Tag Archives: Sierra

Silverado and Sierra are first NHTSA 5 Star pickup trucks

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Posted on Sep 4, 2013

Silverado Sierra NHTSA 5 Star pickup trucks photo

 

By  Brandon Turkus, Autoblog

 

General Motors has just become the first pickup truck manufacturer to receive five-star overall vehicle scores in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program. The updated safety standards, which went into effect in 2011, are more strenuous than the previous NHTSA curriculum and involve collecting both more and more substantial data, reflecting the improved safety inherent in newer vehicles. This is an impressive strike against both the Ford F-150 and the recently redesigned Ram 1500, GM’s two biggest competitors in the full-size truck market.

 

The rating only applies to the redesigned, light-duty Silverado, Sierra and their upmarket variants, High Country and Denali, respectively, while only Crew Cab variants were tested. Considering that the four-door body style will make up 60 percent of GM’s light-duty truck sales, the exclusion of the other variants seems reasonable.

 

This news is sure to be yet another feather in GM’s pickup-oriented cap. Be sure to scroll down for video of the crash testing, as well as the full press release from General Motors.

 

Source:  http://www.autoblog.com/2013/08/20/2014-chevy-silverado-gmc-sierra-pickups-five-star-nhtsa-crash-tests/

 

All-New 2014 GMC Sierra Review | Toronto Star

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Posted on Jul 19, 2013

Photo 2014 GMC Sierra Review

 

By Jil McIntosh, Toronto Star

 

I don’t camp. As I tell people, my idea of “roughing it” is no room service. So when General Motors told me I’d be towing a trailer and then sleeping in it, I had to remind myself that it was really about the all-new 2014 GMC Sierra I’d be using for the task.

 

The Sierra is the mechanical twin to the equally new Chevrolet Silverado, but has different exterior styling and the appropriate badge on the otherwise similar interior. The top-level Denali trim returns, and, although Chevy adds a new High Country luxury level, the Denali will still be the overall top of the line.

 

Although full pricing is still to come, the regular cab starts at $26,155; the double cab at $30,050, and the crew cab at $31,615. The Silverado and Sierra were priced the same in the past, but this new GMC has a bit more content, and the base tags run about $600 more than the Chevy.

 

At first glance, the exterior styling doesn’t look radically different from the outgoing model, but it’s entirely redesigned.

 

The quick clue is the cab: where the tops of the doors wrapped up into the roof before, the new ones are flush. GM says it cuts down on wind noise, and I believe it, as no other truck is as quiet inside as this one.

 

One difference lies in the double (extended) cab, which now has rear doors hinged at the front. On the crew cab, a 6-foot-6 box is now offered, along with a 5-foot-8 version.

 

The three engines also have the same displacements as before: 4.3 L V6, 5.3 L V8, and later this year, a 6.2 L V8. But they are also entirely new, and each is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

 

Each contains three fuel-saving technologies: direct gasoline-injection, variable valve-timing, and cylinder-deactivation, which operates only four cylinders when full power isn’t needed.

 

That’s fairly common on V8s, but unusual for a V6. It’s a seamless transition, and you can really only tell when a green-tinged “V4” appears in the instrument cluster.

 

Towing capacity is never an exact science, and much depends on factors such as cab configuration and axle ratio, but GM claims a maximum of 7,200 lb. (3,265 kg) for the V6, and 11,500 (5,216 kg) for the 5.3 L V8. When the 6.2 L comes out, it’ll have a high of 12,000 lb. (5,443 kg). Those big numbers are a badge of pride with truck companies, so expect some of the others to start tweaking so they can trumpet even larger figures.

 

My test truck’s gears were configured more for fuel economy than towing, so the engine had to work hard to maintain uphill speed once I got into the foothills. But, overall, the Sierra tows well, with a firmly-planted front end, available trailer brake controller, and a trailer sway control system built into the electronic stability control. It selects wheels to break if it senses the trailer’s starting to swing.

 

I pulled into the appropriately named Sierra West ranch for the night, where, true to my roots, I unpacked some items brought along for the trip: Christmas lights for the trailer’s awning, and a couple of pink flamingoes for outside the door.

 

I really like that the trailer pin hookup is above the bumper, where it’s easy to reach. And while we’re talking about the back end of the vehicle, there are steps in the bumper ends, with corresponding hand-holds in the box rails for easy climbing into the bed.

 

It’s a lot simpler than Ford’s system, which requires you to pull out a step and lift up a handle. Ram has nothing but a tiny corner of the bumper to step on (and possibly slip off of) when the tailgate’s down.

 

The biggest difference between old and new is the interior, which has gone from tired and dated, to arguably the segment’s best.

 

The seats are very comfortable, and thanks to a low “hip point,” it’s relatively easy to get in and out. With the size of pickup trucks these days, it’s far more common to have to crawl up or slide out, which gets old pretty fast (and also wears the edge of the seat sooner).

