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2013 GMC Sierra 1500 Two-Door Work Truck

Car Review: 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 Two-Door Work Truck – Full Review

by on October 7, 2012


Full Review by Andy: Bare Bones

Henry David Thoreau once said, “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” Yet truth has become an endangered species. Thoreau’s plea for honesty falls on deaf ears in a world where truth hides amongst commercial agendas. Auto manufactures use obsequious descriptions and photographs to showcase the flattering side of mediocrity. But this – this analysis of the 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab Work Truck – is true – no varnishing.
The truth is that the GMC Sierra 1500 WT has the weakest engine, the oldest interior, and the worst fuel economy of all its Detroit rivals. There are only three reasons to purchase the lowliest Sierra: cruise control, Sonoma Red Metallic paint, and an economic recession.
If You Can’t Live Without It …
The Sierra 1500 is the automotive equivalent of an Augustinian monastery. Many of its features were standard when Jimmy Carter was president. Its concessions to convenience include air-conditioning, an AM/FM radio, and vinyl upholstery (cloth is a no-cost option). Insofar, it seems that its competitors from Detroit will offer those amenities as well for the 2013 model year. However, the GMC Sierra 1500 WT has standard cruise control, which is only available as an option on its domestic rivals.

For discerning parvenus, the new GMC Sierra is now available in the Sonoma Red Metallic hue. (See all available colors).

The last and probably most important reason to purchase the 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 is its price tag. The WT is the cheapest pickup from Detroit at $22,595. Rivals generally cost $500-$1,500 more. If money is the bottom line, then the GMC Sierra is the choice to make.

But If You’re Looking for the Best …
But what if money is not the end-all? What if a customer desires superior towing capacity or a smooth ride quality? In that case, the GMC Sierra is simply too feeble to attract many buyers. It has not received a new design since 2007; original models have petrified and been made into museum exhibits. The truck has not kept pace with competitors and is not due for a full redesign until 2014.

The Regular Cab Work Truck soldiers on with a thirsty Vortec 4.3-liter V6 engine. It puts out 195 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. If choosing the Work Truck, buyers would be better off with one of the more powerful engines. But while the EPA gods smile on Ford and Ram, GMC languishes in purgatory for its lackluster 15/20 mpg rating. Opting for four-wheel drive or a top-grade engine lowers fuel economy even further.

… Then Why Are You Buying the GMC Sierra 1500?
Yet perhaps the GMC Sierra 1500 is playing at illusions. Maybe it hides a card up its sleeve – perhaps swift acceleration or a massive towing capacity? No – the pickup truck is honest; what you see is what you get. As expected, the Sierra 1500 WT has the lowest towing ratings of any rival pickup from Michigan. It has a maximum towing capacity of 5,400 pounds with the available 3.73 rear axle. Top payload capacity is 1,940 pounds. While adequate for many DIY chores, there is no hiding the fact that the base Sierra 1500 WT is bested by contenders whom offer superior towing and hauling abilities for essentially the same cost. Although industry tests have yet to be thoroughly conducted, it is likely that the GMC Sierra 1500 WT will also be the slowest American-made pickup truck. Like most competitors, the pickup comes with front/disc rear/drum brakes and basic airbag protection.

It’s Just Too Old
Remember that comment about showcasing the best side of mediocrity? The General’s rendition of that ploy is called “Pure Pickup,” GM-speak for the minimalist, bland interior of the GMC Sierra 1500 WT. While laborers may not give two cents over the interior’s antiquated dashboard design, all will care about the limited interior storage and haphazard arrangement of storage consoles. However, the interior is built from sturdy components and does have large controls that are easy to access and grip when wearing work gloves. The truck is available with two bed lengths: 6-foot-six-inches or 8-foot. A locking tailgate is optional.

If this were a story, readers would be clamoring for a climax, a redemption, the part of the tale where the 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab Work Truck rises above adversity to claim success. Yet this is not a fairy tale. This report is reality, and the truth is that the GMC Sierra 1500 WT has no redemption until 2014.


4.3-liter V6: 195 horsepower @4,600 rpm/260 lb-ft of torque @2,800 rpm
four-speed automatic transmission
15/20 mpg (RWD)
14/18 mpg (4WD)

4.8-liter V8: 302 horsepower/305 lb-ft of torque
four-speed automatic transmission

5.3-liter V8: 315 horsepower/335 lb-ft of torque
six-speed automatic transmission

0-60 mph: Unknown
Maximum towing: 5,400 pounds

Base MSRP: $22,595

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