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GMC before the Sierra

The Sierra and its twin, the Silverado, have been nearly identical since their inception. GMC identified their full-size pickup trucks as the C/K model line ("C" being capable of two-wheel drive and "K" being capable of four-wheel drive) and in 1962 began numbering each model with a 15, 25, or 35 to represent a half ton, three-quarter ton, or one ton model, respectively. Like the Silverado, the Sierra was introduced in 1975 as the nameplate for a high-end trim package on the C/K models. Available as the Sierra, Sierra Grande, High Sierra, and Sierra Classic, more than ten years later, in 1988, the newly redesigned and refurbished pickup truck line was stamped with the Sierra name, switched the identifying number from 15 to 1500, and became one of the most popular full-size pickup trucks available.

The Sierra Evolved

The 1500 featured in 1988 as the base model for the newly established Sierra line with a 160 horsepower 4.3L V6 engine. The Sierra would continue to improve with a more upscale look and feel than the Silverado. Some of the more impressive options at the time include an upgraded stereo, dual cup holders, guard beams, four-wheel antilock brakes, and a more spacious and comfortable interior. In 1996, the Vortec engines were introduced, providing a substantial increase in power that ranged from 200 to 290 horsepower.  In 1999, another redesigned truck was introduced, and GMC dubbed any previous versions as the "Classic Sierra." The newer models had 200 horsepower with a 4.3L V6 and 255 horsepower with the 4.8L V8. It featured a brand new towing and hauling system that was available for four-speed automatics and five-speed manuals. After receiving another redesign in 2007, GMT 900 HD model emphasized fuel economy and only included automatics. The exterior of the GMC Sierra became more aerodynamic with smaller gaps and a steeper windshield. The V8 engines output more power and included an active fuel management feature.

Today, the Sierra is available in three trims: Sierra-Base, SLE, and SLT. Complete with powerful 4.3L V6 or 5.3L V8 EcoTec3 direct injection engines, the GMC Sierra has further improved its fuel economy. The Sierra also includes a six-speed automatic transmission, a high-strength steel frame, and is capable of tugging up to 7,600 pounds with the V6 and 11,200 pounds with the V8. A truck for the more elegant drivers, the interior of the Sierra is reminiscent of an SUV rather than a truck, featuring more ergonomically designed controls rather than purely functional knobs and switches. A truck for the more elegant drivers, the GMC Sierra mixes heavy duty reliability with comfort and style.

GMC is a registered trademark of General Motors Company. 1A Auto is not affiliated with or sponsored by GMC or General Motors Company. See all trademarks.

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