Move that Jetta over Dave, I need space for this monster. Why prey tell is Autoblog testing a big 'ole truck that is on the last two years of its product cycle? Because if you add up the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra sales for the 2004 model year you'd have 894,524 units sold. If you throw in the Avalanche (which really is a pickup based off the Suburban) you'd be 25,000 units shy of a million sales. There must be something to these trucks and we plan on flushing it out.
I took the truck out for a good 80-mile shakedown today with a combination of city and highway driving just to get a feel for the truck. This Sierra SLT has almost all the options checked off; heated, power leather seats, sunroof, dual zone automatic climate control, XM Radio, 310 horsepower aluminum block Vortec 5.3-liter V-8 and the Z71 off-road package which includes skid plates, locking differential and polished rims. All that brought the sticker price to $37,715. A hefty number indeed, but on par with other offerings, especially when incentives are factored in.
The Sierra did not have an instant fuel economy setting (it does, but I didn?t see it on my first day with the truck) so I can?t tell you what I experienced today, but the EPA numbers are 15 city and 19 highway. I?ll go over ride, handling and ergonomics in my future posts, just wanted to give an overview today. And of course if you have anything you want to know about the truck, put it in the comments and I will get to it.