2016 GMC SIERRA 1500 AND SIERRA DENALI OFFER NEW LOOK AND ADVANCED ENGINEERING WITH CRAFTED INTERIORS
With exterior design the top draw for customers to the Sierra 1500, GMC’s best-selling truck rolls into 2016 with a fresh appearance that takes its signature premium styling to a higher level – and offers new, advanced engineering features designed to complement its crafted interior.
The new look for the Sierra 1500 offers greater visual distinction among the models and some special equipment packages such as the Elevation and All Terrain, while also introducing significant lighting technology upgrades. Highlights include:
- New headlamps with GMC signature LED lighting on all models
- HID projector-beam headlamps with LED signature standard on base model, SLE and SLT
- Thin-profile LED foglamps standard on SLT, All Terrain and Sierra Denali
- High-performance LED headlamps with LED signature standard on Sierra Denali and available SLT
- New grille design with specific appearance for base model, Elevation, SLE, SLT, All Terrain and Sierra Denali
- LED taillamps standard on SLT, All Terrain and Sierra Denali.
Advanced engineering in the 2016 Sierra is manifested in next-generation technologies such as Lane Keep Assist, which helps keep the truck in its lane with subtle steering enhancements, and IntelliBeam headlamp control, which automatically adjusts the high beams for oncoming traffic. Both are added to the Driver Alert Package that’s available on SLT and Sierra Denali models.
Additionally, new power-articulating assist steps are available on Sierra Denali, which makes entry and egress easier.
The 2016 Sierra’s new technologies also include phone integration via GMC IntelliLink for Denali models. It enhances connectivity and promotes safer driving, allowing smartphone users to connect with applications such as navigation, hands-free messaging and more through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
Additional new and revised features for 2016 include:
- Hydra-Matic 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission now available with the 5.3L V-8 engine on SLT and Sierra Denali
- Wireless phone charging is included on all models equipped with front bucket seats
- Available remote locking tailgate
- New, available 20-inch chrome-clade aluminum wheel design
- Exterior colors: Crimson Red Tintcoat, Cardinal Red, Mahogany Metallic and White Frost Tintcoat.
What hasn’t changed with the Sierra is its high level of capability and power on demand. Its available 6.2L V-8 engine, with 420 horsepower (313 kW) and 460 lb-ft of torque (623 Nm), is the most powerful offered in a light-duty pickup truck. It is backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission that supports a 12,000-pound maximum trailering rating under SAE J2807 Recommended Practices adopted in 2015.
Also returning for 2016 is the Sierra Denali. It is the only full-size truck to offer Magnetic Ride Control real-time damping; and along with the available 6.2L V-8 and eight-speed automatic transmission and new connectivity features, it retains its position as the most refined, technically advanced truck on the market.
The 2016 Sierra 1500 range includes regular cab and two four-door cabs – the double cab and crew cab – body styles, all offered with 4WD. Models and trim levels the base model, SLE, SLT and Denali – with regular cab offered only in standard and SLE trims and Denali offered exclusive as a crew cab. Elevation Edition and All Terrain packages are available.
Regular cab models are offered with a 6’6” box or an 8’ box. Double cab models are available exclusively with the 6’6” box, while crew cabs are available with a 5’8” box or the 6’6” box.
The entire lineup is available with a number of features engineered for serious towing, including the available NHT max trailering package, which features a 9.76-inch rear axle, heavy-duty rear springs, unique shock tuning, enhanced cooling and an integrated trailer brake controller to optimize capability and comfort when trailering.
And along with configurations to suit just about every need, Sierra can be tailored to the way customers use full-size pickups, providing the power, efficiency, refinement and dependability:
- Range of powerful and efficient EcoTec3 engines, including a 4.3L V-6 rated at 285 hp (212 kW), a 5.3L V-8 rated at 355 hp (250 kW) and the 6.2L V-8 rated at 420 hp (313 kW)
- Maximum Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 7,600 pounds (3,447 kg)
- Maximum payload rating of 2,260 pounds (1,025 kg) – with the NHT max trailering package
- Maximum trailering rating of 12,000 pounds (5,443 kg) – with the NHT max trailering package.
