2006 GMC Sierra 1500 Review | Edmunds.com

2006 GMC Sierra 1500

GMC Sierra 1500 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.3 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 195 hp @ 4600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 GMC Sierra 1500

  • The 2006 GMC Sierra 1500 is a solid truck in terms of its drivetrain, roomy interior and unique features, but the competitors have it beat when it comes to interior design and overall refinement.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Roomy extended and crew cab models, variety of V8 engine options, innovative features, slick hybrid-electric option.

  • Cons

    Lags behind the competition in refinement, spotty fit and finish, low-grade interior materials.

  • What's New for 2006

    For 2006, there's a new "VortecMAX" performance group that includes a 345-hp 6.0-liter V8, a heavy-duty tow package and a stronger rear…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (38 total reviews)

2006 gmc 1500 ext-cab 4x4

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Vehicle: 2006 GMC Sierra 1500 SL1 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 8 ft. LB (5.3L 8cyl 4A)

Initially had a few Q.C. issues with the speakers blowing, weather seal falling off, passenger arm rest detaching and the rear brake light assembly falling off, the real fun began. at 57k the tranny blew. Shortly after the transfer case failed. At 70k the drive side wheel bearing failed. 6 months later same bearing failed. At 75k the rotors replaced for 2nd time. Solenoid on gas tank replaced. Steering shaft knuckle replaced. Truck quivers and rattles over the smallest of bumps after 79k miles. Forgot to mention the rust on rocker panels, doors and wheel wells. The truck is such a lemon my kids make fun of it.

My last gm product

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Vehicle: 2006 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.8 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A)

I bought this truck used with 50K miles; GMC certified + factory warranty remaining for 10K more miles. I have had lots of problems out of this truck. In less than 5 months of ownership; -the center console shorted out -the rear brakes locked up and burned up the rear-end which had to be replaced (not covered under warranty) -Lots of vibration in front end- the front end came loose from the truck and had to be re-welded -Power steering kept cutting off when turning (frayed line attributed to the front end separation) -Short in heated seats -Tail gate had to be replaced and now the new one will not open (dealer installed) -Transmission is now slipping This truck has only seen pavement

Confused by others

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Vehicle: 2006 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE2 4dr Extended Cab 6.5 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A)

I have owned toyota's and nissan's and never get the mpg they or the reviews say. 2 to 3 miles less. With GM's I have seemed to get 3 to 5 miles better than reviews. That's why I say confused by others. Just got 22.6 combination downtown Nashville, TN interstate,country roads. Just bought this truck and probably will keep it for a long time. Guess my driving habits suit GM products better. This truck has 5.3, 323 gears,2wd, locking rearend and HD towing.Confort scored 8 cause stiff HD suspension (I guess). Build quality an 8 cause of interior parts a little weak. Reliability was 9 mainly cause of my past history with GM's. Haven't owned this one long enough to tell. That's my 2 cents worth.

Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 18
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2006 GMC Sierra 1500 Review

What's New for 2006

For 2006, there's a new "VortecMAX" performance group that includes a 345-hp 6.0-liter V8, a heavy-duty tow package and a stronger rear axle; thusly equipped, the half-ton Sierra is on more equal footing with Nissan's Titan and the Hemi-equipped Dodge Ram. The Quadrasteer four-wheel steering option has been dropped, and the optional camper-style mirrors have been replaced by a folding and extending design with a built-in convex spotter glass. Other changes on the GMC truck include slightly updated front-end styling and minor adjustments to trim levels and body configurations.


GMC's full-size pickup has been around in one form or another since the early '60s. Currently in its sixth generation, the GMC Sierra, as it's now called, boasts classic styling and a wide variety of body styles and drivetrain configurations. A perennial competitor to the full-size offerings from Ford and Dodge, GMC now positions itself as the professional-grade truck in GM's lineup. Although its sales numbers are far below those of its competitors, when combined with its sister vehicle, the Silverado, sales of the two trucks outdo the F-Series.

Often first to market with unique innovations, the 2006 GMC Sierra 1500 continues that tradition with nationwide availability of the hybrid-electric model. GMC trucks also offer the OnStar communications system that provides the convenience of 24-hour on-call assistance for everything from tow truck requests to dinner reservations. Combine this with modern styling on the outside and a host of features on the inside, and the half-ton Sierra presents a compelling package for anyone in the market for a well-rounded full-size pickup. The Sierra 1500 is really starting to show its age, however, compared to the newer full-size offerings from Dodge, Ford and Nissan. And all three trucks have the GMC Sierra beaten when it comes to interior design and materials, and overall refinement. We strongly encourage you to try out the competition before you buy.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The GMC Sierra 1500 offers three cab styles are available in four different trim levels and two bed lengths. Regular cabs can be outfitted with Work Truck, Base or SLE1 trim, while extended cabs come in Work Truck, SL, SLE1, SLE2 or SLT trim. The light-duty crew cab models are available in either SL, SLE1, SLE2, SLT or Denali trim. True to their name, Work Trucks offer only the basics, but you still get manual dual-zone air conditioning and ABS. SL Sierras include a few more amenities like cruise control and a CD player. The SLE1 trim adds upgrades like power windows and locks, remote keyless entry and foglamps. The SLE2 adds automatic climate control, Bose audio and a power driver seat. SLT trucks add aluminum wheels and leather upholstery. Top-level Denali models include nearly every available option as standard, as well as unique trim and a 345-hp V8 engine.

Powertrains and Performance

Several engine choices are available for the 2006 GMC Sierra, ranging from a 195-horsepower, 4.3-liter V6 to a 345-hp, 6.0-liter V8 in the Denali and VortecMAX package. In between, you'll find a 285-hp, 4.8-liter V8; a 295-hp, 5.3-liter V8; and a 310-hp, 5.3-liter V8. All Sierra trucks come standard with a four-speed automatic, except V6-equipped regular cabs, which come with a five-speed manual. The maximum towing capacity with the 5.3-liter is 8,300 pounds, while the Denali is rated at 8,100 pounds. On SLT extended cabs and crew cabs with the 6.0-liter V8, the max rating is 10,000 pounds. Either two- or four-wheel drive is available on all models; the Denali comes with all-wheel drive. A hybrid powertrain option is available on SLE extended cabs with the 5.3-liter, but the system does not provide any power boost. Its main function is to conserve fuel via automatic engine shutdown and startup at stops, as well as provide on-the-job power through four 120-volt AC outlets.


Four-wheel antilock brakes are standard. In government crash tests, the Sierra 1500 earned four stars (out of five) for driver protection in frontal impacts and three stars for the front passenger. In IIHS frontal offset crash testing, the Sierra was given an overall rating of "Marginal" -- the second lowest of four.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, Sierra 1500 buyers will find a logically laid-out interior, with clear, uncluttered gauges. Materials quality is unimpressive, and build quality, though improved over the last few years, is still below that of the competition. The cabin is roomy, particularly on crew cab models.

Driving Impressions

The GMC Sierra 1500 is comfortable enough to be a daily driver, yet it's still powerful enough to use as a dedicated work truck. Acceleration ranges from adequate to vigorous, depending on which V8 you select, and the automatic transmission shifts with authority. The steering feels vague on center, but it's light and precise enough for easy maneuvering. The automatic engine shutdown and startup feature works seamlessly in the hybrid truck.

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