On day 2, I'm going to give the interior a once over. The biggest complaint from everyone is the "utilitarian" dashboard design. When compared to the well designed Ford F-150 and the techno-Titan, the GMC's dash just looks plain old. Colors are the drab plastic grays and blacks and everything in front of you is in a rectangular bin. Which brings us to the good part, everything is in front of you.
Back in the mid 1990?s when this interior design must have gotten the design OK, trucks were still focusing on the contractor and fleet markets. Things needed to be used with work gloves on and be easy to clean and operate. While that doesn?t make for the most aesthetically pleasing dashboard, everything you need is within reach and easy enough to use. There are multiple storage bins on the dash and a nice deep console. The plastics aren?t that cheap feeling (a lot of pieces received a rework in 2004) and all the dials have a ?soft-touch? feel to them. The radio and climate controls can still be operated with gloves on.
As an XM subscriber, it?s always nice to get into another vehicle that has it so I don?t have to deal with terrestrial radio and its lack of choices (Fungus 53 rocks!). The Bose system gets the job done with 6 speakers in the extended cab and a six-disc in-dash changer, but with XM I don?t even carry CDs anymore. A DVD player can be added to the crew cab (the truck with four real doors) model for the rear passengers.
Speaking of rear passengers, the extended cab offers room for those out back, just hope it?s no one too tall for too long. With the front seat exactly where I like it (and I?m only 5'9"), I was just able to sit normally with my knees barely touching the back of the seat. The rear seat back makes you sit very upright which could make a long trip uncomfortable for adults also. We?d suggest the Crew Cab for anyone that will be using the back seat for more than kids and baby seats.
Ingress and egress into the cab would be aided by some form of running board as the height could be a challenge for some passengers. You also must remember that this truck is a 4x4 with P265/70R17 tires and taller suspension which makes it that much more challenging. Passengers have gotten in just with a few more grunts and groans than I?m used to hearing.
The power front seats are easy to set into a comfortable position and have two memory settings. Power lumbar is always a great addition for getting comfortable and so are the heated seat backs and bottoms (for the pain in the rear cold mornings we are having here in NJ in April). The biggest problem I found was the lack of a dead pedal. My clutch foot keeps on looking for somewhere to go. I wind up having to place it flat on the floor.
The interior is obviously dated looking but does everything you need it to. I prefer the F-150 look over GM?s offerings and it?s no surprise that interior design is one of the major factors in pushing the full-size pickup replacements 3 months earlier than expected. With Toyota preparing the new Tundra at the same time (if not a little earlier) GM needs a complete redo to stay aesthetically in the game.