Pros: Comfortable; excellent passenger, cargo, and towing capacity
Cons: Poor fuel economy and turning radius
Styling is subjective, but I find that the Sierra is a mature, understated design compared to more aggressively designed competitors from Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Nissan, and Toyota. The only obvious drawbacks in the exterior design are that door handles and review mirrors are black instead of being color-keyed. While this is a differentiating feature between the standard Sierra and Denali, I think a truck in this price range should include these features. The Sierra also lacks the option of a spray-in bed liner, which is an option on the Nissan. Expect to pay approximately $500 to have a bed liner sprayed in after you buy the truck.
I highly recommend purchasing the optional assist steps and fold-out bed extender. The assist steps are helpful given the Sierras higher than standard ride height and will also reduce wear on the drivers seat caused by sliding in and out of the seat. The fold-out bed extender provides additional cargo capacity for the crew cabs short, 5-1/2 foot bed. And at only $210, the fold-out bed extender is a value.
Interior design is an area in which the Sierra really shines. The Sierra is roomy, even in the back seat, where extended and crew cab models typically fall short. The 60/40 rear seat folds flat to provide plenty of covered storage room, which is perfect for hauling groceries and other items you wish to remain protected from the elements.
The SLT model comes with a multitude of amenities that youd expect to find in a luxury car. I wont go into the details of every option, but will focus on the amenities that I like the best.
- Leather 10-way power driver and passenger seats. The seats are comfortable and supportive, particularly in comparison to the previous generation seats in my 1999 Tahoe. You dont realize how nice a power passenger seat is until you take a long trip. Buyers living in cold weather climates will also appreciate the heated seats.
- Dual automatic climate control. Set the temperature and forget it.
- Bose stereo with integrated 6-CD changer, XM radio, and steering wheel mounted controls. Youll have to pay a subscription fee for XM radio, but itll change the way you listen to the radio.
- Automatic headlights. Set the headlights to auto and forget them.
- Electro-chromatic center rearview mirror with outside temperature and compass.
- Power, heated review mirrors with electro-chromatic drivers side review mirror. Its nice, not to mention safe, to be able to see out of the review mirrors on cold mornings. The electro-chromatic drivers side mirror keeps you from being blinded by passing vehicles at night.
The interior design is standard GM. Controls and indicators are predictably laid out and easy to reach. If youre familiar with interior designs from domestic auto makers, youll feel right at home in the Sierra. The Z71 options right height offers a commanding view of the road and a stiffer suspension than the standard 2X4 or 4X4 models, yet is still comfortable and quiet on the road.
Acceleration is excellent, as is towing ability. Turning radius and body lean are what youd expect for a large 4X4 truck. Like other trucks in this class, it has a long wheelbase and is difficult to park in tight spaces. If turning radius is an issue for you, GMC offers a Quadrasteer option, which improves the turning radius.
Fuel mileage is typical for a large truck. My fuel mileage, as shown by the on-board computer, is 16 MPG in light city driving and 19 MPG during highway driving.
Buying and service experience is subjective and varies depending on your dealership, but I did notice some trends as I shopped around for my truck. These were:
- Loaded crew cabs are difficult to find on the lot, unless you like white. I wanted silver and had to order mine.
- Because I purchased my vehicle during the employee pricing promotion, the sales people would not negotiate the price of the truck. However, a few of dealerships I visited added delivery and service charges ranging from $795 and $1,200. Needless to say, I didnt buy the truck from one these dealerships.
- The service department at my local dealership is excellent. My father was a GM mechanic for years and told me that GMC was more customer oriented than Chevrolet; everything Ive experienced to this point supports his assertion.