Many of today’s pickup trucks have a split personality—they can’t decide whether to be a car, work truck, SUV or something else. But the new 2007 GMC Sierra has enough options to please any construction user.
Ride is improved for the plain-styled, multi-powered Sierra.
Built on the same base as the edgier Chevy Silverado, Sierra’s plain exterior reflects a truck that roams freely from the driveway to the jobsite. A recent test drive revealed several other enhancements.
The body has a tight fit, while a stiffer, boxed frame adds stability. Gone is the “black hole” between the cab and bed, as designers have cut gap tolerance by 50%. Underneath, tubular fender supports have become stronger, reinforced webs. Other improvements, such as a raked windshield, help lessen wind resistance and, hopefully, boost fuel economy.
Sierra continues with ethanol-ready, “flexfuel” engines that help drivers cut petroleum use. Buyers can ask for an optional 5.3L V-8, which comes in flexfuel or gas-only styles with displacement-on-demand controls, and on up to a 6.2L V-8 on the leather-equipped Denali. While “E85” ethanol fuel can help owners save at the pump, one dealer recommends filling up with gas for everything but casual driving; otherwise, fuel economy and performance may suffer. Hybrid drive is only available on “classic” models.
Mechanical updates make for a predictable ride. Steering is firmer thanks to a rack-and-pinion upgrade. GMC also tossed out a torsion-bar front end in favor of a coil-over-shock, monotube suspension. It smooths out the ride, but the extra parts may require more service. GMC can fine-tune shocks for heavy hauling, with half-ton towing capacities hitting 10,500 lb. Diesel models go up to 16,700 lb.
Inside, there is a new look. The dash is less blocky, swooping more like a car. Seats are supportive, but not stiff. Standard trim comes with vinyl seats, but four more levels get into leather, wood accents and power-adjust pedals. On some models, climate knobs have morphed into pushbuttons, a simple-looking design that can be more complex to operate.
As usual, models come in regular, extended or crew cabs with short, standard or long boxes. Four-wheel drive with automatic-locking differential can be had over standard rear-wheel drive.
With all these choices in a more comfortable package, General Motors’ new pickup has something for everyone.