3 Great GMC Sierra 1500 Alternatives for Less Than $35,000

The GMC Sierra 1500 offers plenty of features for a full-size pickup, making it an excellent choice when shopping in its class. The Sierra falls mid-range in the market when it comes to budget-friendly trucks. It’s not the most expensive, but it can’t claim to be the most inexpensive either. Let’s look at three alternative trucks that offer enough features but are priced at under $35,000. 

1. Ram 1500 Classic 

A Ram 1500, comparable to the GMC Sierra 1500 alternatives available.
2022 Ram 1500 | Stellantis

One of the best alternatives you can get is the Ram 1500 Classic because this model has two trims under $35,000 to start. The Tradesman, which is the base begins at $30,235. With this model, you can expect a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 VVT engine producing 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. It also comes with heavy-duty front and rear shock absorbers, a UConnect 3 system with a 5-inch screen, and a new air filtration setup. 

Next in line is the Express trim, which has the same engine as the Tradesman. It offers body-colored front fascia and rear bumper, 17-inch aluminum wheels painted, and fog lamps. The price starts at $31,735, according to Ram.

A 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine is available for both models, generating 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. You can also get the RamBox Cargo Management System.

As with any vehicle, the Ram 1500 Classic has its drawbacks. Some critics aren’t too pleased with the awkward pickup entry, which requires running boards to step into. However, those are optional pieces that you would have to add on. 

The V8’s fuel economy is poor, at only 15 mpg combined. The V6 offers better ratings, but it isn’t able to handle towing as well as the V8. 

2. Ford F-150

Ford’s F-150 is a great alternative to the GMC Sierra 1500 with its most notable towing capabilities, useful interior enhancements to help you work, and an onboard generator (offered with a PowerBoost engine). 

Powering it up are several different engines, according to Ford. You will get standard units that range from a 3.3-liter Ti-VCT V6 to a 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8. As an option on the Lariat trims up to the Limited model, you can opt for a 3.5-liter PowerBoost Full-Hybrid V6 setup. Paired with all engines is a 10-speed automatic transmission. 

Some features you can expect with the base model are pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, dual-note horn, single-zone air conditioner, and post-collision braking. The interior work surface is optional. Pricing for the Ford F-150 begins at $31,520.

However, there are some drawbacks, as noted by some critics. Its ride quality isn’t up to par, and fuel economy falls short, especially with its hybrid 4WD model, which offers only 23 mpg on the highway.

3. Chevy Silverado

Another affordable alternative to the GMC Sierra 1500 is the Chevy Silverado. While most models fall within the higher-priced range, the base version comes under $35,000. 

The WT (base trim) is your basic work truck that offers a fair amount of features, such as 12 standard tie-downs, a corner step rear bumper, a Durabed, and Chevy’s Safety Assist package, to name a few. The price begins at $34,600, and it comes with a 2.7 Turbo High Output engine generating 310 hp. 

According to Chevrolet, The other trims offer a 5.3-liter V8 producing 355 hp and a 6.2-liter V8. A Duramax 3.0-liter Turbo-Diesel is available for the Custom Trail Boss, LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ, and High Country models. 

The cons for the Silverado are important enough to note, though. You’ll want to be careful with its past engine issues. However, with the added 10-speed transmission, fewer complaints have come through. Also, a paint chipping problem and some electronic issues have been noted by a few drivers. 

There’s no denying the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 is one of the best full-size pickup trucks out there. However, if you need something more in your price range, the Ram 1500 Classic, Ford F-150, and Chevy Silverado are good alternative trucks for under $35,000. 

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