A name that is synonymous with quality and durability, General Motors Corporation (GMC) has been producing trucks, SUVs, and vans for over a century and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. From the very first GMC truck in 1912 to the modern-day Sierra 1500, GMC vehicles have always been known for their power, capability, and dependability.
If you're in the market for a used truck or used SUV, GMC should definitely be at the top of your list. Known for their reliability, safety, and exceptional performance, GMC vehicles make great used cars for anyone who is looking for a used vehicle that they can depend on.
When it comes to used cars, Grand Rapids has abundance of choices. As a used car buyer, you may be wondering how to start your search for a used GMC in Grand Rapids, MI. We've put together a used car buyer's guide that covers everything you need to know about purchasing a used GMC, from the rich history of GMC to its modern-day line-up of vehicles, and how to find the right used car to fit your needs.
GMC has a long and storied history dating back over 100 years, which is documented in detail in Donald E. Meyer's outline of the past century. Founded in 1912, GMC was originally known as the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company. Brothers Max and Morris Grabowsky founded the Grabowsky Motor Company in Detroit with a simple mission: to produce a sturdy and dependable truck that could withstand the rigors of city streets. In 1902, the business was renamed Rapid Motor Vehicle Company and moved to Michigan. Not long after, the renowned William Durant took notice of the company and its potential, and in 1909 he brought Rapid Motor Vehicle Company into the fold of his newly formed General Motors Corporation. 1911 saw the establishment of the General Motors Truck Company, which included the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company and the Reliance Motor Car Company. A year later, both company names were dropped and GMC was born.
Since its inception, GMC has been at the forefront of truck and SUV innovation. In the early years, GMC produced some of the very first mass-produced trucks, including the Model T-based truck.
In 1914, GMC Truck Talk magazine was released, solidifying GMC's dedication to its customer base, and positioning the company as an authority in the trucking niche.
GMC Model 15 and 16 trucks were used during World War I, with some GMC trucks even being used as ambulances. Prior to this, GMC had invested heavily in gasoline and electric trucks, which became a series of 8 models from 1/2 to 6-tonne trucks. However, by 1916, electric trucks had fallen out of favour with customers and GMC's gasoline trucks became the sole focus.
In 1918, almost all of the GMC trucks produced were for war efforts. By the end of the war, GMC sales were up, they were manufacturing vehicles for the Government, and the first public sales campaign was launched, using the military's reliance on GMC trucks as a way to sell to the general public. The company then invested in expansion and optimizing their production line, which increased their capacity to meet growing needs.
The 1920s saw the introduction of the model K-16 with a new electric starter. 1922 marked the installation of the first model K-20 bus chassis designed specifically for buses, and truck tractor versions were added to the K-series shortly after. In 1925, GMC's Speed Wagon program was launched, which saw GMC producing a series of light trucks to compete with industry leaders, Ford and Dodge. The Model K-101 (commonly known as the Big Brute) was designed with the intention of dominating the 1-ton class.
By 1927, GMC had released the first commercial trucks with 6-cylinder engines, the updated T-series. Shortly after the General Motors Deluxe Delivery Truck was released, Erwin Baker would drive 3693 miles from New York City to San Francisco in just over 5 days, which demonstrated the efficacy of the Buick engine that was used in the new T-series. The 1930s welcomed trailer chassis to the GMC T-series which, when paired with a refrigerator body, was a milestone for hauling cargo. The Suburban Carryall was also introduced during this time, which was the first SUV-type vehicle ever produced.
World Ward II in the 1940s saw GMC invest in over half a million trucks that were designed for more rugged terrain. These trucks had headlights integrated into the frame, and wider bodies, which translated into commercial models. In the 50s, V8 gas engines became available for GMC trucks, and factory-installed 4-wheel-drive was an option for the first time on a selection of the models.
The 1960s was a decade of growth and change for GMC, where many GMC trucks were completely redesigned. Conventional cabs were based on Chevrolet cab design and V-type gas engines replaced GMC L6 engines. The 60s saw the L-series, G1000 Handivan and Handibus, H/J and the C/M series, which was a light-duty truck. It is said that the 50s and 60s produced the largest amount of collectable GMC vehicles, specifically GMC Suburbans and pickups.
The 70s brought further changes to GMC trucks, as the company strived to meet the needs of a changing market, and by the end of the 1970s, GMC had the third highest US truck sales. The Astro SS Special Series had added features and interior upgrades to play to the luxury market, and the GMC Sierra Grande was a response to the Chevy Silverado.
During the late 70s and early 80s,the first GMC SUVs were released – the S-15 Jimmy and the full-size GMC S-25 Jimmy. In 1982, the first diesel engine was made available in a GMC truck, and 4-wheel drive became available on all GMC trucks for the first time.