New Elevation Edition
The new Elevation Edition is offered on the base-model double cab (later availability) and combines popular appearance, convenience and capability features in a distinctively trimmed package. Highlights include:
- 20 x 9-inch machined aluminum wheels painted black
- Automatic locking differential
- Heated, power-adjustable outside mirrors with body-color mirror caps
- Body-color-accented grille surround; body-color front and rear bumpers (rear bumper with corner steps), and body-color door handles
- LED front fog lamps
- Remote Keyless Entry
- Remote locking tailgate
- 110-volt AC power outlet
- LED cargo box lighting
- IntelliLink with new 7-inch-diagonal radio
- OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot.
The Sierra All-Terrain package blends capability with unique style to make a statement on or off road. It is available on 4WD double cab and crew cab models with SLE or SLT trims.
Additional content includes:
- Z71 Off-Road suspension package with Rancho monotube shocks, high-capacity air cleaner, Hill Descent Control and underbody transfer case shield
- 18 x 8.5-inch bright machined aluminum wheels and all-terrain tires
- Rear Park Assist
- Unique grille with body-color surround and tinted chrome accents; body-color front and rear bumpers (rear bumper with corner steps)
- Spray-on bedliner
- Auto-dimming inside rearview mirror
- Bright sill plates
- All-Terrain-logo instrument cluster
- Jet Black / Spice Red interior trim combination (SLT model only).
An All Terrain SLT Premium Package is available on SLT models and adds 20 x 9-inch aluminum wheels, Front and Rear Park Assist, a heated steering wheel, a power sliding rear window with defogger and 6-inch rectangular assist steps.
Sierra Denali details
The distinctive Sierra Denali delivers GMC capability with unique design cues and exclusive features. On the exterior, it wears a signature Denali chrome grille, unique 20-inch wheels, 6-inch chrome assist steps – with new, power-articulating assist steps available – body-color bumpers, chrome exhaust tip unique interior decorative trim, a polished stainless steel exhaust outlet and body-color front and rear bumpers and a factory-installed spray-on bed liner with a three-dimensional Denali logo.
It also wears new-for-2016 LED headlamps with GMC signature LED daytime running lights, thin-profile LED fog lamps and LED taillamps.
Sierra Denali’s high-tech interior features an exclusive 8-inch-diagonal Customizable Driver Display – with unique Denali-themed screen graphics at start-up – that can show relevant settings, audio and navigation information in the instrument panel. Sierra Denali’s standard eight-inch-diagonal Color Touch navigation radio with IntelliLink, located above the center console, serves as the main hub for Bluetooth-connected phones and portable devices connected through four standard USB ports.
Additional Denali-specific interior details include script on the bright door sills and embossed into the front seats and real aluminum trim, new wireless charging, a Bose audio system, heated and vented leather front bucket seats, a heated steering wheel, front and rear park assist and a power sliding rear window with defogger.
Sierra Denali’s standard, third-generation magnetic ride control delivers more precise body motion control. Its sensors “read” the road every millisecond, triggering damping changes in as little as five milliseconds in electronically controlled shock absorbers that replace conventional mechanical-valve shocks. They’re filled with a magneto-rheological fluid containing minute iron particles and under the presence of a magnetic charge, the iron particles align to provide damping resistance. Changes in the magnetic charge alter the damping rate of the shocks, with changes occurring almost instantly.
Sierra exterior features
Sierra’s exterior design is bold and refined, with features that help reduce wind noise in the cabin. Inlaid doors, for example, fit into body sides rather than wrapping over the roof and combine with triple door seals to reduce wind noise and turbulence, helping quiet the cab. Also, the front of the truck is carefully sealed to provide efficient cooling with minimal aerodynamic drag. An aluminum hood with twin power domes also enhances efficiency with lower weight than a steel hood.
The Sierra’s signature bold appearance is distinguished with the segment’s only standard HID projector-beam headlamps and LED signature lighting. High-performance LED headlamps are standard on Sierra Denali and available on SLT. LED taillamps are included on SLT, All Terrain and Sierra Denali.
