The Meaning of SLT or SLE on a Truck Explained

The Meaning of SLT or SLE on a Truck Explained

If you’ve ever been looking around at our site, you’ll know that we have several topics about various car, SUV, and truck models out there.

A lot of these vehicle models have their own respective trim levels or packages, which basically equip them with several features that are otherwise not available on other models.

For this article, we’re going to mainly focus on the “SLE” and “SLT” trims that a lot of people commonly see on GMC vehicles (and even on some non-GMC ones).

If you’ve come across these two abbreviations before but don’t really know what they mean, then now is your chance to finally familiarize yourself with them.

What does SLT or SLE stand for on a GMC?

SLT means “Special Luxury Trim”, which is one of GMC’s trim levels on its SUVs and trucks. It is also used on some trucks made by Dodge and RAM.

SLE is another kind of trim, which means “Special Luxury Edition”. However, this trim is only used specifically by GMC for its SUVs and trucks.

Is SLE or SLT higher?

Among the two mentioned, the SLT is considered the more luxurious trim, while the SLE is commonly referred to as an extra step above the “base trim” on multiple GMC vehicles.

The GMC Sierra, for instance, has both of these trims. Depending on which of the two trims you choose, you can get a completely different set of interior and exterior features.

Not only that, but you can also get a different engine from the other models altogether.

As you can see, simply knowing a vehicle’s trim enables you to know how many extra features it has to offer compared to the other trims.

But in order to further understand what the SLT and SLE trims have in store for you, we need to differentiate the features of the two.

To accomplish this, we will be looking into each and every GMC and non-GMC model that actually has any of these two trims in the next two parts.

What models have an SLT or SLE trim?

For this part, we have enumerated several GMC and non-GMC models that have either one or both of these trims.

These two trims are mostly used by GMC on several of its SUV and truck models, including some of the latest-generation models as well.

As for non-GMC models, however, only the SLT trim was included in a select few Dodge and Ram truck models from specific generations. 

Vehicle ModelClassification
GMC AcadiaMid-Size/Full-Size Crossover SUV
GMC CanyonCompact/Mid-Size Pickup Truck
GMC Sierra 1500Light-Duty/Half-Ton Pickup Truck
GMC Sierra 2500HDHeavy-Duty/Three-Quarter-Ton Pickup Truck
GMC Sierra 3500HDHeavy-Duty/1-Ton Pickup Truck
GMC TerrainCompact/Mid-Size Crossover SUV
GMC YukonFull-Size SUV
Dodge/Ram 1500 (SLT only)Light-Duty/Half-Ton Pickup Truck
Dodge/Ram 2500 (SLT Only)Heavy-Duty/Three-Quarter-Ton Pickup Truck
Dodge/Ram 3500 (SLT only)Heavy-Duty/1-Ton Pickup Truck

What are the features of the SLE and SLT trims?

The features of both the SLT and SLE trims will vary depending on the specific vehicle model, so we will be separating them according to the model that they were fitted on.

GMC Acadia

The GMC Acadia first started off as a full-size crossover SUV for the first-generation model introduced in 2006.

While the first generation did have both the SLE and SLT trims among others, they were further broken down into either the SLT1/2 trim or the SLE1/2 trim.

Most of these trims apply to the second and current generation of the Acadia as well, which is now classified as a mid-size crossover SUV instead.

1st-Generation GMC Acadia (2006 to 2017)

The first GMC Acadia only had one SLE trim, which came standard with a tire size of P255/65R18 and a set of 18-inch painted aluminum wheels.

In comparison, the SLT1 trim came with 18-inch machined aluminum wheels and the same tire size as the SLE.

The SLT2 trim, however, had P255/60R19 Goodyear Eagle tires and 19-inch cast aluminum wheels as standard.

The SLT2 also received a high-pressure compact spare tire as standard, while it was an extra option for the SLT1.

In 2014, additional “Forward Collision Alert” and “Lane Departure Warning” features became optional for both the SLT1 and SLT2 trims.

The 2015 model year included a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel for the SLT2 as a factory standard.

Both the SLE and SLT trims were equipped with the same 3.6-liter V6 engine throughout the 1st-generation Acadia’s production run.

However, this V6 engine started off with just 275hp in 2007. By 2016, its power was already bumped up to 310hp.

2nd-Generation GMC Acadia (2017 to Present/2022)

The newest GMC Acadia is now in its 2nd generation, and unlike the 1st generation, it includes two SLE trims (SLE1 and SLE2).

