2012 GMC Sierra Review | Toronto Sun
2012 GMC Sierra Crew Cab Review
The business casual approach to a work truck
The 2012 GMC Sierra pickup is a worker, but it can be dressed up in a tux rather than overalls when the occasion arises.
Trucks are generally thought of as playthings for guys, but if the family is going to be travelling in it, you better dress it up.
The 4WD Sierra 1500 Crew Cab SLE’s Fire Red exterior immediately catches my attention. This thing stands out in a crowd. (Note to self: it will also attract unwanted attention from traffic cops?so be careful).
As trucks go, Sierra is a looker even without a red coat. It’s tall, but doesn’t require shorter folks to use climbing gear to get in. It’s long but will still fit in a normal parking lot stall. It has bling, but it’s not garish even with a chrome accessories package.
The truck is loaded with options which quickly run the price up to more than $50,000 from the base of $39,785. Most of these options are items you either need or want to have in a truck, if you intend to make it your daily driver.
In other words, it’s built for him, but she will like it, too. (Usually)
There’s an optional Z71 suspension package which brings a host of stuff to take this truck on the trails less travelled. The bar is raised with all the heavy duty stuff you need to pull a trailer; there’s a bunch of interior power upgrades including hands-free Bluetooth and a better-than-average audio system.
If the exterior doesn’t meet with enthusiastic approval, the interior will. While set up to help with the work ethic, it’s just short of luxurious. The only thing missing is heat for the leather front seats.
GM engineers have gone to great lengths to make things convenient for the driver. It’s easy to get in, thanks to optional side step bars. Once inside, the interior is efficiently laid out with easy-to-read gauges and simple-to-use dials and switches.
Seats are a bit on the soft side but other riders find them “like an armchair.” I’m not sure that’s a good thing; I tend to fall asleep in armchairs.
The test truck has power adjustable pedals, steering wheel-mounted controls for cruise and audio, an auto dimming rearview mirror with rear camera display and ultra-sonic rear parking assist. OnStar emergency communications is standard.
The cab has plenty of room for four adults and the rear seat cushions fold up to provide a spacious load floor for items you don’t want to leave out in the open.
Under the hood is a 5.3-litre flex-fuel V8 capable of running on unleaded gas or up to 85% ethanol. I have never found 85% ethanol for sale.
The engine isn’t shy about bellying up to the gas bar and slurping up the fuel to make its 315 horsepower. It’s rated at a combined city/highway consumption of 11.9 L/100km, however I can’t get any better than 16.1. And while I admit I’m not driving to maximize economy, I’m not driving hard.
Shifting is handled by a six-speed automatic with manual shift mode. It’s a smooth operator, moving nearly seamlessly from gear to gear.
Handling is positive and predictable and the ride is superb. The only downside is a rather large turning circle.
Winter decides to give me a hand testing the Sierra which, like most trucks, is a little light in the rear end and can step out if you get a bit too enthusiastic in a corner. However the standard stability control system reacts quickly to keep a rear end slide from becoming unmanageable.
The snow is getting deeper and the roads icier, but a simple twist of a dial moves me from 2WD to 4WD and it just keeps going.
Sierra isn’t just about winter, though. If you’re a summertime trailer hauler, this truck has everything you want or need, including standard integrated electronic trailer sway control.
Sierra is all about peace of mind under adverse driving conditions. It’s too bad about its drinking problem.
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