2013 GMC Sierra 1500 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Smooth, quiet ride
  • comfortable seats
  • powerful V8 options.
  • Large turning circle
  • weak V6 engine
  • bland interior design on base trim
  • limited cabin storage.
List Price
$20,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 is a worthy competitor among fresher rivals, bolstered by a wide range of body styles, capable performance and a comfortable ride.

Vehicle overview

Much like an older athlete who's "still got it," the 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 pickup can hold its own against younger rivals. Last redesigned six years ago, the GMC Sierra 1500 faces fresher-faced foes from Dodge and Ford. But thanks to its core strengths, it remains a solid choice for a full-size pickup.

When it comes to towing capacities and offering a wide array of trim levels and body styles, the GMC Sierra 1500 gives nothing away to its rivals. It also boasts a smooth, quiet ride and comfortable seating, making it ideal for road tripping.

Those looking for just a basic truck, however, will find competitors provide more attractive cabins and more powerful base engines. Specifically, while other brands have considerably boosted the output of their trucks' base six-cylinder engines, the Sierra's weak V6 soldiers on unchanged and struggles to move such a heavy vehicle.

Do some further cross-shopping and you'll find that the Ford F-150 offers more high-tech features, the 2013 Ram 1500 has a nicer interior and even smoother ride, and the 2013 Toyota Tundra crew cab is roomier inside. Yet for most pickup truck shoppers, the 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 remains a well-rounded choice and deserves attention in this very competitive segment.

2013 GMC Sierra 1500 models

The 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 is offered in standard cab, extended cab and crew cab body styles. Standard cabs and extended cabs are available with either a standard 6-foot-6 bed or an 8-foot long bed. Crew cabs only come with a short 5-foot-8 bed.

Regular cabs can be had in base Work or midlevel SLE trims. An SL trim slots in between the Work and SLE and is available in extended and crew cab styles, as is the well-appointed SLT trim. The range-topping Denali is crew cab only.

The Work trim comes with air-conditioning (for extended- and crew-cab versions), a trip computer, a tilt steering wheel, cruise control, OnStar telematics, vinyl seat upholstery, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat and a CD/MP3 stereo with an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio. The SL adds full power accessories, keyless entry, cruise control, satellite radio and adjustable lumbar support for the driver.

The SLE trim adds upgraded seat upholstery, a lockable compartment with a power outlet built into the center cushion of the split front seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The premium SLT piles on chrome-clad alloy wheels, a premium interior with a full center console and premium materials, a Bose audio system (with iPod/USB input), leather seat upholstery, remote engine start, an exclusive dash design with wood and metallic accents, 12-way power-adjustable/heated front seats and rear audio controls.

Sierra Denali models trump the SLT with a unique powertrain, suspension tuning emphasizing ride comfort, 20-inch wheels, exterior styling enhancements, a heated steering wheel and a turn-by-turn navigation feature for OnStar.

Option availability varies with trim levels and body styles. It includes several towing packages, the Z71 Off-Road package (skid plates and an off-road suspension), special regional packages, the All-Terrain package (similar to the Z71 but with special interior and exterior enhancements) and the XFE (extra fuel economy) trim variant for the rear-wheel-drive 5.3-liter V8 crew cab. The XFE features aerodynamic enhancements and lightweight aluminum components that slightly improve fuel economy.

Other options include 20- and 22-inch wheels, a rear back-up camera, upgraded audio systems, Bluetooth, a navigation system with real-time traffic, a rear-seat entertainment system, heated power-folding outside mirrors, a sunroof, a power-sliding rear window, rear parking sensors and ventilated front seats. An "EZ-Lift" tailgate is also offered and requires only about half the effort to open and close compared to the standard tailgate.

2013 Highlights

For 2013, the GMC Sierra 1500 is essentially unchanged.

Performance & mpg

The 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 is available with four different engine choices. In the Work trim level, the Sierra is powered by a standard 4.3-liter V6 that produces 195 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Buyers may upgrade to a 4.8-liter V8 that makes 302 hp and 305 lb-ft, or a 5.3-liter V8 that's good for 315 hp and 335 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.

