Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Jul 9, 2019

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Ranked 3rd among all full size pickup trucks by U.S. News and World Report, the GMC Sierra is a versatile workhorse capable of hauling a payload of almost 2,000 pounds. For the truck’s starting MSRP of $21,235, you get a basic work truck with a regular cab and a 4.3 liter V6 engine.

A 4-speed automatic transmission is standard in this model. This low starting price ties the 2011 Sierra with Chevrolet’s Silverado for the title of “Most Affordable” among full size pickup trucks.

To learn about how much you’ll pay for repairs, maintenance, auto insurance and fuel costs for a GMC Sierra 1500 read on.

You can also enter your zip code in the box to compare auto insurance quotes instantly.

GMC Sierra 1500 Car Insurance

Compared to those of its competitors, auto insurance rates for the 2011 GMC Sierra are very affordable. Edmunds estimates that Sierra drivers will pay about $135 per month to insure their trucks.

While Edmunds’ auto insurance rate estimates for the Chevy Silverado are lower, at around $127 per month, Ford F-150 drivers can expect to pay over $150 per month.

The Dodge Ram 1500 and the Toyota Tundra have some of the highest auto insurance rates, according to Edmunds. Tundra owners can expect to pay about $167 monthly, and Ram owners will pay approximately $163 each month.

Repair Costs for the 2011 Sierra

The Sierra comes standard with GMC’s 100,000 mile/5-year powertrain warranty, and the truck’s basic warranty lasts for 36,000 miles or 36 months.

While most repairs should be covered during the warranty period, Edmunds’ data indicates that most Sierra drivers still pay between $800 and $900 for repairs during the first five years they own their trucks.

Estimated repair costs for the Chevrolet Silverado and the Dodge Ram 1500 are comparable to those for the Sierra 1500. If you choose a Ford F-150, you can expect to pay quite a bit more for repairs, approximately $1,500, according to Edmunds.

The Toyota Tundra boasts slightly lower repair costs of around $750 for five years.

GMC Sierra Scheduled Maintenance

As with repair costs, scheduled maintenance costs for the 2011 Sierra, the Silverado, and the F-150 are all comparable. Drivers of these trucks can expect to pay more than $4,000 over five years to maintain their vehicles, according to Edmunds.

Tundra drivers can expect 5-year scheduled maintenance bills of approximately $3,900, and 2011 Dodge Ram drivers can anticipate about $3,600 in scheduled maintenance costs during the first five years they own their trucks.

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Fuel Expenses for the Sierra 1500

Although the GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid is one of the most fuel-efficient full size pickup trucks on the road, its gasoline-powered cousin does not share this distinction. The 2011 Sierra gets an EPA-rated 18 mpg on the highway and 15 mpg in the city.

The only full-sized pickups with worse fuel economy are the Nissan Titan and the Dodge Ram 1500. If you’re looking for a more fuel-efficient gasoline-powered pickup truck, consider the Ford F-150 or a compact pickup truck like the Dodge Dakota or the Toyota Tacoma.

What are the top selling pickup trucks in America?

Overall, the long-term ownership costs of the GMC Sierra are competitive.

Though it doesn’t have the best fuel economy and its scheduled maintenance costs are on the high end, it does offer owners savings on repairs and car insurance rates compared to competing full size pickup trucks.

GMC Sierra 1500 Safety Ratings

The IIHS conducted frontal offset, side impact, and rear crash protection tests on the 2011 GMC Sierra. The Sierra was rated “Good” in the frontal offset test (the highest rating), but it only earned the second-highest rating of “Acceptable” on the side impact and rear crash tests.

The IIHS did not conduct roof strength tests, but federal government testers did. They gave the Sierra four out of five possible stars in this category, and they also gave the Sierra their highest 5-star rating for its performance in side-impact collision tests.

Safety Features on the GMC Sierra

GMC’s OnStar system is standard on all 2011 Sierra models except for the base trim, on which it costs extra. This system alerts an OnStar adviser and emergency responders if a crash is detected.

The Sierra is also equipped with advanced technologies designed to prevent crashes in the first place, like the Stabilitrak electronic stability control system.

This system automatically adjusts the vehicle’s speed and braking to help the driver maintain control of the pickup truck in a skid.

Another advanced safety feature that helps drivers control their vehicles under adverse conditions is electronic brake force distribution.

This system, which is standard on the Sierra, works in conjunction with the truck’s anti-lock brakes to send appropriate amounts of brake pressure to different wheels to counter over-steering by the driver.

Additional standard safety features on the Sierra include:

  • Tire pressure monitoring
  • Engine immobilizer
  • Traction control

Reviews of the GMC Sierra

Though it’s not the top-ranked vehicle in the full size pickup truck class, reviewers agree that the 2011 Sierra is a versatile truck that is one of the most powerful available when properly equipped.

Consumers can choose from among five engines, including the base V6 model that reviewers like Edmunds consider somewhat “sluggish.”

Critics recommend that buyers opt for one of the four V8 engines, which include 5.3 liter regular and Flex Fuel options, as well as a 6.2 liter model.

Reviewers like Consumer Guide are upbeat when it comes to the Sierra’s spacious and comfortable seats. Complaints center on the Sierra’s stingy interior cargo capacity and limited interior features on the base model.

Compare Auto Insurance Quotes for the GMC Sierra by entering your zip code in the box above!

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