2002 GMC Sierra 1500 Review


Pros & Cons

  • Powerful V8-engine selections, numerous configurations, comfy cabins.
  • Spotty fit-and-finish concerns, low-grade interior materials.
List Price Estimate
$1,715 - $3,503

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Edmunds' Expert Review

GMC advertising claims Sierra is a "professional grade" truck. With stout engines, roomy cabs and rugged good looks, the Sierra impresses. But the cabin is constructed of rather cheap parts, and we've found fit-and-finish concerns on several Sierras. That doesn't spell "professional grade" to us.

Vehicle overview

Now entering its fourth model year in current guise, GMC's full-size Sierra pickup continues along the refinement trail for 2002. While it shares a platform and components with Chevrolet's Silverado, the Sierra benefits from styling and feature enhancements to position the GMC as a "professional grade" truck.

Looks and special content aside, the biggest draw for GMC's half-ton pickup is a first-class engine lineup. The base Vortec 4.3-liter V6 provides a solid 200 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque for light-duty towing and hauling. If a V8 is more to your liking, there are two to choose from. A 4.8-liter V8 rated at 270 hp and 285 lb-ft of torque is standard on all half-ton extended cab Sierras. For a little extra get up and go, order the 5.3-liter V8 rated at 285 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Both engines move the Sierra along with surprising speed while delivering as much as 20 miles per gallon on the highway.

Transmission choices are limited to a five-speed manual or a four-speed overdrive automatic. The five-speed manual is standard equipment on all Sierra 1500s equipped with either the 4.3-liter V6 or 4.8-liter V8. The four-speed automatic that features a driver-selectable tow/haul mode for firmer shifts under load is optional with the 4.3-liter and 4.8-liter engines and the only choice on 5.3-liter-equipped Sierras.

Underneath, all Sierra 1500s utilize an independent suspension in front (coil springs on 2WD, torsion bars on 4WD) and a straight axle leaf spring setup in the rear. A notable change for this year is the switch to the Z85 firm-ride package as standard equipment on all half-ton Sierras. For a cushier ride, the Z83 soft ride suspension is still available. Or you can check the ZX3 option, which provides a dash-mounted switch that can alternate between both firm and soft suspension settings. With the proper equipment, a Sierra 1500 can tow up to 9,200 lbs.

Like most full size trucks, the Sierra comes in a variety of configurations, including regular (two-door) or extended (four door) cabs, short (6.5-foot) or long (8-foot) beds, Wideside or Sportside box designs, and rear- or four-wheel-drive versions. A choice of three trim levels (SL, SLE or SLT) and a dizzying array of options and equipment packages are available to customize your truck exactly the way you want it.

For the ultimate half-ton Sierra look no further than the Sierra Denali. Debuting as the C3 last year, the renamed Sierra Denali features a luxurious interior, sharply styled exterior, and exclusive hardware not available on any other GMC half-ton. The Sierra Denali gets the first application of GM's new Quadrasteer four-wheel steering system that shaves nearly ten feet off the Denali's turning circle as well as improving high-speed stability while towing a heavy trailer. A 6.0-liter, 325 horsepower V8 provides the power while a heavy-duty four-speed transmission and full-time all wheel drive put all the power to the ground. Heavy-duty ¾ ton brakes, a performance-tuned suspension and a standard towing package round out the Denali's impressive equipment list.

Upgrades to the Denali's interior include six-way power heated bucket seats, an in-dash six-disc CD changer, steering wheel audio controls, a comprehensive trip computer, and two-tone leather upholstery.

All Sierras feature a roomy interior with ample storage space, straightforward controls, and a full complement of safety and convenience features. Rear seat accommodations in extended cab Sierras are surprisingly comfortable with easy access provided by clamshell-style rear doors on both the passenger and driver sides. All the available options and features are too numerous to list here, but needless to say, if you can't find it on a Sierra, it probably doesn't come on a full-size pickup. So whether you're looking for the most basic V6 regular-cab, or the fully decked-out Sierra Denali, GMC's half-ton Sierra has something for everybody.

