The 2009 GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid is the first cousin to the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid. Together they are the only full size hybrid pickups made. For a description of the hybrid system used, see the article on the Silverado Hybrid. This article will focus more on the features and abilities of the two trucks.
The Sierra Hybrid uses the same body as the basic Sierra 1500. The last major update on that body was the 2007 model year, so the looks of the latest model have not changed greatly. However, a locking rear axle, trailering package and electronic stability control are all now standard.
The Sierra Hybrid uses a 6.0 liter, 332 horsepower gasoline engine backed up by two electric motors. It can run up to 30 miles per hour on electricity, alone, shuts off the gasoline engine when not needed and restarts it automatically, along with a number of other fuel saving features. The only transmission available is a four-speed automatic with overdrive. Horsepower does suffer as the 6.0 liter V8 unassisted gasoline engine provides 367 horsepower.
Gas mileage is 21 miles per gallon city and 22 miles per gallon highway with rear-wheel drive. That means 20 miles per gallon straight across with four-wheel drive. This compares to 14 miles per gallon in the city and 20 miles per gallon on the highway with the standard 4.8 liter V8, which is the best mileage V8 available on the Silverado. Even the unassisted V6 gets worse gas mileage than the hybrid.
Payload and towing are significantly restricted with the hybrids as compared to gasoline only engines. Towing for the Sierra hybrid is limited to a maximum of 6,100 pounds, as compared to more than 10,000 pounds with the standard V8 gasoline engine. Likewise, maximum payload for the Sierra Hybrid is 1,459 pounds, more than one hundred pounds less than with the standard V8.
The Sierra Hybrid comes only in crew cab (full four-door) and with a six-foot bed. There are two basic trim levels, HA3 and HB3, each in either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. HB3 is the more expensive trim with the nicer features.
The hybrid pickups are very safe, with five-star NHTSA crash test ratings everywhere except rollover, which gets a four-star rating. Antilock brakes, locking differential, traction control and vehicle stability control system, along with airbags everywhere, are all standard.
With a base price of $38,390 the 2009 GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid is slightly more expensive than its Chevy cousin, but it is generally considered the more upscale of the two vehicles.