The 2014 GMC Sierra isn't a completely new truck--GM itself calls it a heavy refresh. That's fine, since the Sierra's cabin and bed already had the space they needed to take on a slew of jobs.
The configurations change slightly, however. Regular Cabs still offer two front-hinged doors and beds either 6'6" or 8' long. Double Cabs all get the 6'6" bed, but the doors themselves are different. They're now hinged at the front, and don't require an open front door to gain access to the space behind the front seats. Crew Cabs come with four full-size, front-hinged doors and now, with a choice of either the 5’8” or 6’6” beds.
In terms of access, the longer doors on the Crew Cab make it easy to clamber in the back seats, especially since the Sierra's B-pillars have been moved forward. But now that the Double Cab gets front-hinged rear doors for the first time, it's almost as capable and accessible.
Seats and storage
We've spent time in both five- and six-passenger Sierras, with bench and bucket seats, cloth and leather, and come away impressed with the much-elevated sense of quality. Soft-touch materials look more expensive and lay next to each other neatly--the aluminum trim on some Sierras is pitch-perfect--and the added gauges in the Sierra give it a more technical flourish than the more basic Silverado.
Getting a good driving position is easy. Tilt and telescope are engaged with separate levers, unusual but intentional to avoid contact with the driver. Power-adjustable pedals are an option. The Sierra's smaller sideview mirrors can be overcome with the available towing mirrors, but otherwise, outward visibility is good. The gauges and displays are clear, and controls and knobs are large and easy to grab for quick adjustments to fan speed and audio volume.
The Sierra's base cloth seats offer better support and comfort, we think, than the optional leather ones. The cloth is stain-resistant and woven for long life, and looks fine. It can even be heated. In our drive, the cloth seatbacks had better support across the seatback and a more comfortable bottom cushion, and it's possible ventilated seats are the reason. The leather seats come standard with heating, and ventilation is an option--and as we've found on many other vehicles, the packaging for vents flattens out the cushions. On the Sierra, you'll tilt the seats forward to strike a balance between proper support and contact with the headrests.
In-cabin storage is excellent. On Sierras with bench seats, there's some storage embedded in the middle seat section, along with a trio of cupholders. Five-seat Sierras have a wide center console with cupholders, a deep rectangular storage bin, a pair of smartphone ridges, and if you order it so, up to five USB ports and two types of power points so you can recharge almost anything--GoPros, camera batteries, even laptops. There's a dual glovebox, and enough molded-in bottle holders to erase the threat of dehydration.
We drove only Crew Cab models, though we've poked around other body styles on the auto show circuit. Our test truck had great rear-seat leg and head room, just as in front. But the rear seatbacks rest vertically against the bed wall, still, though the bottom cushion does flip up to create more lockable storage.
The Sierra's visible quality is backed up by audible improvements. The 6.2-liter V-8 will come with active noise cancellation to calm its four-cylinder noises, and the truck's doors are sealed three times over to prevent too much wind noise from intruding into the cabin.
Outside of the cabin, the Sierra adopts some extra features to make hauling and carrying more convenient. There's a new "CornerStep" built into the rear bumper of all trucks, and four cargo tiedowns that can fasten up to 500 pounds between them are included with each Sierra. There's an LED light mounted on the cab that points down into the bed, which itself has LED lighting tucked under its rim for better visibility.
Inside the bed, the Sierra has at least four feet of space between the wheel wells, and five feet between the bed walls. Notches are stamped into the bed for stacking the bed or otherwise fully loading it. A factory-installed, spray-in bedliner is available. Of all the new touches, our favorite is the damped tailgate: open or raise it, and the light touch is a welcome respite from the usual slam that greets truck owners.