All models have chrome grille surrounds and premium black wheel arch moldings, while the All Terrain and Elevation packages feature painted grille surrounds. Different trim levels feature chrome belt moldings, mirror caps and door handles, as well as unique wheel designs and grille details. Chrome bumpers are included on standard, SLE and SLT trims, and body-color bumpers are included on All Terrain, Elevation and Sierra Denali.
When it comes to ergonomics, Sierra’s wide rear crew cab doors make it easier to get in and out of the truck, while the pickup box’s two-tier loading design, CornerStep rear bumper and ergonomically shaped handholds built into new box rail protectors make it easier to load and retrieve items.
Sierra’s design also includes a smart pickup box that’s strong and durable – and offers greater cargo flexibility. It features a two-tier loading design that allows customers to insert a platform to separate items during hauling or conceal valuables below, such as power tools.
The EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate makes it easier to access the box. An internal torsion bar reduces the effort to raise and lower it, while a rotary damper allows for a controlled and more gradual lowering motion when opening it. The tailgate is also easily removable without tools. It is standard on regular cab SLE models, double cab and crew cab models with SLE or SLT trim, and Sierra Denali.
To ensure loaded items remain in place while the vehicle is in motion, four integrated cargo tie-down provisions are built into the lower corners of the Sierra’s pickup box and adjustable upper tie-down hooks are available. The patented upper hooks – each rated at 250 pounds – can be placed in several locations around the upper bed rails, providing flexibility for securing loads of all shapes and sizes. Four of the hooks are included with the optional package, with additional hooks available as accessories from GMC dealers.
A box light is standard and mounted above the rear window, while available under-rail LED lights enhance illumination and turn on with the standard overhead box lamp. They are standard on SLE, SLT and Denali.
Heated, power-adjustable trailering mirrors are also offered on SLE and SLT, featuring segment-first LED rear guidance lamps.
Sierra interior details
The Sierra’s interior is crafted, quiet and functional, complementing the truck’s capability with a high standard of comfort.
Crafted details such as a soft-touch instrument panel, contrasting stitching and real aluminum trim reinforce GMC’s premium presence, while additional features, including an available heated steering wheel, heated and vented seats, dual-density seat foam and even Magnetic Ride Control (Sierra Denali), contribute to its comfort.
Front seating configurations across the range include:
- Sierra – Standard 40/20/40-split cloth bench seat with fold-down armrest that includes covered storage and three integrated cup holders. Vinyl seating is available
- SLE – Standard 40/20/40-split cloth bench seat with fold-down armrest that includes covered storage and three integrated cup holders. Heated, leather-trimmed bench seat available and heated, cloth front bucket seats included with All Terrain
- SLT – Standard leather-trimmed 40/20/40-split bench seat with fold-down armrest that includes covered storage and three integrated cup holders, lockable under-seat storage compartment. Heated and vented perforated leather front bucket seats available; heated, cloth bucket seats included with All Terrain
- Denali – Full-feature leather-appointed bucket seats with 12-way driver and passenger power adjustments, including four-way power lumbar control and two-position driver memory.
Sierra’s quietness and refinement are rooted in a strong cab structure. Nearly two-thirds of the cab is made of high-strength steel, while shear-style body mounts are used to tune out both up-and-down and side-to-side movement for a quiet, comfortable ride. Double and crew cab models have a set of hydraulic body mounts to further isolate the cabs, while Active Noise Cancellation is employed on models with the 6.2L engine.
And because Sierra builds on a 112-year legacy of building uncompromising trucks, its cabin is as functional as it is comfortable and quiet. The instrument panel, for example, has an intuitive six-gauge cluster. Standard models include a 3.5-inch driver information center display in the middle of the instrument cluster, with a 4.2-inch color driver information center display, for vehicle and infotainment data, standard on SLE and SLT – and an 8-inch-diagonal customizable driver display in Sierra Denali. Ambient lighting highlights all functional areas, such as the “4x4” and headlamp switches, as well as the radio, for easier viewing at night.
