A red 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 is shown from the front driving on an open road after leaving a pre-owned GMC dealership.

Keep on Going: Pre-Owned GMCs

Who wants a good vehicle at a low price? My guess is you all raised your hand. That is the name of the game, isn’t it? We want all the shiny new features of the latest and the greatest automotive innovations, but we don’t want to have to pay the latest and the highest price. Well, sometimes, you can have both when you choose to shop at a pre-owned GMC dealership.

I think it’s easy for people to get finicky about the idea of buying used because the word “used” makes us feel like it’s been driven into the ground and stretched to its absolute last rung. I’m sure there are some old clunkers for sale on the used market, but for the most part, I think we need to abandon the word “used” and replace it with the increasingly-popular terminology of “pre-owned.” Think about the difference this makes; rather than being stretched to the end of its rope, the vehicle has been tested by a previous owner, which allows the vehicle to show more honestly its true capabilities.

Sometimes we think of buying pre-owned as Plan B, but I think there is a real argument to be made for making a pre-owned vehicle Plan A. Most of the time, you can find relatively recent models on the pre-owned market, which means that you get the latest and greatest features for better prices. Alright, you get the idea; I don’t have to explain the logic behind buying a pre-owned car. But, I’m serious about this point!

For those who identify a vehicle from the current model year that has all the features they desire but not the price tag, sometimes waiting even just one or two years will provide access to this vehicle for a lower price on the pre-owned market. Or you may be able to find those features in a higher trim level on the used market right now. Take GMC, for example–one of the most renowned brands on the market.

GMC’s vehicles bear some of the premiere technological features of this automotive time, and they have for a long time. Even if you purchase a 2015 GMC, you won’t be hurting from lack of performance capabilities, technology features, and so on. A visit to a pre-owned GMC dealer will prove this point. You may think some of the vehicles you’re seeing are new if you didn’t know any better. Of course, some vehicles make for better resale than others, so let’s take a look at the GMC lineup and see what we think makes for the best pre-owned GMC vehicles.

A black 2019 GMC Sierra AT4 is shown parked in the woods.

The Sierras

Nobody should be surprised by this. Whether you’re looking at the Sierra 1500 or the Sierra HD, you can’t go wrong. If GMC has one thing down, it’s building a strong SUV with a bold stance. I think, though, that the best pre-owned Sierra may be the Next Generation 2019 Sierra Denali. One of the most exciting things about the 2019 Denali is the way that it increased the vehicle’s towing capabilities. At the time of its release, the vehicle hosted the industry-first MultiPro Tailgate, making this one of the most advanced tailgates of our time; it even includes a standing workstation!

The vehicle also added new towing technology features, including a rearview mirror camera and ProGrade Trailering System (with the Trailering App). If you’re looking to purchase a pickup, trailering and towing capability are very important things to consider, especially in terms of technology. It’s great that a vehicle can tow tons of weight, but having a trailer attached to your vehicle can be a catastrophic hassle (and can turn into a catastrophic hazard if not handled with care), so the presence of high-end towing technology makes the Next-Generation 2019 Sierra Denali top of its class for the 2019 model year.

2019 was a while ago now, especially when you think in terms of model years, which tend to come out earlier than the year they are labeled as. Seeing as 2019 vehicles went on sale in 2018, this Sierra is about to enter its fourth numerical year on the market. This is not exactly a new vehicle anymore, even though it may look like it (and drive like it), but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it anyway.

As a side-note to this, the Sierra AT4 trim also hit the market in the 2019 model year. If you’re looking for a pickup that is also a highly capable off-roader, the Sierra AT4 is exactly where you’ll want to look. The AT4 family is, at last, being completed in the 2022 model year with the Terrain AT4, but the Sierra AT4 is where it all began. With standard four-wheel drive, 18-inch machined aluminum wheels (and Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires), performance air intake, and a 6.2-liter V8 engine, the 2019 Sierra AT4 is an off-road pickup truck that will remain impressive for years to come, even as new vehicles continue to enter the market. Speaking of AT4 trims, though, I would say that the AT4 lineup as a whole is good for the consideration of those looking to purchase a pre-owned vehicle.

The AT4 Lineup

Now, I recognize that the AT4 lineup is still slowly making its way to all GMC models (as I mentioned before, the Terrain AT4 is completing the lineup), but these vehicles brilliantly exemplify GMC’s finest engineering, architecture, and technology. Built for adventure, namely off-roading, these vehicles are highly capable, highly durable, and designed to endure all kinds of obstacles. So, even if it has been owned before, the AT4 is going to be ready to take even more. For this reason, I would argue that any GMC AT4 is a smart decision when purchasing a used vehicle. Because it is designed to endure abuse off the road, it will likely be in better shape to keep going on its second owner.

Even if you are not an extremely active off-roader (though, you’ll probably become one if you own a GMC AT4 because you don’t want to let performance capabilities like that go underutilized), a vehicle designed to perform well off the road is also going to perform well on the road. It’s not as though an off-road vehicle doesn’t know what to do if it’s not foraging. What’s more, there is now an AT4 trim for every GMC model, so those released in the early days of the initiative have already entered the pre-owned market, and the newer editions will soon be entering the pre-owned market. As you may have guessed, with this increase in quality, performance, and durability comes an increase in the price; the AT4 lineup contains some of GMC’s highest price tags, meaning that those seeking an AT4 trim without paying top dollar will want to purchase it pre-owned.

A red 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 is shown from the front parked in front of a lake.

A Durable Brand

GMC knows durability and reliability. You can tell based upon the very form of their vehicles that this is a company that builds its products to last, which is why it is a good brand to turn to when seeking a pre-owned vehicle. Of course, the way of the world is that higher quality usually equals higher price, which remains true with GMC. So, I’d say that for those looking for a top-quality car for an affordable price, GMC is the way to go, especially a Sierra model or an AT4 trim.