NEW FOR 2010:

– 4.8-, 5.3-, 6.2-, and 6.0-litre (Hybrid) engines add E85 flexible fuel capability
– 6.0-litre option discontinued on non-hybrid models
– Variable valve timing added to 4.8- and 5.3-litre engines
– Six-speed automatic transmission added to regular and extended cab models with 5.3-litre V8
– 5.3-litre V8 adds standard 3.08 axle ratio and fuel saver mode
– Standard side and curtain airbags on all 1500 models
– USB connectivity, enhanced battery saver mode and revised interior door trim
– Rearview camera available on more models
– OnStar 8.2 added to heavy-duty models
– Exterior colours: Storm Grey Metallic and Sheer Silver Metallic added

For 2010, the GMC Sierra lineup receives several enhancements, including the ability to use E85 ethanol fuel in almost all engines. The 5.3-litre V8 receives a standard 3.08 axle ratio and fuel saver mode for enhanced fuel economy, and on regular and extended cab models, is now mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. A 6.0-litre V8 that was optional on light-duty trucks has been discontinued. Other changes include a new USB port to play and charge music players, an enhanced battery saver mode when running accessories, standard side and curtain airbags on all 1500 models, and more models available with an optional rearview camera.

Also sold as the Chevrolet Silverado, and available as a hybrid model, 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 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, steering 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, 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 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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