2008 GMC Sierra 1500 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Refined and very quiet ride, pleasing fit and finish inside, seats are comfortable for long drives, comprehensive list of safety equipment.
  • Larger turning circle than most rivals, mediocre interior storage and cupholders.
List Price Range
$4,500 - $13,000

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2008 GMC Sierra 1500 models

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.

2008 Highlights

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.

Performance & mpg

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2008 GMC Sierra 1500.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Check carefully before you buy
txcwby,12/27/2013
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
Lifters at 86k miles
Bill S.,08/04/2015
SLE2 4dr Extended Cab 6.5 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A)
I have had numerous issues with this vehicle from speakers going out (new speakers and radio $600), pressure switch going bad twice ($789 each time), side molding falling off 6-8 times under warranty and now falling off out of warranty (have not fixed), door latches breaking driver and tailgate ($200 for each), catalytic converters needing replaced at 65,000 miles ($1500), and now I have collapsed lifters costing me thousands of dollars. The truck looks good other than it now needs major engine repair. Full synthetic oil changes every 3000-4000 miles, light hauling never beyond capacity, all maintenance kept up and serviced regularly never raced or beat on and I am the original owner. I am very disappointed in this vehicle and will never purchase another GM product again. I should not have issues like this until 200,000 miles or more are showing on that odometer with correct maintenance. I have put way too much money and time into this vehicle, cost of ownership outweighs the worth of this vehicle.
Collapsed Lifter 5.3L AFM
ricosha3,10/16/2013
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!
Fit and finish
mesalaxdad,12/30/2010
Denali 4dr Crew Cab 5.8 ft. SB (6.2L 8cyl 6A)
So I've had the truck less than a year. It has only 18k on it. I've had to replace two door lock switches. I've also replaced a leaky oil pan gasket. It's been in the dealership 3 times. When I wash it the door moldings leak for hours.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
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
    Acceptable
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested

More about the 2008 GMC Sierra 1500

Used 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 Overview

The Used 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 is offered in the following submodels: Sierra 1500 Crew Cab, Sierra 1500 Regular Cab, Sierra 1500 Extended Cab. Available styles include SLE1 4dr Extended Cab 5.8 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 4dr Extended Cab 6.5 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 4dr Extended Cab 8 ft. LB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 8 ft. LB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 6.5 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 5.8 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SLE2 4dr Extended Cab 5.8 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.8 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), SLE2 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 6.5 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 2dr Regular Cab 6.5 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SLE2 4dr Extended Cab 6.5 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), SLE2 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 5.8 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), SLE2 4dr Extended Cab 8 ft. LB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), SLT 4dr Extended Cab 6.5 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 2dr Regular Cab 8 ft. LB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SLT 4dr Extended Cab 5.8 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), SLE2 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 8 ft. LB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab 5.8 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), SLE2 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.8 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), SLE2 4dr Crew Cab 5.8 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.8 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 2dr Regular Cab 4WD 6.5 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 2dr Regular Cab 4WD 8 ft. LB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SLT 4dr Extended Cab 8 ft. LB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), SLT 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 5.8 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), Work Truck 2dr Regular Cab 4WD 8 ft. LB (4.3L 6cyl 4A), SL 4dr Extended Cab 6.5 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SLT 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 8 ft. LB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), Work Truck 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 8 ft. LB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), SLT 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 6.5 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), Work Truck 4dr Extended Cab 8 ft. LB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), Work Truck 2dr Regular Cab 8 ft. LB (4.3L 6cyl 4A), Denali 4dr Crew Cab 5.8 ft. SB (6.2L 8cyl 6A), SL 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.8 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SLE1 4dr Crew Cab 5.8 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SL 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 6.5 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SL 4dr Crew Cab 5.8 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), Work Truck 2dr Regular Cab 4WD 6.5 ft. SB (4.3L 6cyl 4A), Work Truck 2dr Regular Cab 6.5 ft. SB (4.3L 6cyl 4A), Work Truck 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.8 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), Denali 4dr Crew Cab AWD 5.8 ft. SB (6.2L 8cyl 6A), Work Truck 4dr Crew Cab 5.8 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), Work Truck 4dr Extended Cab 6.5 ft. SB (4.3L 6cyl 4A), Work Truck 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 6.5 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), Work Truck 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 5.8 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), and Work Truck 4dr Extended Cab 5.8 ft. SB (4.3L 6cyl 4A). Pre-owned GMC Sierra 1500 models are available with a 4.8 L-liter gas engine or a 5.3 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 315 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic. The Used 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 100000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2008 GMC Sierra 1500?

Price comparisons for Used 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 trim styles:

  • The Used 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE1 is priced between $9,696 and$16,490 with odometer readings between 126528 and141206 miles.
  • The Used 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 Work Truck is priced between $4,500 and$9,995 with odometer readings between 122578 and133294 miles.

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Which used 2008 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) 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 for sale near. There are currently 5 used and CPO 2008 Sierra 1500s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $4,500 and mileage as low as 122578 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 2008 GMC Sierra 1500.

Can't find a used 2008 GMC Sierra 1500s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used GMC Sierra 1500 for sale - 10 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $25,213.

Find a used GMC for sale - 2 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $10,357.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC Sierra 1500 for sale - 3 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $25,057.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC for sale - 5 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $20,370.

Should I lease or buy a 2008 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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