The GMC Sierra 1500 has been in need of a touch-up. On the market since 2007, it's been the oldest full-size truck with its near-twin, the Silverado--except for Nissan's aged Titan.
The new Sierra isn't a vast departure, but it is different enough to register with truck buyers, who've waved us by in our test drives with that universal gesture of car camaraderie--the letting-you-pass hat tip. By a very slight margin, we prefer the Sierra's buff, blunt grille and interior trim to the choices made for the less distinctive Silverado. Some of it comes down to the Sierra's LED lighting and projector lamps, or the big red letters embossed on the grille, as much as it does to the aluminum trim inside. The details seem crisper, the overall shape more defined, the fenders flared with more attitude. There's a lineage infused with some of the same HUMMER traits that took over GMC's Terrain, and on a truck body, they work even better, though the Sierra 1500 now looks as big as the 2500 and 3500 HD models.
Inside, the dash is very upright, with a simple but bold design, and the doorsills are several inches lower than the dash top. Controls are arranged in several key areas, just to the left of the steering wheel or in a large center-stack area (with a wide center console just aft), and all the controls and displays are large and straightforward, with cool blue primary lighting, red arms on the dials and red backlighting. GMC's IntelliLink makes a colorful splash on the big LCD screen found on most models, and the rich-hued trims in the cabin are soft-touch in many places, unlike the Chevy.