It's been seven years since the last major update to GM's full-size trucks, and in its new iteration, the 2014 GMC Sierra taps a wealth of safety technology to boost its crash test scores.
As of yet, some of those scores aren't available. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given Sierra crew cabs five stars overall, with all five-star ratings save for a four-star rollover resistance rating. But so far the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has only put the Sierra through its frontal test--to a 'good' result.
However, GMC predicts the Sierra will perform better than ever, better than the 2013 model's "acceptable" side-impact ratings from the IIHS (though it earned five stars in side impacts and four stars overall from the Feds). The truck's structure has been bettered, with a stiffer frame, a revised cab structure with pillars moved further forward, and optimized seat placement.
All Sierras come with the mandatory airbags and stability control, which incorporates trailer-sway control to mitigate the wagging motion that can be induced when towing. Hill-start assist is standard, and maintains position for a couple of seconds when the Sierra launches on a grade.
Available as an option or standard on most models, a rearview camera points out of the Sierra's tailgate handle, with output displayed on the color LCD screen. Front and rear parking sensors are available. There's also a safety package with lane-departure warning and forward-collision alert systems, and a safety-alert seat that vibrates the driver's seat cushion for haptic alerts.
For those who tow, larger mirrors can be fitted to help guide trailers into their spots; they're recommended, since the Sierra's standard mirrors are smaller and more aerodynamic. GMC also offers a trailer brake controller, so drivers can fine-tune the amount of braking applied to the tow vehicle's electric brakes. The controls are mounted high on the dash, to the left of the steering wheel, where they're visible and easily used.
We'll update this section as crash-test scores are published.