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2015 GMC Sierra 1500 2WD Double Cab Elevation Edition Review By John Heilig


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AUTO PAGE REVIEW SPECS

MODEL: 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 2WD Double Cab Elevation Edition
ENGINE: 5.3-liter Ecotec V8
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 355 hp @ 5,600 rpm/383 lb.-ft. @ 4,100 rpm
WHEELBASE: 143.5 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 229.5 x 80.0 x 73.9 in.
TIRES: P275/55R20
CARGO: 61 cu. ft. (cargo floor 78.9 x 64.9 in. at floor)
ECONOMY: 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway/15.1 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 26.0 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 5,102 lbs.
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Ford F-150, Dodge Ram, Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan, Chevrolet Silverado
STICKER: $36,565 (includes $1,195 delivery, $5,425 options)

BOTTOM LINE: The GMC Sierra is a good solid basic pickup truck that could benefit from some modern amenities.          

If you’re looking for a solid basic pickup, you would be hard pressed to top the GMC Sierra. At its heart it will do anything you ask. However, there are features that are lacing, most importantly a rear view camera and, ideally rear cross traffic alert. But as I said, the basics are there.          

On the plus side, the 5.3-liter V8 delivers very good power at 355 horsepower. Ride quality is very good, thanks to a 12-foot wheelbase. Even on less-than-perfect roads (read: most of Pennsylvania), the Sierra masks many of their rough patches. Sort of like turning mountains into molehills or rocks into pebbles.          

Our tester had cloth front seats with good side support. There is a huge fold-down center arm rest/console with three cupholders, 12-volt outlet and a USB connection. I liked the adjustable shoulder belts that allow for lower or higher adjustments. The 6-speed automatic transmission worked well. It has a manual mode with a toggle switch on the column-mounted shifter. The shifter also has a button if you are in towing mode. The cupholders “grab” whatever is placed in them. Unfortunately, one of my travel cups has a slightly larger-than-normal diameter, and when I didn’t push it down hard enough, it tipped and spilled coffee,

Between the cupholders and the arm rest are three slots that are good for holding a mobile phone. They did the job, but a better idea would be a narrower slot with some sort of power connection at the bottom.          

Our tester was the Elevation Edition, which added unique styling and a monochromatic look. Everything was black, including the front and rear bumpers, bodyside moldings, door handles, grille surround and exterior mirror caps. Elevations Edition models can be chosen among Onyx Black, Quicksilver Metallic, Sonoma Red Metallic and Summit White.          

The driver faces a complete white-on-black instrument panel with red pointers. The wheel had cruise control switches only. The basic two-knob audio offered just AM and FM radio and media, although I had trouble getting my iPod to work. Normally, I would want more audio choices, but in a true work truck that doesn’t regularly take long trips, radio works just fine.          

It’s autumn, and the HVAC system had to dance through some weather changes. It danced well. The two-knob eight-button system cooled us in hot weather and warmed us in early morning coolness.          

Access to the cab could have been improved with a running board, but assist handles on the front passenger A-pillar and the B-pillars on both sides helped. Rear seat legroom is tight. One would expect that with a long wheelbase and four doors there would be more legroom. The bench rear seat is basically flat.          

There are three cubbies in the rear doors with a water bottle holder and two smaller basic cubbies.          

Outside is a six-foot bed with a spray-on bed liner. There are six hooks and seven knock-outs for tie-downs. Two steps are cut into the rear bumper for easier access to the bed.          

My biggest problem with the Sierra was its size. Parking is a challenge. Rearward vision is not good and I almost had close encounters of the third kind with vehicles driven by drivers in a big rush. A rearview camera would be an asset.          

Overall, the GMC Sierra is a good rider/driver. It seems to be better suited as a work truck, where there is less tendency to deal with general traffic and parking lots.

© 2015 The Auto Page Syndicate

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