By Matt Degen
KBB Expert Rating: 7.8
Like its near-twin the Chevrolet Silverado, the slightly more upscale GMC Sierra arrives in fresh form for 2014 with more power and a well-designed interior blessed with the latest tech and safety features. The 2014 Sierra still spans a variety of trims and configurations to appeal to a broad range of pickup buyers, from a rather basic work truck to the leather-laden Sierra Denali. All benefit from new V6 and V8 engines that can pull more than their predecessors yet travel a bit farther on a gallon of gas. While it's no secret that brand loyalty is a key buying factor in a segment that includes the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra, the Sierra distinguishes itself from rivals with surprising creature comforts and potent powertrains.
The 2014 Sierra's innovative powertrains and handsome aesthetics should appeal to longtime GMC fans and tempt buyers new to the brand. In just one of many "mine is bigger" battles in the half-ton truck market, the 2014 Sierra's 12,000-pound max tow rating is expected to be king – at least for now.
The 2014 Sierra's 6-speed automatic transmission isn't as smooth as the Ram 1500's available 8-speed. There's also no denying that this is indeed a full-size truck whose big dimensions are noticeable every time you pull into a small lot or garage. Smaller, more maneuverable alternatives are the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma.
From its exterior and interior design to its three engine choices, the GMC Sierra is all-new for 2014. Gone is the slow-selling hybrid version.
Driving Impressions The 2014 GMC Sierra is a truck ready for work and play, with the power and creature comforts ably doing their part in both respects. In our test-drive of a...Sierra with the new 5.3-liter V8 engine, it felt capable in nearly every situation. On the highway, the Sierra is surprisingly quiet. Most road imperfections are absorbed well by the truck's suspension, though we were reminded of its rugged body-on-frame construction during one particularly bad stretch of the 405 freeway in Los Angeles. There, the Sierra bucked like a bronco, and it would not be our choice if driven daily on that type of road. Towing ability is a strong point. We had no problem hauling a 5,000-pound Airstream trailer up steep grades with the 5.3-liter engine, and appreciated that the available trailer brake controller is within easy reach of the steering wheel. The telematics system gets a solid B grade, but the rear-view camera could be higher resolution (especially if you routinely hitch up), and audio functions could respond faster.
The Sierra's available technology gives new meaning to "work truck." Higher trims include the IntelliLink touch-screen system to operate navigation, audio and more. We were equally impressed by its five (5!) USB inputs and an AC outlet that can keep a bounty of devices juiced and ready to play.
DRIVER ALERT SEAT
This optional but important safety feature works with the Sierra's lane-departure and forward-collision warning systems by vibrating the seat to alert the driver of potential danger. Ingeniously, it can vibrate each side independently. If you drift to the left, for example, the left side of the seat vibrates.
With big buttons and knobs coated in rubber for easy grip even when wearing gloves, the Sierra's roomy interior is built with work in mind. Yet it also can be as luxurious as your checkbook is large, with features such as ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and communication ports that will outnumber most drivers' devices. Cab configurations include regular with a bench seat for up three passengers, double cab with seating for five or six, and crew cab with the most room for five or six. As should be expected in a big truck, the front seats are massive. Flip-up rear seats offer more cargo versatility.Exterior
GMC has wisely taken an evolutionary approach to the 2014 Sierra's freshened exterior. We'll dub it "contemporary macho." Like previous models, this full-size truck features blocky styling highlighted by swollen fender flares and a grille that would do a semi-truck truck proud. With the new styling come practical innovations like corner steps built into the rear bumper. These provide a foothold for bed access, and by design are covered to mitigate slipping in wet environments. Handgrips and available bed-mounted LED lights are other features we like. Bed lengths range from 5 feet, 8 inches to 8 feet. Double-cab models now have standard front-hinged rear doors for easier access.
The most basic 2014 Sierra is still pretty much that and includes features like air conditioning, cruise control, cloth seats, and an AM/FM radio with a 4.2-inch color display and USB/SD inputs, but no CD player, Bluetooth, or telescoping steering wheel. Step up to an SLE trim and you'll get a rear-vision camera, 6-speaker audio and 17-inch wheels made of premium aluminum instead of steel. SLT trims bring features like the 5.3-liter V8 engine, dual-zone climate control, an 8-inch touch-screen command center, power-adjustable pedals, and leather-appointed seats. Foremen will appreciate the Sierra Denali's 20-inch chrome wheels, navigation system, Bose audio system, and leather-clad front bucket seats.
Add-ons are available across the entire 2014 Sierra lineup to make it more functional and comfortable. All Sierras can be equipped with 4-wheel drive instead of the standard rear-wheel drive. Those seeking the most power and towing capability should look to the 6.2-liter V8 available on Sierra SLT and Denali models. Other options of note include the Driver Alert Package with lane-departure warning and forward-collision alert, plus front and rear park-assist. The All-Terrain Package includes an off-road suspension with Rancho shocks, an underbody shield and 18-inch wheels. Interior comforts include heated and cooled front seats, navigation, a power sunroof, and a rear-seat entertainment system.
Three engine choices are available on the 2014 GMC Sierra: a 4.3-liter V6, 5.3-liter V8, or the top-dog 6.2-liter V8 available for SLT and Denali models. All are linked to a 6-speed automatic transmission and have laudable towing capacity, including the V6's max of 7,200 pounds. On the other end is the 6.2-liter V8 that can pull up to 12,000 pounds. With the ability to tow 11,500 pounds and a highway rating of 22 mpg, the 5.3-liter V8 is the middle child in GMC's new engine lineup and offers a good balance of power and efficiency. All the engines use technology such as direct injection and Active Fuel Management, which allows them to run on fewer cylinders and thus use less fuel. The engines can run on regular unleaded gasoline or E85.
