Edmunds expert review: Modern pickup trucks serve not just as hauling and towing workhorses, but daily drivers and family shuttles as well. Of course, the grunt work requires some muscle, so it's no surprise that in the past buyers usually passed on the base V6 engines and opted for substantially stronger (but thirstier) V8s. But with the increased emphasis on fuel economy lately, manufacturers have been beefing up their trucks' six-cylinder engines, and the redesigned 2014 GMC Sierra has joined the party. Among its many improvements, this all-new Sierra has a competitive V6 engine that will meet the needs of a great many truck buyers.
Of course, the 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 still offers V8 power in the form of burly 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter mills, which now benefit from direct fuel injection and cylinder deactivation for better power and efficiency. However, if you like the Sierra's generous passenger/cargo space but don't have massive hauling/towing requirements, the new 4.3-liter V6 should more than suffice. It makes 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque and can tow up to 7,200 pounds when properly equipped. Fuel economy ratings are impressive as well, with an estimated 18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway on two-wheel-drive models.
In addition to getting a stronger base V6 engine, the GMC Sierra has shed some pounds in this redesign, so there's not quite so much truck to move around in the first place. A regular cab model with the V6 and a 6.5-foot pickup bed, for example, weighs 250 fewer pounds than its predecessor. This year also brings revised suspension tuning for a smoother ride, forward-hinged rear doors on extended cab models (in place of the awkward, reverse-opening half doors on the old Sierra) and newly available safety features such as a forward collision-alert system, a lane-departure warning system and trailer sway control.
Although the new Sierra retains the boxy, all-business look of previous GMC Sierras, the automaker's designers have modernized the styling a bit. Among the updates are a massive new grille, revised bumpers and more sculpted sheet metal around the wheelwells. Those who regularly haul a lot of people and cargo will be pleased to know that the Sierra 1500 crew cab now offers a 6.5-foot cargo box in addition to the previous 5.75-foot box. Inside, GMC has upgraded the Sierra's upholstery, dash and door-panel materials, and you can now get an 8-inch touchscreen display with the brand's IntelliLink infotainment interface (the GMC equivalent of Chevy's MyLink) and smartphone integration.
All told, the 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 is fully competitive with its long-time and similarly capable rivals, the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 as well as the Toyota Tundra. This is especially true now that GMC offers a V6 engine that promises ample performance along with good fuel economy. With such a strong group of choices, your pick for a full-size pickup may come down to feature availability or even styling preference. 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
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