All models have extensive interior storage, tailored to the way customers use their trucks. The center console – available on vehicles with front bucket seats – offers nearly 1 cubic foot (24.5 liters) of combined storage space, with the depth and width to conceal a laptop computer. Additionally, the locking console accommodates hanging files for owners who use their truck as a rolling office, as well as controls for overhead ambient lighting, map pockets along the side, cup holders and reconfigurable compartments. It also includes four USB ports, two 12-volt power points, a 110-volt outlet and a cord management system, allowing owners to leave their phone charger plugged in for quicker access when it’s needed, but remains concealed and without a dangling cord when it’s not. Plus, there’s a location on the console designed specifically for cell phone storage.
The fold-down center armrest on standard models and other models equipped with the 40/20/40-split bench seat offers covered storage and connectivity, with two USB ports and two 12-volt power points.
New wireless phone charging is available on SLE and SLT double cab and crew cab models with available bucket seats and is standard on Sierra Denali.
Additionally, several equipment packages are available across the model range, bundling popular features:
- Sierra Convenience Package – offered on base models, it features heated, power-adjustable outside mirrors, Remote Keyless Entry, Rear Vision camera, 110-volt AC power outlet, remote locking tailgate and LED cargo box lighting. Power windows are also included on regular cab models.
- SLE Convenience Package – includes power-adjustable pedals, Rear Park Assist and power sliding rear window with rear defogger.
- SLE Preferred Package – includes driver 10-way power seat adjuster (with 40/20/40 split-bench cloth seat), remote vehicle starter system, LED fog lamps, rear-window defogger, manual tilting/telescopic steering column (not available with 4.3L V-6) and 110-volt AC power outlet. Double cab and crew cab models add Universal Home Remote and dual-zone climate control.
- SLT Preferred Package – includes Front and Rear Park Assist, heated steering wheel, and power sliding rear window with defogger.
- Entertainment package – offered on SLT crew cab and Sierra Denali, it includes a rear-seat DVD/Blu-Ray player, wireless remote control, a 9.2-inch-diagonal LCD display and two sets of wireless headphones.
Connectivity includes IntelliLink with new phone integration technology, OnStar 4G LTE
Upgrades and enhancements for 2016 include an all-new radio with a 7-inch-diagonal color touchscreen that’s available on the base-model 1SA trim and standard with the Elevation Edition. An 8-inch system is offered on higher trim levels and equipment packages.
Both radios offer improved system speed and performance, faster, more accurate map loading, faster service reprogramming and redesigned navigation interfaces, including a quick list of recently browsed points of interest, point of interest country grouping, last destination screen and visual landmark indication with map guidance (on navigation radios only). The 8-inch radio offers enhanced voice command execution, while the new 7-inch radio uses pass-through voice recognition synched with the user’s phone.
Also new for Sierra 8-inch radio systems is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability (Denali models only). Each provides simple and smart use of smartphones in the vehicle, integrating certain phone functions onto IntelliLink’s color touchscreen and allowing users to call up music, navigation apps and more via compatible phones.
Complementing IntelliLink to enhance Sierra’s connectivity is OnStar 4G LTE with a Wi-Fi hotspot. It provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot supports up to seven mobile devices and is on whenever the vehicle is on and comes with a three-month/three-gigabyte data trial. It is available on the 1SA and standard on SLE, SLT and Denali models.
At the time of purchase, six months of an OnStar Guidance plan includes all of OnStar’s advisor-based safety and security features, including Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Assistance, as well as turn-by-turn navigation.
Five years of a subscription-free OnStar Basic Plan includes RemoteLink Key Fob Services, allowing owners to remotely start and lock/unlock a car (if properly equipped), and activate the horn and lights from anywhere with a data connection. It also includes OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics, which runs monthly checks of a vehicle’s engine, transmission, anti-lock brakes and more, and Dealer Maintenance Notification, which sends diagnostic report directly to a preferred dealer simplify service scheduling.
The Sierra’s trio of EcoTec3 engines – a 4.3L V-6, 5.3L V-8 and 6.2L V-8 – is designed to balance confident performance with efficiency. Each features direct injection, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and continuously variable valve timing to make the most of power, torque and efficiency across a broad range of operating conditions:
- The 4.3L V-6 is SAE-certified at 285 horsepower (212 kW) and 305 lb.-ft. of torque (413 Nm) – the most torque of any standard V-6.