285 horsepower @ 5,300 rpm
305 lb-ft of torque @ 3,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/24 mpg (rear-wheel drive), 17/22 mpg (4-wheel drive)
355 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
383 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg (rear-wheel drive), 16/22 mpg (4-wheel drive)
420 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
450 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 mpg (rear-wheel drive), 14/20 mpg (4-wheel drive)
With the Sierra's wide range of configurations come a wide range of prices. A base, regular-cab 2014 Sierra has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $25,085. Double-cab models start at $29,110, while Crew Cab models begin at $33,210. Of course, start climbing trim levels and adding options, and these prices can climb by tens of thousands of dollars. A fully-equipped Sierra SLT or Denali, for example, can easily break the $50,000 mark. The Sierra's starting price is in line with that of the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra, while the Nissan Titan (available in King Cab and Crew Cab only) starts around $30,000. Before buying, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. The Sierra's resale value is projected to be in line with that of its domestic rivals and the Nissan Armada, but behind that of the segment-leading Toyota Tundra.
By Al on Saturday, April 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 803overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Bumper step, rear seat foldup, handling, seats"
Cons: "Catastrophic failure of transmission after 798 mi"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Bought vehicle on 3/24/14 with 14 miles on it. On 3/31/14 (YES 7 DAYS), the transmission lost reverse and got stuck in second gear would not exceed 40 mph. As attempting to get vehicle off road, died in flight, lost all control and blocked intersection. To have it towed back to my selling dealer, it cost ME $86.14 because I was more than 25 miles from that dealer. At dealers for almost a week and the official diagnosis is that the transmission front pump burned up and the transmission is being rebuilt. Such a bummer. I have already started the process of writing letters to GMC and NY/VT Attorney General's and am investigating lemon laws. I don't want to drive a new vehicle with a rebuilt transmission. My background with GMC SIERRA's is excellent. The vehicle I replaced with this new Sierra was a 2005 GMC Sierra with 307,000 miles. It has the original motor and transmission and NEVER went to the dealer for warranty work. Such a bummer that quality appears to have gone down hill. Wish I had better things to say, the rest of the truck is awesome. All the little things that sucked on the 2005, have been refined and corrected. You be the judge, is it worth spending $44,000 out the door to need a transmission in a week?"
5 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Dawg on Friday, April 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Cabin room, quiet ride, and power."
Cons: "Navigation system, parking, small outside mirrors."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have had this truck for 8 months and am totally pleased with it. Great design and very comfortable and quiet. Cannot even tell my bass boat is in tow. The truck is a loaded Texas Edition. I have experienced two issued with the truck. One is with the heated/cooled front seats. The dealership has had to replace the blower and heating element in both seats. The second is a popping in the driver's seat when turning. I was told today that it is a common issue and that GM has just developed a fix and the parts were ordered by the dealership. Awaiting the parts now. The truck has the 5.3L engine with a 3.42 rear end and averages around 21.8 on the highway. I have owned numerous GM vehicles with the navigation system and this one with the Intellilink is not as good as the previous navigation systems. It is difficult to use and does not offer optional routes like the previous systems did. I travel a lot and constantly use my Iphone map to find the best routes. I normally do not purchase an extended warranty but plan to for this truck because of all the technology onboard."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Styx250SX on Friday, February 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks Great"
Cons: "Terrible MPG, not reliable!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I purchased a 2014 GMC Sierra with every extra you can think of! Total amount $56,000. I have taken it back three times to be repaired and I get 11.9 MPG. Towing is not as advertised. I do not trust it's reliability! I wish I could get my money back!! This is the best looking piece of garbage I have ever spent money on!!"
11 people out of 24 found this review helpful
By gmc guy on Wednesday, February 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Ride,comfort,ease of instrument panel."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this truck In November. Owning 4 GMC'S Trucks dating back too 2002. This truck is by far the best of all. The ride is like driving in a Cadillac. The sound proof trim makes the ride so comfortable. The 4 wheel drive goes through snow like im driving on dry pavement. If your looking for a truck and i mean a real truck. Not ford,dodge,Toyota. This by far is the real deal."
6 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Hezman on Sunday, February 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good value, awesome power, fun to drive"
Cons: "Don't care for the V4 feature"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Traded in a flawless GMC Duramax for this Sierra SLT with the 6.2 liter engine. It has less low end torque than the D-Max and took a bit of getting used to. The interior finish is superb and the ride is unlike any truck I have driven. The power of the 420HP L-86 engine leaves every other truck in the dust. The styling, although sedate, is still attractive. The exterior finish is absent the lousy 'orange peel' look so prevalent on the older GM trucks. I gave an excellent rating for most categories, but slightly lower for reliability as this is a first year model, however I have no issues to report. I have read about concerns over the headlight illumination and vibration issues, but I have not experienced either. I travelled up through Massachusetts and into New Hampshire last evening......75 MPH, solid on the road and great to drive!"
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Steve on Monday, January 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "looks good"
Cons: "worst than previous model"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Very disappointed in GM engineering. Interior dome lighting almost non existent. Headlights on SLT are terrible. Windshield wipers park below the glass and defrosters will not thaw them out if they are frozen down. Defrosters only blow in center of windshield, there are no diffusers to direct air to either side of windshield. Defrosters will not keep windshield clear when driving in snow. Can't imagine trying to plow snow with this truck. Boze speakers are a waste of 500 dollars. Bulges in hood reduce forward visibility."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful