2008 GMC Sierra 1500 Review | Edmunds.com

2008 GMC Sierra 1500

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GMC Sierra 1500 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.3 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 195 hp @ 4600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 GMC Sierra 1500

  • Powerful, comfortable and offered in a wide array of body styles and configurations, the 2008 GMC Sierra is a prime choice for a full-size pickup.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Refined and very quiet ride, pleasing fit and finish inside, seats are comfortable for long drives, comprehensive list of safety equipment.

  • Cons

    Larger turning circle than most rivals, mediocre interior storage and cupholders.

  • What's New for 2008

    Coming off a redesign last year, the 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 has only minor changes this year. Satellite radio is now standard equipment and an integrated trailer brake controller is optional. GMC says it will also be offering 22-inch wheels (as a dealer accessory) and a flashier version of the Z71 Off-Road package called the Sierra All Terrain.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (91 total reviews)


Transmission dead after 44k miles

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Vehicle: 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE1 2dr Regular Cab 4WD 6.5 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A)

I bought this truck new and it has been generally fine. Unfortunately the transmission self-destructed 1 month out of the 5 year warranty. I do mostly city driving and rarely tow. The dealer tried to repair it but apparently it was so bad they gave up and put in a rebuilt one. Very disappointed given I've only driven it 40k miles. The dealer was able to get some of it covered by GMC at least but I felt like they should have covered it all since the problem started before the 5yr end date.




Worst truck i have ever

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Vehicle: 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 SL 4dr Extended Cab 6.5 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A)

Truck has 34000 miles on it. Main turn signal switch went out, Door lock switch out, Airbag sensor out, Master window switch out ($400) for a switch! Truck now will not engage the starter, so it's in the shop again. Do not buy any GMC or Chevy truck! Going back to Dodge.




Bad transmission

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Vehicle: 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 Work Truck 2dr Regular Cab 8 ft. LB (4.3L 6cyl 4A)

GMC will not stand behind there Trucks. My 2013 Sierra has ahard banging type clunk noise when shifting to 3rd gear sometime it feels like the powertrain is going to break. After several attemts to have it resolved including a test drive from a GM rep i have been told this is normal condition. GM bulletin # 01-07-30-042G. This truck has less than 9k miles on it.




Cracked dash and afm lifters

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Vehicle: 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE2 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.8 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A)

Just after the power train warranty expires my AFM lifter sticks. $3000 shop bill later and some internet research I know to watch my oil level like a hawk and never purchase another GM. Also the Massive cracks in my dash remind me of 80's GM. Its nice to see them bringing back the materials from their 80's cars. Don't buy one of these trucks. Buy new and dump them when out of warranty.




Check carefully before you buy

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Vehicle: 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.8 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A)

Overall, i would not buy this truck again due to repair costs. At 104,000 miles (notice it's just outside the warranty) engine heads both cracked - with the mileage and the reported issues about oil usage and AFM related issue, it makes more sense to replace with a GM crate engine than to solve part of the problem. Mileage on E85 is 14mpg in 2wd if you are an extremely light footed driver. With 87 octane, the average mpg (light foot) is 18mpg-19mpg in hilly terrain. As a cowboy and rancher, my vehicle is my lifeblood and cost of ownership and reliability is key. This truck just hasn't met the minimum expectations. Cost for new engine at GM dealer - $7,898.77



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Collapsed lifter 5.3l afm

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Vehicle: 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.8 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A)

There appears to be a problem with the lifters in these 5.3L AFM engines that GM won't admit. At 87K miles and 5.5 years old GM garage says lifter is collapsed & wants to replace all 16 @ $3400 & @ my expense. There are lots of posts from drivers with this problem but GM won't admit and GM Customer Service is only lip service... "out of warranty sucks to be you". GM & the dealers don't care... take my advice and buy a Ford. I'm stuck with this piece of crap cause I just paid it off and can't afford to buy another $40,000 mistake. BTW: this AFM engine is the same as in current models... beware!



Full 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 Review

What's New for 2008

Coming off a redesign last year, the 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 has only minor changes this year. Satellite radio is now standard equipment and an integrated trailer brake controller is optional. GMC says it will also be offering 22-inch wheels (as a dealer accessory) and a flashier version of the Z71 Off-Road package called the Sierra All Terrain.

Introduction

Recently, General Motors trucks were known for providing excellent utility but disappointing levels of passenger comfort and interior quality. That generalization was laid to rest last year, however, when the GMC Sierra, as well as its more common twin, the Chevrolet Silverado, received a major redesign.

As a result, the 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 is now one of the best choices for a full-size half-ton pickup. The full redesign addressed nearly all of the previous Sierra's faults. Highlights included updated styling, an improved interior with higher-quality materials and tighter build quality, a more rugged frame and redesigned steering and suspension components for better handling response and ride comfort. GMC also added new safety features like stability control and side curtain airbags.

This latest GMC Sierra is now very suitable for a wide array of truck buyers, from the general consumer to the contractor. It boasts a wide variety of body styles and configurations, an available 403-horsepower V8, a comfortable ride, decent handling and steering and enough comfort and entertainment features to rival a luxury sedan.

