The GMC Sierra’s bodywork is new, the interior is new and the engines are new. Virtually everything else has been tuned, tweaked or calibrated for improvement, from disc brakes in back to measures aimed at making it the quietest, smoothest GMC pickup ever.
Sierra gets new bodywork, a new interior, some new cab and bed options, a new All-Terrain model and new engines.
Those engines are the same displacement as last year’s 4.3-liter V-6 and 5.3- and 6.2-liter V-8s, but only the V-8s share bore/stroke dimensions with their predecessors. Horsepower, torque and fuel economy have not yet been published. All engines are paired to an updated six-speed automatic.
Since the new Sierra bumpers are higher than the old ones and bumpers no longer wrap around corners, GMC put steps into the bumper corners so owners can climb up for loading whether the tailgate is open or closed. You can get tie-down points mounted high on the bed as well, and LED lighting under the bed rail for night loading or to check cargo without lights shining on traffic behind you. The tailgate can be fitted with assists to ease opening and closing.
Up front the Sierra becomes the first pickup to get projector headlamps on all models. The aluminum hood is as tall as last year’s Sierra 2500 HD.
The cab’s door openings no longer wrap over into the roofline and are tighter, as are all bodywork seams; the B-pillar behind the front door is moved forward.
Wider wheels still have lots of room in the fender openings, and the molded-in flares almost reach the hood and tailgate.
Crew cab buyers can now get a 6-foot 6-inch bed in addition to the 5-foot-8-inch bed, but extended cab buyers can get only the 6-foot-6-inch box because the 8-foot bed is reserved only for regular cab models.
For 2014 the GMC gauges remain, though they are grouped to frame an optional 4-inch display inset, and they are better lit. Trailer brake, headlight and drive-mode switches are stacked on the top left of the dash.
Knobs and switches are designed to be used with gloves on. The shifter is column-mounted as before, with tow/haul and manual forward gear selection on the end.
GMC’s IntelliLink can link up to 10 devices, includes voice recognition and lets passengers make phone calls, enter destinations, browse media, play music and more by telling the vehicle what to do. It will also store contact information and 60 favorite radio stations.
GMC hasn’t yet provided specifics for the new line of EcoTec3 engines: the LV3 4.3-liter V-6, the L83 5.3-liter V-8 and the L86 6.2-liter V-8.
As before, the new engines are pushrod design, but now have variable valve timing. They also share direct fuel injection for higher compression ratios and aluminum blocks for all, six-bolt main bearings, stressed aluminum oil pans, piston-cooling oil jets, greater oil capacity and mechanical vacuum pump for brakes and ventilation controls.
All three engines have cylinder deactivation, which converts them to V-4 operation; it’s a fuel-saving feature under low loads but not at idle when smoothness might be compromised.
Sierra will offer an optional camera-based forward collision alert system that also provides lane departure warning. In addition to audible and visual warnings, an available seat adds a tactile warning as well. Standard and optional safety gear also includes front and head curtain side airbags, OnStar, park assist and rear camera, hill start assist and descent control, and stability with trailer-sway control.