2011 GMC Sierra SLE 5.3L OHV V8 LC9 w/VVT, w/AFM from North America

Summary:

An excellent value and a great truck

Faults:

The auxiliary engine oil cooler lines began to seep slightly at 60k. I replaced them as soon as I noticed the problem and have had no issues since.

The power steering rack has developed a light seep from the pinion pre-load nut. Fluid level and steering performance have not been affected. A factory replacement rack is fairly cheap. I'm monitoring the issue to see if it worsens.

Other than these small concerns, nothing has failed and I've never been left stranded.

General Comments:

This Sierra came in as a trade-in at the dealership I was working at at the time. I had been searching for a newer model than this, but with only 57k miles on it and a $17k price I simply couldn't pass it up.

I absolutely love this truck. Although older than I was originally looking for, it's set up exactly the way I want it. Extended cab with rearward swinging rear doors, 6.5 foot bed, 5.3L V8, 4WD and a column shifter with a bench seat as nature intended.

Performance from the 5.3L OHV V8 (RPO LC9) is great. Power ratings for this year of the LC9 are 320 HP, 335Lb.Ft. of torque. This is a fairly heavy truck at 5,300lb unloaded. I haven't exactly helped it in that respect with my modifications (a truly frightening front brush guard that weighs over 200lb, an equally frightening rear bumper that weighs nearly 200lb, and oversize 33" off-road tires with a front leveling kit). Despite the bulk, the cast-aluminum pushrod V8 has no real issue getting things rolling pretty quickly. I've clocked the 0-60 at 7.8 seconds (really quite respectable for a small-block loaded down like this). It helps to have the 3.42 axle ratio from the Max Trailering Package. A tuner set to 91 octane fuel also gives a noticeable boost.

This truck is equipped with AFM (Active Fuel Management) which cuts 4-cylinders during light cruising. This feature was annoying, and it's known for making these engines drink oil. I shut mine off using an aftermarket tuner shortly after purchase. It uses no oil between changes and (go figure) went from 15.4 MPG with AFM ON to 18.6 MPG with it OFF. Really useful feature ya got there, GM. I've had mine shut off since 59k, and I've only gained fuel economy and performance.

I have towed several times. This is a 1/2 ton truck, and it will get pushed around by heavier loads. Not to say it won't pull them, with the Max Trailering Package my truck is rated to tow 9,700lb. I've towed at most 6,000lb. I'm not about to say it wasn't noticeable. The 5.3L is strong, but an additional 6,000lb going up an 8% grade is no small task. If you're looking to haul heavy loads frequently, 3/4 ton and 1 ton pickups are really the better choice.

Overall, I love my truck and for the price I paid I honestly have no complaints. 100% would buy again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd September, 2018

4th Sep 2018, 22:06

This and the Silverado are an exceptional value also when brand new. Functional, comfortable, full size, no compromising as well as being practical and with total versatility are why I have stuck with them. Take it anywhere, always up for the job put at it and no worries. I can carry adult passengers just as well as a nice SUV on trips, and this is still a truck.

9th Sep 2018, 03:26

Excellent review :)

What is it about the Active Fuel Management that makes the engine's increase its oil consumption?

9th Sep 2018, 12:52

Right from GM. See the section:

"How The AFM System Can Cause Excessive Oil Consumption"

https://www.gmpartsonline.net/blog/engine-oil-consumption-solutions

This has lead to the saying for DoD "disable or doomed".