Between the SLE-1 and SLE-2, the latter has a lot more upgradability when it comes to exterior and interior extras (for an additional cost, of course).

Such upgrades include a remote start feature, fog lamps, bose speakers, rear seat entertainment systems, and more.

The SLT1 and SLT2 are both a step above the SLE trims when it comes to entertainment and even safety features.

The SLT1 includes a more premium Bose 8-speaker entertainment system and the “Driver Alert Package 1”, which includes multiple safety features.

The SLT2 has all of the aforementioned features plus “IntelliBeam” headlamps, Front Pedestrian Detection and Braking, and Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking, among others.

All SLE and SLT trim levels of this generation of the Acadia have an available “All-Terrain Package”, which included the option to completely remove the third-row seat for more space.

For the 2022 model year, both the SLE and SLT trims share the same 2-liter turbocharged inline-4 (I4) engine as the standard option.

The engine on the SLT trims, however, can be upgraded to a bigger 3.6-liter V6 engine. It’s mated to the same 9-speed automatic transmission as the 2-liter engine.

GMC Canyon

The GMC Canyon is GMC’s mid-size pickup truck that is actually closely related to the Chevrolet Colorado.

The GMC Canyon also had SLE and SLT trims, but they were replaced by other newer trim levels for the 2021 model year.

Hence, we will be only focusing on the generations and model years that the GMC Canyon had these two trim levels.

1st-Generation GMC Canyon (2004 to 2012)

The 1st-generation GMC Canyon had a total of five SLE trims (SLE1, SLE2, SLE3, SLE Z85, and SLE Z71) and one SLT trim just simply named “SLT” throughout the years.

To avoid getting too unnecessarily complicated with the numerous trims for each specific model year, we’ll be summarizing their differences by providing more general descriptions.

The SLE trims were mainly powered by either a 2.9-liter I4, a 2.8-liter I4, a 3.5-liter I5, or a 3.7-liter I5 engine, depending on the model year.

These engines were fitted with either a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission, depending on the specific one.

The SLT trim, which was first introduced in 2006, used either a 3.5-liter I5 or 3.7-liter I5 engine only.

These engines on the SLT trim were only available with automatic transmission for every model year that the trim was offered.

When it came to the interior materials, the SLE trims received “Deluxe Cloth” while the SLT trims had “Deluxe Leather” instead. Both of these came in either Ebony or Light Tan colors.

Other features such as Keyless Entry and an additional “Chrome Accessory Package” were only available in newer SLT trims.

2nd-Generation GMC Canyon (2012 to 2020 Only)

The SLT and SLE trims for the 2nd-generation GMC Canyon were only available until their discontinuation for the 2021 model year.

For the 2020 model year, the SLE trim had several extra features apart from most of the specs that the “Canyon” trim already had.

Such features included an HD rear vision camera, a Keyless Entry keypad, 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot capability, Bose Premium Audio, 17-inch Bright Silver aluminum wheels, and more.

The SLT trim further kicks it up a notch by including upgraded 18-inch polished cast aluminum wheels, Jet Black leather-appointed seats, and chrome-heated power mirrors.

Both the SLE and SLT trims were offered with three different engines, which included a 2.5-liter I4, a 3.6-liter V6, and a 2.8-liter turbodiesel I4 engine.

The 2.5-liter and 2.8-liter engines were both mated to a 6-speed automatic, while the 3.6-liter V6 engine had its own 8-speed automatic transmission.

GMC Sierra (1500/2500HD/3500HD)

The GMC Sierra is the closest relative to Chevrolet’s own Silverado pickup truck. Just like the Silverado, the GMC Sierra is also offered in several categories depending on the intended use.

But while the Silverado has its own trim level-naming scheme, the GMC Sierra sticks to its SLE and SLT trims just like the other GMC vehicles featured in this article.

GMC Sierra 1500

Starting off with the lightest of them all, the GMC Sierra 1500 has both SLE and SLT trims as part of its six-trim lineup.

The SLE is the second lowest trim level just right after the “base” trim. The SLT, however, sits right in the middle between the “Elevation” and “AT4” trims for the Sierra 1500.

The SLE trim comes standard with a 2.7-liter turbocharged I4 engine, but this can be upgraded to an optional 3-liter I6 Duramax turbodiesel engine.

The SLT trim, in comparison, is equipped with a 5.3-liter V8 engine. However, the same 3-liter I6 engine mentioned above and a larger 6.2-liter V8 engine are also available options.

The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), which is the weight of the vehicle combined with additional passenger and cargo weight, also differs between the two trims.

