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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
Two-wheel-drive Sierra Crew Cabs start at $33,210, while the equivalent Silverado opens at $32,710, but the Chevy lacks a few features like steering-wheel audio controls and an eight-inch touch screen that justify the cost differential.
Car and Driver
With the arrival of the new Sierra, GMC has trimmed off the former WT model and added more standard features. The new lineup now includes the base Sierra, the SLE, SLT, the All-Terrain, and the coming Denali.
All Sierras now come with air conditioning; keyless entry; a locking tailgate; an AM/FM radio with a 4.2-inch color display; a rear step bumper; cloth seats; and the six-cylinder/six-speed automatic drivetrain, unless otherwise upgraded to a V-8. The 5.3-liter V-8 is an $895 option where the V-6 is standard, which is why GMC expects 75 percent of buyers will pay up for it.
Base prices start from $25,085 for the Sierra Regular Cab with rear-wheel drive, rise to $29,110 for the Double cab, and reach $33,210 for the Crew cab.
Most Sierras will be sold at the SLE trim level or above, which means power windows, locks, and mirrors will be included (though GMC hasn't released final features for each model), and likely, a CD player. For utility the Sierra will offer a 110-volt outlet in the cabin, alongside as many as four 12-volt outlets, five USB ports (swoon), and an SD card slot.GMC’s IntelliLink connectivity system is an option on the 2014 Sierra. It combines Bluetooth connectivity, audio streaming, and voice commands with mobile app connectivity (Pandora, for example) and available navigation, all delivered through a larger, eight-inch reconfigurable touch screen. The system is essentially a version of Cadillac's CUE interface, without the haptic feedback. We think its graphic layer is cleaner and brighter than Ford's MyFord Touch system, and the configurability gives it some distinction over Ram's UConnect, but in our Sierra test drive we encountered a few instances where the navigation system couldn't refer to its own contact database. The Sierra also can be equipped with 3G onboard data as a dealer-installed accessory, with wireless connectivity for up to ten devices, as in the Silverado.
Leather seating will be available, with heating and ventilation for different seating positions, depending on the model. A sunroof and a Blu-Ray rear-seat DVD entertainment system will be stand-alone options on almost all versions. There's also a safety package with lane-departure warning and forward-collision alert systems, and a safety-alert seat that vibrates the cushions for haptic alerts.
For more entertainment, GMC will offer a Z71 off-road package. It comes with hill descent control, skid plates for the transfer case, and Rancho shocks. A trailering package includes connectors for lighting and an automatic locking rear differential. It also adds heavier-duty cooling, a beefier rear axle with a 3.73 ratio, stronger rear leaf springs, and a trailer-brake controller.
The Sierra All-Terrain package comes only in the four-door body styles, on either the SLE or SLT trim. It gets a painted grille and the Z71 off-road suspension, as well as an automatic locking rear differential for quicker reaction times. On the SLE it gets an ebony interior and front bucket seats; the SLT version has seats with carbon fiber-look trim.
Finally, the Sierra Denali returns as the plushest truck of all. The third such GMC truck in history, the Denali gets its own 20-inch chrome wheels and a chrome grill; body-color bumpers; aluminum trim on the dash; and LED daytime running lights. Among the functional upgrades are an eight-inch LCD display in the gauges that can be customized to show audio, phone, navigation, or other settings. Color Touch navigation and IntelliLink smartphone connectivity are standard, as are five USB ports, Bose audio, ventilated front seats, front and rear parking sensors, and a heated steering wheel. The Denali hasn't been priced yet.
GMC's Sierra gets its own flair, with aluminum trim, soft-touch materials, and standard IntelliLink on most models.