If you’re looking for a heavy duty truck - either to meet your needs for work or to enjoy some extra power when you’re exploring on your weekend adventures - you can’t go wrong with the GMC Sierra. The truck has a long reputation for its powerful performance, hefty towing capacity, and its reliable footing on just about any terrain. The GMC Sierra is also known for its reliability and longevity.
Within the GMC Sierra family, you have plenty of options. Two of the popular choices are the GMC Sierra 3500 and the GMC Sierra 1500, both of which are considered powerful work horses. Here’s a brief look at how the two models compare to help you make the right choice for your needs:
One of the most important things that people look at when considering heavier duty trucks is the engine size and output. Both the GMC Sierra 1500 and the GMC Sierra 3500 are going to outperform most other trucks, but the GMC Sierra 3500 is usually going to be more powerful than the GMC Sierra 1500. The 1500 is the entry level model, and the power moves up through the ranks with the 2500 and then tops out with the 3500.
The exact specs are going to depend on the specific model year you choose and how it was configured. Generally, the GMC Sierra 1500 is going to come with a V6 or V8 engine that puts out between 270 and 300 horsepower and gets 400 to 500 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, the GMC Sierra 3500 usually comes with a V8 or a diesel engine that puts out close to 400 horsepower and more than 600 lb-ft of torque. The extra horsepower and torque that you get with the GMC Sierra 3500 means that you’ll be able to handle heavier loads and get a little more oomph to get you out of tight spots and tough terrain.
You are going to find a similar division when you start looking at towing capacity. When you’re shopping for a heavy duty truck, towing capacity is one of the most important metrics to consider. You don’t necessarily need to have the maximum towing capacity, but you do need to be sure that the truck can handle whatever jobs you might have to take on.
Generally speaking, the maximum towing capacity for the GMC Sierra 1500 is going to tap out around 10,000 pounds - though the actual numbers can be less, depending on the model year and configuration. In contrast, the GMC Sierra 3500 will have a maximum towing capacity of 15,000 to 20,000 pounds - again, depending on the model specifics. Packages can be added to increase the towing capacity of these models, so if you are shopping for previously owned models, you may find base options that were modified to handle more cargo.
Both the GMC Sierra 1500 and the GMC Sierra 3500 are impressive trucks with imposing profiles. Yet, just as their names suggest - and their other features bear out - the GMC Sierra 1500 is more “light-weight” compared to the GMC Sierra 3500, and its exterior styling reflects that. The GMC Sierra 3500 has a broader and thicker profile, with a meatier front end and higher ground clearance overall. You’ll tend to find more exterior features on the GMC Sierra 3500, such as running boards, deeper wheel wells, and larger side mirrors. You’ll also find a few styling extras, like chrome bars and accents.
Inside these trucks, you’ll see a lot of the same design and features. Unless you’re shopping in the higher trim levels, seating will generally be vinyl for practical purposes, and features will include things like power windows and locks, power adjustable seating, an infotainment system, and plenty of storage options. With both models, the features will increase as you move up the trim level. Of course, newer models will have more advanced features, as well. By shopping previously owned models, you can enjoy new models and higher trim levels for a lower cost, meeting the needs of your budget without sacrificing what you want in the truck.
Both the GMC Sierra 1500 and the GMC Sierra 3500 have received top marks in safety tests across the board for all models in recent years. These trucks are designed with safety and reliable performance in mind, and they include features that enhance performance and ensure safe handling, such as stronger shocks, improved brakes, traction and stability control, trailer sway monitoring, and more. Standard safety features are also included for both models, including a full suite of airbags in the cabin and a backup camera.
With higher trim levels, you can find some more advanced safety features, particularly in recent model years. Some examples include surround-view cameras, bed cameras, forward collision warning, lane departure alert, and monitoring systems for truck and tire tilt. By shopping previously owned models, you can find configurations that include the best of all these features for a fraction of the cost.
Tim’s Truck Capital sells a wide selection of high-quality, previously owned trucks and other vehicles, including many models of the GMC Sierra 1500 and GMC Sierra 3500. Our knowledgeable associates are ready to help you find the perfect truck to meet your needs and fit your budget. Our associates can help you better understand the different features that are offered on our current models so you can be sure you are getting just what you need. Our finance specialists can then work with you to explore available terms and offers to get the monthly payment you need.
The team at Tim’s Truck Capital is here for every stage of your truck ownership, whether you are buying a new truck or you need to have your truck serviced. We’ll also be here when you are ready to sell your current truck or trade it in for something new. Visit us today to find your next truck!