While there is only a 100lb difference between the GVWR of the SLE (7,000lbs) and SLT (7,100lbs), both of them can equally be upgraded to a maximum GVWR of 7,300lbs.

Towing-wise, both trims are equipped with a “Towing Package” from the factory.

However, the SLT comes equipped with a “ProGrade Trailering System” (with HD Surround Vision) and an integrated trailer brake controller, both of which help a lot with towing a trailer.

GMC Sierra 2500HD

The Sierra 2500HD takes a significant jump in specifications compared to the 1500 model, especially when powertrains and towing capability are concerned.

Both the SLE and SLT trims receive the same 6.6-liter V8 engine as a factory standard. If you want more power, however, you could opt for a Duramax turbodiesel version for both of them.

These engines are mated to either a 6-speed or an optional 10-speed automatic transmission. 

But only the SLE trim, specifically, has “Integrated Power Take-Off” included whenever you choose the 10-speed option.

As with its 1500 counterpart, the 2500HD’s SLT trim comes equipped with a ProGrade Trailering System with HD Surround Vision as standard.

You can also get this system as an option for the SLE, but there will be no HD Surround Vision included.

Comparing their GVWRs, the SLE trim maxes out at 10,150lbs while the SLT’s limit is at 10,350lbs. Once again, both are upgradable to a maximum GVWR of 11,050lbs.

Looking at other notable features, the SLT trim has 18-inch machined aluminum wheels versus the SLE’s 17-inch aluminum wheels.

The SLT also includes LED lighting on its cargo bed, daytime-running lamps, hitch guidance with hitch view, and a ton of other visibility-related features not found on the SLE.

GMC Sierra 3500HD

Among all the GMC Sierra models, the 3500HD is the workhorse needed to do the heaviest of jobs that only a truck of this category can do.

While it does have a lot of trim levels just like the rest of the GMC Sierra lineup, we’re going to mainly focus on its SLE and SLT trim features for the purpose of this article.

Both the Sierra 3500HD’s SLE and SLT trims feature the same 6.6-liter V8 and Duramax turbodiesel upgrade offered for the Sierra 2500HD.

This also means that both the 6-speed and 10-speed automatic transmissions, along with the Integrated Power Take-Off feature for the 10-speed SLE trim, are all carried over to the 3500HD.

Yet again, only the SLT trim can come equipped with the “Prograde Trailering Package” with hitch guidance included.

When it comes to wheel specifications, both the SLE and SLT trims receive the same LT275/70R17 tires paired with 18-inch aluminum wheels.

They also have the same GVWR of 11,350lbs and are both upgradable to a maximum of 12,100lbs. But once again, only the SLT trim gets the HD Surround Vision as an option.

GMC Terrain

The GMC Terrain is another one of GMC’s crossover SUVs and shares a likeness with the Chevy Equinox. This time, it’s in the mid-size and compact segment, depending on the generation.

The 1st-generation model had a total of two SLE trims and two SLT trims, while the 2nd generation currently has two SLE trims and only one SLT trim.

Again, we will be sticking to the general differences in the features you can find between the two main trims for each generation.

1st-Generation GMC Terrain (2010 to 2017)

The 1st-generation GMC Terrain first debuted in 2009 as a 2010 model, and it came with different engine options for each of its SLE and SLT trims.

The SLE1 trim only came with either a 2.4-liter I4 Flex-Fuel-capable engine or a 2.4-liter I4 gasoline engine.

The SLE2, SLT1, and SLT2 trims all had both of those options along with two different 3-liter V6 options and one 3.6-liter V6 option.

The SLE1 came standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, a 6-speaker stereo system, power front seat height and lumbar adjustments, and more.

The SLE2 had all of these, except that it had upgraded 18-inch alloy wheels for the V6 engine option, and an upgraded 8-speaker Pioneer sound system.

SLT1 and SLT2 trims added even more features such as leather seats, a sunroof, rear parking sensors, remote engine start, and a lot more.

By the time the 2016 facelift was introduced, only one SLT trim remained that was equipped with either a 2.4-liter Flex-Fuel I4 engine or a 3.6-liter V6 engine.

2nd-Generation GMC Terrain (2018 to Present/2022)

Compared to the previous generation, the 2nd and current generation of the GMC Terrain simply has one SLE trim and one SLT trim.

Both of these trims come with the same 1.5-liter turbocharged I4 engine used in the base model but also have an optional 2-liter turbocharged I4 engine for more power.

There was also a 1.6-liter diesel engine variant for both the SLE and SLT trims, but this was only available between 2018 and 2019.

