The GMC Sierra has been a reliable family truck since its introduction in 1962, and its reintroduction in 2003 after a short hiatus was met with enthusiasm. In spite of some historical issues with both the 2500 and 1500 models, a recent article by U.S. News and World Report indicates that the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 is still a great family truck, with plenty of room and reasonable safety features.
However, Consumer Reports seems to have a different view of the vehicle, with a less than stellar 2.5 reliability rating. To help you sort through the various reviews and critiques, we’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons of the GMC Sierra’s value as a family vehicle.
Pros of the GMC Sierra 1500:
There are plenty of full-size trucks out there that offer many features that the Sierra has. However, there are a few areas where this truck shines through. Let’s take a look.
The Price is right
The GMC Sierra offers a number of benefits, not the least of which is a reasonable base price or $33,500, although you can easily go over the $50,000 mark with the high-end trims.
Overall, the Sierra’s redesigned 2019 model was found to be comfortable enough, with a roomy interior and comfortable seating, but nothing to write home about.
U.S. News indicated a safety score of 8.3 of 10, largely due to high scores in NHTSA crash tests and standard high-quality safety features such as a rearview camera and teen driver options. This is a huge deal for families and should not be overlooked.
The truck also comes with standard anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights, and traction and stability controls. Other safety features are available with higher trims.
The Sierra’s predicted reliability score per U.S. News is 3.5 out of 5, so greater than average, but not notable.
Family seating & entertainment
The truck offers extended cab options to seat up to 6 adults comfortably. This offers plenty of family-friendly seating, even with child car seats or boosters.
In addition, the Sierra offers a superior infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen and six-speaker audio system. A variety of Bluetooth and WiFi connection options, USB ports, wireless charging, and power outlets will keep everyone connected.
Overall, U.S. News found the Sierra to be a perfectly acceptable family truck, if not particularly exceptional.
Cons of the GMC Sierra 1500
Alternatively, Consumer Reports seems to view the GMC Sierra 1500 in a more negative light. Let’s look over a few critiques of the Sierra to see if they are valid.
Bulky and bumpy
The Sierra’s size seems to be a liability on turns, though the steering is responsive. Along with the clunky feel, the truck offers a rough and uncomfortable ride.
The interior is less impressive than other models in the same class, with fabric seats and bulky, inelegant controls, especially for a vehicle in this price range.
Minimal basic safety features
All safety features aside from the rearview camera and teen driver exist only in the higher-end trims, making the basic safety features acceptable, but hardly noteworthy.
Low reliability & recalls
To date, Consumer Reports does not have a reliability rating for the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500, but the 2017 model had the worst possible reliability rating, 1 of 5, and 2018 was only slightly better.
2017’s low reliability was largely due to recalls for a myriad of issues, including electronic stability control, front airbag failures, brake assist, and child seat vehicle tether anchor. Low-reliability reports were also submitted by customers for choppy transmission and body integrity, specifically weatherproofing.
The 2018 model saw slightly better reliability ratings, but was plagued with the same brake assist and electronic stability control recalls as 2017. Unfortunately, a recall for airbags already on the books for 2019. So it doesn’t seem likely that the Sierra’s reliability rating is going to increase any time soon.