When GMC contacted me a few weeks ago asking if I'd like to "come glamping" in the new 2014 Sierra, I brushed off the phrase as a lame attempt to combine the the brand's name with the word "camping." I had no idea that glamping (glamorous camping) was a thing and was surprised that the act of setting up shop in a roving Four Seasons hotel room with showers, cable TV, internet and fresh coffee somewhere in the woods is common enough to warrant creation of an actual word.

I'm not mad about it, don't get me wrong. Being able to experience the great outdoors without having to seek chiropractic help after sleeping on the ground is OK in my book.

That GMC decided to introduce the new Sierra by glamping made sense on a couple of levels. First, glamping involved towing a heavy (and remarkably comfortable) Airstream trailer up the Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Barbara, Calif., which allowed me to see what this burly truck can do when 5600 pounds are attached to it. Second, rugged luxury is exactly what GMC hopes the Sierra will embody.

With this newest Sierra, GMC wants to set itself apart from the other truck brands, including Chevrolet, with a premium feel. While trucks from Ford and Ram do have higher-end trim levels, GMC sees opportunity defining its entire line this way. To do so, the designers and engineers went through great pains, they said, to make driving this truck a truly luxurious experience, with a rich, comfortable interior, quiet ride and updated technology and safety features. All of this, of course, on top of a powerful engine capable of hauling some serious cargo across virtually any kind of terrain.

I spent a couple of days towing, driving and, of course, glamping in the 5.3L V8-powered Sierra, which, GMC says, will be the engine most buyers opt for. Is it successful as a kind of "luxury truck?" Click on through to see what I liked, and didn't, about the 2014 GMC Sierra.

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The Basics

The Basics

Sticker Price: $32,215 - $43,425
Invoice Price: $30,604 - $40,385

Engine: 5.3L V8

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Performance: 355 horsepower, 383 lb-ft of torque

Fuel Economy: NA

Seating: 6 people

Cargo Capacity: NA

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Exterior Design

Exterior Design

The exterior design of the GMC Sierra is bold and burly, with a huge chrome grille, daytime running LEDs and gigantic GMC logo. I like the way the designers employed lots of sharp undulation on the hood and along the side of the car, which gives it the appearance of having some rippling muscles underneath. A truck, after all, ain't no place for swoopy curves.

Sierra needs to set itself apart from the Chevrolet Silverado, which is manufactured by the same company, General Motors, and shares a lot of the same underpinnings. The GMC designers did a good job of hiding the relationship between the Sierra and Silveradoby using a different look in key places, such as in the headlights, the grille and bumper. They still look related, but not like twins wearing different logos on their t-shirts.

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Interior

Interior

Inside, this truck feels like a legitimate luxury vehicle, with beautiful aesthetics, that wonderful leather smell, great seats, soft material on the shifter, arm rest and steering wheel and a nice and a clean, modern interface with the on-board technology. There are some plasticky materials, which is a bit of a bummer on a $40,000 vehicle, but all in all, it's a fine place to spend some time.

GMC knows its buyers also need to be productive as well as comfortable. After all, what's the point of buying a truck if you aren't going to use it to do some work? This truck comes with a slew of USB ports, power outlets and a gigantic center storage area that you could easily fit a laptop into.

The best thing about the cabin is how unbelievably quiet it is. Like Lexus quiet. Even while towing the Airstream up California's Highway 1, engine, road and wind noise were muted to the point that I forgot I was even driving a truck. I could have been fooled into thinking I was in a Lexus ES had I not been riding so high off the ground.

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Passenger And Cargo Space

Passenger And Cargo Space

Passengers are treated to loads of space in the Sierra, both up front and in the back. In fact, I would imagine even NBA players would have plenty of legroom in the rear seats.

The size of the pickup beds vary: On the standard box Sierra, cargo capacity is 61 cubic feet, which, as you can probably imagine, is going to be big enough for just about anything. The Sierra also comes in a short box, which has a cargo capacity of 53.04 cubic feet.

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The Airstream

The Airstream

I know, I know, this is a review of the 2014 GMC Sierra. But I have to take a quick timeout here and talk about spending a couple nights in a new Airstream trailer. With all of the amenities of a nice hotel perfectly engineered into that iconic silver cylinder design, this was truly glamping in its finest form. I was remarkably comfortable during the day and slept like a rock at night in this thing.

GMC partnered with a new company called Airstream2GO on this particular glamping trip, which, as the name implies, allows you to rent Airstreams so you can partake in that idealized American road trip vacation. Unfortunately, it's quite pricey -- at minimum it costs $3,850 for a five-day rental (which includes a GMC Yukon Denali). But, as CEO Dicky Riegel said, being able to wake up right on the rim of the Grand Canyon or next to a giant sequoia is an epic experience that beats the hell out of staying in some Holiday Inn attached to a business park.

I'm inclined to agree.

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Driving Dynamics

Driving Dynamics

I've only towed heavy trailers twice, which put a little fear in my gut when we hitched those big Airstreams up and started up the road. However, after just a few minutes behind the wheel, I felt like a pro. This was, of course, because the Sierra makes towing remarkably easy. With its great trailer sway control system, powerful V8 engine and slew of safety features, I could drive on along the freeway or up and down steep grades with zero change in heart rate.

Without the trailer, driving the Sierra is a pleasant enough experience, both on and off the freeway. I took the truck on some very curvy and undulating mountain roads outside of Santa Barbara and, while it's certainly not a nimble vehicle, I found that it performed quite well. The electronic steering is top notch, acceleration is good, braking is solid and, as I mentioned earlier, the noise level is at an absolute minimum.

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Technology And Infotainment

Technology And Infotainment

The infotainment on the Sierra ranks in the middle of the pack. It's a clean interface that is easy to use and, as with most GM vehicles, comes with OnStar as an option (which is a solid service -- I've never had an issue with it). While navigating the menus, I experienced a little bit of lag, but it was never so sluggish it ruined the user experience. It's no Chrysler UConnect, which I think is the best in the business. But it's also no MyFord Touch, which is among the worst.

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Bottom Line

Bottom Line

All in all, truck shoppers who are looking for something that is capable, versatile and genuinely pleasant and comfortable to drive around in will be delighted by this vehicle. GMC has done a very good job making this a premium truck, and I found very little to complain about during the couple of days I spent behind the wheel.

But the Sierra undoubtedly has some fierce competition.

The truck segment is a raging warzone of automakers battling for a larger piece of the pie and offerings like the Ram 1500 Lariat, Ford F-150 King Ranch and even the new Chevrolet Silverado High Country also offer a high level of capability coupled with a sophisticated interior for a similar price.

There's no question that the Sierra is worth a test drive if you're in the market for a high-end truck. You'd be doing yourself a disservice to ignore it. But shopping the competition won't hurt either.

AOL Autos has a policy against keeping any free or promotional items valued at more than $25 that are provided by companies to the editorial staff for review. In order to access the latest products and technology for review, we sometimes accept travel and accommodations (along with other members of the press). Our opinions and criticisms are always our own. Our editorial is not for sale, and never will be.

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