Both the 1.5-liter and 2-liter engines are paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission (6-speed for the diesel variant) and either a front-wheel drive (FWD) or an all-wheel drive (AWD) system.

Interior-wise, the SLT receives heated driver and front passenger seats as standard, while this comes optional for the SLE.

The SLT also comes with a heated steering wheel, a bigger 18-inch infotainment screen (compared to the SLE’s 17-inch one), and ambient interior lighting from the factory.

Moving on to the exterior, the SLT comes with 18-inch wheels that are upgradable to 19-inch ones. In contrast, the SLE only gets 17-inch wheels.

The SLT also gets indicators for its heated outside mirrors, a pair of fog lamps, and a hands-free programmable liftgate, all of which are not found on the SLE.

GMC Yukon

The GMC Yukon is the full-size SUV model of GMC’s entire lineup. It’s also considered the “twin” of the popular Chevrolet Tahoe full-size SUV.

Like the Chevy Tahoe, the GMC Yukon has five different generations, but the 1st-generation Yukon was the only one that neither had an SLE nor an SLT trim.

Thus, we have included only the 2nd to 5th-generation models to focus our attention solely on the SLT and SLE trims.

2nd-Generation GMC Yukon (2000 to 2006)

The Yukon first received an SLE and SLT trim for the 2000 model year. Both were equipped with a 4.8-liter V8 that was paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive.

While both trims were mechanically identical for the most part, the SLT had a plethora of assistance and safety features by OnStar that were not available on the SLE.

Some of these included Crisis Assist, In-Vehicle Assistance Service, Automatic Crash Response, Stolen Vehicle Assistance, and many more.

3rd-Generation GMC Yukon (2007 to 2014)

For the 3rd-generation Yukon, its SLE trim was fitted with either a 4.8-liter or 5.3-liter V8 engine. The SLT trim, however, only had the latter engine as standard.

In 2007, the SLE came standard with keyless entry, premium cloth seat trim, heated mirrors, an anti-lock braking system (ABS), and driveline traction control.

The SLT had all of these plus dual-zone automatic air conditioning, an upgraded leather seat trim, UltraSonic parking assist, and foglights.

4th-Generation GMC Yukon (2015 to 2020)

The more modern 4th-generation Yukon came in 2015 with equally-modern features for its SLE and SLT trims.

Both trims are powered by a 5.3-liter V8 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Standard SLE trim features included 18-inch machined aluminum wheels, ABS and driveline traction control, premium cloth seat trim, driver lumbar support, and a lot more.

Additional features that were only found on the SLT trim, however, included heated front seats, upgraded leather seat trim, and lumbar support for the passenger seat as well.

5th-Generation GMC Yukon (2021 to Present)

The newest GMC Yukon features the same 5.3-liter V8 found in the previous generation for both its SLT and SLE trims.

The SLE comes standard with features like 18-inch aluminum wheels with painted accents, SiriusXM radio with 360L technology, 1st-row LCD monitors, fog lights, and heated mirrors.

Also part of the package are rain-sensing wipers, cloth seat trim, ABS and driveline traction control, and front and rear parking assistance.

Once again, the SLT trim has all of the above but adds upgraded 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, upgraded leather seat trim, and heated seats for the driver and front passenger.

Dodge Ram Trucks (1500/2500/3500)

The Dodge Ram series of trucks are a special case in that they are not necessarily part of GMC’s (nor General Motors’) lineup of vehicles, yet they have also used at least the “SLT” label.

All three categories of the Ram truck, namely 1500, 2500, and 3500, have had an SLT trim for multiple years throughout their production run.

Dodge Ram 1500

The 1500 model first had an SLT trim back in 1999 called the “Laramie SLT”, which upgraded the 3.9-liter V6 engine of the lower trims to a 5.2-liter V8 engine instead.

For the years that followed, it alternated between the names “Laramie SLT” and simply “SLT”. It also had multiple V8 engine options that were not available in the base model (ST).

Other additional features that it had included a seek-scan radio (for older year models), keyless entry, heated mirrors, premium cloth seat trim, 17-inch styled steel wheels, and more.

Dodge Ram 2500

The Ram 2500’s numerous iterations of its own SLT trim were very similar to their 1500 counterparts in terms of their features.

It also had additional keyless entry, premium cloth seat trim, and heated mirrors. The standard 17-inch steel wheels that it had could also be upgraded to forged aluminum versions.

