Engine failure is one of the biggest headaches for any off-roading fan. First of all, it takes a lot of time to fix. Secondly, it won’t be cheap. And, according to statistics, overheating is one of the most common causes of engine breakdown. That’s exactly why in this post, I want to talk about air filtration. Or, rather, the best cold air intake for GMC Sierra.
An aftermarket air kit will greatly improve the airflow and keep the engine cool. Sierra is a big, strong, capable pickup truck, and will greatly benefit from a new air intake system. I manually tested more than a dozen products before making the following list. My top picks are equally reliable, durable, and will be money well spent for the average Sierra driver. Alright, let’s get to it!
Best Cold Air Intake for GMC Sierra 1500 (Updated December, 2023)
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Best GMC Sierra 1500 Cold Air Intake Review
1. K&N Cold Air Intake Kit for GMC Sierra
This is one of those aftermarket replacement parts that you know will be money well-spent. First of all, K&N backs it up with the famous longevity guarantee (covers your purchase for ten years/ten-million miles). Secondly, you’ll get a guaranteed increase in airflow and performance. And while the HP and torque gains might not be very big, you’ll still feel the difference.
Now, as you can see from the comparison table, K&N’s range of Sierra-friendly air intake systems is quite large. They design air kits that fit specific model years and engines. That means you won’t have any problems with the fitment/installation. There is one minor con, though: if you decide to add a spacer, the boot will probably “climb” on top of the fan guard. That’s not a big issue, though.
With K&N, you get to choose between various filters, finishes, and powder coatings, which is always good news. And, no matter which configuration you end up with, it will greatly improve the performance, the air filtration/flow, and engine durability. Plus, your purchase will be backed by an excellent warranty deal.
2. Volant 154536 Cool Air Intake Kit
Compared to the other two cold air intake systems on the list, this one is a bit more expensive. But, Volant’s engineers compensate the slightly steep price-tag with a catchy design, top-quality parts, and easy installation. With the hood popped, the intake system does, indeed, look pretty cool. As for the parts, you can expect premium craftsmanship and impressive performance.
The package consists of an airbox, a Pro-5 filter, top-notch connectors (silicone), and clamps (stainless steel). Speaking of the air filter box, it does an incredible job of keeping heat, moisture, debris, and dust away from the filter. The filter, in turn, is very easy to remove, clean, and reuse. So, together, all those pros easily “beat” the one and only con – the expensive price-tag.
GMC Sierra drivers that have the budget and the need for a premium-grade aftermarket cold air intake system might want to stick with Volant’s gear. It boasts strong performance, a huge boost in efficiency, and won’t be hard to install even if you don’t have any mechanical skills.
3. S&B Filters 75-5059 Cold Air Intake
If you’re not ready to invest big bucks in a replacement cold intake system, pay extra attention to S&B’s offer. It’s cheaper than the other two kits that we’re reviewing today but has a long list of pros. This company has always been known for its superb build quality. You’ll get silicone parts with an extended lifespan. They are durable and reliable, which is very important for any aftermarket gear.
Custom enclosure (thanks to the air box) is another standout feature, along with the open, non-restrictive air flow inside of the filter. The bottom line is – Sierra owners looking to get a capable, long-lasting, and good-looking aftermarket air filter will, most likely, find this one to be a safe bet. During my review, I wasn’t very impressed by the performance gains, by the way, but I still find S&B’s product to be worth your attention.
Well-crafted, efficient both on and off the road, and designed to avoid “Check Engine”, the S&B filter is a bargain. And while it doesn’t provide any big gains in HP and torque, the air filtration system makes it a bargain.
To maximize the performance of your good-old GMC Sierra, you’ll need to take proper care of your engine. And one of the best ways to do that is to install an aftermarket cold air intake system. It will not only greatly improve the air filtration and flow, but also give you extra horsepower and towing/hauling capacity. Today, we took a good look at three market-leading air intake kits from K&N, Volant, and S&B.
They come highly recommended and will be a good investment, especially in the good run. Of course, they all have their big pros and minor cons. So, make sure to consider them all before making a purchase. Check the comparison table first (the best features and the specs) and then move on to the reviews (pros, cons, and my recommendations).