 

The controls are good-sized buttons and dials that work well with gloves, grouped according to function. The instrument cluster borrows its squared-off gauges from the Camaro, and includes a configurable driver display.

 

The new Sierra doesn’t break any new ground, but it catches up to the competition in a fiercely-fought segment. The Japanese full-size trucks lag behind. Toyota will introduce a new Tundra shortly. But the three domestic brands are all at the top of the game.

 

I was, too, once we unhooked the trailers and headed for our final overnight stop: a hotel where, thankfully, my room was no longer on wheels.

 

2014 GMC Sierra

 

Price: $26,155 (regular); $30,050 (double), and $31,615 (crew)

 

Engine: 4.3 L V6; 5.3 L V8, and 6.2 L V8

 

Power/torque: 285 hp/305 lb.-ft. (V6), 355/383 (5.3 L V8), 420/450 (6.2 L V8)

 

Fuel consumption L/100 km: (5.3 L): 13.0 city, 8.7 hwy (2WD); 13.3, 9.0 (4WD)

 

Competitors: Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150, Nissan Titan, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra

 

What’s best: Quiet cabin, smooth handling, top-notch interior.

 

What’s worst: Rear crew cab floor isn’t flat.

 

What’s interesting: In the U.S., the Sierra accounts for 10 per cent of GM’s U.S. truck sales, but in Canada, it is almost 50 per cent

 

Source:  http://www.wheels.ca/reviews/preview-2014-gmc-sierra-back-in-the-saddle-with-the-big-boys/

2014 GMC Sierra | GM’s Best Selling Vehicle

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Posted on Jul 11, 2013

Photo - 2014 GMC Sierra, GM's Best Selling Vehicle

 

By Jeremy Cato, Globe and Mail

 

Pop quiz: What is the best-selling vehicle in the lineup sold by General Motors in Canada? Give up? It’s the GMC Sierra pickup.

 

Yet another example of how Canadians differ from Americans. In the United States, sales of the Sierra massively trail its corporate pickup sibling, the Chevrolet Silverado. Mechanically, the two are identical, though GMC buyers, we’re told, are a little fancier and better educated than the Silverado’s. Put it this way: the typical Sierra driver is a guy who owns the electrical contracting company, while the Silverado guy is a prosperous journeyman electrician or maybe the foreman.

 

And I am saying “guy” because almost all full-size pickup are bought by men. Not all, of course, but the reality is that a big pickup is a manly thing. If that is politically incorrect, sorry. You’re free to send your comments and letters.

 

GM, of course, is rightly proud of the restyled and re-engineered Sierra and Silverado. This is no small matter. In Canada, Sierra and Silverado sales combined were about 34,000 though the end of May, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants (18,585 Sierras, 15,308 Silverados). Through the same period, Ford of Canada sold 50,626 F-Series pickup, while Chrysler sold 34,052 Rams. We are talking big business in big trucks.

 

The rebooted Sierra is packaged differently than the Silverado, and the styling cues are unique to each, too. Yes, it does take a trained eye to spot the differences, but GM officials say they plan to roar ahead with even more differentiation between Sierra and Silverado as the days and weeks and years unfold.

 

Certainly the Sierra is a handsome rig, big and brawny and carefully styled to appeal to the fairly conservative buyer who is willing to spend as much as $60,000 or more on a well-loaded pickup. For that you get a beefy, solid truck with a quiet ride and a cabin that screams anything but “roughing it.” GM’s designers have clustered like-controls together – not the case in the outgoing model – and focused on keeping the materials feeling expensive not rich, with the fit and finish a match for any car.

 

The engines, though, are where this story begins. GM is rolling out the Sierra (and Silverado) in stages, with quad cab models (front-hinged rear doors, not rear-hinged) powered by the new Ecotec3 5.3-litre V-8 (355 hp/383 lb-ft torque). This is a modern engine, with direct fuel injection, cylinder deactivation (to save fuel when you don’t need the power) and variable valve timing.

 

With it, the Sierra has a “segment-leading” tow rating of 11,500 pounds and fuel economy is, we’re told, “best in class:” 13.0 litres/100 km city and 8.7 highway. For the record, the handy readout for ongoing fuel economy hovered at 29 litres/100 km during my road trip hauling along a 24-foot trailer to the Sierra West ranch.

 

As the new GM pickups roll out, a 4.3-litre V-6 (285/305 lb-ft) and a 6.2-litre V-8 (420 hp/450 lb-ft) will join the lineup. The former has a tow rating up to 7,200 pounds, while the latter can tow something close to a suburban bungalow at 12,000 pounds. All three are gas engines.

