The 2010 Sierra is the latest in a long line of GMC work trucks. But don't let its blue-collar pedigree fool you. The stretched, crew-cab version of the Sierra, with room for up to six - yes, six - passengers, can pull double duty. It can be dad's work vehicle on weekdays and a family-sized SUV replacement on the weekends. Our Fire Red tester, equipped with a 5.3 liter V-8, has a carlike suspension that won't turn the young ones in the back seat into bobble-heads.
"It has plenty of pulling power, plenty of torque, and plenty of just get-up-and-go," said Amy Mack, sales representative at Don Ledford Automotive in Cleveland, Tenn.
DRIVING IMPRESSIONS: During a test drive in Cleveland, Tenn., earlier this week, I pointed our red GMC Sierra toward Mouse Creek Road, a busy secondary street in Cleveland. It was a good test of the Sierra's handling characteristics. Unlike pickups of old, the Sierra tracks like a car, and you don't have to fight the sensation of crowding smaller vehicles on a tight, two-lane road.
The Sierra's interior, accented by a control cluster that features real-time feedback on engine functions, is a comfortable place to be. A fold-down panel turns the front-row seats into a bench with suitable space for three passengers. The rear row comfortably seats three as well. The rear seats also fold up to create a canyon of covered cargo space. A shift-on-the-fly fourwheel-drive system is available for off-roading ventures or slick road conditions.
CREATURE COMFORTS: Our tester included ebony leather-trimmed seats, a $1,075 option. A preferred options package adds steering wheel audio controls, Bluetooth connectivity, fog lamps and a locking tailgate. Interior materials are first-rate.
BOTTOM LINE: The GMC Sierra offers rugged good looks (check out the red) and a stout V-8 engine that can handle almost anything you throw at it. At 21 mpg highway, the Sierra is no gas hog. Even our lavishly equipped tester stickered for less than $40,000, not bad considering most full-sized work trucks earn their keep. Generous financing terms are available this month on GMC trucks (for qualified buyers).
MODEL TESTED: 2010 GMC Sierra 1500 4WD.
ENGINE: 5.3-liter V-8.
TRANSMISSION: six-speed automatic.
FUEL ECONOMY: 21 highway, 16 city.
BASE PRICE: $36,025.
PRICE AS TESTED: $39,600.