A popular used GMC Sierra 1500 for sale, a black 2020 GMC Sierra 1500, is shown driving off-road.

The Road to Perfection: The Best Used GMC Sierra Model Years

Are you thinking about buying a used GMC Sierra 1500 for sale? It is undoubtedly an attractive option, even more so considering the Sierra’s rich history as a rugged and reliable workhorse of a pickup truck. There are various model years and trim levels to pick from, so selecting the best one can seem somewhat intimidating.

Which model years are known to be the best? Knowing this might help you decide which Sierra 1500 you want to buy. Whether you require a reliable work buddy or an adaptable family hauler, the GMC Sierra 1500 has something for everyone. Here is the crème de la crème of used GMC Sierras for your viewing pleasure!

A Timeless Classic: 2007 GMC Sierra

We’ll start by looking at a timeless classic: the 2007 GMC Sierra. When searching for a used GMC Sierra 1500 that blends durability, design, and powerful performance, you might be attracted to this model year’s robust powertrain options. Renowned for its V8 engines, the 2007 Sierra had a deceptively comfy interior and strong max towing rating to back up these powerful engines, including:

  • 4.3L V8 – 195 hp, 260 lb-ft of torque
  • 4.8L V8 – 295 hp, 305 lb-ft of torque
  • 5.3L V8 – 315 hp, 338 lb-ft of torque

Each of these engines offers ample torque and powerful performance, and their sturdy builds and long-living components lend to the longevity of this older model. Should you be so fortunate, you can find this model as a crew cab, as this was the year the Sierra gained this optional configuration. If you’re a fan of classic trucks, this one is due to become a well-loved classic model.

A black 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali is shown parked near a tree-line.

The Game-Changer: 2014 GMC Sierra

When the 2014 model year rolled around, GMC introduced an overhauled Sierra that upended the pickup truck segment. The 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 brought vast performance, fuel economy, and technological enhancements. In particular, the new EcoTec3 engine lineup garnered plenty of positive attention—for good reason. This lineup included these engines:

  • 4.3L V6 – 285 hp, 305 lb-ft of torque
  • 5.3L V8 – 355 hp, 383 lb-ft of torque
  • 6.2L V8 – 420 hp, 460 lb-ft of torque

Robust in terms of power, these engines also showed themselves to be gentle on fuel-sipping habits. For many truck buyers, this proves to be a crucial aspect— there’s no overstating the value of fuel efficiency.

The 2014 Sierra 1500’s cabin is just as desirable as what can be found under its hood. The 2014 model year received a comfier and updated cabin with advanced tech gadgets such as the IntelliLink infotainment system. A refined and quiet cabin, this Sierra 1500 gives you the rugged durability you require and the plush comfort you crave.

Haulin’ Heavy Loads: 2016 GMC Sierra

Maybe you’re focused on getting a used GMC Sierra 1500 that offers superb towing capabilities and has a strong reputation for hauling hefty loads with ease. If that’s the case, the 2016 model year is an excellent choice. With its potent V8 engine options and numerous towing features, the 2016 model year is a cherished one among the most discerning buyers. You can find one of three powerful V8 engines under the hood of the 2016 Sierra 1500:

  • 4.3L V8 – 285 hp, 305 lb-ft of torque
  • 5.3L V8 – 355 hp, 383 lb-ft of torque
  • 6.2L V8 – 420 hp, 460 lb-ft of torque

Each is a formidable option, and the lattermost can tow up to an astounding 12,000 lbs when the vehicle is adequately equipped. Additionally, the 2016 Sierra benefits from a slew of helpful technology that makes driving a lot safer; this is known as the Enhanced Driver Alert Package, which comes with lane keep assist and forward collision alert. Adding to that, the 2016 Sierra boasts a cozy cabin design with enough creature comforts to keep everyone engaged on long road trips or short daily commutes, and you have one versatile pickup truck!

Guru of Tech Gadgets: 2018 GMC Sierra

A few years later, the 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 arrived on the scene, boasting a robust lineup of powertrains and an abundance of contemporary tech gadgets, bringing modern amenities and convenience to the forefront of automotive evolution.

Again, the 2018 Sierra 1500 offers the 4.3L V6, 5.3L V8, and 6.2L V8 beneath the hood. Balancing fuel efficiency and power, you truly get the best of both worlds from this truck. Moreover, you can enjoy sitting back and experiencing a relaxed ride quality suitable for daily drives.

What distinguishes the 2018 Sierra 1500 from others, however, is the infotainment system and bundle of driver assistance functions that it offers. The IntelliLink infotainment system received upgrades and includes standard smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Forward collision warnings and lane departure warnings deliver another degree of convenience and safety for the truck’s occupants.

King of the Off-Roaders: 2019 GMC Sierra AT4

Are you an off-road adventurer? A more adventurous option might be right up your unpaved alley, and it comes in the form of the 2019 GMC Sierra’s AT4 trim level. GMC introduced the AT4 to the 2019 lineup, and its prominent catering to off-roading makes it popular right off the bat.

The 2019 Sierra 1500 AT4 is outfitted with standard four-wheel drive (4WD), skid plates, a two-inch factory suspension lift, off-road tires, and Rancho monotube shock absorbers. If you love to go off-roading, you will find that these features add a lot of prowess. Take it into the wilderness, travel down various trails, and conquer all kinds of rugged terrains.

So, what’s beneath the hood? You can find the 5.3L V8 as a standard issue, but the 6.2L V8 lets buyers get even more power from this truck with that staggering 420 hp. The well-appointed cabin amplifies technological elements and comfort, striking an excellent balance between practicality and ruggedness.

A red 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 All-Terrain is shown driving on a road.

A Legend Revamped: 2020 GMC Sierra

The Sierra 1500 was fully redesigned for the 2020 model year, leaving an indelible mark on the pickup truck segment. Not only does the 2020 Sierra 1500 feature a sleek, new appearance, but it comes with some serious enhancements in terms of technology and performance.

The availability of a 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel engine makes for a core upgrade to this lineup. Serving superb fuel economy and a whole lot of torque, the diesel engine is optimal for towing and hauling jobs. The 5.3L and 6.2L V8 engines are included in this model year as well and, of course, offer ample power.

The newly designed cabin is adorned with more high-quality materials and upgraded infotainment and driver assistance features. Drivers can also benefit from the available MultiPro Tailgate, which lends even more convenience for cargo loading by offering six different functions.

Some Final Considerations

As you set out to find the perfect used GMC Sierra 1500 to fit your needs, keep in mind that you have many options at your disposal. The model years we have discussed above show that there is indeed a Sierra 1500 for every buyer, whether you are looking for something with strong off-roading capabilities, a lot of contemporary technology, or an abundance of power.

Before you head out to make your purchase, pause to consider your unique vehicular needs. How will you be using your pickup truck? Which features will you rely on the most? No matter your chosen model, a used GMC Sierra can serve you well for many years. With the vehicle’s extensive history of performance and reliability, you can confidently buy a used GMC Sierra 1500 that best suits you and hit the road for a riveting ride.