More growth and prosperity characterized GMC’s story in the 1990s as the company launched the Yukon, a body-on-frame SUV, and the Envoy, a mid-size SUV. The 1990s also saw the release of the Sierra C/K, which was completely redesigned and featured new gasoline and diesel engines. The C/K series was the “first generation” of GM and Chevy trucks. This decade also sae electronic fuel injection replacing throttle body injection on light duty trucks. GMC Safari and Astro vans were also redesigned in the 1990s.
GMC flourished in the 2000s with the company surpassing 1 million annual sales for the first time in 2000. In 2001, GMC launched the Sierra Denali, a luxurious version of the Sierra truck, and in 2002, the Envoy XL was released, which was a longer wheelbase version of the Envoy mid-sized SUV. In 2005, the GMC Sierra was once again redesigned, and in 2007, the GMC Acadia, a 7- or 8-passenger crossover SUV, was launched. In 2010, amid a reorganisation of the General Motors Corporation, the Acadia, Yukon, Terrain, and Sierra were awarded "Best Buy and Recommended" Awards from Consumer's Guide. Sales increased by 46% that year.
GMC continues to produce a wide range of trucks and SUVs that are popular with consumers all over the world. The company is always innovating and introducing new models that are designed to meet the needs of their customers. Based in military usage, GMC trucks have a long history of being tough and dependable, which has made them a favourite choice for consumers who need a powerful and reliable vehicle with a long lifespan.
GMC has long pioneered some of the most useful and innovative technologies in the automotive industry. Here are some key GMC technology highlights:
As early as 1924, GMC began using duPont Duco enamel which dried in 2 hours as opposed to the weeks it took for paint and varnish to dry. This helped speed up the production process and gave GMC a competitive advantage. In 1937, GMC released the first walk-in delivery van with Olds 230 engine, and 2 years later GM Diesel 2-cycle engines were first offered exclusively in GMC trucks. The General Motors Corporation's 1957 All Emergency Rescue Vehicle was another GMC exclusive and featured factory-installed Napco 4×4 running gear, and a GMC 270 6-cylinder engine.
In 1995, GMC trucks came standard with automatic daytime running lamps, and in 2001, GMC was the first automaker to offer StabiliTrak electronic stability control system on its trucks and SUVs.
More recently, the GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid was launched, which featured GM's first 2-mode hybrid system. The 2022 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate sports an Alpine Umber interior, which marks a new level of interior detail for GMC. GMC infotainment with Google built-in technology allowing drivers to use the power of Google Assistant, Maps, and other Android apps while on the go, and GMC's ProGrade™ Trailering System includes an industry-first in-vehicle trailering assistant that provides trailer light testing, pre-departure checklists, customizable trailer profiles, 15 camera views, including Transparent Trailer, and the ability to use your smartphone to control these processes with the myGMC mobile app.
Additionally GMC's Rear Seat Reminder on newer models, helps drivers remember to check the back seat for precious cargo before leaving the vehicle, and IntelliBeam automatically turns your car's high-beam headlamps on and off depending on surrounding traffic.
GMC is known for building vehicles that are robust with a long lifespan. A used GMC truck or SUV is a great choice for those looking for dependability. GMC vehicles are also known for their value retention, which means that they hold their resale value better than many other brands. When a used car’s value can remain relatively good in an ever-evolving market, you know you’re looking at an outstanding level of quality.
Of course, used car prices are going to be the most widely talked-about factor. Buying a used GMC allows you to gain access to industry-leading vehicle technology at more affordable prices. A used GMC pickup or SUV will see you enjoying in-vehicle apps that are geared towards a more productive and efficient lifestyle. Alexa Built-In can be used with GMC's Infotainment System in 2018 models and newer, allowing you to use voice commands to connect to smart home devices so you can operate your devices from your used GMC vehicle.
GMC Maps+ is an app that comes standard on most GMC vehicles (2018 and newer) and provides you with access to maps, points of interest, and directions as well as the ability to stream music and podcasts in your used GMC.
Monitoring your trailer while on the road is easier than ever with GMC's trailering technology with uses 15 camera views (including Transparent Trailer, High Definition Surround Vision, Bed View Camera, and Rear Camera Mirror) to give you a clear picture of what is happening around your trailer. Smart Trailer technology works with RVs that feature ASA Electronics’ in Command Global Connect app to allow remote control of their RV.
A Wi-Fi Hotspot is another key selling point on a used GMC as well as USB and HDMI ports on some of the models. The latest safety features include Forward Collision Alert, Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Following Distance Indicator, and Front Pedestrian Braking.
GMC has always been at the forefront of automotive technology, and their commitment to innovation and safety is evident in the features that are available. If you are in the market for a used truck or used SUV, a GMC should definitely be a serious consideration.
Purchasing a used GMC in Grand Rapids, MI is a great choice for drivers who are looking for a dependable vehicle that will hold its value. GMC vehicles are known for their high-quality construction, making them a great choice for drivers who want a vehicle that will last.
When purchasing a used GMC in Grand Rapids MI, you will undoubtedly have access to a wide array of GMC models, but it is always important to do your research to ensure you are getting the best possible deal.
