2014 GMC Sierra 1500
By New Car Test Drive
On Sale: Second quarter 2013
Expected Pricing: $24,500-$48,000
A new GMC Sierra goes on sale in late spring and, like the Chevy Silverado, it's a new truck. As in the past, only minor styling points, badging and some packaging distinguish the Sierra from the Silverado. The heavy-duty Sierra 2500/3500 will be revised later.
The 2014 GMC Sierra is essentially the same size as before and characterized by a sleeker look from tighter grille, trim and door apertures. Large wheel openings outlined by larger fender blisters house tires and wheels a half-inch wider. The Extended Cab's rear doors are now conventional, hinged at the front, and the Crew Cab's rear doors are larger. GMC claims the repackaging has added interior space without expanding the outside.
The grille, front bumper and standard projector headlights visually separate the 2014 Sierra from the 2014 Silverado.
Alongside the previous 5-foot, 8-inch bed, Crew Cabs now offer a 6-foot, 6-inch bed, which should fit a 20-foot garage with a few inches at each end. Bed rail recesses and a step in the bumper corners ease climbing up, and there are movable upper load-securing points (500-pound rated). Available aids include LED under-rail lighting and a damped/assist tailgate that lifts and lowers easily.
Coil spring front and rear leaf suspension have been recalibrated for the stiffer new frame, allowing better control of comfort and handling. The power steering assist is electric now to aid fuel economy and the rear brakes have been changed back to discs (as in 2004, drums since). Trailer-sway and stability control remain, with optional hill descent control. Load and tow ratings have not yet been released.
Engine sizes match last year's 4.3-liter V6 and 5.3- and 6.2-liter V8s (no 4.8 V8). The V6 is all-new while the V8s share bore-stroke from before but few parts. All the engines are aluminum block-and-head to save weight, have cylinder deactivation to run on four cylinders when power needs are low, and direct fuel injection. A 6-speed automatic is the only transmission. Economy and output figures come later.
GMC says the V6 can power a trailer-towing Crew Cab and, by virtue of it being larger than Ram's 3.6 or Ford's 3.7, we anticipate at least 275 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. The old 6.2 was rated at 403 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque so we expect ratings around 420-430 hp.
Interior updates are visually greater than those outside, with a new, more segmented dashboard leading the way. Instrumentation adds a display for myriad info, cabin storage areas offer a variety of size and shape, and the lights, drive mode and trailer brake are all high on the left.
Plenty of models ensure you'll have the work ethic or luxury environment you want, with equipment lists that include Bose surround sound, contrast-color stitching on seats and trim panels, heated and air conditioned seats, driver memory system, 3 USB pots and 115 volts in-dash, and voice-recognition navigation with GMC IntelliLink connectivity.
GMC touts new camera-based forward collision and lane departure warning systems, with haptic feedback. Blind-spot monitoring was not mentioned but there are wide-angle elements integral with the exterior mirror glass, and blind-spot warning is already available on GMC SUVs (which will be similarly updated in a year or two).
Introductory Sierras will be Crew Cab only, with Extended and regular cab models coming later.