A 6.2-liter V8 is available on select models and produces 403 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque. The 6.2 V8 comes standard on the Denali. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard on the two big V8s, while the 4.8-liter V8 and the V6 come only with a four-speed automatic. In a recent Edmunds test of an essentially identical Chevy Silverado equipped with the 6.2-liter V8, it accelerated from a standstill to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, which is quick for a full-size pickup. Properly equipped, a Sierra 1500 can tow up to 10,700 pounds.

Buyers have a choice of two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive (Denali only). 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 it detects the tires slipping.

Fuel economy estimates range from 15 mpg city/22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined for a crew cab XFE down to 12/18/14 mpg for the Denali.

Safety

Standard safety equipment includes antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum) and stability control. Front, side and side curtain airbags are also standard. Four-wheel disc brakes are available as part of the Max Trailering package. In Edmunds brake testing, a Silverado crew cab with four-wheel disc brakes stopped from 60 mph in a short 120 feet.

In government crash tests, the 2013 GMC Sierra received an overall score of four stars (out of five). It earned four stars for overall frontal crash protection and five stars for overall side crash protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, a Silverado crew cab earned a top score of "Good" for frontal-offset crash protection and a second-best score of "Acceptable" for side-impact testing.

Driving

As with other full-size pickups, the 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 is generally pleasant to drive. The steering is light but reasonably precise, and the truck's comfortable seats and smooth, quiet ride make road trips enjoyable. The Sierra's turning circle is a bit larger than you'll find in most other trucks, however.

Acceleration is sluggish with the base V6, while the 4.8-liter V8 provides adequate power. The 5.3-liter V8 feels brawny and the 6.2-liter V8 turns the Sierra into a veritable muscle truck. The six-speed automatic transmission that comes standard with the two bigger V8s does an admirable job of keeping power on tap, while the four-speed feels outdated by comparison.

Interior

On the whole, the Sierra's interior fit and finish ranks highly, though base models tend to look rather dull compared to their rivals. The fancy SLT and Denali trims dress up the cabin significantly, with a unique upscale dash and door panel treatment, a full center console and attractive wood grain and metallic accents. Crew cab models feature comfortable rear seats with flip-up seat cushions that provide a nearly flat load floor. Interior storage is merely adequate, with small cupholders and haphazard organization for the center console.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2013 GMC Sierra 1500.

5(12%)
4(37%)
3(37%)
2(0%)
1(14%)
3.4
8 reviews
Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

This truck is awesome
augthedog,07/16/2013
SLT 4dr Extended Cab 6.5 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 6A)
The SLT version of this truck is totally awesome. It is quiet, powerful, solid and gets 21 MPG with the 5.3 engine. GM hit the mark with this truck and if not for the year end sale I would have bought the 2014. This truck is like a Cadillac inside and rides like one. Love it.
No more GM, under 50k and warranty work 3 times
Pete,05/26/2016
SLE 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 6.5 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A)
I bought a new truck for reliability and that is not what I have gotten from this truck. When I bought the truck (26K), I had to return it the next day because the flywheel was jacked up, and they had to replace it. Then before it hit 45k miles, the entire left lifter bank collapsed, and it had to be returned for more warranty work. 2 months later, I had to return it again because there was an issue with the emissions and it was throwing a check engine code. Just yesterday, the check engine light starts blinking and the truck goes into limp mode. I shut it off and check the oil (I bought it certified pre owned and the dealer still changes the oil and rotates the tires for free) oil is ok, but low. I start it up, light is still blinking and in limp mode, but I have to get it right up the street to the shop. light goes off and the truck has been ok...for now...its like a time bomb.
pretty good truck overall
gmcdriver2,12/04/2013
SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.8 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 6A)
paid probably $3K too much, but got what I wanted; a really great looking fully optioned truck that can hold its own in a pasture or heading to a nice dinner all dressed up. A few minor and sometimes annoying negatives are far out-weighed by the pros and overall satisfaction with this great truck. I've driven 7K miles since bought new in June 2013, but terrain and weather conditions since then have been pretty varied, so I fell like the review reflects a fair perspective from a guy who has driven lots of trucks. This is the nicest one so far for me. Granted I look forward to driving the new 2014 and experiencing those upgrades too, but the 2013 model stands its ground pretty well.
P.o.s. Gmc transmission and warranty problems
Richard Bartlett,08/26/2020
SLE 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.8 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A)
Had my 2013 sierra pick in to service twice since new to replace blown transmission gasket. Now at 141000 km transmission failure. Not covered by extended warranty !!! A little cover the problem to get past warranty!! $4100 extended warranty useless. Do not buy these vehicles. Look up transmission problems and lawsuits!! Every single year has massive problem!!!

