2008 Sierra 1500 New Car Test Drive
The GMC Sierra was redesigned from the ground up last year, using proven powertrains, so the 2008 model year brings minor refinements, a few additions, and a special All-Terrain model.
The Sierra is built on a stiff platform for a smooth ride and sharp handling. The GMC Sierra shares platforms with the Chevy Silverado but its exterior styling is quite different. Sierra interiors offer a choice of two dashboard styles.
The 2008 GMC Sierra is offered in a Denali version, which makes for a comfortable, luxurious, pickup with the emphasis on performance rather than payload and towing capacity. The Sierra Denali offers the same sort of higher-line content as GMC's upscale Yukon Denali sport utility.
Amongst the various cab styles, bed lengths, and eight engine choices (of five sizes) the Sierra offers many permutations. There are limitations however, such as the biggest engine is limited to the Denali, the 6-liter does not go in regular cab or extended cab long bed trucks, and manual transmissions are not offered.
The standard cab is designed for fleet buyers and others who want a basic truck for work, budget play, or a clean slate for customization. It can be equipped with a standard bed (6-foot, 6-inch) or a long bed (8-foot), two bucket seats or a three-person bench seat, V6 or V8.
The extended cab has two rows of seats with rear-hinged rear access doors that open 170 degrees and have roll-down windows. The extended cab can be equipped with either a short bed (5-foot, 8-inch), standard or long bed. The extended cab can be equipped with seating for five or six.
The crew cab has two rows of seats and four front-hinged doors, like those on a Yukon. The crew cab can be equipped with seating for five or six and comes with the short bed.
Standard equipment on the Work Truck ($17,070) includes vinyl seating surfaces, air conditioning, AM/FM/XM radio, one-year of OnStar, daytime running lights, tire pressure monitoring system, Smooth Ride suspension, 17-inch wheels, chrome bumpers.
The SLE ($24,690) adds a CD player, cruise control, cloth seats, a rear-window defogger, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and outside temperatures, leather-wrapped steering wheel, fog lamps, handling/trailering suspension, carpeting and power door locks/windows/mirrors. To this, SLE2 ($28,465) adds premium cloth seats, dual-zone air conditioning, a floor console, six-way power driver and front passenger seats, audio controls on the steering wheel, and machined aluminum wheels.
The SLT ($30,860) adds leather seat trim, a unique instrument panel, six-disc CD changer with Bose sound system, heated windshield washers, front bucket seats with 12-way power adjustment and heat, and polished aluminum wheels; crew cab models also get a rear-seat audio system.
The Denali ($38,095) includes a top-flight interior with leather, heated and powered front seats, unique woodgrain console, side curtain airbags, dual-zone climate control, park assist and so on. Denali options include a heated steering wheel, sunroof, and rear-seat entertainment. Denali comes only as a crew cab with a 403-hp 6.2-liter V8 engine, six-speed automatic transmission and rear or all-wheel drive.
The All Terrain model, available as a late-2008 model, features the Z71 off-road package, heavy-duty trailer package, 18-inch wheels, Rancho shocks, and myriad cosmetic enhancements. When ordered with SLT trim, exclusive two-tone leather is used. All Terrain is available as an extended cab standard box or crew cab, 2WD or 4WD with 5.3-liter or 6-liter engine.
Options for the Seirra include head curtain airbags, a locking rear differential, StabiliTrak, towing and trailering equipment, and a power sunroof.
Safety features include dual front airbags and a tire-pressure monitoring system. Optional head curtain airbags automatically inflate when sensors sense a severe impact to provide extra protection in the event of a rollover or secondary collision. Also available: driver and front-seat passenger side-impact air bags; anti-lock brakes, StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover mitigation technology, Autotrac active transfer case, ultrasonic rear park assist, OnStar emergency notification.