2014 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab SLT Review: The Best Half Ton GM Truck Ever
I should make a few things clear before getting into why I think that the 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT Crew Cab that General Motors has ever sold. This Sierra is the first of the new GM half ton trucks that I have gotten to spend any time in and while I have driven the new Silverado, it was only for a short time in a very controlled environment. I don’t mean to upset Silverado owners by suggesting that the Sierra is the better half ton truck, but in my time spent with both trucks, I was more impressed with the interior quality of the Sierra along with the high tech headlight setup that I believe is the better looking of the two new trucks.
More importantly, I admit that I have long been a critic of General Motors half ton truck program. I understand that the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra are among the bestselling trucks in America, but Ive had extensive seat time in all of the Detroit half ton trucks over the past few years and Ive always found that the Ford F150 and the Ram 1500 were leaps and bounds better than the comparably equipped Silverado or Sierra. Frankly speaking, I have spent the last few years wondering why people buy the Chevy and GMC pickups because the competition from Ford and Ram were just that great. With the introduction of the 2014 Sierra, I no longer will question those folks who buy new General Motors half ton pickups as all of the complaints that I’ve had over the past half decade or so have been addressed in a big way.
My test subject for this review was a 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT 4WD Crew Cab model with the short bed option which carries an MSRP of $43,610. Options on my test truck include the $400 SLT Preferred Package (Heated Steering Wheel, Power Rear Sliding Window), the $845 Driver Alert Package (Front and Rear Park Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Safety Seat Alert), the $2,195 SLT Crew Cab Value Package (Chrome Side Steps, Bose Audio, 20” chrome wheels), the $795 Touchscreen Audio System, the $650 heated and cooled front seats, the $325 full leather interior package and the $230 integrated trailer brake controller. When you factor in the base price, the options and the $995 destination fee, the Sierra SLT carried a sticker price of $50,045 so while it is far from a budget package – there is very, very little to ask for when you buy a new Sierra that is as loaded up as my test vehicle.
When it was learned that the GMC Sierra was being refreshed for the 2014 model year, it was expected that the world would be introduced to an all-new design similar to what Ford or Ram (or Dodge) have done in the past when they moved to a new generation. However, when we were introduced to the 2014 Sierra (and Silverado) the styling was not that big of a departure and that caused some mumbles from the skeptics about how the new look wasn’t revolutionary enough. Those people are right – the new Sierra isnt all that different from the previous models, but with some noticeable changes here and there made to what is one of the bestselling trucks in the US market – the new Sierra is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. The changes are there, but so are the styling cues that have made the Sierra so popular over the past few decades.
The 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 looks remarkably similar to the outgoing models, but the most significant changes come up front with the new high tech LED-trimmed HID projection headlights replacing the stacked look of the outgoing models. This high tech look is far more upscale while also offering a greater level of differentiation between the Sierra and the new Chevy Silverado. The basic shape of the grille and headlight area is similar, but the grille is bigger and the front end lines have been sharpened. In fact, many of the lines of the 2014 Sierra from the hood to the roof to the doors, fender and bedsides are harder and bolder versions of the 2013 models. The chrome bumper is also more refined looking with harder lines and more sculpting around the front tow hook openings.
Along the sides, the 2014 GMC Sierra features more lines that are stronger than the outgoing models with the most prominent feature being the accentuated wheel flares. The 2013 model year more rounded, softer flares whereas the 2014 Sierra has more pronounced flares with a unique ridge running along the top edge to create a look that I really like. The top lines of the cab are more squared off while the windows all around also have sharper lines for a far bolder look. My test truck was also fitted with a set of optional 20 inch wheels that I find to be one of the best looking factory wheel options on the half ton market today. Everyone should get the SLT Crew Cab Value Package if only for the 20 inch wheels shown here and the chrome side step bars are an essentially for shorter folks to have more ease of access.
Out back, the 2014 Sierra wear a huge logo in the middle of the tailgate with a subtle molded “spoiler” atop bed. While I found the short bed to be a bit small for my needs it should be more than enough for the average truck buyer and the EZ Lift and Lower tailgate makes it easy for everyone to open and close the tailgate safely – no more struggling to close it for smaller people or worrying about letting it slam down when opening. Finally, GMC has added integrated steps into the corners of the bumper which make getting into the bed much simpler for short folks, but these don’t offer much help when getting back out of the bed.