Always ensure that your used GMC comes with a full vehicle history including any and all service records. You'll want to know if the previous owner used a reputable service centre or if any accidents have been reported. This will give you peace of mind knowing that your vehicle has been properly maintained.
You should be able to view a full report on the used car before making your purchase. This will allow you to see any damage, the condition of the paint and upholstery, and any other important information that you need to know.
Trucks are ingrained in American culture, and there's nothing that epitomises the American dream quite like a big, tough truck. GMC used trucks and SUVs provide drivers with the power and capability that they need to get the job done, whether it's for work or play. Some of the most popular used GMC vehicles are the GMC Sierra, GMC Canyon, GMC Terrain, GMC Acadia, GMC Yukon, GMC Savana and, of course, the renowned GMC Hummer.
The GMC Sierra is a full-sized pickup truck that offers drivers ample space and power. GMC Sierra was first released in 1962 and has gone through many generations of production. A used GMC Sierra features a wide variety of trim levels and engines to choose from, making it a great choice for those who need a versatile used truck. From a 4.3L V-6 with a 6-speed automatic transmission to a 6.2L V-8 with a 10-speed automatic transmission, and a 3.0L I-6 turbo-diesel with a 10-speed automatic transmission, the possibilities with a used GMC Sierra are endless.
The GMC Canyon is a midsize pickup truck that first hit the market in 2004 as a replacement for the GMC Sonoma. The GMC Canyon is a great choice for those who need a used truck that is smaller than a full-size truck but still offers plenty of power and capability. A 2020 used GMC Canyon comes with a 2.5L I-4, 3.6 L V-6, or 2.8L Turbo-Diesel engine. With a max towing capacity of 7,600 lbs, this used truck is perfect for hauling around a small trailer or boat. Multi-level heating in the passenger and driver's seats, full connectivity, as well as GMC Pro Safety features, make the GMC Canyon a versatile, luxurious, and safe used truck.
Built on GMC's Theta platform, the GMC Terrain is a compact SUV that was first released in 2009. As GMC's smallest SUV, the GMC Terrain is a great choice for those who need a used SUV that is smaller in size but still offers many features and loads of space. The 2016 GMC Terrain went through a complete redesign, so a used GMC Terrain from 2016 or newer is definitely worth considering. A 2020 used GMC Terrain comes standard as a 5-seater with a choice of two turbocharged engines, front-wheel drive, a 7-inch touchscreen, and GMC Pro Safety features.
The GMC Acadia is a full-size SUV that was first introduced in 2007. As GMC's largest SUV, the Acadia offers drivers plenty of space for passengers and cargo. Seating up to 7 people, a used GMC Acadia is a great choice for those who need a dependable and spacious used SUV. A 2020 used GMC Acadia will give you the option to choose between a 2.5L I-4 engine, a 3.6L V-6 engine, or a turbocharged 2.0L. The 2020 GMC Acadia was redesigned with a new bumper and black chrome grille, and 17-in all-terrain tires for a more rugged look.
The GMC Yukon is a full-size SUV that was first introduced in 1992. As one of GMC's most popular SUVs, the Yukon is known for its comfortable ride, spacious interior, and powerful engines. Seating up to 9 people, there is no shortage of space in a used GMC Yukon. A 2020 used GMC Yukon comes standard with a 5.3L V-8 engine with 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque, or a 6.2L V-8 engine with 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Choose between a rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, and enjoy features like a hands-free power liftgate, heated and cooled front seats, 4G LTE connectivity, and an 8-inch infotainment system. Some used GMC Yukons come with a GMC Rear Seat Media System, which features two 12.6-inch touchscreen LCDs mounted on the back of the front seats for endless streaming and games along the ride.
The GMC Savana is a full-size, rear-wheel drive van that was first introduced in 1996. As a GMC van adored across the globe, the Savana is known for its spacious interior, powerful engines, and easy maneuverability. Seating up to 15 people, a used GMC Savana is a great choice for those who need a reliable and spacious van. With body-on-frame construction, a used GMC Savana is built to last, and has the capacity to tow up to 10,000 lbs. The 2020 used GMC Savana comes standard with a 4.3L V6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, but there are other engine options available, including a 6.0L V-8 engine, and a 2.8L diesel engine.
The GMC Hummer is a full-size SUV that was first introduced in 1992. Based off of the Humvee military model, the GMC Hummer is known for its durability, off-road capability, and spacious interior. The Hummer was discontinued in 2010 but made a comeback in 2020 as an all-electric SUV and pickup, or "supertruck", as GMC has aptly named the models. If you're not looking for an all-electrical truck, you'll need to go for a used Hummer. The GMC Hummer H3 was actually designed to be more compact and cost effective than the exceptionally popular Hummer H2, which was based on GM's midsize truck platform. A 2010 used Hummer H3 will allow you to go off road safely with a 5.3L V-8 engine, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, and FWD. The used Hummer also comes standard with StabiliTrak and OnStar connectivity, so you can rest assured knowing that you and your Hummer are always safe.