- The 5.3L V-8 is SAE-certified at 355 horsepower (250 kW) and 383 lb.-ft. of torque (519 Nm). With EPA-estimated fuel economy of 23 mpg highway (2WD), it offers the best fuel economy of any V-8 pickup.
- The 6.2L V-8 is the most power engine offered in any light-duty pickup truck, with SAE-certified 420 horsepower (313 kW) and 460 lb-ft of torque (623 Nm). It is available with SLT and Denali, and matched with the 8L90 eight-speed transmission.
At the heart of the EcoTec3 engine family is an advanced combustion system that maximizes the potential of the direct fuel injection system, cylinder deactivation, continuously variable valve timing and other technologies. The ability to more precisely control combustion also enables the engines to run with a higher compression ratio – 11.0:1 for the versions with regular fuel recommended. Higher compression is one of the best ways to simultaneously boost power and efficiency.
In the U.S. and Canada, the Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission is matched with the 4.3L and, in base and SLE models, the 5.3L V-8. Sierra SLT and Sierra Denali models with the 5.3L and all models with the 6.2L engine are matched with the 8L90 eight-speed automatic.
The GM-developed Hydra-Matic 8L90 is roughly the same size and weight as the 6L80 six-speed automatic. Its 7.0 overall gear ratio spread is wider than GM’s six-speed automatic transmissions. That provides a numerically higher first gear ratio, helping drivers start off more confidently with a heavy load or when trailering. The 8L90 also enables numerically lower rear axle ratios, which reduce engine rpm on the highway.
Capability and control
The Sierra 1500 is engineered to deliver great capability with great refinement, with a quiet, controlled ride, great steering and braking feel – attributes that provide driving confidence when using the truck’s capability to its fullest.
A fully boxed frame with the main rails and major cross members formed from high-strength steel provides a rigid base for maximum hauling capability, great noise and vibration isolation and excellent crashworthiness. The stiff chassis enables more precise tuning of the front and rear suspensions, for a more responsive feel with smoother performance and less vibration and shake, particularly on harsh terrain.
All Sierra 1500 models – 2WD and 4WD – feature a coil-over-shock independent front suspension design. A Hotchkiss-type axle/rear suspension design delivers the load-sharing strength and flexibility that truck owners have relied on for decades. A lineup of more robust axles is used with two-stage, semi-elliptical multi-leaf springs, complementing the higher-torque powertrains to deliver maximum strength under load. It includes:
- An 8.6-inch axle with V-6 models offered with a 3.23 ratio in 2WD models and a 3.42 ratio with 4WD
- A larger, 9.5-inch axle is used with 5.3L. A 3.08 ratio is standard with the 5.3L and a 3.42 ratio is optional
- On models with the eight-speed automatic transmission, a 3.23 axle ratio is standard with the 5.3L and 6.2L engines
- A high-capacity 9.76-inch axle is matched with 6.2L-equipped models and is part of the available Max Trailering Package, which is also available with the 5.3L engine.
For owners whose work or recreation takes them off road, the available Z71 Off Road package (included with the All Terrain package) mixes aesthetic cues with greater capability, including 46mm monotube Rancho shocks, front tow hooks, Hill Descent Control, a transfer case shield and standard 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires. Twenty-inch wheels and all-terrain tires are also available.
Additional standard and available chassis and suspension features:
- Hill descent control is engaged by the driver and uses the anti-lock braking system to enable a smooth and controlled descent in rough terrain. It is included with the Z71 suspension package.
- Automatic locking rear differential reacts in milliseconds in low-traction situations to improve safety and confidence on wet, snowy or muddy surfaces. Without driver input of any kind, the rear axle engages when a wheel speed difference of 100 rpm or more is detected between the left and right wheels, providing instant traction for confident driving. During normal driving conditions, the differential functions as a conventional light-bias limited-slip axle. It is standard with the Elevation Edition and All Terrain package, and available on other models; and it is included with the NHT Max Trailering Package.