 

The record should show, however, that Chrysler’s Ram will soon be the first full-size, light-duty pickup sold in Canada with a diesel engine option. This is among the reasons why GM is anxious to make sure potential buyers know how efficient and effective the new gas engine lineup has been engineered to be. I never felt a need for more grunt when pulling a 24-foot trailer, though at times the V-8 had to work, going up to nearly 5,000 rpm when climbing a hill in tow mode.

 

GM’s engineers certainly thought through the needs of any buyer who trailers for fun or work. The brake rotors are the brilliant Duralife type that last twice as long or more then old-fashioned tradition brake rotors. The trailer brake controls are integrated, there is a Hill Start Assist function to get you going on a grade and Tow/Haul mode changes the transmission shift points to make towing more efficient. The rear-vision camera is superb for trailer hook-ups, too.

 

All in all, an excellent pickup. Long-time Sierra buyers have no reason to wander to the Ram or Ford dealer. But then, pickup buyers are notoriously loyal, so few ever would. GM has nicely defended its pickup turf here.

 

Source:  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/new-cars/new-car-reviews/gms-best-selling-vehicle-its-a-guy-thing/article13108280/

 

The GMC Sierra RV Camping Adventure

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Posted on Jul 11, 2013

GMC Sierra Trailer RV

 

By Jeremy Cato, Globe and Mail

 

It is the night before my long-awaited return to the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” and, on a chilly, damp Southern Alberta summer night, I am dancing my way through a field of cow pies, as light and nimble afoot as the Young Canadians are nightly on the stage at the Calgary Stampede.

 

This is the part of RV camping I’d forgotten since I left Alberta in the 1980s, left behind my career as a sportswriter covering the Stampede, among other things.

 

The “roughing it” part is something I had forgotten. The finding your way to your trailer in the pitch dark, after several hours of staring into a blazing campfire, sipping an adult beverage. If I had planted my boot in a squishy dropping or two – and they dotted the field as numerous as stars in the sky – I’d never have known, though. A long afternoon of fierce thunderstorms had left Randy and Ginny Donahue’s grazing land all mushy and wet. One type of mush at midnight feels much like another, if you get my drift.

 

Randy and Ginny run Sierra West Cabins and Ranch Vacations near Lundbreck, Alta. Between the land they own and the land they rent, Sierra West amounts to about 1,000 acres of working dude ranch. Randy and Ginny themselves are straight out of a John Ford casting call: he with his lean build, hard hands, droopy grey mustache, felt cowboy hat, suede waistcoat, jeans and lived-in boots; her with Stetson pulled down low over shoulder-length straw hair falling on a jean jacket. Authentic? These two are not city folk, believe me.

 

Truth be told, their story is as sweet a love story as you’ve ever heard. Randy first set eyes on this land decades ago – no a lifetime ago, really, back when interest rates were 20-something per cent. His then-wife bravely took to homesteading it with him. For about three weeks. She left with everything but the land itself and a couple of cows, says Randy, smiling through his ’stache.

 

To make ends meet, Randy took a day job as an electrician, filling his spare time working his deeply mortgaged spread into shape. Years later, Randy and Ginny – both divorced and with kids – met at a fair, long removed from knowing each other while growing up. They rekindled an old spark that had never flared into a romance because, well, Randy is five years older and that’s a generation between teenagers. In any case, they found each other and a common purpose in Sierra West. It is a gem, complete with rustic cabins and smart horses.

 

That first night I thought of their tale as I scraped off my boots – just in case – and climbed into my Spree by KZ Super Lite LX home away from home. We’re talking 24-foot trailer here, one worth $30,000-plus. It sleeps seven, has a full kitchen and, when I sucked in my breath and held it, I was able to finish a 40-second wash in a shower stall sized like a microwave oven.

 

It had a good bed, too, and better blackout shades. That meant I needed a wake-up rinse in the oven – ah, shower – after a fine sleep-in. I needed it. The trials of Day 1 of The Great Towing Adventure were filled with lightning, thunder and sideways rain that turned Alberta Highway 22 into a shallow river. A leaky tent served as our well-stocked mess hall. Oh, but the weather cleared and the big Southern Alberta sky came alive with the shadows of passing clouds, before the stars finally came out with the bonfire. A fine rest.

 

When I awoke, I pondered the RV lifestyle, something I have long believed is ideal for families with kids and retirees. I, in fact, did the RV thing for years and years when my own son was growing up. Brilliant. But I hadn’t slept in a trailer for at least five years. So a little “glamping” – glamorous camping – sounded like fun when General Motors called. Its aim was to convince me that its new 2014 light-duty pickups are stout. To prove it, I’d drag the Spree Lite from Calgary to Lundbreck, set up shop and enjoy the big sky in July.

 

The downpour was an extra, though not a problem. Towing a trailer – my recreational vehicle (RV) – is easy enough if you have the right tow vehicle and you remain aware that you’re yanking around a 24-foot tail (make super-wide turns and leave twice as much room as normal between you and the car ahead). I still do something similar in the summer, pulling my 21-foot ski boat to the lake every few weeks. The Spree rig is a big, boxy beast, however, and not curvy like my Reinell with the Cobra V-8. Being square means there’s no seeing around the Spree, so you need to rely on your mirrors and your wits. I had not counted on November in July, however.

