from the previous model year, with the 119-inch wheelbase regular cab 2WD WT representing the lowest-priced version. In addition, the 143.5-inch wheelbase crew cab Sierra Denali with AWD remains at the upper end of the lineup. 

Like the previous model year, the 2WD 2011 Sierra WT features a 4.3-liter V6 with 195 horsepower that gets 15 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway. However, bumping up to the AWD Sierra Denali lowers fuel economy to 12 mpg city and 18 mpg highway thanks to its 403-horsepower 6.2-liter V8. 

2012 GMC Sierra 1500

The 2012 Sierra 1500 was the top-rated full-size pickup truck when it was new. It also tied with five other trucks for fourth on the U.S. News “Best Used Full-Size Trucks under $25K.” The original MSRP range for the 2012 Sierra started at $22,195 and topped out at $48,610, with used prices dropping between $10,978 and $18,796.

The lowest level 2WD regular cab 119-inch wheelbase Sierra WT featured a 4.3-liter V6. The same SLE, SL, and SLT trim levels, along with other V8 engine options, fall between the WT and the upscale AWD crew cab Sierra Denali with its 6.2-liter V8. 

The engine options include the base 4.3-liter V6 with 195 hp, a 15 mpg city, and a 20 mpg highway rating. The 2012 Siera SLE features a 302-horsepower 4.8-liter V8, and the SLT uses a 5.3-liter V8 with 315 horsepower.

While those 2WD options get similar fuel economy, the AWD Denali has a 6.2-liter V8 with 403 horsepower that drops the fuel mileage rating to 12 mpg city and 18 mpg highway. 

Is a used GMC Sierra worth buying? 

A used GMC Sierra 1500 represents one of the best options for a used full-size pickup truck under $25K. With a wide range of cab configurations and seating for up to six people, the Sierra offers a substantial capability for towing and hauling loads. The GMC Sierra also provides comfortable accommodations, whether you’re spending hours on a road trip or exploring rutted dirt roads in the backcountry. 


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