General Motors Truck Company, or GMC, has been a force in the American automotive industry since 1912. It all started when General Motors bought the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company and the Reliance Motor Car Company and combined them to create the General Motors Truck Company. During the first half of the 20th century, GMC trucks became known for being tough and reliable, making them a popular choice for many drivers. These first trucks were simply workhorses, with luxury not being a concern for truck drivers during that era.
Today, GMC has an impressive lineup of trucks that speak to both the driver who needs a rugged and reliable truck to get them through their workday and the one who wants to enjoy the night out on the town or take the family on an exciting road trip. Continue reading to learn more about the history of GMC trucks and today’s lineup, including how some of the latest innovations push the luxury vibe.
GMC’s Path to Luxury
Since the formation of the General Motors Truck Company, GMC has become a solid contender in the truck manufacturing industry. There have been many changes over the years, but the drive to provide a better driving experience for truck owners has remained at the forefront. The Rapid truck was the first model manufactured by Max and Morris Grabowski’s Rapid Motor Vehicle Company in 1902. The Rapid wasn’t much to look at, with no more than a bench seat with wheels and a frame, but the Grabowski’s sold 75 of the 15-hp engine trucks in two years, which got the attention of William Durant.
In 1927, GM introduced its T-series trucks. The trucks had a rounded design with panels or screen sides and were built with Pontiac engines. The series was well-liked by drivers, and GM continued to produce it for almost ten years. GMC offered various options throughout the next few years, including introducing the Suburban in 1937. The Suburban answered the need for more capacity while retaining a truck’s benefits. In the 1940s, GMC gave the US troops a total of 600,000 trucks during the Second World War, leading to the readily available 1949 FC102. Another gamble came in 1955 when GMC went with a V8 engine. At that time, the gamble didn’t pay off, with more people sticking with the standard six-cylinder they were used to.
Changes continued through the next few decades, including the 1960 C/K series that offered easy entry with a lower cab. This series began what is now known as the Silverado and Sierra lines. Soon after introducing the C/K series, the 1971 Sprint became the first GMC truck made after lower-octane unleaded gas rules were enacted. The Sprint also came with air conditioning, speed control, power locks, and power windows, pointing toward the first signs of luxury in the truck manufacturing world.
In the 1970s, the Crew Cab was added to the GMC truck line, offering a second row for increased capacity, as well as a focus on more comfortable seating. A few years later, GMC dubbed its full-size pickup truck line “Sierra,” which had previously been the name of a trim option. The Sierra had a powerful fuel-injected 350 V8 engine, power steering, power brakes, air conditioning, cruise control, and an automatic gear with overdrive, adding exceptional performance to luxury.
In the 90s, the Sonoma was introduced, and in 1999, GMC offered a flexible third-door option to make it easier for passengers to get into the second row. In 2007, another significant change came when the Sierra HD introduced a diesel engine called the Duramax. Also that year, the Sierra 1500 Denali trim offered drivers more power and luxury than ever before, creating a better driving and riding experience. A focus on safety was introduced in the 2010s with the addition of backup cameras, touchscreen infotainment centers, and connectivity to Apple CarPlay and Android, as well as a 4G LTE and a Wi-Fi hotspot. These technological advances furthered the popularity of GMC’s truck line.
Today, GMC is still focused on manufacturing high-performing luxury trucks that give drivers and passengers state-of-the-art safety and connectivity features. From the 2023 Canyon to the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate, you will quickly see why GMC trucks are top contenders.
A Deeper Look at GMC’s Lavish Truck Lineup
The 2023 GMC truck lineup includes the Canyon, Sierra 1500, and Sierra HD. Each one offers GMC’s dependability, the rugged framework to tackle the challenges of the job site by day, and the luxury of heading out to a fine restaurant by night. Let’s take a look at what this refined luxury entails.
The 2023 Canyon
The 2023 Canyon comes in four trims, ranging from the Elevation to the AT4X. This redesign focuses on an improved powertrain, several technology upgrades, and a new interior, improving a truck that is already a two-time MotorTrend Truck of the Year winner. Luxury standouts include leather upholstery and laser-etched wood accents offered with the Denali trim to the AT4X’s Ceramic White interior.
Across the Canyon, you will enjoy an 11.3-inch diagonal GMC Premium Infotainment System with built-in Google that syncs wirelessly to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth capabilities, and voice-activated calling. Other luxuries include carpeted floor coverings and mats, heated driver and passenger seats, and a heated steering wheel with the Denali and AT4X trim. Remote start is also available for the Elevation trim and standard on the others, helping take the chill out of early mornings.
The Canyon AT4X is the only version of the Canyon with the Edition 1 package, which focuses on off-road capabilities by including an off-road front bumper with a safari bar, 17-inch beadlock capable wheels, and more. In addition to the leather and wood accents on the Denali trim, it has a 7-speaker Bose Premium Audio System and advanced safety features such as a driver’s Safety Alert Seat, using vibrations in the driver’s seat to alert them of potential collisions.
The 2023 Sierra 1500
The luxury continues with the 2023 Sierra 1500. From the base model Pro to the top-of-the-line Denali Ultimate, you will enjoy the ride in comfort and style. In fact, the 2023 Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate might be the most advanced and luxurious pickup in its class, according to the esteemed Car and Driver. This is partially due to innovative features like the Denali Ultimate’s Super Cruise capabilities, allowing for a truly hands-free driving experience when operating on more than 400,000 miles of road in the United States and Canada, using real-time cameras, sensors, GPS, and LiDAR map data to help keep you where you need to be.
The Denali Ultimate also gives you a 15-inch color head-up display, heated and ventilated front seats with massage functions, and leather-wrapped door panels. Another nod to luxury can be found in the open-pore Paldao wood that is laser-etched with topographical maps and the GPS coordinates of the Denali mountain range.
In addition to the Denali Ultimate trim, other luxury aspects can be seen throughout the 2023 Sierra 1500 lineup, including the Elevation trim best-in-class front head and legroom Crew Cab and its Elevation Premium Package, giving you Jet Black leather-appointed front bucket seats, a
7-speaker Bose Premium Audio System, available wireless charging, Adaptive Cruise Control, and a durable spray-on bedliner with the coveted GMC logo. The package also includes 6-inch black rectangular assist steps and 20-inch Gloss-Black painted aluminum wheels.
Both the SLT and AT4 trim options offer their own nods to luxury with available 10-way power-adjustable front heated and ventilated bucket seats and 20-inch polished aluminum wheels for the SLT. The AT4 options include a Jet Black interior with Kalahari accents, heated and ventilated perforated front leather seating, and an available CarbonPro composite bed. As you can see, the 2023 Sierra 1500 has much to offer in the way of luxury, and the options listed above are only the tip of the iceberg.
The 2023 Sierra HD
Have you ever wanted to release your truck’s tailgate from inside the cab? SUVs can do it; you would think trucks could as well. Thanks to the first-ever six-function GMC Multipro Tailgate, standard on the Sierra HD Denali, AT4, SLT, and SLE trims, you can. This feature is also available for the Sierra HD Pro. The Multipro Tailgate can be opened using your key fob. The system also includes a Load Stop feature that stops your load from sliding out. Lastly, you have the ability to fold down the inner gate to increase the ease of unloading and loading.
The Sierra HD also offers one of the largest displays in the field, with 15 inches dedicated to helping you navigate the drive, stay connected to friends and family, and enjoy the available Multipro Audio System by Kicker. You also get a seamless connection to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and assistance from an available Amazon Alexa feature that is built-in. Other luxury features include up to 15 camera views, depending on the trim you choose. These views make it easy to haul a trailer, park in tight spaces, and navigate easily in unknown locations.
Inside you get a spacious interior with enough available storage options to help you keep things organized. Also, premium cushioning across all trims makes the ride enjoyable for you and your passengers. If you lean toward the sportier side of luxury, you will find exactly what you need in the AT4 interior, with exclusive front and rear floor liners, an embroidered AT4 logo, heated and ventilated leather seating, a heated steering wheel, and more.
The Perfect Balance of Power and Luxury
Overall, there is much to be said for luxury regarding the GMC Truck lineup, certainly more than you might have ever thought. The GMC brand proves that you can be built rugged and dependable while offering the finer things in life. GMC gives you something to appreciate in each model, from the base trim to the top-of-the-line option. If you’re curious about seeing GMC’s luxury truck lineup face to face, stop by a dealership today for a test drive. You’re sure to find something to love no matter which GMC truck you choose.