Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Z_CNHI News Service

August 19, 2013

New GMC Sierra a tougher, more sophisticated truck

It should come as no surprise that when redesigning the GMC Sierra for 2014, General Motors made it a tougher, stronger truck than before.

Cue the gravel-voiced announcers and pictures of the Sierra climbing mountains and pulling oceanliners.

What's weird about it, though, is just how refined GMC managed to make it at the same time.

This is a truck that's now capable of towing up to 12,000 pounds — while still technically being classified as a "light duty" pickup, if you can believe it — yet it rides with the quiet serenity of a family car when you're cruising down the highway.

To be clear, the fresh Sierra is designed first and foremost to do more work. I love the rugged simplicity of steps that are carved into the rear bumper and the cargo tie-down system that's standard equipment. I also love the fact that you can get it with a 420-horsepower, 450-foot-pound V8 engine.

But what strikes me the most about this new truck is how it can be so hard-edged and tough in some ways while being so soft and supple in others.

It's like wearing silk work gloves.

Consider the rear tailgate, for example. For decades, anyone who has dropped the tailgate has heard a loud, clunky "thud" as it slams down under its own weight.

But the Sierra's mechanism has a soft, slow closing motion that sets the tailgate down gently if you drop it. I've only seen that kind of tailgate on one other truck — an extremely expensive Lexus luxury SUV — so it puts the new GM trucks in rarefied air.

It's a little thing, yes. But a long list of those little things makes the Sierra stand out.

The doors are set lower in the frame, like a car, and triple-sealed to keep out wind noise. The side mirrors and tailgate are designed to reduce turbulence. And the suspension is designed to be more smooth and comfortable than ever, something noticeable even on my test truck that was equipped with the Z71 off-road package.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Z_CNHI News Service
  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Another stumble begs questions about Notre Dame

    Notre Dame's vaunted reputation for formidable athletics and serious academics is again sullied by a cheating scandal. Maybe the high standards of the Fighting Irish are just too good to be true.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Debate filled with 'hate' gives Hamas a pass

    Political invective is dialed to the max, and everyone who disagrees is a "hater." But the hate police, who are so eager to cast labels, are ignoring the real wells of contempt in the Middle East.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg OU player's suspension shows pitfalls of addressing sexual assault on campus

    The University of Oklahoma's leading tackler is suspended for the season - or maybe not. Frank Shannon is still practicing with the Sooners amid a court battle over whether OU can discipline him after a sexual assault investigation. The tough issue of addressing assault on campus isn't just OU's problem.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can 6 seconds launch a career? A generation of Vine stars sure hopes so.

    A year ago, Shawn Mendes filmed himself singing a tentative acoustic cover of the Justin Bieber song "As Long as You Love Me" and put the results on Vine. He wasn't expecting much response. "I didn't really want anything to happen; I just kind of wanted to see what people would think," says Mendes, 16. "I posted that first Vine and woke up the next morning with 10,000 followers. That was pretty cool."

    August 14, 2014

  • Freshman.jpg 8 crucial tips for college freshmen

    With school starting back up around the country, no one has a bigger deer-in-the-headlights look than college freshmen.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Deadly Landslides in Japan Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Arrests Witnessed in Ferguson Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller