GMC Sierra vs. Chevy Silverado: A comparison of classic American pickups with powerful capability and long-term dependability.
The GMC Sierra and the Chevrolet Silverado are two of the best selling full-size pickup trucks in the United States. In fact in recent years, these two have also risen to be among the best-selling cars of any class sold in America. Since these two trucks are very similar and are both built by GM, it can be difficult for pickup truck buyers to decide which one is more suitable. The GMC Sierra vs. Chevy Silverado comparison below offers some useful information for those who wish to purchase one of these excellent pickup trucks and want to engage in a little comparison shopping along the way:
GMC Sierra vs. Chevy Silverado: overview and comparison
As you would expect from two trucks coming from the same manufacturer, the GMC Sierra and the Chevy Silverado are similar in many ways. They come with almost identical engine options, the same transmissions and as a result, very similar fuel economy ratings. Both trucks offer ample choices for powertrains, body styles and trim levels that allow you to customize to your exact specifications (be those aesthetic ones or performance ones.) Even in the category of performance specifications, you have a multitude of options for performance standards (be they for towing or hauling.) Of course, both of these trucks are built by GM, making them sister models.
If you read a number of reviews (or even line up and compare the website features provided for each model) you’ll get a general sense that the GMC Sierra is often considered (end even referred to) as a stripped down work truck, while the Silverado is written and spoken of in terms of being more of a weekday car that take the rigors of an outdoor worksite and can tow boats and other toys on the weekend. However, both trucks are powerful, outstanding for towing, dependable and valuable to virtually anyone looking for a full-size truck. The differences are subtle, as you can gather from the following breakdown of primary comparison categories for the GMC Sierra vs Chevy Silverado:
Although the GMC Sierra and the Chevy Silverado have the same standard body configurations, it’s pretty easy to distinguish these two models when it comes to appearance (even to an untrained eye.)
2014 GMC Sierra
The Sierra comes in three separate trim/finish levels: the standard Sierra, the Sierra SLE and the Sierra SLT. All three packages present a lightly more work professional look, employing generous amounts of chrome on the rear and front bumpers as well as in the grille. The Sierra and the Sierra SLE are both available with a regular cab and either a long or standard box. All three trim models can be ordered with a double cab and a standard box, or a crew cab with either a short or standard box.
All three trim models come with a 143.5-inc wheelbase and standard height of around 74 inches.
All three trim packages come in 10 standard colors ranging from Quicksilver to Cobalt Blue.
2014 Chevy Silverado
The Silverado still features the more classic American truck styling that has made it iconic, though (in a nod to modernity) there have been a few upgrades. For 2014, there are seven separate trim/option packages you can choose from: the 1WT, the 2WT, the LT Z71, the LTZ, the LTZ Z71 and the High Country. The grille that made this truck famous is still there on all seven options, with clean solid lines running along the body. You can get a regular cab and a standard or long box with any of the 1WT, 2WT, LT or LT Z71 packages. You can get a double cab with a standard box in these four trim options as well as the LTZ and the LTZ Z71 packages. The High Country package only comes in a crew cab (though you can get it with either a standard or a short box.)
There isn’t a bit of difference between the seven Silverado finish packages and any of the Sierra models when it comes to wheelbase or height. You’ll also find the same standard 10 exterior color options you find with the Sierra when you go to pick a color for your Silverado.
The interior of a modern pickup truck has more in common these days with the interior and instrument panel of a fighter jet than it does of a truck from previous generations. Both the GMC Sierra and the Chevy Silverado take their place in this evolving progression of creature comforts and high-tech gadgetry, and each added a few new props for 2014:
2014 GMC Sierra
There are a lot of amenities to be found within arm’s reach of the interior cab of any of the three GMC Sierra finish options including durable, soft-touch instrument panel materials and door trim. You’ll find aluminum trim on the instrument panel, steering wheel and center console. You may be excused for not remembeirgn you’r in a truck thanks to the quiet nature of the interiors. GMC engineered the Sierra’s cabin to provide you and your passengers with a quiet, comfortable experience by adding things like triple door seals that block outside noise.
The Sierra also features a center console big enough to store hanging file folders, laptops and much more (especially when you select a bucket seat model. Dual-density seat foam holds its shape longer and keeps you and your passengers more comfortable.
