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2015 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab

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2015 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.4

Thanks to a complete overhaul last year, the GMC Sierra pickup line for 2015 arrives just in time to do battle with latest Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan. Although it shares much of its chassis and mechanicals with the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC stamps its own upscale brand on the Sierra, giving it the feel of a work truck for the boss rather than the crew. It is true that the basic Sierra work truck isn’t all that plush, but move up the line to the Denali model and you’ll find more leather and chrome than in a Texas rodeo gift shop. A choice of V6 or V8 engines is offered, as is a new 8-speed automatic transmission.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need a half-ton pickup with the most horsepower and a class-leading 12,000-pound trailer rating, the 2015 GMC Sierra full-size pickup has you covered. Bigger-than-life styling is augmented by a plush interior and a host of cutting-edge safety and communication features.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you don’t need the big look, big cost and big fuel bills associated with a full-size pickup, so-called compacts like the GMC Canyon can still tow, haul and accommodate big-truck needs, but in a more manageable package. Those seeking better fuel economy should look at the Ram 1500 diesel.

What's New for 2015

The 2015 GMC Sierra gains a new 8-speed automatic transmission on models equipped with the 6.2-liter V8. The Denali gains GM’s Magnetic Ride Control suspension, while Siri Eyes-Free and OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hot spot is made available. A spray-in bedliner is also available on all models.

Driving the Sierra 1500 Regular Cab
Driving Impressions

GMC’s full-size 2015 Sierra pickup is a truck designed to both work and play hard whether in 2-wheel or 4-wheel-drive (2WD, 4WD) forms. We spent considerable time behind the wheel...

... of a 5.3-liter V8 model and felt the powertrain was more than capable in nearly every situation. During long drives at highway speeds, the Sierra’s cabin proved impressively quiet. Small road imperfections proved no match for the Sierra’s suspension, although we did discover the limitation of its body-on-frame design while traversing one particular rough patch on the freeway. When it came to towing, however, our Sierra had no problem whatsoever lugging a 5,000-pound Airstream trailer up steep grades. Thanks to an upgrade this year, we give the Sierra’s telematics system an A+, but still feel the rearview camera could do with a higher resolution, especially helpful when hitching up a trailer.

CONNECTED INFOTAINMENT
For 2015, the GMC Sierra pickup offers the IntelliLink touch-screen system, which operates navigation, audio and, new this year, Siri Eyes-Free for iPhone and OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot. Equally impressive are the five USB inputs and 110-volt outlet for charging any and all devices you bring along.

DRIVER-ALERT SEAT
Working in conjunction with the 2015 Sierra’s lane-departure and forward-collision warning systems, this important safety feature vibrates the driver’s seat to warn of potential danger. The system can even vibrate either side of the seat independently, jostling your left leg when drifting to the left and vice versa.

2015 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab Details
Interior

With big buttons and knobs coated in rubber for easy grip even when wearing gloves, GMC’s 2015 Sierra's roomy interior is built with work in mind. Yet it also can be luxurious, 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 3-passenger bench, 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
2015 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab photo

We dub GMC’s latest styling experiment "contemporary macho." Like previous GMC trucks, this full-size pickup features blocky styling highlighted by swollen fender flares and a grille that would do a semi-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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Even the most basic 2015 GMC Sierra 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 rearview 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 and leather-clad front bucket seats.

Optional Equipment

Add-ons are available across the entire 2015 Sierra lineup to make it more functional and comfortable. All Sierras can be equipped with 4WD, while 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.

Under the Hood

Three engine choices are available for the 2015 GMC Sierra: a 4.3-liter V6, 5.3-liter V8 and the top-dog 6.2-liter V8 available for SLT and Denali models. The first two are linked to a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the 6.2-liter gets a new 8-speed automatic. All three engines 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 23 mpg, the 5.3-liter V8 is the middle child in GMC's engine lineup. 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.

4.3-liter V6
285 horsepower @ 5,300 rpm
305 lb-ft of torque @ 3,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/24 mpg (2WD), 17/22 mpg (4WD)

5.3-liter V8
355 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
383 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg (2WD), 16/22 mpg (4WD)

6.2-liter V8
420 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
460 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 mpg (2WD), 14/20 mpg (4WD)

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