GMC Reliability Guide: Insights into Their Cars

Are GMCs Reliable

The GMC brand is popularly known for its ability to build rugged cars with impressive off-road design. They have a long-lasting reputation for designing tough trucks that can handle anything you throw at them. GMC is your go-to brand when you need power, strength, and ruggedness. But are GMCs reliable?

GMC is a fairly reliable brand. We can’t dispute the fact that GMC produces some great SUVs and trucks, but it all seems like they spend much of their production energy on perfecting the design of their full-size trucks and SUVs, neglecting other cars in their line-up.

After 2017, GMC has been unable to earn a high IIHS safety rating. With a GMC car, you are assured of more luxury and performance, but this comes with high maintenance costs and a higher chance of major repairs.

Let’s explore some of the reasons why GMC cars are considered fairly reliable.

Are GMC Reliable?

GMC cars are fairly reliable. Their cars have an average reliability rating on most reliability platforms. RepairPal gives GMC a 3.0/5.0 reliability, ranking 22nd out of 32 car brands.

Unfortunately, Consumer Reports rate GMC as the second worst car amongst all car brands in terms of reliability, only rating higher than Jeep and falling lower than Mitsubishi.

Even though GMC cars are known for producing highly reliable trucks, a few factors contribute to GMCs. GMC cars have good road test and crash scores but haven’t reached the IIHS top pick safety rating after 2017. It is also unfortunate that GMC doesn’t have any green vehicles in its line-up.

Although there are hopes that the GMC Hummer EV will rectify GMC’s lapses in the production of eco-friendly cars, however, so far, GMC doesn’t have an eco-friendly car.

Understandably, GMC produces trucks with amazing towing strength, traction, and power, but on an overall scale, GMC doesn’t match the expected reliability. This is because their reliability does not spread to all the cars in its line-up.

GMC has an average annual repair and maintenance cost of $774. This is costlier than the average $652 cost for all car brands.

These cars have a 17% probability of a major repair and a 0.3 chance of visiting the mechanic in a year. This indicates that GMC users are more likely to always fix their cars regularly.

GMC has some reliable engines with a burst of power and performance, but the overall reliability of the cars is not to be trusted. The GMC brand is tilting towards becoming a luxury brand, using many unproven technology packages that easily break down.

Why GMC Cars Are Considered Fairly Reliable

1. High Maintenance Cost

One of the factors that influenced the drop in GMC’s reliability is its high maintenance cost. Users will have to spend more trying to maintain their GMC cars.

We believe that one of the reasons why GMC cars are becoming expensive to own and maintain is because they are rated as luxury cars.

The GMC brand designs its cars to target lovers of luxury, and it is believed that they can afford the high cost of maintenance. Although GMC offers its users a wide range of warranty options:

  • Bumper-To-Bumper Limited Warranty
  • Powertrain Limited Warranty
  • Emissions Control System Warranty
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Courtesy Transportation
  • Corrosion protection
  • Rust-through protection
  • First Maintenance visit

While these warranty options offer users 3- to 6-year and 36,000- to 100,000-mile coverage, users will have to deal with the cost of maintenance and incessant breakdowns when the warranty period elapses.

2. Average Safety Rating

GMC boasts an impressive safety and technology package, but, unfortunately, there are no GMC cars in the 2018 to 2022 IIHS Top Safety Pick Rating.

This includes its absence in NCAP’s 5-star safety rating. It looks like the only GMC car that recently earned a five-star NHTSA safety rating is the 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 pickup truck.

GMC cars are always battling with four-star safety ratings, with the likely chance of safety defects and breakdowns. So far, the last GMC car to earn an IIHS safety rating is the 2017 GMC Acadia 4-door SUV.

This is the only latest GMC car that achieved impressive scores on crashworthiness, crash avoidance/mitigation, seat belts, and child restraints.

GMC promises advanced safety features like:

  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Rear Camera Mirror
  • Lane Keep Assist with Lane departure warning
  • Side Blind zone alert
  • High-Definition Surround Vision
  • Lane Change Alert/Side Blind Zone alert
  • Hitch Guidance and Hitch View
  • HD Rear Vision Camera
  • Following Distance Indicator
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Front and Rear Park Assist
  • Rear Park Assist

There is also auto-emergency braking, auto-parking assist, adaptive cruise control, front pedestrian braking, and lots more. The GMC design team is interested in releasing updated technology packages, but little is said about the reliability of these features.

3. Less Environmentally Friendly

Until lately, GMC isn’t a fan of eco-friendly cars. Although they’ve made giant steps in producing the GMC hummer EV car that is believed to introduce a green solution to gas emissions, reports have proven that the car emits up to 341 grams of CO2 per mile.

While GMC hasn’t cared to debunk or refute the findings, they gave a backup claim that the introduction of EVs was to give drivers who cannot afford a battery-powered vehicle a chance to drive “supposed eco-friendly” cars.

Car drivers that need a reliable “total green car” might not find the GMC hummer EV a great option.

4. Towing

If there’s one thing that GMC uses to keep the competition fair and square, it is its towing strength. The GMC is not entirely bad from all angles. The GMC company ensures that all its trucks, SUVs, and vans are great options for trailering/towing.

They deliver an impressive load of power, handling, and enough support that you can rely on them to haul those heavy loads, even at long distances.

Depending on your towing needs, you can choose from the GMC canyon, Sierra heavy-duty, Sierra 1500/3500, Yukon/Yukon Xl, Acadia, Terrain, and Savana for the best towing capacity.

GMC has cars that can handle a payload of up to 7,571 pounds and the Sierra 3500 Heavy-Duty Chassis cab.  You have impressive torque and horsepower; V6, V8, 6.6L assorted drivetrains; and powertrain options to give you the stability and performance you demand.

Due to the truck-like performance, there is no assurance of gas mileage on these cars. However, you can expect good fuel economy on some trim levels like the GMC Sierra 22mpg highway and 19mpg city.

5. Luxury and Technology

GMC cars are more about luxury. The marketing strategy of GMC revolves around premium delivery and luxury. This is visible in their designs and constructions.

With a GMC car, you have the assurance of enjoying the latest technology packages, but there are no assurances that these packages will be without glitches.

GMC Reliability: Pros

  • Great luxury
  • Nice engine performance
  • Great towing capacity
  • Impressive handling, braking, and traction

GMC Reliability: Cons

  • Unreliable safety ratings
  • Unproven technology packages
  • High cost of ownership and maintenance
  • Not great on fuel economy

Most Common GMC Problems

  • Engine failures
  • Headlight issues
  • Excess oil consumption
  • Power steering issues
  • Transmission failure
  • AC/HVAC problems
  • Sensor issues


Recent reports show that the GMC brand is committed to fixing its faults and doing better. They climbed higher in the JD power 2022 reliability survey, taking the 7th position. Nevertheless, it is important that you make inquiries about your preferred GMC car before purchasing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do GMC cars last long?

Yes. GMC cars do last long. They can last 200,000 to 300,000 miles with proper driving conditions, good care, and maintenance habits.

Are GMCs expensive to maintain?

Yes. GMCs are expensive to maintain. Although some models are costlier to maintain than others, the average annual cost of maintaining a GMC is $744. This is costlier than the average $652 cost for all car brands.