 

Neither had Go RVing Canada, a lobby and information group comprised of RV suppliers, dealers and campgrounds. Did you know that the RV sales and service industry is valued at more than $3-billion and accounts for 100,000 Canadian jobs? RV manufacturing is a nice little cottage industry, too (pun intended): valued at $265-million a year. About one in every seven Canadians owns some sort of RV and collectively the one million RVs on the road in Canada take about eight million trips a year. You can spend $100,000 or more on a big, self-contained Class A motorhome, opt for something like my Spree or stay on budget and spend a few grand on a tent trailer.

 

General Motors, of course, wants the notice of anyone with a hankering to pull something. There is this all-new 2014 GMC Sierra pickup and it’s “built to trailer,” says the company. And loads and loads of Albertans, in particular, like to tow trailers, thus this is where GM Canada came to put the spotlight on the Sierra. Truth is, RV superstores dot Alberta.

 

I am no towing superstar bit I managed to plant my rig in Randy and Ginny’s field and enjoyed all of it. There is something rugged and wonderfully macho about sitting behind the wheel of a four-door pickup with four-wheel drive and trailer brakes, a stud trailer bringing up the rear. The truck was completely up to the task and it should have been, right down to its boxed frame, integrated trailer brake system and the 355-horsepower, 5.3-litre V-8.
The cow pie dance at midnight? We’ll just keep that little bit between us, okay? Does nothing for my image, nor for GMC’s.

 

Source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/new-cars/auto-news/the-gmc-sierra-shines-during-an-rv-adventure/article13108666/

The new 2014 GMC Sierra Pickup Truck Review

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Posted on Jun 12, 2013

GMC Sierra Pickup Truck Review

By Michael Harley, Autoblog

We’ve got a bright aluminum Airstream camper hitched to our rear bumper as we head up Southern California’s coast because GMC says that 60 per cent of all full-size pickup owners will use their trucks for towing.

 

Rather than forcing us to absorb its capabilities in a long-winded PowerPoint presentation, the automaker brought us to Los Angeles and handed us the keys to its all-new 2014 GMC Sierra 1500. After jumping behind the wheel of a 5.3-litre V8 model, we drove up the foggy Malibu coast (locals call the soggy early-summer weather “June Gloom”) and made our way to the Camarillo Airport for a towing refresher. Once completed, a brand-new 23-foot Airstream was hitched to our aft end and we were pointed towards a campground just west of Santa Barbara.

 

The luxury RV would serve as our “glamping” base for the next couple of days and the Sierra would be our transportation as we explored the surrounding coastline. It was a unique look at the automaker’s truck, and it offered us plenty of fresh insight for our first drive of the newest GMC.

 

It was only about a month ago that we first jumped behind the wheel of the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado. Mechanically speaking, the full-size Chevrolet pickup is a virtual clone of the new Sierra pickup as the two share chassis, engine and powertrain options.

 

To differentiate itself from the Silverado cosmetically, the Sierra does away with the stacked headlights and replaces them with a single projector-beam bulb on each side surrounded by LED daytime running lights. The prominent grille features GMC’s three-bar signature design, open wide for plenty of cooling. The lower chrome bumper looks similar to the one on the Chevrolet, but closer scrutiny reveals it has a bit more character and curves, despite featuring two tow hooks and round driving lights in the same general vicinity of its cousin. The side profiles and rear views are nearly identical between the two, except for the stepping rails and prominent badging on the torsion-spring tailgates. Side-by-side, we feel the Sierra is the more attractive of General Motors’ two pickups.

 

Don’t expect the interior of the Sierra to be a great departure from the Silverado either, even though the GMC is decidedly more upscale and premium in materials. Both share the same basic layout, steering wheel, console, dual passenger storage compartments and power ports. However, the GMC is able to brag that the aluminum surround on the centre stack is real aluminum – yet the wood and chrome are still plastic. With the exception of some badging and unique upholsteries, they are almost twins.

 

GMC currently offers its Sierra in two body styles (crew cab/short box and crew cab/long box), but it will add three more later this summer (regular cab/standard box, regular cab/long box and double cab/standard box) bringing the total to five body styles. There are also three different trim levels (Sierra, SLE and SLT), with the high-end Denali coming later.

 

In addition, consumers are offered three different engine choices. Each is a member of GMC’s new EcoTec3 family. All boast aluminum blocks, direct injection, continuously variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation – the advanced engines are all capable of switching to four-cylinder operation under light loads.