To help power your tools and toys along the way, there are multiple USB ports and 12V charging outlets and you can select a 110V power outlet.
The 2014 Sierra brings improved rear-seat legroom on crew cab models and the SLE package comes standard with locking under-seat storage when you opt for front bench seating.
The panel also comes with larger controls that are easy to reach and read. Edmunds says that while older versions of the Silverado had bland and interiors with too much plastic, the latest version is well-upholstered with improved fit and finish. The Silverado includes Chevy's MyLink infotainment system, which feature intuitive and easy to use menus and controls.
2014 Chevy Silverado
Many older reviews (including from industry leader Edmunds) have issues with the interior finishes found in the Silverado. They’re routinely labeled bland and too plastic. The 2014 version has taken numerous steps to blunt that criticism.
The seats (available in stain-resistant vinyl, cloth or leather) now feature dual-firmness foam for more comfort. In the crew and double cab models, there is increased foot and legroom found in the second row and wider openings and larger doors make accessing that back row easier.
The 2014 Silverado features overhead consoles, front and rear-door storage units, and upper and lower glove boxes that dramatically increase storage space. There is even a two-section center console with one section dedicated to inputs and power sources for your tech tools and one large enough to store hanging files.
The steering wheel is loaded with integrated controls allowing you to flip through a number of displays, set the proper temperature for your heated steering wheel, even change settings manually or with voice commands. The Silverado includes Chevy's MyLink infotainment system, which features intuitive and easy to use menus and controls. It links to an impressive Bose sound system as well as to Bluetooth, hands-free options for communication. You can keep track of it all over the in-dash, 8-inch diagonal color touch-screen.
Like the Sierra, the Silverado cab is designed for quiet comfort once the windows are rolled up. Triple sealed doors and an aerodynamic windshield angle dramatically reduces any ambient noise.
Performance and fuel efficiency
Taking full measure of the power and performance of either the 2014 GMC Sierra or the 2014 Chevy Silverado is a matter of which upgrades and options you want to include. The base, entry-level of either truck gets you the same 4.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-6 engine that delivers a nice 285-hp and has become the workhorse for General Motors trucks. There are, however, some tasty options with either make and within the options packages you can find with each model:
2014 GMC Sierra
With the regular cab options for the Sierra, you can stick with the standard V-6 or upgrade to a 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V-8 engine. It will get you an impressive jump in horsepower (355-hp) without sacrificing too much by way of fuel efficiency. The double and crew cab options opens a new door on power as you can select a 6.2-liter, EcoTec3 V-8 that roars with 420-hp.
All 2014 GMC Sierra’s are powering a 6-speed automatic transmission. You can select a 2WD or 4WD option with any trim or power option you like and with each case, you’ll see the 4WD version has more thirst when it comes to the pump.
Fuel efficiency isn’t too bad with the Sierra. The 2WD, starter V-6 delivers 18-mpg in the city and 24-mpg in the city. Step up to the most powerful V-8 with 4WD and you’ll see your mileage dip to 14-mpg in the city and 20-mpg on the highway.
The 4.2-liter and the 5.3-liter EcoTec3 engines are flex-fuel engines. GMC flirted with offering a hybrid option for its 6.2-liter V-8 (something they still make available as an option in some cases) though the added cost general fails to justify the negligible improvements in fuel efficiency.
Payload and towing capacity are both quite impressive with even the entry-level V-6 Sierra, 2WD. It’s rated at a max payload of just over 2,000 lbs. while its conventional trailer/towing rating selection is a solid 3-ton. The high-end powertrain seems more geared toward towing as the full package, 6.2-liter 4WD Sierra a max payload of 1,800 lbs. but a trailer/towing rating of almost 6 ton (11,800 lbs.)
2014 Chevy Silverado
The power, performance and towing/hauling spec sheets for the range of Silverado options is very similar to what you’ll find with the Sierra. With the regular cab options you can choose between the standard 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V-6 engine with 285-hp or step up to a 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V-8 that will pump you up with 355-hp.
Move up to a double cab or a crew cab option and you’ll open the door to access the hefty 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V-8 that will get you 420-hp.
All Silverado package options come with the 6-speed automatic transmission and you can get any package in either 2WD or 4WD.
Fuel efficiency is about a wash between the Silverado and the Sierra. The standard 4.3-liter @WD gets the best ratings at 18-mpg in the city and 24-mpg on the highway. Power up with the 6.2-liter V-8 in 4WD and you’ll see that rating dip to 14-mpg in the city and 20-mpg on the highway. Like with the Sierra, the 4.3-liter and the 5.3-liter engines are flex-fuel engines.
Silverado’s entry-level package (the 4.3-liter 2WD) delivers impressive payload and towing numbers. Its max payload is just a bit over a ton (2,015 lbs.) while its trailering/towing rating sits right at 3 ton. The high-end package (6.2-liter, V-8 4WD) gets you just a bit under a ton of payload capacity while you can pull and tow to your heart’s content with a trailering/towing capacity of almost 4 ton.
Prices and warranties
Given the wide range of option packages spread out over the various trim/styles available with both the 2014 GMC Sierra and the 2014 Chevy Silverado, it’s possible to find just about any price for any budget. The Chevy Silverado has over 50 price points alone once you start working your way through even the basic options on its online Build Your Truck feature. Here are the starting MSRPs for the basic trim levels with standard features for each:
2014 GMC Sierra
- 4.3-liter V-6 2WD standard cab -- $26,075
- 4.3-liter V-6 4WD standard cab -- $30,015
- 4.3-liter V-6 2WD double cab -- $30,100
- 4.3-liter V-6 4WD double cab -- $34,080
- SLE 4.3-liter V-6 2WD, double cab -- $35,205
- SLE 4.3-liter V-6 4WD double cab -- $39,050
- 4.3-liter V-6 2WD crew cab -- $34,500
- 4.3-liter V-6 4WD crew cab -- $37,650
- SLE 4.3-liter V-6 2WD crew cab -- $37,970
- SLE 4.3-liter V-6 4WD crew cab -- $41,940
- SLT 5.3-liter V-8 2WD crew cab -- $42,160
- SLT 5.3-liter V-8 4WD crew cab -- $45,310
2014 Chevy Silverado
While the Silverado can spin your head with all of the bells and whistles you can choose that add up to more than 50 price points, here’s a summary of the starting MSRPs for the entry-level options for 2014:
- 1WT 4.3-liter V-6 2WD regular cab -- $25,575
- 1WT 4.3-liter V-6 4WD double cab -- $33,580
- 2WT 4.3-liter V-6 2WD regular cab -- $27,820
- 2WT 4.3-liter V-6 4WD crew cab -- $39,205
- LT 4.3-liter V-6 2WD regular cab -- $31,130
- LT 4.3-liter V-6 4WD crew cab -- $40,125
- LT Z71 4.3-liter V-6 2WD regular cab -- $32,720
- LT Z71 4.3-liter V-6 4WD double cab -- $38,925
- LT Z71 4.3-liter V-6 4WD crew cab -- $41,815
- LTZ 5.3-liter V-8 2WD double cab -- $38,660
- LTZ 5.3-liter V-8 4WD crew cab -- $44,570
- LTZ Z71 5.3-liter V-8 2WD double cab -- $39,340
- LTZ Z71 5.3-liter V-8 4WD crew cab -- $45,350
- High Country 5.3-liter V-8 4WD crew cab -- $49,180
The standard warranty for all of these models (across both the Sierra and the Silverado platforms) is essentially the same. Purchase any of these 2014 Sierras or Silverados and you’ll be covered by the General Motors 3-year/36,000 mile limited bumper-to-bumper, no-deductible warranty as well as its 5-year/100,000 mile limited fully transferrable, non-deductible powertrain warranty. If you happen to purchase a 2014 model of any of these trucks, you’ll also be rewarded with 2-years of scheduled, routine maintenance thrown in.
After reading the GMC Sierra vs. Chevy Silverado comparison above, you will be in a better position to decide which of the two pickup trucks is a better option for you. If you want to purchase a GMC Sierra or Chevy Silverado, use Reply! to find competitive price quotes from auto dealers in your area.
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About the Author Alex Gabriel
Alex Gabriel is a content editor at Reply! with several years of digital marketing and and copywriting experience. A native of Portland and graduate of the University of Oregon, Alex has a passion for test-driving new cars he can’t afford. Click here to connect with Alex on Google+.