2015 GMC Sierra

What's new for 2015? For 2015, the GMC Sierra 1500 sees a number of changes. Newly available is the latest OnStar system (with 4G LTE WiFi capability) and new power-folding trailer-towing mirrors. The Denali trim level gets the magnetic ride control suspension as well as a spray-in bedliner. Later in the model year a new powertrain option, consisting of a 6.2-liter V8 paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission, debuts.

In addition to serving as the rugged workhorses of farmers, construction companies and small business owners, modern light-duty pickups are commonly seen handling daily driver and family vehicle duties. As such, manufacturers have made an effort to make them more comfortable as well as more fuel-efficient in recent years. That was certainly true with GMC's redesign of its Sierra 1500 pickup last year, which also included increases in overall cabin quality and the debut of new technology features. For this year, the 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 (as well as its Chevy Silverado 1500 twin) stands as a strong entry in this very competitive segment.

As is typical for this class, the Sierra offers a wide range of power choices. The range starts off with a fuel-saving V6 engine sporting a respectable 285 horsepower and a maximum towing capacity of 7,200 pounds all the way up to a muscle-bound 6.2-liter V8 that should be more than enough to handle most folks' heavier towing and hauling requirements. The Sierra also packs the latest in safety and convenience technology. The former include available forward collision- and lane-departure warning systems, while the latter includes an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, smartphone integration, ventilated front seats and a rear-seat video entertainment system.

Exterior Highlights
Available in regular cab, extended (double) cab and crew cab body styles. Regular cab available in SLE trim level, double cab and crew cab available in base, SLE and SLT, and Denali trim level only available in crew cab

The 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 is a full-size pickup offered in a variety of cab/cargo-bed configurations in both two- and four-wheel drive. Body styles include regular cab, extended (double) cab and crew cab. Regular cabs can be had with either a 6.5-foot standard bed or an 8-foot bed. Extended cabs come with the 6.5-foot standard bed, while crew cabs can be had with either a 5.75-foot short bed or the 6.5-foot standard bed.

Regular cabs can be had in base or midlevel SLE trims. Double cabs and crew cabs are available in base, SLE and well-appointed SLT trims. The plush Denali is only available in the crew cab body style.

The base Sierra comes with 17-inch steel wheels, chrome bumpers and grille, air-conditioning, cruise control, power windows and door locks, a tilt steering wheel, cloth upholstery, rubber floor covering, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat and a four-speaker AM/FM sound system with a 4-inch color display and USB and auxiliary inputs.

The SLE adds stainless steel finish wheels, deep-tint glass, an "E-Z" lift/lower tailgate, LED cargo box lighting, power/heated mirrors, keyless entry, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, adjustable driver lumbar support, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, OnStar telematics with 4G LTE WiFi capability, a color driver information display and an upgraded IntelliLink audio system (with an 8-inch color display, satellite radio, Pandora radio, a CD player and voice control functionality).

Optional on the SLE is the Carbon-22 Edition, which features unique 22-inch alloy wheels, a rear locking differential (2WD models only), foglamps, a black grille surround, tubular side steps, a trailering package, a 10-way power driver seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, remote vehicle start, remote garage opener, a rear-window defogger and a 110-volt AC power outlet.

Stepping up to the SLT includes the SLE features and adds chrome trim, 18-inch alloy wheels, remote starting, power folding mirrors, a trailer towing package, universal garage opener, an anti-theft system, a rear window defroster, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 110-volt power outlet, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated eight-way power driver and passenger front seats and driver-seat memory settings.

The top-of-the-line Denali features a unique grille, added chrome exterior trim, assist steps, 20-inch wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, a locking rear differential, front and rear park assist, a customizable information display, a navigation system, a Bose audio system, perforated leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, power lumbar support (driver seat) and a heated steering wheel.

The Z71 package, which is available on the SLE or SLT, features off-road-oriented hardware such as special shock absorbers, a heavy-duty air cleaner, hill-descent control, underbody shields, recovery hooks and a few unique exterior and interior styling tweaks. Many upper trims' features are offered on the lower ones as options, while other available features (depending on trim level and configuration) include various axle ratios, a power sliding rear window, a power sunroof, side steps, parking sensors, ventilated front seats, a Bose audio system, a navigation system and a rear-seat entertainment system with a Blu-Ray-capable DVD player. Notably, the Max Trailering package features power-folding mirrors with memory preset, an integrated trailer brake controller, heavier-duty suspension calibrations and a higher-capacity radiator. Another key option group is the Driver Alert package, which features a lane-departure warning system, a forward collision-alert system, a safety alert seat, and front and rear parking sensors. There are a few other packages available as well -- highlights include 20-inch wheels, side steps, front and rear parking sensors and a power sliding rear window.

Abundance of bins and cubbies, USB ports, IntelliLink system with 8-inch touchscreen, telescoping steering wheel, generous door openings

Anyone familiar with older GMC pickups who hops inside this latest version can't help but notice the much improved materials and build quality, especially on the lower trims. There's an abundance of bins and cubbies, and the center console on five-passenger Sierras boasts plenty of USB ports to keep your devices charged.

The IntelliLink system deserves special mention for its 8-inch touchscreen that features clear, intuitive controls; redundant knobs and buttons; and a very effective voice command interface. You'll use this interface to take care of most navigation, audio and phone functions in the GMC Sierra.

With a choice of a bench seat or buckets (depending on trim level) up front, as well as available heating, ventilation and adjustable lumbar support, the Sierra's thickly padded seats promise plenty of long-trip comfort. Drivers will appreciate the available telescoping steering wheel, as it provides driving position adjustability few other trucks can match. Getting in and out of the backseat on crew cabs is fairly easy thanks to generous door openings, while clambering into the bed is also eased via clever steps and handholds built into each rear corner.

Standard safety features on the 2015 GMC Sierra include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control (with trailer sway control), front and rear seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. Also standard is OnStar, which includes services such as automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and stolen-vehicle assistance.

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