 

The standard powerplant in the Sierra and SLE is a 4.3-litre V6 (LV3) rated at 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. The upgraded engine, optional on the Sierra and SLE trim but standard on the SLT, is a 5.3-litre V8 (L83) rated at 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. The 6.2-litre V8 (L86) rated at 420 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, will be offered on the SLT and upcoming Denali model later this fall. All three engines are mated to GM’s trusted Hydra-Matic six-speed automatic (6L80) transmission. Despite their unique displacement, the gear ratios are identical (the final drive ratio does change with the optional Max Trailering package). The standard driveline is rear-wheel drive (4×2), but four-wheel drive (4×4) is an option on all models.

 

As a refresher, the full-size underpinnings include independent aluminum suspension arms up front with twin-tube shock absorbers, and a solid axle in the rear with semi-elliptic, variable-rate, two-stage multi-leaf springs and twin-tube shocks. Following today’s trends, the power steering is electrically assisted. As expected, and mirroring the Silverado, there are four-wheel disc brakes featuring Duralife rotors with ferritic nitrile material to reportedly extend their replacement interval. The standard wheels measure 17 inches in diameter and are constructed in steel, but higher grade trims and option packages fit 18- or 20-inch alloys with all-season or all-terrain tires as large as 275/55R20.

 

Our upmarket test model was a Sierra 1500 4WD Crew Cab SLT painted in Quicksilver Metallic over Jet Black leather upholstery. Although Canadian pricing for 2014 has not officially been announced, it should be closely priced near the current 2013 Sierra 4WD Crew Cab SLT starting at $48,530. Our test truck was also boosted with nearly $10,000 in additional options too, including the SLT preferred package, Driver Alert package, power sunroof, 20-inch wheels, navigation with Intellilink, heated and cooled front seats, Bose audio package, Z71 off-road suspension package, upgraded seats, trailer brake controller and all-terrain tires. We first climbed behind the wheel of the full-size truck near Los Angeles Airport. Being a weekday, this meant our first 30 minutes were spent stuck in traffic. Normally, that does nothing but raise our pulse. But seated in a new vehicle, it allowed us plenty of time to become familiar with the cabin, its appointments and the equipment.

 

Overall, we found the interior of the Sierra to be a very serene place, allowing us to forget about all of those noisy and harsh-riding full-size pickup stereotypes. The seats were comfortable, with a multitude of controls that allow a wide variety of human frames to find their optimal driving position. Acoustically, and this was something we repeated to ourselves several times during our many stints behind the wheel, the Sierra seemed as quiet as a late-model luxury sedan (credit plenty of sound deadening, noise-absorbing fender liners and triple-seals on the doors). But even though GMC touts the interior as upscale, we still didn’t consider the choice of materials top shelf. The best way to put it: Even though GMC has clearly made an effort, the interior still falls far short of an equivalent $50,000 luxury sedan.

 

On the subject of cabin likes and dislikes, we praised the bank of USB, cigarette lighter and household outlets at the bottom of the console and the array of gauges on the dashboard that allowed us to monitor just about everything mechanical. We appreciated the storage space, and the generous headroom (the headliner appears cut out for a ten-gallon hat).

 

On the other hand, we didn’t like the noisy seat ventilation (it was so annoyingly loud that we chose to turn it off rather than tolerate its drone) and lousy overhead sunglass holder (the opening is so small that few glasses will fit). The Bose audio upgrade was also a big disappointment as it lacked bass. Our opinions were mixed on the column-mounted shifter. The traditional location keeps it up and out of the way, but it slides through the gear detents so easily that we inadvertently dropped it into manual mode more than a few times (the engine won’t auto-shift, so we found ourselves stuck at redline in a low gear with each occurrence).

 

The ride around town, and on the highway, was very nice. Electrically assisted steering seems to be hit-or-miss these days depending on the automaker, but GMC has done a fine job balancing weight and feedback. Straight-line tracking was good, even though it did feel a bit numb at times. We recall a time when full-size pickups were expected to ride with a bounce (a load in the bed would calm it down). The Sierra apparently didn’t get that memo, as its empty ride rivaled that of a late-model full-size SUV – in fact, a blindfolded passenger would have a hard time telling the two apart.

 

Power from the 5.3-litre V8 was strong and the well-proven six-speed shifted very smoothly (despite its creamy refinement, the transmission will likely be replaced by an eight-speed automatic in the near future that will deliver better acceleration and improved fuel economy). Punching the throttle from a stand-still left rubber on the pavement, and passing at speed was an effortless maneuver.

 

There is a little display on the bottom of the instrument cluster that displays a red “V8” while driving. However, during cylinder deactivation, it switches over to a little green “V4.” The changeover only seem to occur during downhill grades, when fuel cut-off would have been expected anyway. Bottom line: We found the coloured cylinder deactivation icons on the dash a bit gimmicky. In any case, the EPA estimates the 5.3-litre V8 (4WD) will achieve 14.7L/100km (16 mpg) city and 10.7L/100km (22 mpg) highway. We reset the trip computer and averaged 11.2L/100km (21 mpg) during a 15-minute cruise on level highway at roughly 110 km/h (70 mph).

