Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

CNHI News Service Originals

September 17, 2012

Sierra pickup performance shines

(Continued)

Confused enough?

The truth of the matter is that the Sierra is a spectacularly powerful truck and, when properly equipped, can tow more than the vast majority of drivers will ever need. And really, if buyers are towing so much weight that they're worried about bumping up against the top trailer rating, they ought to be looking for a heavy-duty model instead of the

half-ton Sierra 1500 anyway.

I drove a fancy version of the Sierra, called the Denali, for a week and came away impressed. Neither its ride nor its interior materials were as soft as in the similarly fancy Ram 1500 I drove earlier this year, but its immediate sense of power and V8 rumble were absolutely intoxicating.

The cabin did feel upscale, benefitting from the same "New GM" resurgence that has helped Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac models for

the past three years. Everything fit together precisely.

Better yet, the heated and cooled leather seats, quiet cabin and no shortage of luxury gizmos — including easy connection to my iPhone — made it feel downright sumptuous while I drove around with enough torque to pull a continental plate.

That mixture of power and comfort is something General Motors does well in its high-end trucks, especially those of the GMC flavor.

While the Sierra is a near carbon-copy of the Chevy Silverado, its slightly crisper GMC body lines went well with the tuxedo-like chrome accents on the Denali trim.

It also comes from a company with the confidence to release the results from its standardized towing tests.

I know one thing: If my livelihood and safety depended on how well my truck performed with a trailer, I'd want the most reliable numbers I

could find. GM and Toyota both deserve kudos for showing buyers of 2013 trucks some actual apples-to-apples towing numbers for the first

time ever.

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Derek Price is a columnist for CNHI News Service. Contact him at carcolumn@gmail.com.

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