SEE ALSO: GMC Buyer's Guide
Evidently, with a full load, this effect would be lessened, and the Sierra, whilst only holding a couple of friends on its 40/20/40 split front seat, will tote 2054 lbs of payload, so luggage/tree trunks/kitchen sinks are no problem. And with a GVWR of 6100 lbs and a total curb weight of 4058 lbs, the Sierra more than measures up against its competitors in a field of increasingly popular pickups.
The 1500 is powered by a 4.8 liter, V8 fuel injected engine, which produces 270 hp@ 5200 rpm and 285 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm. Needless to say, there wasn't much of a problem pulling away from the lights. Indeed, the engine delivers a high, flat torque curve with 90% of its peak torque from 1500 to 5200 rpm. The automatic 4-speed with overdrive and electronic control was smooth enough. Better still power delivery was extremely quiet, with hardly any noise invading the cab.
GMC completely remodeled the Sierra in 1999 and can now boast improved safety and security. Features include a structural safety cage in the cab design, roll-formed side-guard beams in the front doors, plus energy absorbing features in the steering wheel and instrument panel. The front frame rails also telescope on impact to absorb collision energy. Add to this 4-wheel ABS and a traction assist feature, whereby power is automatically reduced if one or both rear wheels start to lose traction, and the Sierra proves that it not only looks good, but that those looks hide numerous features aimed at better performance.
The cab itself is roomy and comfortable. The middle of the bench seat folds down to provide an armrest/storage compartment, or up, to provide room for 2 passengers, total. Dash design is simple, but clear to read and general visibility is good, although there is an enormous blind spot.
Evidently, I don't have much need for such a truck, living an urban lifestyle and all. (Although this cab proved big enough for shopping etc, which was a good start!). That said, there are an inordinate amount of pickups on the roads at the moment, in what is an ever-increasingly competitive category. With that in mind, the Sierra's base price of $16,500 and change, in conjunction with a maintenance schedule, which requires no maintenance (bar oil and filter changes) for the first 100,000 miles, and GMC would appear to have a winner on their hands. Especially in yellow!
Facts & Figures Engine Vortec 4800 V8 SFI HP 270 @ 5200 Torque 285 @ 4000 Transmission 4-speed automatic w/ overdrive & electronic control Steering Power, Rack & Pinion Suspension Independent coil springs (front) Semi-elliptic, 2 stage multileaf spring (rear) Rear axle Semi-floating Wheels Chrome (optional), 16.0 x 7.0" Brakes 4-wheel disc w/ ABS Axle Ratio 3.42 Max Trailer 6600 lbs Payload 2054 lbs GVWR 6100 lbs Total Curb Weight 4058 lbs Base Price $16,525 As Tested $21,970 Destination $ 720 HT Package $ 2,885 Includes: Sportside body, AM/FM w/ cassette, chrome grille surround, chromed steel wheels, P255/70R 16 WOL tires, front A/C, Leather wrapped steering wheel, Handling/trailering suspension 4-Spd auto trans $ 1,095 Vortec V800 V8 $ 695 Rear Axle $ 50
For additional information about the GMC Sierra: www.gmc.com