 

Out of curiosity, we also spent some time with the 4.3-litre V6 in a 4WD crew cab. For those who haven’t been following too closely, this engine has been significantly upgraded from its predecessor. (Are we the only ones who can’t stop thinking about the lethargic 165-horsepower “4300” under the hood of the 1985 Chevrolet Astro van?) Acceleration was good and the six handled the full-size truck nearly as effortlessly as the eight, but acceleration was down a tick or so to 60 mph (96 km/h). As of press time, fuel economy figures have not been released for the V6 engine. However, running the same route as we had with the V8 earlier in the day, we reset the trip computer and averaged 10.7L/100km (22 mpg) during a similar 15-minute cruise on level highway at close to 110 km/h (70 mph).

 

Considering how close the V6 and V8 seemed to be in real-world highway efficiency, and the fact that GMC only charges a petty small premium for the 5.3-litre, the V8 seems the no-brainer choice in the showroom, especially if the owner is among the 60 per cent who will tow.

 

Speaking of towing, we put about 160 km (100 miles) on the 5.3-litre Sierra with the bulbous Airstream firmly on its bumper. Even though the 2,270 kg (5,000-pound) trailer was well below the V8’s 5,216 kg (11,500-pound) maximum, it gave us a good idea of how the truck responded to the extra load. During his First Drive of the 2014 Silverado, Zach pulled an empty horse trailer and said, “…you’ll never know it’s there.” He was spot on. We’ve towed many different things over the years, but few as competently as the Sierra guided the RV along the highway. As expected, acceleration was down a bit and overtaking slower traffic required a bit more planning. Yet the combo had no difficulty pulling up the steep (nearly seven per cent) 4.3 km (2.7-mile) long Conejo Grade southbound on US 101. We reset the fuel economy while towing, and averaged 18.8L/100km (12.5 mpg) overall while cruising at about 100 km/h (62 mph).

 

After three days of driving, the all-new Sierra left us with plenty to smile about. With few exceptions, we approved of its fresh styling, comfortable cabin, smooth ride, efficient power and towing capability. GM has done an excellent job with its new full-size pickup, and it deserves plenty of praise.

 

Source:  http://ca.autoblog.com/2013/06/12/2014-gmc-sierra-review-first-drive/

2014 GMC Sierra Towing Technology

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Posted on Jun 3, 2013

GMC Sierra Towing Truck Technology

 

By Jack Kazmierski, Toronto Sun

 

The 2014 GMC Sierra is available with technologies that will make life easier for those who need, or want, to tow stuff.

 

Whether you’re a contractor who needs to tow a trailer for work, or a sports enthusiast who needs to tow a trailer packed with all the must-have toys for an unforgettable weekend getaway, the 2014 GMC Sierra promises to make towing safer than ever.

 

GMC has packed the Sierra with technologies like Hill Start Assist, that automatically applies the brakes while you’re standing still on a grade to prevent the trailer from rolling backwards. It’s a great tool for touchy situations, like climbing out of a boat launch.

 

Then there’s the Tow-Haul mode, which is activated by a button on the shift lever. When engaged it “re-maps” the transmission’s shift points to allow you to take advantage of engine power, keeping in mind the extra weight you’re towing behind you.

 

When slowing down, Tow-Haul mode allows downshifts to happen sooner, which in turn promotes engine braking, while at the same time reducing brake wear, as well as controlling brake rotor temperatures.

 

To prevent the trailer from getting out of control, Trailer Sway Control works in conjunction with the truck’s own traction control system, sensing trailer sway, and taking proactive measures to avoid disaster by braking and/or reduced engine power to bring the trailer under control and keep it on its intended path.

 

It also uses the electric trailer brakes, when a trailer is plugged into the standard wiring harness of the truck. If you don’t like the way the Sierra applies the brakes, you can fine tune the setting with the Integrated Trailer Brake Controller, which allows the driver to modify trailer braking force based on the weight of a trailer.

 

Source: http://torontosun.autonet.ca/2013/06/02/towing-the-line

 

 

The all-new 2014 GMC Sierra Full-Size Pickup Truck

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Posted on May 17, 2013

Review Photo 2014 GMC Sierra Truck

 

 

2014 Sierra gains fuel economy, quietness from time in wind tunnel

 

DETROIT – The all-new 2014 Sierra full-size pickup truck spent more development time in a wind tunnel than any GMC pickup before it, resulting in design changes that benefit both fuel efficiency and interior quietness.

 

To achieve improved airflow, aerodynamic engineers like Diane Bloch examined every millimeter of the truck to find areas of improvement, debunking some popular myths along the way.

