NEW FOR 2009:

– New two-mode Hybrid model
– Six-speed automatic transmission on 1500 5.3-, 6.0- and 6.2-litre engines
– Available OnStar 8.0 with Turn by Turn navigation and Destination Download; Bluetooth hands-free connectivity; and XM satellite radio with new NavTraffic feature on navigation systems
– Available rearview camera system on Extended and Crew Cab models
– New 18- and 20-inch aluminum wheels, available E85 FlexFuel-capable 6.2-litre V8 on Sierra 1500
– Sierra Denali adds heated and cooled seats with perforated leather, E85 FlexFuel capability on standard 6.2-litre V8
– Vehicle stability enhancement system standard on 2500HD with single rear wheels (Extended and Crew Cabs with standard box)
– Exterior colours: Midnight Blue Metallic and Carbon Black Metallic added to Sierra 1500 and HD models; Steel Gray Metallic and Sonoma Red Metallic added to Sierra Denali

For 2009, the GMC Sierra line-up undergoes several enhancements, including the addition of a new two-mode Hybrid model. Six-speed transmissions are now used on most of the V8 engines; trim changes include the latest version of OnStar, an available rearview camera system, and luxury seats on the Denali version.

Also sold as the Chevrolet Silverado, the Sierra is offered in Regular, Extended and Crew Cab models, with short box (5-foot-8), standard box (6-foot-6) and long box (8-foot), and in two- or four-wheel drive.

Engine choices in the 1500 are a 4.3-litre V6 or 4.8-litre V8 with four-speed automatic, and 5.3-litre V8, 6.0-litre V8 and the Denali’s 6.2-litre V8, all with six-speed automatic. The heavy-duty 2500 and 3500 models use a 6.0-litre V8 or optional Duramax 6.6-litre diesel V8, both with six-speed automatics. The new Hybrid uses a 6.0-litre V8 with Active Fuel Management and Auto Stop mode, regenerative braking, and a two-mode continuous electric ratio hybrid transmission, for a fuel economy improvement of up to 32 per cent when compared to a conventional Sierra. The system can launch the truck on battery power and run solely on electricity at speeds of up to 48 km/h, and keeps the engine in its fuel-saving Active Fuel Management mode for longer periods of time.

Features on the WT (Work Truck) include 17-inch steel wheels (16-inch on 2500 and 3500), manual black mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, overhead console, rubberized vinyl floor covering, standard instrument panel with upper and lower gloveboxes, tire pressure monitoring system, driver information centre, tilt wheel, 40/20/40 front bench seat with cloth or vinyl trim, centre fold-down armrest, AM/FM stereo, automatic headlamps, and OnStar. Extended and Crew Cab models also include air conditioning.

The SLE adds 17-inch chrome-appearance steel wheels (16-inch chrome-appearance on 2500, 16-inch painted steel on 3500), air conditioning, privacy glass, chrome grille surround, heated power mirrors, cruise control, colour-keyed carpeting with vinyl floor mats, leather-wrapped wheel, illuminated vanity mirrors, power windows, CD player, and power locks with keyless entry.

The SLT adds 18-inch chrome-clad alloy wheels (17-inch bright aluminum on 2500 and 3500), dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lights, power-folding heated mirrors with auto-dimming driver’s side, integrated turn signals and reverse tilt-down, heated washer fluid system, electric rear window defogger, premium instrument panel with single glovebox, full-function driver information centre, auto-dimming rearview mirror, wheel-mounted audio controls, front express-down windows, ten-way heated leather bucket seats, driver’s side memory, Bose premium sound system, XM satellite radio, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, locking rear differential, and trailer tow package. The Crew Cab includes rear-seat audio controls and headphone jacks.

The Denali adds 18-inch polished aluminum wheels, body-colour bumpers, full chrome grille, off-road skid plates, rain-sensing wipers, lockable EZ Lift tailgate, garage door opener, six-CD Bose stereo, remote starter, heavy-duty trailer package, curtain airbags, OnStar with Turn-by-Turn navigation, and ultrasonic rear parking assist.

Like the Silverado, the Sierra is a very well-done truck, with strong engines, high-quality interiors, and a full configuration of models. An innovative cargo management system of three rails inside the box holds dealer-ordered accessories such as storage boxes, sliding bed divider and bicycle rack. The new hybrid model should prove popular with those who can use its battery-only mode and auto stop regularly to maximize fuel efficiency.

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