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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
a very comfortable and easy truck to drive
a gutsy performer that doesn't feel taxed
towing capacities range from a modest 4300 pounds for the basic V-6 work truck (WT) to 13,000 pounds for the 3500HD with a Duramax turbo-diesel
Car and Driver
Experts at TheCarConnection.com like the power and mechanical prowess that come with the 2009 GMC Sierra 1500. It's a tough vehicle inside and out.
This GMC 2009 Sierra 1500 has power to spare, with its "range of V-8 engines and one V-6 that can have anywhere from 195 to 403 horsepower" as reported by Cars.com. Most will opt for the all-aluminum 5.3-liter V-8 rated at 315 horsepower and 338 pound-feet of torque, some versions of which "can run on E85 ethanol fuel," according to ConsumerGuide. Cars.com reports that "the 5.3-liter V-8 is also a gutsy performer that doesn't feel taxed in the least moving the 5,326-pound Sierra crew cab...[and] also emits a pleasing V-8 rumble." Edmunds contends that 2009 GMC Sierra 1500's "acceleration is certainly acceptable with either the 4.8- or 5.3-liter V8," while the "optional 6.0-liter V-8 can get the truck to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds." Car and Driver highlights "towing capacities range from a modest 4300 pounds for the basic V-6 work truck (WT) to 13,000 pounds for the 3500HD with a Duramax turbo-diesel."
For 2009, a six-speed automatic transmission is being phased into most of the GMC Sierra 1500 line. Cars.com says the transmission "will kick down quickly if you need to pass." ConsumerGuide confirms this report: "[the] smooth-shifting transmission kicks down quickly for more passing power." Four-wheel drive is available; the so-called Autotrac, available on 4WD Work and LS trims, "features an automatic setting that shifts into 4WD when wheel slippage is detected," according to Edmunds.
EPA fuel-economy figures run as high as 15 mpg city, 20 highway for the V-8 Sierra trucks, and the V-6 is no better. Edmunds says that while these figures are "hardly impressive," the 5.3-liter engine is "the most efficient V-8 available in a mainstream full-size truck"—due in part to its Active Fuel Management feature, which shuts down half of the cylinders at highway cruising speed.
Cars.com warns that the brakes are not quite up to snuff. While "they don't have any trouble stopping this rig...the pedal itself doesn't offer much sensation." The reviewer from Cars.com also notes that "with an unladen cargo bed, the Sierra's ride quality is fairly stiff, but the suspension does a good job soaking up large imperfections in the road." Steering response gets high marks in the 2009 GMC Sierra 1500 too.
ConsumerGuide observes "noticeable body lean in fast turns and quick changes of direction" but acknowledges "the steering is nicely weighted, if a bit numb." Kelley Blue Book finds it "surprisingly nimble and easy to maneuver." Edmunds provides the overall assessment that the Sierra is "a very comfortable and easy truck to drive," despite the fact that it is "hampered by a slightly larger turning circle than most other trucks."
The 2009 GMC Sierra 1500 offers plenty of V-8 power that will meet most towing and hauling needs, as well as quite nimble handling for such a bit truck.