However, the Laramie SLT trim from 1999 had a bigger 5.9-liter V8 engine to aid in the extra load that it had to potentially tow or carry.

The engine on the SLT/Laramie trim slightly shrank to a displacement of 5.7 liters for later models.

Dodge Ram 3500

The Ram 3500 is the biggest and most heavy-duty Ram truck in the lineup, and it also went through its own “Laramie SLT” and “SLT” phases.

It initially came with chrome steel wheels and a vinyl seat trim but was later changed to 17-inch argent steel wheels and a premium cloth seat trim respectively.

Just like the 2500 model, it first started off in 1999 with a 5.9-liter V8 engine, which was then changed to a 5.7-liter V8 later on.

By 2009, the engine for the SLT trim was changed again to a 6.7-liter I6 engine. This was the last engine to be used for the 3500 SLT when RAM was still under Dodge.

General Comparison Between the SLE and SLT Trims

After going through numerous vehicle models above, it seems as though the features of the SLE and SLT trims are entirely dependent on the car itself.

However, there are still some general things to take away from the SLE and SLT trims, regardless of the vehicle model.

In this part, we will be highlighting the general similarities and differences that you can spot when comparing an SLE with an SLT trim.

Similarities Between the SLE and SLT Trims

Despite being two separate trim levels, both the SLE and SLT still often share several features that come with their overall package.

For instance, the SLE and SLT trims of both the GMC Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD all share the same 6.6-liter V8 engine as factory standard.

We can also see this example on the GMC Terrain and GMC Yukon, wherein both their SLE and SLT trims initially use the same engine from the factory.

The pickup trucks from GMC also generally have very similar features in their towing packages, regardless if it’s an SLE or an SLT trim.

Another similarity that these two trims have within the GMC Sierra series is that they are both upgradable to the same GVWR limits we’ve discussed earlier.

In a more general sense, both the SLE and SLT trims of any of the listed vehicle models already share some more basic yet modern features found on most modern cars with each other.

Such features can range from premium audio systems, reversing cameras, cruise control, and power-adjustable seats among other things.

Differences Between the SLE and SLT Trims

One very obvious distinction between the two trims is that all of the SLE trims are considerably cheaper than their SLT counterparts.

This is because the SLE trim has fewer extra features that add luxury and comfort for the sake of being more affordable.

Also, the SLE trims of any of the vehicles we’ve listed tend to be fitted with smaller wheels compared to the ones on the SLT trims.

In line with that, the SLT trim’s wheels generally feature more stylish designs in their spokes and rim accents.

Another difference is that the SLE trims only come with cloth material for their interiors, while the SLT trims often come equipped with leather, which is true at least for the GMC models.

But as for the SLT trims of the Dodge Ram models we’ve included, they still used cloth material as the more premium option, while lower trims used vinyl material instead.

Apart from having better interiors, the SLT trims also sometimes come with more powerful engine options.

While we did mention earlier that some models initially share the same factory engine between their SLE and SLT trims, the latter typically has more access to higher-end engines.

Price Difference Between the SLE and SLT Trim

In this part, we will be compiling all of the above-mentioned vehicle models and comparing the base prices of their SLE and SLT trims.

Take note that the prices shown are only for the newest model generations of each vehicle to which the trims were used, excluding the Dodge Ram trucks.

Since the Ram trucks did not have an SLE trim, we have put their base “ST” trim prices instead so we can have something to compare the SLT trim prices with.

Vehicle ModelSLE Price (MSRP)SLT Price (MSRP)Price Difference
GMC Acadia (2023)$36,800$41,100$4,300
GMC Canyon (2020)$30,195$36,995$6,800
GMC Sierra 1500 (2023)$49,200$54,700$5,500
GMC Sierra 2500HD (2023)$50,000$57,600$7,600
GMC Sierra 3500HD (2023)$51,400$60,600$9,200
GMC Terrain (2023)$29,900$33,900$4,000
GMC Yukon (2023)$57,400$64,100$6,700
Dodge Ram 1500 (2010)$20,610 (ST)$24,855$4,245
Dodge Ram 2500 (2010)$27,215 (ST)$30,360$3,145
Dodge Ram 3500 (2010)$34,680 (ST)$38,320$3,640

If we’re going to average out the differences between the SLE and SLT prices of all GMC vehicles, we would arrive at a value of $6,300

However, take note that pickup trucks like the GMC Canyon and GMC Sierra series have a bigger gap between their SLE and SLT prices compared to the crossover SUVs.

As for the Dodge Ram pickup trucks, the difference between their ST and SLT trim prices all average out to about $3,700.