 

To study the way air passes over, under and around the Sierra, engineers used General Motors’ state-of-the-art Aerodynamics Lab, a 750-foot-long tunnel through which a 43-foot-diameter fan powered by a DC electric motor with the equivalent of 4,500 horsepower can generate winds of up to 138 mph. Aerodynamic advancement is one reason why the 2014 Sierra will be the most fuel-efficient V-8 pickup on the market.

 

“We can’t stop air; we can only guide it through the path of least resistance. It’s like electricity, without the shock,” said Bloch, GM aerodynamic performance engineer. “The biggest misconception is that it’s all about single components. But a certain side mirror design doesn’t create a certain amount of drag, its interaction with the rest of the vehicle does.”

 

For example, a new air dam below the 2014 Sierra’s front bumper successfully reduces drag because it directs air toward the ground and away from the truck’s rough underbody. And Sierra’s ducted flow path between the grille and radiator prevents air from swirling inside the truck’s front cavities.

 

Even the top of the Sierra’s tailgate and the center high-mounted stop light are optimized to guide air cleanly around the truck. And because Bloch’s team detected unwanted airflow between the cab and bed, new sealing has been added.

 

“We discovered that in the computational analysis we perform,” said Bloch. “The most harmful air between the cab and bed was coming over the cab and down through the gap, so we paid the most attention to that specific area.”

 

The pickup market has a great number of available aftermarket accessories, and Bloch says those have varying impact on aerodynamics. Add-ons like bug deflectors on the hood, wider tires or aftermarket bumpers can raise the drag coefficient, which is the measure of how air pushes on a vehicle as it moves down the road. The result: added noise and increased fuel consumption.

 

A long-disputed topic among truck owners is whether a tailgate raised or lowered is better for aerodynamics, but Bloch says a tailgate in the up position is more aerodynamically efficient. As air flows over the truck, it falls over the cab and pushes forward on the rear of the truck. With the tailgate down, the benefits of that airflow are diminished.

 

“Replacing the tailgate with an aftermarket net is worse than having no tailgate at all,” Bloch said. “Imagine dragging a solid object and a fishing net through water. The net is going to require more muscle.”

 

So what accessories can truck owners add to help aerodynamics? Tonneau covers for the bed help smooth airflow over the truck, and Bloch says soft covers are more beneficial than hard covers because they form to how the air wants to flow. Running boards can also help air flow smoothly down the truck’s sides.

 

“Round, tube-style running boards can provide a minor improvement to the truck’s drag coefficient,” said Bloch, “Fully integrated, flush-mount running boards are even better.”

 

GMC has manufactured trucks since 1902, and is one of the industry’s healthiest brands. Innovation and engineering excellence is built into all GMC vehicles and the brand is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small SUV and Acadia crossover. The 2014 Sierra half-ton pickup boasts all-new powertrains and design, and the Sierra Heavy Duty pickups are the most capable and powerful trucks ever built by GMC. Every retail GMC model, including Yukon and Yukon XL full-size SUVs, is now available in Denali luxury trim.

 

News Source: General Motors

2014 GMC Sierra Review

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Posted on Apr 15, 2013

2014 GMC Sierra Truck Review Photo

 

 

The 2014 GMC Sierra has improved mightily over last year’s model with improved fuel economy and cool new technology. With more refinement and an updated cabin, truck enthusiasts will love the new Sierra.

 

The entire line-up of engines has been updated for the Sierra with a new V-6 and two new V8 engines. All three have the option of either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive and come with six-speed automatic transmission. Also, fuel economy ratings have been greatly improved, especially for the V-6 model which posts excellent tow-ratings.

 

Sierra owners will have the option of purchasing GMC’s Intellilink, which allows drivers to make phone calls or listen to music or the radio through voice-activated controls. The 2014 model also comes with plenty of new safety features such as; Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Trailer Sway Control and Hill Start Assist. Also, there is an option for Driver Alert Seat which is a new type of technology that vibrates to alert the driver when there is potential danger.

 

With a line-up of new powerful and fuel efficient engines, as well as cool technology and safety features, the 2014 GMC Sierra is a great bargain and one of the top vehicles in its class.

 

Patrick Britton – Guest Blogger

 

The all-new 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 Fuel Economy Champ

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Posted on Apr 2, 2013

2014 GMC Sierra Fuel Economy Review

 

By Jeff Voth, Toronto Sun

 

The days of V-8 power in passenger cars may short lived, but trucks and eight-cylinder engines seemed destined for a long lasting relationship. Fuel economy is important, however, and nowhere is this more in evidence than with the latest pickup truck offerings from General Motors. The 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 full-size pickup arrives this spring touting the best fuel economy ratings in its class. GM even goes so far to claim it as an industry best and that’s saying something!

