Spied: 2017 GMC Sierra 1500

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It was just last week when we revealed several images of the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and talked about the possible mid-model changes to the front end and expansion of powertrain choices.

Not to be left out, GMC's mild front-end refresh is also on the way, as our spy shooters caught this early production Sierra 1500 SLT double cab running around on public streets. There are clear indications the front grille and headlight design is significantly changed, but also the rear taillights look like they might have more LED and/or chrome accents.

Because weight savings has become such a popular topic lately, it's also possible the GM half-tons could be experimenting with more extensive use of aluminum or other lightweight materials on the front end (their hoods were already aluminum). Additionally, the larger front grille could mean GM is looking at making grille shutters standard or offering a small turbo diesel for the Sierra and Silverado 1500s as well.

More likely is the use of the eight-speed transmission (now offered on the 6.2-liter V-8) across the other powertrains for the platform. At some point, we're guessing, we'll also see a 10-speed transmission mated to a small-block V-8 as well. 

Look for more fuel-stretching technologies to make it on any mid-model changes for competitors as well.

Chris Doane Automotive images


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The camo is confusing because the truck would probably go unnoticed driving down most streets and highways.

It would take a well trained eye to spot the differences between the current generation of product and the 2017 refresh.

Since the current generation of GM half tons came to the market a couple of years ago, we've been told that the real exciting stuff was going to appear in the next upgrade.


Must've decided that the new F150 was a little more of a competitor than they originally thought. Considering how much flack they got for the laziness of this current redesign, this lines up with the assumption that they underestimated the F150.
It certainly doesn't look like a huge change, much like Ford's midcycle refresh of the F150 in 2013, but maybe it'll be enough to let them reduce their incentives some and not sacrifice sales numbers.
I'm curious, when Chevy DOES switch to aluminum, what the fanboys will say then? Sure they'll be right behind it.
I love their current commercials really touting high-strength roll formed steel and how durable and tough it is. Curious how they'll tout the aluminum when that happens?
Will this one look a bit less like a mid-2000s Super Duty?

Local deals on 2015 Chevy 1500 quadcab $269 a month ZERO down, ZERO security deposit, 2yrs no cost service including oil changes.
Chevy is in a scramble to move their full sized trucks! haha looks like the little twins are eating into full size sales after all.

I can't see the taillights on the Sierra like you can on the Silverado, but I hope they look similar to the Yukon. Those are cool.

boring....unless it has the new 10 speed or a new engine. I'm not a fan of the 5.3. Too many people complaining about them burning oil and not a lot of power. My uncle had one and babied it. He traded it cause he was concerned having to add a quart of oil every couple thousand miles. I've heard the cylinder deactivation might somehow be the culprit but not sure if it is true. Anyways it was enough to drop GM from the runnings for my truck. I just bought an f-150 with the 5.0 last week. That is such a great motor and I trust it to be as reliable as any other gas v8.

@ lray801

"Considering how much flack they got for the laziness of this current redesign."

They updated all engines, new exterior, new interior, changes to the cab seating, new chassis, new bed management features like lighting and the step in the bumper to assist with getting in and out of the bed. They also add safety tech features like forward collision alert and lane departure warning systems.

That is not laziness that is expensive and time consuming and I understand if financially that was all they were willing to do or if they completed all they could before the 14 debuted. They were far behind Ford and Ram between 2011-2013 model years. They said they would make some of the additional changes being speculated earlier http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2014/05/2015-gm-pickup-trucks-to-get-more-gears.html. Honestly most of the flack they received was generally from the bailout crowd, Ford and Ram fans or a combination.

So if the tailgate is uncovered with the GMC emblem, why the phony Ford oval on the grille under the camo?

@AD: the laziness criticism is about the lack of notable styling change with all that "expensive" updating. Yes, all the exterior is new, but it resembled the previous design far too much and was considered much too conservative a redesign against the Ford and Ram competition. GM had plenty of time and money to give the Silverado/Sierra a more modern look... they chose not too and are paying for it.

"There are clear indications the front grille and headlight design is significantly changed" ??

What photo's are you looking at??

It does have an Oval in the grill. Why would they do that unless they are just hoping that Oval will help them instead of that bowtie they have ran in the ground.

Looks so much better then the Ford and Dodge.

And Ford and Dodge wish they had as good a V8 has that LS is.

Every Ford pickup owner I know or have talked with have had to spend major money fixing those spark plugs that fly out and dent the hood. Ok maybe they do not dent the hood but a major costly problem. Guy two doors down dropped $2500 getting his fixed.

I'm one of those FORD drivers and have never have my plugs fly out and dent the hood. Stupid chebby fan girls love to make stupid comments like that. We all know who makes the best trucks and I think the last 40 or so years proves that point. Get that OVAL out of that grill.

GM is laughing at their own fanbois. Don't know how many times I've heard them say stop with the dumb square wheel wells, and GM just makes them more comical. Rusting body panels, brake lines, oil burning engines, paper thin sheet metal, does not matter. Fanbois will keep buying them till they're bankrupt again. Few years back the then CEO said their entire existence was riding on the Volt. Didn't they finally discontinue that pos? Shouldn't be long now.

@ Roadtrip

Not liking a design is not the same as not changing to another as the front is different and so is the side profile. I could prefer a modern look but that doesn't mean they didn't change.

Some of you may serious quality concerns that GM should look at. I don't like their trim levels, special editions and pricing
As nobody else makes you by the top of the line trims for the top engine. You can get a Hemi, 5.7L iforce and 3.5L EB on mid trims.

