by Tony West and Daryl Payne
GMC rolls out a fresh contender to the F150 and the Tundra with the 2014 Sierra. With a variety of pick-up, powertrain, and trim levels, the new Sierra could be one of the most versatile crew cabs on the road. GMC designers did a great job blending outstanding capabilities with functionality and style-then wrapped it in an aluminum/chrome shell.
Crew Cab and Double Cab models are available with the 2014 Sierra and the Sierra Denali. The exterior of the Sierra 1500 Crew Cab we tested demands respect. The bigger, stronger, more lightweight Sierra 1500 passed nearly every test in our review and got a ton of compliments from men, more from pickup truck owners praising GMC’s chrome grille, chrome front and rear bumper, 6 inch chrome assist steps, and the 20 inch chrome wheels with all season tires. An aluminum hood is weight saving and wind reducing. And the Sierra has standard LED daytime running lights and LED lights in the cargo bed along with its EZ lift and lower tailgate and available sliding rear window.
Robust Design with Sophisticated Tech
While the design of the 2014 Sierra speaks to the manly man it’s still classy and attractive to female pick-up fans. Wives will happily drive their husbands’ Sierra because of its tech savvy cabin and the ease of driving and mounting the truck. The adjustable brake and throttle helps a little lady drive at a comfortable seating position. Remote Start and the auto folding mirrors are especially useful in the harsh winter.
The Sierra cab is made with high strength steel. Aluminum suspension elements help the Sierra handle better in rough terrain and save weight. The aluminum hood saves the Sierra 17 pounds. Aerodynamic design elements like sealing around the grille and headlamps, and triple inlaid doors reduce drag and wind noise.
3 Ecotech Options for Most Effective Powertrain
The 2014 Sierra has a standard 4.3 liter V6 Ecotech engine with 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque. The 4.3 liter V6 has a 7,000 lb tow capacity, 700 lbs more than the Ram 1500 3.6L, and 900 lbs more than the Ford F150 3.7L. The standard V6 has an EPA of 18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway for the 2WD and 17mpg/22mpg for the 4WD.
Also available in the 1500 Crew Cab and Denali is the 5.3 liter V8 Ecotech engine with 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque, and a 6.2 liter V8 with 420 horsepower, 460 lb-ft of torque, and a 12,000 lb towing capacity. The 5.3 liter V8 has an EPA of 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway for the 2WD, and 16 mpg/23 mpg for the 4WD. All three engines have Active Fuel Management that runs the Sierra in 4-cylinder mode when cruising with light loads. And all three engines have direct fuel injection and variable valve timing.
The 5.3 liter V6 in the Sierra 1500 Crew Cab is matted to a six-speed automatic transmission. Manual mode has seamless shifting. Range Selection mode aids towing or driving downhill. The Electronic Transfer Case allows drivers to shift from 4-wheel drive high mode for extra traction on snowy or icy roads, or 4-wheel drive low mode in deep mud, sand, coming down a steep hill . Along with Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control, the Sierra 1500 also has a Low Traction Mode and Auto Locking Rear Differential.
The available Trailering Package adds Stabilitrak and Trailer Sway Control. Electric Power Steering makes turning and parking more fluid. The Sierra 1500 Crew Cab also has four-wheel disc brakes with Duralife rotors, and independent front and multilink rear suspension.
The Sierra 1500 Crew Cab was a very comfortable ride. My only issue was with the sluggish acceleration and fickle shocks. While handling and braking was on a dime precise, the cab got wobbly navigating over potholes. And even with a near empty cab and bed, the Sierra 1500 accelerated like a U-Haul truck. I’m more than okay with taking a few extra seconds to get the Sierra from 0-60 mph because the interior is full of useful technology integrated into functional style.
Stylish Tech Savvy Cab
The spacious interior of the Sierra 1500 Crew Cab has convenient tech features. With 40 inches of front legroom and 45 inches of rear legroom, the cab is comfortable for all 5 passengers. The leather interior has heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and dual zone climate control. Unfortunately there were no vents in the rear. Available aluminum trim adds style and resilience.
Drivers have one of the most useful dashes of any pick-up mixing gauges for battery level, oil, gas, and the tachometer with a customizable digital info center in the middle. Along with displaying all the information of the gauges, the Driver Information Center has navigation information, cruise control settings, and the tire pressure monitor, engine hours, transmission fuel level, and audio settings. Audio controls also sit behind the steering wheel.
The interior cab also has a lot of storage with two glove boxes, a large center console, and multiple cup holders in the front and rear center and doors. The Sierra 1500 has an 8-inch color touchscreen with IntelliLink for audio, navigation, and Bluetooth. Pandora and other apps are available as is a 110-volt outlet, up to 5 USB ports, an SD card slot, and four 12 volt outlets. The SLT Crew Cab Package adds a bangin Bose Audio system. Navigation was awesome-easy to use and easy to search for locations with voice command.
Highly Functional Safety Tech
Safety is optimized in the 2014 Sierra 1500 with the adjustable Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, available Safety Alert Seat, and the backup camera. Brake Assist and Park Assist are also available- though a strange computer glitch caused a message keep popping up on my Driver Info Center that said, “Park Assist Disabled”.
The Trailer Brake Control prevents trailer wheel lockup. And the Blind Spot Monitor is especially helpful in this big body pick-up. Valet Mode is standard. All of the safety technology in the Sierra 1500 helped the pickup get a 5-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA.
The 2014 Sierra with all its trim levels, technology, and flair is a home run for GMC. Truck lovers were envious and those who didn’t own a truck, found new reasons why the GMC Sierra should be their next. Whether for work or enjoyment, the 2014 GMC Sierra stands strong ready to handle any weather, cargo, or off-road terrain. The fully-loaded GMC Sierra Crew Cab will sell for $49,000 with an MSRP of $43,600