2014 GMC Sierra Review
Going truckin' with the redesigned Sierra.No Comments
We give props to the Sierra's steering, which has a nice heft and decent feel.
If you know what the term 'cowboy Cadillac' means, either you live in Texas, you listen to country music, or you own a truck that has an interior that would be at home inside a German luxo-sedan. Or all three.
It's no secret that Americans love trucks (whether they need them or not) as evidenced by the deluge of truck ads that flood every nationally televised sporting event, usually with good 'ole patriotic rock playing or a celebrity with a tough-guy persona blasting through an edgy voiceover. Indeed, the full-size truck category reaches a level of competition that is only matched by muscle cars.
With four automakers trying to one-up each other, it's not shocking that three of the five full-size trucks on the market were redesigned for this year (well, technically there are six offerings, but the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra are virtually twins), with the last one standing - the Ford F-150 - scheduled to go under the knife soon. We've recently spent time in the Tundra and Ram, and now it was our turn for a go in the Sierra.
The Sierra is positioned as more upscale than the Silverado, offering features that are either unavailable or optional on the Silverado as standard - features like upper tie-downs and wheel-arch moldings. A luxury-trimmed Denali version hits the market soon.
If you're between 35 and 55. have an income that can be described as 'well-off,' and you want or need a truck, GMC wants to hear from you.
We also extend props to the ride, which is surprisingly smooth in most cases, with little truckishness. It does get bouncy on the rough stuff, but it conquers most urban and suburban streets with ease, and despite its 4x4 capability, most of the miles the typical Sierra will see will likely be on-road.
Engine choice comes in three flavors: a 4.3-liter V-6, a 5.3-liter V-8, and a 6.2-liter V-8. We sampled the 5.3-liter, which boasts 355 horsepower. Acceleration is brisk - downright forceful at times - but you never forget you're driving a heavy truck. Still, if the need for passing is there, the Sierra lets you take it without drama.
We applaud two particular exterior features - the rear bumper steps and the easy up/easy down tailgate that required little effort to close and never slammed down. We put the truck to use to move a friend across town, and these little pieces of design really did make real-world tasks easier.
We did have a few beefs. A flat dead pedal leads to left-foot discomfort on long drives; syncing Pandora to an iPhone requires one to take his or her eyes off the road and fiddle with the phone; and manumatic shifting can only be done on the shift column. These are but minor niggles - none would steer us astray.
It's true that the Ram does turn more heads, but the Sierra is just as brawny and capable, and it coddles just as well. It's the quiet one that does all the work without any showing off.
Trucks are meant to both be worker bees and luxury palaces these days, and the Sierra achieves both those goals. It's not the shiniest toy, but it works so well it doesn't have to be.
Torque: 383 lb-ft.
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Fuel Economy: 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway
Base Price: $43,425
As-Tested Price: $50,485 (including $995 destination fee)
Available Features: Bluetooth, satellite radio, heated and cooled front seats, heated steering wheel, front and rear parking assist, lane-departure warning, forward collision alert, navigation, Pandora, USB port, power sunroof, off-road package, leather seats, locking tailgate, wheel-arch moldings, dual-zone climate control, rearview camera, tilt/telescope steering wheel.