As a follow up I don't like aspects of the 14+ Tundras new cabbin interior like the single glove box, no tray in the center storage and the changes to the rear floor and crewmax no longer has reclining seats. That doesn't mean Toyota didn't change anything inside because I don like it. Some people may like the new changes.

I don't like my local GMC Dealer
He has a bad reputation of ripping people off.

It seems the front end will adorn a "big rig, little tackle" grille to impress the schoolboy in some of us.

It's a pity the front end of so many pickups can't be a good looking as the Colorado.

Why does a smallish engine require such a huge grille?

The only reason I can think of it's cheaper to produce.

We in the US like trucks to look like trucks, not sissy global trucks with car grills.

A refresh of the previous all new that was a lot like a refresh. Sounds like pretty standard stuff. GM fans will line up with their money as GM can fail at everything even going bankrupt and they don't care.

Did someone say something about the 5.3 burning oil? I am not so sure about that, as I am on my 3rd 5.3, and have NEVER had to add a drop of oil! in any of them! Sure I change my oil every 6-8K depending on how much towing I have done (6K Airstream+ 1K load on average), and use nothing but the best 100% synthetic oil (Pennzoil made from natural gas now, and Castrol earlier), but on the other hand have also never had to change plugs either! or coolant, tranny fluid, the only fluid I have had to change as per GM requirement is brake, and diff. fluids! If you wan to talk about burning oil, I once had a MB ML 320 that always needed a quart before the change came around, and a F-150 with the Ecco-Bust, that not only went through head gaskets but at least 1 qt of oil, and when I towed? 2 qts before any changes of 5-8K! SO once again, I have never had a Chevy V-8 that burned oil, going all the way back to my first which was a 283 in a 62 Impala, a 305 in a Camaro, and a 5.7 in a C-1500!

Then you must not have AFM or not use it. It is a widely known problem with GM engines.

I'm curious about what's being covered up in the bed.

Reserve oil cans.


My LS gen 4 v8 is no sweat in the oil change dept and like the Sandman I use synthetic exclusively. I never have to add oil till it's time to change. No piston slap either, by the way.

My old Chevy 4.3 six got to almost 200k miles and never needed oil between changes or issues with fluids.

None of the 5.3's or the 4.8's or Dramaxes or 6.0's or this new 4.3 that I have owned has ever used oil...........but they sure rattled like hell!
I think now that GM should make this current design a true retro look with tow tone paint and everything like the 70's and 80's trucks. They are styled similar to look them anyway.
That being said, I think they do need a serious game changing redesign next time. Think '88 C/K vs "87 C/K.

Just to let people know all manufacturers using cly deactivation are seeing oil burning. I work for honda/acura and we burn oil now. When a eng goes into shutdown the cly not used now acts like a vacuum and with the use of low fiction rings the oil is sucked past the rings causing it to be burned.

All this mpg has caused new problems from oil burning, to carbon deposits on intake valves on di engines, and if you have carbon on your di turbo motor it is a whole new big problem as the way to clean it detroys the turbos. I am going to keep my 06 gmc 2500hd 6.0 165k

@papa jim--You are still driving that Silverado when you could get a good used Sports Trac which you talk about so much. I am sure you relatives could find you a good buy on one when they get a trade-in

@MIKE I'm not sayin my truck is the best or worse because I have owned all of the Big 3 and never had much problems with and brand, but my Ram Hemi with 38,000 on the clock doesn't use any oil between changes. I run full synthetic and change once a year. Hemi's have cyclinder deactivation.

Im just saying its known industry wide of the problems.

A Mid-Life Refresh is needed regardless of good or bad criticism, remember the outgoing Sierra went unchanged for 7 years straight while Ford and RAM made updated improvements inside and out within that timeline. I take it that new leadership along with overall good sales, allowed them to push for more modest updates along with the 8 and now soon to surface 10 speed; we'll more than likely see a major overhaul on the Sierra between 2018 & 2019!!

My neighbours 2007 avalanche looks like an old diesel when he starts it. He says two litres of oil between changes and mentioned the dealership said this is normal with the 5.3!!

@ Mike, I also had an 08 Z71 1500 with the 5.3, and while I did finally have to change the Right bank AFM Lifters at 206K i never once burned a drop of oil... I also Had a 14 Silverado for 14K, only 2 oil changes before i traded it in becuse of Vibration issues, but it never burned a drop of oil either.. The GM 5.3s in th epast 07-10 had some hit and miss oil burning issues, no doubt.. but it was far from a 100% "they all burn oil" scenario"...

I'm not wowed by the changes. The fog lamp opening is an improvement to the gaping square that swallows up the smaller sized lamp it has now.

If they are still using the same tail light on Silverado and Sierra, it doesn't look like LED to me on the half moons in the Chevy spy shot. Too uniform for the shape.

I would have hoped the bumper step would be nixed by 2017. I guess the feedback is still positive. How was this different for the Avalanche?

Hope it looks great, current GMC is the best looking half ton on the road. Hope they stick with their game plan of reliable trucks vs gimmicky do-dads like Ram too.

The Aluminum front suspension arms on these large heavy 1500 4x4's, are the same size as the old steel A-Arm's. They say they are 10% stiffer, but what about the higher fatigue rate of aluminum. Also if you hit something hard enough, or a rock or something directly hits the A-Arm, they will crack instead of bend. Dodge Ram 1500's also use Aluminum front suspensions. I'll take a bit more weight, and stay with the proven steel. Like my Nissan. Ford and Toyota use steel as well.

Test drove a Sierra with the 5.3 v-8 and was not impressed, the performance was lacking. I own a Silverado with the 4.8 V-8 and I have no complaints. What is going on ?

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