 

Power comes in the form of a 5.3-litre EcoTec3 V-8 direct injection engine. Featuring cylinder deactivation and variable valve timing, it achieves an EPA rating equivalent in Canada of 14.7 L/100 km city and 10.2 L/100 km highway. This tops the 2013 Ford V-8 pickup, Ram V-8 and Ford F-150 EcoBoost V-6. Performance numbers indicate 355 horsepower and 383 lb.-ft. of torque, an increase of 40 hp and 48 lb.-ft. of torque.

 

“In the core of the full-size truck market, the 2014 Sierra is second to none,” said Tony DiSalle, vice president of GMC Marketing. “Truck owners expect durability, capability and fuel efficiency, and this latest generation of our proven V-8 is designed to deliver on those expectations.”

 

In addition to the fuel-saving V-8, an economic 4.3-litre EcoTec3 V-6 and maximum power 6.2-litre EcoTec3 V-8 are available to order. New standard features for the 2014 GMC Sierra include a 4.2-inch audio display, locking tailgate, projector headlamps, a CornerStep rear bumper, cloth seats and more. Mechanical changes include DuraLife brake rotors for improved performance. Canadian pricing and all details on the 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 will be available shortly.

 

Source: http://torontosun.autonet.ca/auto-news/automotive-industry-news/2013/04/01/pickup-truck-fuel-economy-touted-as-best-in-class/

 

2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Trucks

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Posted on Dec 14, 2012

2014 Chevrolet Silverado Review

 

By Clare Dear, National Post

 

GM sees new engines powering pickup sales

 

The light-duty truck market in Canada plays a huge role in the success of an automaker, and General Motors is stepping up its game with the introduction of the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups.

 

While Ford, its key competitor in the truck market, is responding to consumer demands for more fuel-efficient products with smaller-displacement engines boosted by turbocharging to achieve increased power and better fuel economy, and Ram is challenging with eight-speed transmissions, GM is going down a different road. The automaker is introducing a series of three new all-aluminum EcoTech3 engines – a V6 and two V8s, all normally aspirated, but loaded with fuel-saving technologies – in its 2014 models. The engines will feature direct fuel injection, continuously variable valve timing and seamless cylinder deactivation.

 

Specific horsepower, torque and fuel consumption numbers were not released at the media preview Thursday, but GM officials say the standard engine, a new 4.3-litre V6, will have sufficient torque to power a crew cab truck and pull a trailer while delivering superior fuel efficiency. Customers looking for more power can opt for a new 5.3L V8 that delivers more power and better efficiency than the current version, thanks to the ability to switch to four cylinders when power demands permit. The system, GM says, gives users power when they need it, but also cuts back to the fuel-saving four-cylinder mode when there’s less demand, such as highway cruising. For the ultimate in power output, a 6.2L V8 will be available. It’s based on the new engine that will power the 2014 Corvette.

 

A six-speed automatic transmission is used with all three engine packages. Trucks with a V8 powertrain will also get a new rear axle that’s been strengthened to cope with the additional torque output. The hydroformed, fully boxed frame has been strengthened with the use of high-strength steel crossmembers. The same strong but lighter steel is used in the new cab architecture.

 

All models are fitted with variable-ratio electric power steering and four-wheel disc brakes are standard across the lineup. The standard suspension system has been retuned, while the optional Z71 off-road suspension package now includes Rancho shocks and hill descent control.

 

Available safety features include trailer sway control and forward collision and lane departure warning systems coupled to a safety alert seat.

 

The exterior of the new trucks, which will make their public debut next month at the Detroit auto show, doesn’t look that different from the current models – at least until you start noticing the details. The crew cab, for example, can now be ordered with either a five-foot, eight-inch bed or a six-foot-six version.

 

To make access to the bed easier, there’s a corner step built into the rear bumper that allows one to reach into the cargo area whether the tailgate is open or closed. Handholds have also been built into the top rails to ensure a safe, non-slip grip. The tailgate, too, has been improved with the addition of a torsion bar that dampens the lowering of the panel and assists in raising it. Four upper tiedown heads can be moved to various locations within the bed to improve functionality. One nifty new feature that will be appreciated is the addition of LED lights tucked under the bedrail – they are standard on the Sierra and optional with the Silverado.

 

The doors on the crew cab models are also larger, allowing easier access. The rear doors on the extended cab versions have been fitted with front hinges, also improving accessibility, especially in tight spaces.

 

The improved aerodynamics improve fuel consumption and help make the cabins of the new Sierra and Silverado the quietest ever. The redesigned interior includes heated cloth seats and controls you can operate even while wearing gloves. There are ample storage spaces and the latest in connectivity features, including MyLink/Intellilink with voice recognition.

 

Production of the 2014 Silverado and Sierra pickups will start in the spring. GM says new versions of its heavy-duty lineup will follow next year, along with the redesigned mid-sized Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon.

 

Read Article:
http://life.nationalpost.com/2012/12/13/gm-sees-new-engines-powering-pickup-sales/

 

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