GMC Sierra blends work muscle with sophisticated road manners

GMC Sierra blends work muscle with sophisticated road manners

April 24th, 2010 by Mark Kennedy in Carscruisin

This GMC Sierra 1500 truck from Ledford Automotive in Cleveland, Tenn., is perfect for work or play.

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.

TEST DRIVE

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.

SEE A VIDEO DEMONSTRATION OF THE 2010 GMC SIERRA TRUCK.

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