2018 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab Review
Edmunds expert review
The 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 doesn't get any big changes this year, but it didn't really need any. The Sierra, which shares its design with the Chevy Silverado, is highly capable when it comes to towing and is an all-around impressive and luxurious truck.
Available with three different engines and with multiple body and bed configurations, the 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 is as customizable as any full-size truck on the road today. In the right configuration, it can tow more than 12,000 pounds. Yet the Sierra is also available with a long list of luxury and safety features and is very easy to live with on a daily basis. There are some drawbacks with the Sierra, including the slightly underwhelming base powertrain (a 4.3-liter V6 that we recommend replacing with one of the optional V8s) and the somewhat dated interior. But overall it's a strong offering from GMC in a highly competitive class.
What's new for 2018
Trim levels & features
The 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 is available in four trim levels: base, SLE, SLT and Denali. They are available in various cab and bed configurations. The base is relatively sparsely equipped, though a few options are available. We recommend buyers look to the SLE trim level at a minimum because it has features beyond what you'd find in a work-only truck. The version that strikes the best balance between amenities and functionality is the SLT trim level, while the range-topping Denali's luxury will appeal to buyers who want it all.
Configurations are as follows: Regular cabs are offered with a standard bed (6 feet 7 inches) or an extended bed (8 feet); double cabs come only with the standard bed; and crew cabs are available with a standard bed or a short bed (5 feet 9 inches). Be aware that not all trim levels are available with all configurations. All cab configurations are available with four-wheel drive.
The base Sierra comes with a 4.3-liter V6 (285 horsepower, 305 pound-feet of torque), a six-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch steel wheels, automatic xenon headlamps, power locks, a locking tailgate, power windows, air conditioning, cruise control, a rearview camera, a tilt-only steering wheel, Bluetooth, a 7-inch touchscreen interface, USB connectivity and a six-speaker sound system.
The Sierra Convenience package adds remote keyless entry, a remote-locking tailgate, heated power mirrors, a 110-volt AC outlet and LED cargo box lighting. The Elevation Edition includes those items plus special 20-inch black alloy wheels, LED foglights, body-color exterior trim and OnStar communications (with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi hotspot).
The SLE trim level adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a damped tailgate, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an upgraded 8-inch touchscreen.
Many more options are available on the SLE. The SLE's Convenience package adds rear parking sensors, a rear window defogger, a sliding rear window and power-adjustable pedals. The Preferred package adds remote start, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel (V8 only), an power-adjustable driver seat and dual-zone automatic climate control. The SLE Value package adds the same items plus trailering equipment and a rear locking differential. Other options include leather upholstery, a full center console, a power-adjustable front passenger seat and wireless smartphone charging.
Stepping up to the SLT, our trim level of choice, nets you the 5.3-liter V8 (355 hp, 383 lb-ft), an eight-speed automatic transmission, power-folding and heated mirrors, leather upholstery and heated front seats. A 6.2-liter V8 (420 hp, 460 lb-ft) is optional. Other options for the SLT include front and rear parking sensors, a power-sliding rear window, a heated steering wheel, full LED headlights, a spray-in bedliner, navigation, a sunroof and a seven-speaker Bose audio system.
GMC offers an Enhanced Driver Alert package for the SLE and SLT. It includes driver assistance features such as a forward collision warning system with low-speed automatic emergency braking as well as lane departure warning and intervention.
Available on the SLT crew and double cabs are two different off-road-focused packages called the All-Terrain and All-Terrain X. The All-Terrain package adds a few features mentioned above plus some exterior styling changes, an off-road suspension featuring Rancho shocks and an underbody shield. The All-Terrain X package is similar in theme but lacks the off-road suspension.
At the top of the range is the Denali, which comes with most of the features available on lower trim levels and has all of the available driver assistance features. It adds exclusive adaptive suspension dampers, 20-inch wheels and unique interior appointments.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects.
The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab Short Bed (6.2L V8 | 8-speed automatic | 4WD | 5-foot-9 bed).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current GMC Sierra 1500 has received some very minor revisions, including the addition of optional upgraded brakes. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's GMC Sierra.
Noise & vibration8.0
Ease of use8.0
Getting in/getting out6.0
Child safety seat accommodation7.0
Audio & navigation7.5
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.