Used Car Review

2009 GMC Sierra 1500: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Ron Sessions September 2015

The 2009 GMC Sierra 1500 is loaded with styling and equipment upgrades that make it a cut above a Chevrolet. It's available as a 2- to 3-passenger 2-door regular cab, a 4- to 5-passenger extended cab or a 5- to 6-passenger 4-door crew cab. The extended cab offers two full-size front doors and a pair of rear-hinged half-length suicide rear doors with a fold-down rear seat. The regular cabs come with a standard 6.5-foot bed or a long 8-foot bed. Extended cabs offer a short 5.7-foot bed, a standard 6.5-foot bed and a long 8-foot bed. With two seat rows, the crew cab comes exclusively with the 5.7-foot bed.

Both rear-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive are offered, and 4-wheel anti-lock brakes are standard. Safety gear includes dual-stage front airbags and a warning for low tire pressure, as well as optional overhead airbags. OnStar and SiriusXM radio are standard. Maximum towing capacity rises to 10,700 pounds.

For 2009, stability control is standard with the V8 engines. The 2-wheel-drive (2WD) XFE fuel economy special-edition model debuts with aerodynamic enhancements, a 5.3-liter V8, a 6-speed automatic and an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of 15 miles per gallon in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. Hands-free Bluetooth is available with OnStar. Crew cabs are available with a backup camera display in the rearview mirror.

Navigation, a power sunroof, 20-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, power adjustable pedals, remote starting, rear parking assist, a power-sliding rear window, rear-seat entertainment, cargo management, rain-sensing wipers and power heated leather front seats with memory are available on the Denali and upper trims. Also available is an optional integrated brake controller.

What We Like

Interior quality; dual glove boxes on Work Truck and SLE trims; OnStar; available stability control; V8 performance

What We Don't

No manual transmission; small air-conditioning and audio buttons on SLT and Denali trims

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

2009 GMC Sierra 1500 regular and extended cabs are available with a 4.3-liter V6 that makes 195 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. 2WD versions are rated by the EPA at 15 mpg city/20 mpg hwy, while 4-wheel-drive (4WD) versions get a 14 mpg city/18 mpg hwy rating. All use regular unleaded and a 4-speed automatic transmission.

A 4.8-liter V8 is available on regular, extended and crew cabs. It develops 295 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque. EPA ratings are 14 mpg city/19 mpg hwy for the 2WD version and 14 mpg city/18 mpg hwy on the 4WD version.

The 5.3-liter V8 is available on regular, extended and crew cabs, and some versions have E85 flex-fuel capability. Depending on calibration, output is 315-320 hp and 338-340 lb-ft of torque, and EPA ratings are 15 mpg city/20 mpg hwy for 2WD models and 14 mpg city/19 mpg hwy for 4WD models. Active Fuel Management (AFM) idles four cylinders during light cruising to boost fuel economy. For 2009, a 6-speed automatic transmission is standard.

SLE and SLT models can option up to a 6.0-liter V8 with 367 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque as part of a heavy-duty trailering package, which isn't available on regular cabs. EPA ratings are 14 mpg city/19 mpg hwy for 2WD models and 13 mpg city/18 mpg hwy on 4WD models. The 6.0-liter V8 uses fuel-saving AFM and a 6-speed automatic, as well.

The Sierra Denali comes standard with an all-aluminum 6.2-liter V8 with 403 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque, updated for 2009 with E85 capability. It's teamed with a 6-speed automatic. Running premium unleaded, it's rated at 13 mpg city/19 mpg hwy with 2WD and 12 mpg city/19 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive.

Standard Features & Options

The Sierra 1500 comes in WT, SL, SLE, SLT and Denali trims.

The WT (Work Truck) features vinyl flooring, a black grille, 245/70 tires on 17-in steel wheels, a 4-speaker AM/FM radio, a cloth 40/20/40-split front bench seat, dual glove boxes, intermittent wipers, a tilt steering wheel, auto headlamps, a front-center storage armrest and manual-folding outside mirrors.

The SL is for crew-cab versions only and comes with a 4.8-liter V8, a chrome grille, air conditioning, power windows, mirrors and door locks and remote keyless entry.

The SLE trim adds carpeting, upgraded cloth seats, air conditioning, fog lamps, cruise control, a CD/MP3 player, remote keyless entry, a rear-window defogger, an auto-dimming inside mirror, a compass, an outside-temperature gauge, stability and traction control, and power windows, mirrors and door locks.

The SLT brings a Yukon SUV-style dashboard, leather seats, heated power front seats, a memory driver's seat, a chrome front bumper, a 7-speaker Bose stereo with a 6-disc CD changer, power-folding turn-signal mirrors, auto dual-zone air conditioning, a garage-door opener, 18-in alloy wheels and rain-sensing wipers.

The Sierra Denali adds a chrome grille, a 6.2-liter V8, a 6-speed automatic, 4-wheel discs, polished 18-in alloys, power adjustable pedals, overhead airbags, remote starting, rear park assist, the EZ-Lift tailgate, a limited-slip differential, a trailer hitch and a wood- and leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The Z71 package adds off-road suspension, 265/65-18 on-/off-road tires on alloy wheels, increased ground clearance, wheel flares and monotube shocks.

The Sierra All Terrain package ups Z71 content with a 4-bar grille, Rancho off-road shocks, heavy-duty towing, 18-in chrome wheels, leather interior and unique trim.

Pricing

Used full-size pickups retain their value because the useful service life is typically 200,000 miles or longer. Four-door crew cabs are the priciest, since they have the most enclosed space and four conventional doors. Four-wheel-drive models exact a premium, especially in northern climates with snow.

To get a good idea of the prices of used 2009 Sierra 1500 pickups, check out the used-car values on KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the following recall for the 2009 Sierra 1500:

A short circuit in the heated windshield-wiper washer system may create a fire risk.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA gave the 2009 Sierra 1500 five stars for frontal- and side-impact protection and four for rollover performance.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the 2009 Sierra crew cab as Good for moderate-overlap front impacts, Poor for side impacts (with or without overhead airbags) and Acceptable for head-restraint and seat crash performance. IIHS did not rate the regular-cab or extended-cab Sierras.

General Motors offered a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance and a 6-year/100,000-mile corrosion-perforation warranty.

No certified pre-owned 2009 Sierra 1500s are available, as GMC certified pre-owned vehicles must be 5 years old or less.

Other Cars to Consider

2009 Ford F-150 -- The top-selling truck is all new with standard stability control, a new top Platinum trim, 248-hp and 292-hp 4.6-liter V8s and a 320-hp 5.4-liter V8. Maximum tow capacity is 11,300 pounds.

2009 Dodge RAM 1500 -- The big-rig look is all new inside and out, with a smooth-riding coil-spring rear suspension, a new Quad Cab to replace the previous Mega Cab, and a 215-hp 3.7-liter V6, a 310-hp flex-fuel 4.7-liter V8 or a 390-hp 5.7-liter HEMI V8. Maximum tow capacity is 9,100 pounds.

Autotrader's Advice

We'd recommend an extended or crew cab with the 5.3-liter V8 and the SLE trim or higher to get power windows, power door locks, power mirrors and cruise control. Look for lower-mileage examples that have seen obvious care and maintenance. Avoid modified trucks, if possible, and look for a vehicle with a Carfax or equivalent vehicle-history report. Finally, make sure all applicable safety recalls have been performed.

Find a GMC Sierra 1500 for sale

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2009 GMC Sierra 1500: Used Car Review - Autotrader