The GMC Sierra 1500 has been completely redesigned for 2014. Like the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, with which it's very closely related, the Sierra gets new V6 and V8 engine options that are both stronger and more economical than before. A new design for the double cab allows for better rear-seat entry and exit. IntelliLink connectivity and infotainment systems have been upgraded and a new look inside and out, with much-improved interior appointments.
The 2014 GMC Sierra is offered in Regular Cab, Double Cab (extended cab) and Crew Cab models, with two different bed lengths. Among those, power is provided by a choice between all-new V6 and V8 powertrains. The base 4.3L V6 makes 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque, while the available 5.3L V8 makes 355 hp and 383 lb-ft. Both engines are certified to run on E85 (an 85-percent ethanol blend). Separately, at the top of the line, a 6.2L V8 is positioned for those who regularly tow or haul the heaviest loads. This engine is only offered in Double Cab and Crew Cab models and makes 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque.
With either the V6 or any of the V8s, the transmission is a 6-speed automatic transmission that provides a tall cruising gear for good highway mileage (there are three axle ratios from which to choose). In addition, all three are aluminum-alloy engines, featuring variable valve timing and direct injection, as well as Active Fuel Management that allows them to run on four cylinders during light-load conditions like cruising and coasting. V6 models have fuel economy ratings of up to 18 mpg city, 24 highway with rear-wheel drive.
The combination of three cab styles and two bed lengths can cover quite a range of wheelbases, which range from 119 inches all the way up to 153 inches. Front and rear Park Assist is available, however--helpful for those who use their trucks in daily urban or suburban driving.
Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning are among the active-safety features offered in the 2014 Sierra, and in both cases they might help avoid an accident from happening altogether.
Inside, the Sierra has a traditional, somewhat upright instrument panel layout, although it's been softened in look and feel with soft-touch materials and more attention to detail. As before, knobs and buttons are large enough to use with gloves on, and there are now two glovebox compartments. Double Cab models now include rear-hinged front doors, with enough of a back seat for most passengers, while Crew Cab models offer a full, SUV-sized backseat. Depending on the trim level, the Sierra includes up to five USB powers, four 12-volt outlets, an SD card slot, and an AC outlet--with the available IntelliLink infotainment system wrapping in an 8-inch touch screen for compatibility with Bluetooth calling and streaming audio features, as well as Pandora streaming audio.
Integral LED bed lighting, movable upper tie-downs, bumper-corner steps, and a damped, EZ Lift and Lower tailgate are just a few of the cargo-box innovations in the Sierra. Otherwise, several specialty models cater to the needs of certain kinds of truck users. For instance, a Sierra All-Terrain model includes a look with less chrome, a painted grille, and serious off-road equipment such as monotube Rancho shocks, a transfer-case shield, hill descent control, front recovery hooks, and an automatic locking rear differential to help in mud or snow.
Even at the base level, the Sierra includes a 40/20/40-split bench seat, power locks, cruise control, air conditioning, a tilt-adjustable steering column, and an audio system with USB ports, an SD card slot, and a 4.2-inch color display.
At the top of the lineup, the Sierra Denali offers its own unique look, as well as a 'loaded' array of features and comfort items. A chrome grille, special 20-inch chrome wheels and polished stainless steel exhaust--plus body-color bumpers and special trim--set a more elegant look on the outside. Inside the Denali gets real aluminum trim, bright door sills and upgraded trim. Meanwhile, the long list of feature upgrades for this model includes a navigation system with Intellilink, five USB ports, Bose audio, heated and cooled leather front seats, a heated steering wheel, a power-sliding rear window and front and rear park assist.