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover19.1%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Acceptable
  • Roof Strength Test
    Marginal
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Acceptable
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2013 GMC Sierra 1500

Used 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 Overview

The Used 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 is offered in the following submodels: Sierra 1500 Crew Cab, Sierra 1500 Regular Cab, Sierra 1500 Extended Cab. Available styles include SLE 4dr Crew Cab 5.8 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SLE 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.8 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.8 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 6.5 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), Denali 4dr Crew Cab AWD 5.8 ft. SB (6.2L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab 5.8 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Extended Cab 6.5 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), Denali 4dr Crew Cab 5.8 ft. SB (6.2L 8cyl 6A), Work Truck 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 6.5 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SLT 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 6.5 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 6A), Work Truck 2dr Regular Cab 8 ft. LB (4.3L 6cyl 4A), Work Truck 2dr Regular Cab 6.5 ft. SB (4.3L 6cyl 4A), SLT 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 8 ft. LB (5.3L 8cyl 6A), SLE 2dr Regular Cab 6.5 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SLE 2dr Regular Cab 4WD 8 ft. LB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SLE 2dr Regular Cab 4WD 6.5 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SLE 2dr Regular Cab 8 ft. LB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SL 4dr Crew Cab 5.8 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SLE 4dr Extended Cab 8 ft. LB (5.3L 8cyl 6A), Work Truck 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 8 ft. LB (5.3L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 8 ft. LB (5.3L 8cyl 6A), XFE 4dr Crew Cab 5.8 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 6A), SL 4dr Extended Cab 4WD 6.5 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), Work Truck 4dr Extended Cab 6.5 ft. SB (4.3L 6cyl 4A), Work Truck 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.8 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), Work Truck 4dr Extended Cab 8 ft. LB (5.3L 8cyl 6A), SL 4dr Extended Cab 6.5 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SL 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.8 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), Work Truck 4dr Crew Cab 5.8 ft. SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A), SLT 4dr Extended Cab 8 ft. LB (5.3L 8cyl 6A), Work Truck 2dr Regular Cab 4WD 8 ft. LB (4.3L 6cyl 4A), Work Truck 2dr Regular Cab 4WD 6.5 ft. SB (4.3L 6cyl 4A), and SLT 4dr Extended Cab 6.5 ft. SB (5.3L 8cyl 6A). Pre-owned GMC Sierra 1500 models are available with a 4.8 L-liter flex-fuel (FFV) engine or a 5.3 L-liter flex-fuel (FFV) engine, with output up to 315 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 comes with rear wheel drive, and four wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic, 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2013 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 2013 GMC Sierra 1500?

Price comparisons for Used 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 trim styles:

  • The Used 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE is priced between $21,985 and$26,998 with odometer readings between 51971 and125314 miles.
  • The Used 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 SL is priced between $20,857 and$20,857 with odometer readings between 120027 and120027 miles.
  • The Used 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT is priced between $20,995 and$20,995 with odometer readings between 115681 and115681 miles.

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Which used 2013 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) 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 for sale near. There are currently 7 used and CPO 2013 Sierra 1500s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $20,857 and mileage as low as 51971 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 2013 GMC Sierra 1500.

Can't find a used 2013 GMC Sierra 1500s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used GMC Sierra 1500 for sale - 9 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $22,351.

Find a used GMC for sale - 1 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $9,725.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC Sierra 1500 for sale - 9 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $15,721.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC for sale - 2 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $24,733.

Should I lease or buy a 2013 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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