Compared to the Chevy Silverado, the 2008 GMC Sierra is a little more upscale in terms of styling -- particularly on the Denali trim -- but overall, the differences are minor. Both are highly recommended for half-ton-truck shoppers. Alternately, if one doesn't find GM's trucks to his or her liking, the Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra are two other highly recommended models to check out.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 is a half-ton full-size pickup. There are three body styles available: standard cab, extended cab and crew cab. Standard cabs can be had with either a standard bed (6-foot, 6-inch) or long bed (8-foot). Extended cabs can have a short (5-foot, 8-inch), standard or long bed. In the interest of maneuverability, crew cabs come only with the short bed.

Regular cabs can be had in base Work or nicely equipped SLE trims, while the extended and crew cabs are also available in the plush SLT trim. There's also an SL trim and a top-of-the-line Denali trim for crew cabs only. The Work trim comes with the basics, including air-conditioning (extended and crew cab versions), a trip computer, OnStar, vinyl seating, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat, a CD/MP3 player with an auxiliary audio jack, satellite radio and a tilt steering wheel. The SLE trim actually consists of two subsets, SLE1 and SLE2. The SLE1 (and the largely similar SL) build on the Work trim with cruise control, cloth seating (with adjustable driver lumbar support), full power accessories, keyless entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Opting for the SLE2 nets you alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control (in extended and crew cabs), front bucket seats and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. The premium SLT has all of the previous equipment, plus rain-sensing wipers (with heated washer fluid), a Bose audio system with six-disc CD changer, leather seating, remote engine start, an exclusive dash design with wood/metallic accents, 12-way power, heated front seats and rear audio controls. Sierra Denali models trump the SLT with a unique powertrain, on-road-biased suspension tuning, special wheels, exterior styling enhancements, a heated steering wheel and a turn-by-turn navigation feature for OnStar.

Depending on the Sierra ordered, notable available options include a variety of towing packages, the Z71 Off-Road Package (skid plates, off-road suspension and locking rear differential), the All-Terrain Package (similar to the Z71 but with special interior and exterior enhancements), 20- and 22-inch wheels, upgraded audio systems, a navigation system, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, heated power-folding outside mirrors, a sunroof, a power-sliding rear window, a cargo management system and rear park assist. There is also an optional "EZ Lift" tailgate that requires only about half the effort (compared to the standard tailgate) to open and close.

Powertrains and Performance

There are five different engines available for the Sierra 1500. Work trucks have a 4.3-liter V6 (195 hp, 260 pound-feet of torque) as standard. This can be upgraded to a 4.8-liter V8 (295 hp, 305 lb-ft) or a 5.3-liter V8 (315 hp, 338 lb-ft). The SLE trims will have one of the two V8s as standard, while the SLT has the 5.3-liter engine as standard. Optional on select models is a 6.0-liter V8 that makes 367 hp and 375 lb-ft. It typically comes as part of the Max Trailering Package. With that package, the Sierra can tow up to 10,500 pounds. Unique to the Denali is a 6.2-liter V8 cranking out 403 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque.

A four-speed automatic transmission with a tow/haul mode is standard on all Sierra pickups with the exception of the Denali, which has a six-speed automatic. Buyers have a choice of two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive or, in the case of the Denali, all-wheel drive. The Work and LS trims with 4WD have a traditional floor-mounted selector for the transfer case. All other 4WD trims have Autotrac, which features an automatic setting that shifts into 4WD when wheel slippage is detected. Though fuel economy for the workhorse 5.3-liter V8 4WD is hardly impressive (the 2008 EPA estimate is 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway), it ranks as the most efficient V8 available in a mainstream full-size truck.

Safety

Antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum) are standard, with an all-disc setup available via the Max Trailering Package or the Denali trim. A stability control system with roll-mitigating technology is standard on crew cabs and optional on extended cabs. Side curtain airbags and adjustable pedals are optional on most models. In government crash tests, the Sierra earned a top five-star rating for protection of front occupants in head-on collisions.

Interior Design and Special Features

Tight build quality, an attractive dash design and comfortable front seating combine with sound ergonomics to make the Sierra's interior enjoyable on long road trips. The rear seat in crew cab models is also quite comfortable, and the seat cushions can be folded upwards for a nearly flat load floor. Interior storage is adequate, but some might take issue with the cupholders (too small) or the organization of the center console box.

Driving Impressions

Though not top of the class in terms of steering and hampered by a slightly larger turning circle than most other trucks, the 2008 GMC Sierra is still a very comfortable and easy truck to drive. On long trips, the supple suspension and quiet cabin come into play to make the truck a pleasing companion. Acceleration is certainly acceptable with either the 4.8- or 5.3-liter V8. The optional 6.0-liter V8 can get the truck to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds, while the Sierra Denali is quicker still.

Talk About The 2008 Sierra 1500

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 15
  • cty
/
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs