2017 GMC Sierra
April 18th, 2017
For 2017 the GMC Sierra glides along nearly unchanged. It brings a few minor upgrades such as active grille shutters that reduce aerodynamic drag, a capless fuel-filler neck and some enhancements to the infotainment system. Otherwise, this remains the same trusty and widely competent pickup that it has been for the past few years.
- Strong combination of fuel economy and power
- Comfortable, quiet cabin
- Compliant ride quality makes it suitable for daily use
- Many available configurations and trims
- The six-speed automatic gear ratios are spread too far for towing needs
- Cabin not as spacious as those of rivals
- Spendier than otherwise-identical Silverado
For 2017, the GMC Sierra 1500 receives only minor updates such as a capless fuel-filler neck, active grille shutters for improved aerodynamics, low-speed automatic braking and a driver monitor system.
If you need a regular cab, go with the SLE trim level for its added convenience items. We recommend ticking the box for the 5.3-liter V8 over the V6 because it provides a big boost in capability with minimal impact on fuel economy. For those needing a double cab or crew cab, the SLT hits the spot, with more standard equipment and an available eight-speed automatic instead of the standard six-speed. SLT trim also allows access to useful option packages. Avoid the larger optional wheels; they do little other than degrade the ride quality.
trim levels & features
The 2017 GMC Sierra 1500 is available in four trim levels: base, SLE, SLT and Denali. They are available in various cab and bed configurations.
The base is available only with a regular or a double cab and is sparsely equipped, though options are available. We recommend buyers look to the SLE trim level at a minimum because it has features beyond just what you’d find in a work-only truck. The version that strikes the best balance between amenities and functionality is the SLT trim level, while the range-topping Denali‘s luxury will appeal to buyers who want it all.
Configurations are as follows: Regular cabs are offered with a 6.5- or an 8-foot bed, double cabs come only with a 6.5-foot bed, and crew cabs are available with a 5.8- or a 6.5-foot bed. Be aware that not all trim levels are available with all configurations. All cab configurations are available with four-wheel drive.
Base Sierras are fairly bare-bones, which is fine if you’re looking for a work truck. It comes with a 4.3-liter V6 (285 horsepower, 305 pound-feet of torque), though a 5.3-liter V8 (355 hp, 383 lb-ft of torque) is optional. For any kind of regular use, you’ll want more creature comforts than the base Sierra delivers as standard.
The SLE trim level adds a backup camera, an upgraded infotainment unit, 17-inch aluminum wheels, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with an optional telescoping column.
Stepping up to the SLT, our trim level of choice, nets you the 5.3-liter V8 engine, towing hardware, power-folding and heated mirrors, and heated leather seats. The SLT’s standard V8 engine paired with the available eight-speed automatic forms our preferred Sierra powertrain. A 6.2-liter V8 (420 hp, 460 lb-ft of torque) becomes an option at the SLT level. Parking alerts become available, too, and they’re terrifically handy in a full-size pickup.
At the top of the range is the Denali, which comes with most of the features available on lower trim levels and has all of the available driver assistance features. It adds exclusive Magnetic Ride Control dampers, 20-inch wheels and unique interior appointments.