The GMC Sierra 1500 pickup has never been a top-seller in the segment. Always competing with truck giants like Ford and Chevy, the Sierra 1500 has struggled to keep up. Not as popular as the rest, GMC has still earned a reputation for making decent, reliable trucks. But as GMC has improved the Sierra and grown its fan base over the years, there’s one model year that the brand absolutely needs to redo, and here’s why.
The 2017 GMC Sierra simply missed the mark
The GMC Sierra 1500, has never been among the top-sellers in the pickup segment. But the third generation Sierra pushed the pickup farther up into the ranks, redesigned for the 2014 model year. According to Consumer Reports, every model year in the third generation (2014-2018) receive an average owner satisfaction rating and reliability verdict.
That is, except for one: the 2017 GMC Sierra. While the 2017 model year receives a cool rating of three (out of five) in owner satisfaction, it receives the lowest possible score of one in reliability. These astonishingly low scores beg the question: what went wrong with the 2017 model?
What’s wrong with the 2017 GMC Sierra?
Out of 12 other 2017 pickup trucks, the GMC Sierra places near the bottom of them all in reliability. And according to Consumer Reports, the 2017 GMC Sierra 1500 comes with the lowest possible score of one (out of five) in reliability for good reason. Although reliability seems decent in certain areas, like the engine, electric system, and exhaust, there are many other trouble spots.
When compared to the average truck model of that year, the GMC Sierra has roughly 18 percent more problems. In fact, Consumer Reports gives its extremely low reliability score to the 2017 model for poor performance in transmission, body integrity, fuel system, brakes, power equipment, and in-car electronics. This model year is also associated with five NHTSA recalls, which cover problems with the brakes, as well as non-deploying airbags.
It’s not just Consumer Reports gathering problems owners have with the 2017 GMC Sierra. CarComplaints.com compiled all owner-reported issues for the truck, and out of 39 total 2017 model complaints, the majority of them fall into the transmission category. More than 20 people complain that their Sierra shifts hard in and out of gear, the transmission slips and jerks, or it downshifts too hard.
It should come as no surprise that the 2017 GMC Sierra is also at the bottom of the bottom in owner satisfaction. Although its Consumer Reports’ owner satisfaction score appears average, only 61 percent of surveyed owners said they would buy the same truck again.
Out of 15 2017 models, the GMC Sierra falls to the 13th spot in customer satisfaction. While 72 percent of the current 2017 Sierra owners seem satisfied with the driving experience, only 69 percent are satisfied with its comfort and 55 percent feel they’ve received what they paid for.
There’s no doubt GMC regrets the 2017 model year
The 2017 model year proved to GMC that it needed to upgrade the Sierra 1500 and do it quickly, as 2018 was the last year we saw the third generation pickup. Even though Sierra sales could never compete with numbers from its biggest rivals, the brand saw a steady increase in sales year-after-year from 2010 onward.
But according to GM Authority, the 2017 GMC Sierra halted that consistent climb, selling 217,943 the entire year. The previous year (2016) tallied nearly 222,000, while the following year (2018) reached slightly higher to nearly 220,000. GMC has been attempting to regain ground ever since.