By KBB.com Editors
Long regarded as the twin of the Chevrolet Silverado, the 2009 GMC Sierra 1500 offers more differentiation from its General Motors stable-mate in looks, while sharing the same basic architecture and engine choices. Exclusive to the GMC Sierra line, though, is the Denali trim level that brings with it a variety of power and luxury features. Looking to extend their leadership in the pickup truck segment, GM engineers and designers have created a new breed of pickup, one offering an improved chassis, more precise steering and not one but two quieter, more upscale interiors. The Sierra also delivers segment-leading fuel economy thanks to the new line of Active Fuel Management-equipped V8 engines and the introduction of the 2-Mode hybrid model.You'll Like This Car If...
If you need the hauling and towing capabilities of a full-size pickup truck, you can have them while at the same time contributing to the environment via a V8-engine lineup that offers Active Fuel Management technology and Flex-Fuel E85 capability.You May Not Like This Car If...
If you have trouble making up your mind, you might be boggled by the number of trim levels, cab sizes, bed lengths and even instrument panels. Rising fuel costs might also have you looking to a smaller, V6 powered truck.What's New for 2009
All Sierra's benefit from enhancements to the OnStar and XM NavTracffic systems, while models fitted with the 5.3-, 6.0- and 6.2-liter engines gain a new six-speed automatic transmission. An E85-compatible 6.2-liter V8 is also now available on SLT and Denali trims.Driving It Driving Impressions
Sufficient power and surprising ride comfort are two hallmarks of the 2009 GMC Sierra 1500. Riding on a fully-boxed frame for more chassis stiffness, with coil-over-shock front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering, the big pickup truck is surprisingly nimble and easy to maneuver. Our lengthy test drive took us over rough, washboard gravel roads, yet the Sierra's cabin retained library-like calm and quiet. We found it hard to choose between the "pure pickup" interior and the "luxury-inspired" interior, because both were handsome and functional. While the available 4.3-liter V6 is no doubt adequate, the Sierra can also be equipped with a variety of V8 engines, most with 5.3-liter displacement, while the Denali and SLT offer a 6.2-liter variable-valve-timing engine. Power delivery with each V8 engine we tested was more than ample, though we have to admit we liked the pure power of the 6.0-liter and 6.2-liter V8s. The StabiliTrak electronic stability control system is welcome standard equipment on all V8 trims.Favorite Features
The latest OnStar system includes available Bluetooth connectivity and a Turn-by-Turn navigation with Destination Download on models equipped with DVD-based navigation.
Active Fuel Management
The Active Fuel Management system available in four different V8s cuts the operation of four cylinders when they are unneeded and enhances fuel economy.