2015 Sierra 1500 New Car Test Drive
The GMC Sierra delivers stout towing and hauling ability, a quiet cabin, and distinctive styling. GMC Sierra is built on the same platform and shares many mechanical pieces and body panels with the Chevrolet Silverado. Front-end styling and some details vary, but if you ever needed service either dealership could do it.
Sierra was redesigned for the 2014 model, and the 2015 Sierra gets some noteworthy updates. All 2015 Sierra models offer a spray-in bedliner with molded GMC logo, OnStar and 4G LTE with built-in wi-fi, and tow ratings adhere to SAE J2807 standards. New towing mirrors have LED guide lights for reversing, and IntelliLInk adds text messaging alert and Siri eyes free. The 6.2-liter V8 option now comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission. And the 2015 Sierra Denali comes with magnetic ride control.
The GMC Sierra 1500 offers a choice of three cabs and three bed lengths: Regular Cab standard and long bed, Double Cab standard, and Crew Cab standard or short bed. Nearly all offer 2WD or 4WD.
Three engines include a V6 and two V8s, all favoring torque over horsepower and sharing the same fuel-saving technologies often reserved for optional engines. The V6 has the highest torque of any full-size base V6, and the 6.2-liter V8 is the most powerful engine in a light-duty full-size pickup. The smaller engines use a 6-speed automatic and can run E85; the 6.2 uses an 8-speed.
Sierra trim levels vary from work truck with wind-up windows to Denali in stitched perforated leather trimmed with genuine aluminum. Front rows offer seats for two or three, rear seats have three belts, and multiple child-seat anchors, but we don't recommend them for three adults.
Beyond the appearance relative a Silverado, the Sierra offers LED front position lights and Elevation and Carbon Edition specials Silverado does not. Sierra Denali has a unique instrument panel and magnetic ride control not offered on Silverado. Sierra has a higher level of standard equipment. GMC's Pro Grade plan covers some routine maintenance for the first two years or 24,000 miles.
Sierra competes against the Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Nissan Titan, Toyota Tundra and Chevrolet Silverado. If Sierra is too small, try GMC Sierra HD; if it's too big, try GMC Canyon.
The 2015 GMC Sierra offers three engine choices: a 285-hp 4.3-liter V6, 355-hp 5.3-liter V8 and a 420-hp 6.2-liter V8. The 4.3 and 5.3 run on regular unleaded or E85 (power increases, mpg decreases) and come with a 6-speed automatic. The 6.2 available only on four-door cabs recommends but does not require premium unleaded, and comes with an 8-speed automatic.
Regular Cabs come with a standard bed (6-foot, 6-inch) or a long bed (8-foot), seating for two-three, in Sierra and SLE trim. Double Cabs have two rows of seats and four doors with roll-down windows. They come with a standard bed, in Sierra, SLE, and SLT trim. Crew Cabs have larger rear doors and cabin space than Double Cab. Crew Cabs come with a short (5-foot, 8-inch) or standard bed, in Sierra to Denali trim levels.
Sierra ($26,605) comes standard with vinyl 40/20/40 front seating surfaces, air conditioning, full instrumentation, tilt steering wheel, corner step bumper, AM/FM stereo with USB, aux and SD inputs, cruise control, trip computer, 17-inch steel wheels, power door locks, locking tailgate, power windows on four-doors, chrome grille surround and bumpers, and a two-year maintenance program. Options: 5.3-liter V8, rearview camera, trailering pack, power windows, block heater, ATF cooler, integrated trailer brake controller, side steps, bed accessories, heated power mirrors, all-terrain tires, Bluetooth, OnStar with 4G LTE with wi-fi hotspot (3-month trial period), SiriusXM radio and a snow-plow package for 4WD regular cabs.
Sierra SLE ($32,935) upgrades with cloth upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, aluminum wheels, body-color door handles and side moldings, LED box lighting, EZ-lift and lower tailgate, deep-tint glass, heated power mirrors, 8-inch touch-screen with IntelliLink, CD, SiriusXM and HD radio, OnStar with 4G LTE, Bluetooth, carpet, color driver information display, lit visor mirrors, power windows, rear camera, remote keyless entry and steering wheel audio controls. Four-doors also get body-color mirrors, folding rear seats and rear wheelhouse liners. SLE options include the Z71 off-road package, All Terrain package, 18 and 20-inch wheels, navigation, heated leather seats, driver alert package, remote start, bucket seats, security system and Carbon and Texas special edition models.
Sierra SLT ($40,240) adds leather seat trim, power heated front seats, telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, 18-inch polished aluminum wheels, power-adjustable pedals, chrome exterior trim, fog lamps, LED daytime running lights, power-folding mirrors, trailering package, 110-VAC outlet, remote start, and universal home remote. 4WD models get Autotrac. SLT options include the 5.3 and 6.2-liter engines (the latter with active noise cancellation), heated steering wheel, heated/cooled leather bucket seats, Bose sound system, the All Terrain pack, and some safety and mechanical upgrades.
Sierra Denali ($49,005) upgrades further with unique leather and trim inside and out, a unique instrument panel with 8-inch display, 5.3-liter V8, heated steering wheel, Bose sound system, power sliding rear window with defrost, locking differential, magnetic ride control shock absorbers, spray-in bed liner, machined-face 20-inch aluminum wheels, navigation and front/rear park assist. Denali options are limited to the 6.2 V8, moonroof, driver alert package, Z71 pack, rear entertainment package, floor mats, bed accessories and seven 22-inch wheel designs.
Safety features include dual front airbags, front side airbags, side curftain airbags front and rear, StabiliTrak electronic stability control and tire-pressure monitoring. OnStar and its suite of functions are available on every Sierra.