Trucks & SUVs

Here’s Why GMC Sierra 1500 Owners Dread Driving Their Truck

GMC is the premium division of General Motors that specializes in upscale trucks and SUVs. By that logic, the GMC Sierra 1500 should be just like the iconic Chevy Silverado 1500 but even better. So, how could anyone go wrong buying one?

Well, the Silverado 1500 has problems of its own. And since GMC and Chevy’s full-size trucks share the same platform, the Sierra 1500 has its fair share of issues as well. This is the last thing you want to hear about a vehicle you rely on to take on tough jobs. 

The GMC Sierra 1500 comes at a premium cost, and many owners expect it to be luxurious and dependable. It’s no wonder why drivers get justifiably upset whenever complications occur.

So, what issues are plaguing GMC Sierra 1500 owners, and what do critics think about this American truck? Let’s take a closer look at the analysis to see if shoppers should avoid this model in the future or if the concerns are overblown.

What do owners have to say?

A gray 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 parked in front of a gray wall
The 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 on display

Truck enthusiasts tend to be loyal toward any brand that can win them over, so it’s best not to get on their wrong side. If a manufacturer releases a sub-par product, it could lose some drivers for good. 

That’s why it’s crucial that every truck redesign goes off without a hitch. Unfortunately for GMC, it seems like its 2019 model year redesign of the Sierra 1500 left some buyers wanting more.

Kelley Blue Book’s consumer reviews are a great indicator of how drivers feel about a particular model. The GMC Sierra doesn’t have an overtly terrible score in KBB’s consumer rating (3.8/5), but it does fare worse off than rivals like the Ford F-150 (4.6/5).

Several owners on KBB found the GMC Sierra 1500’s ride quality to be relatively poor. No one expects a truck like this to drive as smoothly as a sports car, but the last thing drivers want is to be jostled around the cabin.

One KBB reviewer who owns a 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 said, “(The Sierra’s) suspension is a joke! It rides like an old worn-out Lincoln Town Car. This sounds great, except it is a 4WD truck. What seemed like a plush ride during the test drive turned out to be an annoyingly bouncy ride that bottoms out frequently.”

Those scouring the used market for a truck should also be aware of a class-action lawsuit that causes some GM vehicles to shake. The 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 with an eight-speed automatic transmission is one of the models under question. 

One 2019 Sierra owner pointed this issue out in a KBB review, stating, “Not only do I dread driving it for the next shift and jolt. But I would never trust the tranny to pull a small trailer. There is a class action lawsuit for this very problem. I wish I would have done a little homework before this purchase.“

The experts have mixed feelings about the GMC Sierra

The current-generation GMC Sierra (2019-present) has many positive attributes. It’s powerful, handsome, and one of the roomiest trucks in its class. However, some critics raised questions about its long-term dependability.

Consumer Reports also has concerns with this full-size truck, as it gave the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 a 1/5 predicted reliability rating. Additionally, the NHTSA recalled the 2020 Sierra 1500 six times, including for problems with its brake calipers, fuel pump, and driveshaft.

It’s not all doom and gloom for the premium full-size truck. Consumer Reports rated the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 pretty well in its road test and predicted owner satisfaction categories. 

The publication praised the Sierra’s available 5.3-liter V8 and updated eight-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain delivers 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. However, drivers who need a bit more power can upgrade to the available 420-hp 6.2-liter V8, which is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. 

Meanwhile, a 285-hp 4.3-liter V6 connected to a six-speed automatic transmission lies under the hood of the base model. Fuel-efficient turbocharged four-cylinder and diesel engines are also available.

Should you avoid the 2019-21 GMC Sierra 1500?

RELATED: The GMC Sierra 1500 Can’t Compete With the Ford F-150

There’s a reason many shoppers are wary when a new product launches. The redesigned 2019 GMC Sierra proves this point, as it appears to suffer the majority of the truck’s most severe problems. Meanwhile, the 2020 and 2021 Sierra should provide a smoother ride. 

Whether this truck should be worthy of your consideration depends on your trust in GMC. The recent recalls and Consumer Report’s predicated reliability ratings may raise an eyebrow for some shoppers.

However, there aren’t any guarantees that additional problems will arise. If this truck remains problem-free, buyers might find it to be somewhat of a hidden gem. Its top-end power and high-quality materials make it a real contender in the full-size truck segment.