Used Car Review

2011 GMC Sierra 1500: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Ron Sessions October 2015

The 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 pickup is loaded with styling and equipment upgrades, making 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-ft bed. Extended cabs offer a short 5.7-ft bed, a standard 6.5-ft bed and a long 8-ft bed. With two seat rows, the crew cab comes exclusively with the 5.7-ft bed.

Both rear-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive (4WD) are offered, and 4-wheel anti-lock brakes are standard. OnStar 9.0 and SiriusXM radio are standard. Maximum towing capacity is 10,700 pounds with the optional towing package and 6.2-liter V8.

Standard safety gear includes stability and traction control, low-tire pressure warning, dual front airbags, overhead airbags and front-seat side airbags. The 2-wheel-drive (2WD) extra fuel economy (XFE) special-edition crew cab is offered 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 22 mpg on the highway. Hands-free Bluetooth is available with OnStar. Crew cabs are available with a backup camera display in the rearview mirror. All but the base AM/FM radio come with a USB port.

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; standard stability control; overhead and side airbags; 6.2-liter V8 performance

What We Don't

No manual transmission; small air conditioning and audio buttons on SLT and Denali trims; 6.2-liter V8 fuel economy

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

2011 GMC Sierra 1500 regular and extended cabs are available with a 4.3-liter V6, making 195 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Two-wheel-drive versions are rated by the EPA at 15 mpg city/20 mpg hwy, while 4WD versions have a 14 mpg city/18 mpg hwy rating. All use regular unleaded fuel and a 4-speed automatic transmission.

A 4.8-liter V8 is available on regular, extended and crew cabs. The 4.8-liter develops 302 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque on regular unleaded. A 4-speed automatic is standard. EPA ratings are 14 mpg city/19 mpg hwy for the 2WD version and 13 mpg city/18 mpg hwy on the 4WD version.

The 5.3-liter V8 is available on regular, extended and crew cabs and offers E85 flex-fuel capability. Output is 315 hp and 335-338 lb-ft of torque, and EPA ratings are 15 mpg city/21 mpg hwy for both 2WD and 4WD models. Active Fuel Management idles four cylinders during light cruising to boost fuel economy. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard.

The SLT and SLE can be optioned, and Sierra Denali comes standard with an all-aluminum E85-capable 6.2-liter V8 with 403 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque. 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 4-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Standard Features & Options

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

The WT 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, stability and traction control, 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, a USB port, remote keyless entry, a rear-window defogger, an auto-dimming inside mirror, a compass, an outside-temperature gauge 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 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.

For a good estimate of used 2011 Sierra 1500 pickup prices, 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 2011 Sierra 1500:

Improperly heat-treated rear-axle cross pins can break and lock up the axle at speed, causing a loss of control.

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 2011 Sierra 1500 four stars overall, with four stars for frontal-impact protection, five for side-impact protection and four for rollover performance.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the 2011 Sierra crew cab as Good for moderate-overlap front impacts and Acceptable for side-impact, head-restraint and seat crash performance. IIHS rated roof strength as Marginal. It didn't rate regular-cab or extended-cab Sierras.

GMC 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.

GMC certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles can't have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer and must be 5 years old or less. Every CPO GMC Sierra undergoes a 172-point inspection. Those passing receive a 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, plus whatever remains on the transferable, original 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage. Also included is a 2-year/24,000-mile maintenance plan with roadside assistance.

Other Cars to Consider

2011 Ford F-150 -- The top-selling truck revamps its engine lineup for 2011 with a 291-hp 3.7-liter V6, 360-hp 5.0-liter V8 and a 411-hp 6.2-liter V8. A 6-speed automatic is standard with all engines. Max tow rating is 11,300 pounds.

2011 RAM 1500 -- Dodge keeps its big-rig look, smooth-riding coil-spring rear suspension and 215-hp 3.7-liter V6, a 310-hp flex-fuel 4.7-liter V8 and 390-hp 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine choices. Maximum tow capacity stays at 10,450 pounds.

Autotrader's Advice

We'd recommend an extended or crew cab with the 5.3-liter V8 and the SLE trim or higher for 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 for sale

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Used 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT
Used 2011 GMC Sierra 1500
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Used 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE
Used 2011 GMC Sierra 1500
$17,965
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Used 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE
Used 2011 GMC Sierra 1500
$18,909
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Used 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE
Used 2011 GMC Sierra 1500
$21,763
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.
2011 GMC Sierra 1500: Used Car Review - Autotrader