- Electric variable-assist power steering is standard on all models. It reduces steering effort at low speeds. Because there is no engine-driven pump, electric power steering also saves fuel and eliminates the maintenance associated with hydraulic power steering.
- Four-wheel disc brakes. The large, vented front brake rotors measure 13 inches in diameter and are complemented by 13.6-inch rear rotors.
- Duralife™ brake rotors that offer up to double the service life. A GM-exclusive process protects against rust that, over time, can lead to steering wheel shudder. It involves super-heating the rotors to more than 1,000 degrees F (560 C) for an entire day in a special oven, where the nitrogen-rich atmosphere promotes nitrogen atoms to bond to the rotors’ surfaces, hardening and strengthening them.
- StabiliTrak electronic stability control system is standard on all Sierra 1500 models, working in concert with the new four-wheel-disc brake system and four-channel ABS to provide more precise and controlled ABS stops, greater traction and excellent cornering stability. It also incorporates rollover mitigation technology, which anticipates tip-up conditions – such as fishtailing – on a flat road surface and rapidly applies brake pressure to help reduce the likelihood of a rollover.
- Trailer sway control is also standard and works with StabiliTrak to provide an added measure of confidence when towing a trailer. It senses conditions of trailer sway and, without input from the driver, intervenes with braking and/or reduced engine power to bring the trailer under control and keep it on its intended path. The system will use electric trailer brakes when a trailer is plugged into the standard wiring harness.
- Integrated trailer brake controller and hill start assist are two more solutions that help owners do their work with greater confidence and less hassle. The trailer brake controller allows the driver to adjust the amount of output available to the electric trailer brake and to manually apply the brakes. With hill start assist, the brakes hold for about 1.5 seconds on grades of 5 percent or greater when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake pedal, preventing rollback for a more confident take-off on hilly terrain – especially with a trailer.
The Max Trailering Package is available on 2WD and 4WD V-8 crew cab and double cab models and includes a 9.76-inch rear axle, heavy-duty rear springs, revised shock tuning for increased control, enhanced cooling and an integrated trailer brake controller. Also included is the G80 locking rear differential, a trailer hitch and bumper-mounted four- and seven-pin connectors.
The 2016 Sierra’s safety systems incorporate technologies designed to protect the driver and passengers before, during and after a collision.
The available Driver Alert Package, offered on Sierra Denali, regular cab SLE and double cab/crew cab SLT models, helps drivers avoid crashes with Lane Keep Assist, Forward Collision Alert, IntelliBeam high-beam headlamp control and the segment-exclusive Safety Alert Seat. Front and Rear Park Assist is also included with the package on SLE and SLT (it is standard on Denali).
Forward Collision Alert tracks the vehicle ahead using a forward-facing camera and a three-step visual and sound alert, while the safety alert seat, uses directional vibrations to warn of crash treat. Lane Keep Assist technology provides subtle steering wheel input to help keep the truck within its lane when traveling at least 35 mph.
In the event of a crash, standard occupant protection features include:
- Three-point safety belts in in all rear seating positions
- Front outboard safety belt retractor pretensioners that automatically reduce slack in the shoulder belts, helping to keep occupants upright and reduce forward movement
- Energy management system retractors that gradually let out the front outboard pretensioned safety belt to manage occupant energy and limit forces to the occupant in a frontal collision
- Six standard air bags and 360-degree sensor system, including:
- Dual-stage frontal air bags work with the safety belts and deploy in one or two levels to help reduce injury to the driver and outside front passenger in certain frontal collisions. A Passenger Sensing System helps detect the presence of a properly seated front passenger and determine if the frontal air bag should be allowed to inflate
- Head-curtain side-impact air bags with rollover protection deploy from the roof rail area for outboard passengers
- Seat-mounted side-impact air bags help protect the chest and pelvic regions of the driver and outside front passenger in a side-impact, absorbing as much crash energy as possible
- LATCH system helps customers properly install a child seat using a top tether anchor and two lower anchors located between the seat cushion and seatback.
Additionally, StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover mitigation technology, trailer sway control and hill-start assist are standard. A rear-vision camera is standard on SLE, SLT and Denali.