2002 Highlights

The Sierra C3 gets a name change to Sierra Denali in addition to a trick new four-wheel steering system. On standard Sierras, the previously optional Z85 firm-ride suspension is now standard on all 1500 models for improved handling and towing capacity. Base SL models now include air conditioning while uplevel SLE and SLT models add deep-tinted glass to the standard feature list.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2002 GMC Sierra 1500.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Best Truck Ever
Joe K.,08/12/2009
4dr Extended Cab SLE 4WD SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A)
This truck was two years old, with 33,000 miles when I purchased it (Certified Used). I use this pickup on our family farm and to drive to work, resulting in 40K miles each year. This is the best truck, fantastic engine 5.3, great power reasonable fuel economy. No complaints with the 4WD, I use it frequently. Currently, the truck has over 200K miles, the service record is brief: 5 years old replace rear brakes (still have not replaced front brakes),6 years old replace battery just to be on the safe side, Fuel pump replaced at 175K miles, my fault for not ever replacing the fuel filter. At 180K had to replace the front UJoint. Plan to trade the truck in on a similar equipped 2008 model Sierra.
5.3 V8 why go smaller?
Schuyler Young,09/03/2008
2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A)
I have a 2002 GMC Regular Cab Flareside shortbed 4x4. I bought the truck used with 46,000 miles on it and now have 51,000 and only had one problem. My sound system rattled the screw loose on the overhead consule. I installed the sound system a month after i bought it and it and had to replace the tires which seem to be a common problem with these.I have a hard tonneau cover and it really helps out living in Alaska. If a truck survives here it can survive anywhere.
Absolutly Satisfied
2dr Regular Cab SL 4WD LB (4.8L 8cyl 4A)
This truck is awesome. Only had one problem with it and that was the intermediate steering shaft replaced at no charge. The 4.8 had plenty of grunt. Spins the rear tires no problem (even at 1/4 throttle). The 4 wheel drive just goes in the snow no spin at all. It tows like there's nothing there which is awesome. It gets very decent gas mileage too I get about 17 18 city.
A fairly good all round truck
2dr Regular Cab SL 2WD SB (4.3L 6cyl 5M)
Bought this truck in Feb 2007 with 86,000 miles. At 89k new fuel pump b/c previous owner did not change fuel filter. At 92k intake gaskets leaking bad enough it wouldnt run on a cool summer morning. 93k discovered the reason behind poor braking was that the front rotors where virtually destroying themselves. Terrible case of piston slap when stone cold. Other than these problems I love my truck. It's quick nimble and fun to drive. It is crazy good looking. I drive it extremely hard about 3/4 of the time and it doesnt miss a beat. K&N filter helps power.


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2002 GMC Sierra 1500

Used 2002 GMC Sierra 1500 Overview

The Used 2002 GMC Sierra 1500 is offered in the following submodels: Sierra 1500 Regular Cab, Sierra 1500 Extended Cab. Available styles include 4dr Extended Cab SL 2WD LB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 4dr Extended Cab SL 4WD LB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 4dr Extended Cab SL 2WD SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 4dr Extended Cab SL 4WD SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 4dr Extended Cab 2WD LB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 4dr Extended Cab 2WD SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 2dr Regular Cab SL 4WD SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 2dr Regular Cab 2WD LB (4.3L 6cyl 5M), 4dr Extended Cab SLE 2WD SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 2dr Regular Cab 2WD SB (4.3L 6cyl 5M), 4dr Extended Cab 4WD SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 4dr Extended Cab 4WD LB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 4dr Extended Cab SLE 4WD SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 4dr Extended Cab SLE 4WD LB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 2dr Regular Cab SL 4WD LB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 4dr Extended Cab SLE 2WD LB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 2dr Regular Cab SLE 4WD LB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 2dr Regular Cab SLE 2WD LB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 2dr Regular Cab Work Truck 4WD LB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 2dr Regular Cab SLE 2WD SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 2dr Regular Cab SL 2WD LB (4.3L 6cyl 5M), 2dr Regular Cab SLE 4WD SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), 2dr Regular Cab Work Truck 2WD LB (4.3L 6cyl 5M), 2dr Regular Cab SL 2WD SB (4.3L 6cyl 5M), and 4dr Extended Cab Denali AWD SB (6.0L 8cyl 4A). Pre-owned GMC Sierra 1500 models are available with a 4.8 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 270 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2002 GMC Sierra 1500 comes with rear wheel drive, and four wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic. The Used 2002 GMC Sierra 1500 comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2002 GMC Sierra 1500?

Price comparisons for Used 2002 GMC Sierra 1500 trim styles:

  • The Used 2002 GMC Sierra 1500 Base is priced between $10,295 and$10,295 with odometer readings between 43991 and43991 miles.

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Which used 2002 GMC Sierra 1500s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2002 GMC Sierra 1500 for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2002 Sierra 1500s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $10,295 and mileage as low as 43991 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2002 GMC Sierra 1500.

Can't find a used 2002 GMC Sierra 1500s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used GMC Sierra 1500 for sale - 11 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $19,255.

Find a used GMC for sale - 9 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $16,584.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC Sierra 1500 for sale - 10 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $15,601.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC for sale - 12 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $9,991.

Should I lease or buy a 2002 GMC Sierra 1500?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out GMC Sierra 1500 lease specials