What's New for 2007
Though a fully redesigned Sierra will debut for the 2007 model year, GMC has decided to keep the old model in production and delineate it by adding "Classic" to the end of its name. Minor changes for the 2007 GMC Sierra 1500 Classic include the deletion of the five-speed manual transmission for the 4.8-liter V8 and new availability of a few high-end features, such as a six-disc CD changer and steering-wheel-mounted controls, for the SLE trim level.
Although this generation of GMC's full-size pickup truck is at the end of its lifespan and adds "Classic" to its name, it doesn't mean the Sierra is completely outdated. A hybrid-electric model debuted in 2005, and the 2007 GMC Sierra 1500 Classic continues to offer a lot of what full-size-pickup buyers want. Highlights include a selection of Vortec V8s known for their high output and relative fuel efficiency (provided one has a light throttle foot), the OnStar communications system (that can be used to get directions, make reservations or summon medical help if needed) and a wide variety of cabin amenities.
Compared to the newer offerings from Dodge, Ford, Toyota and Nissan, the 2007 Sierra certainly shows its age and is noticeably lacking in its interior design and overall refinement. For the dedicated GMC buyer who wants a truly competitive product, waiting for the all-new Sierra might not be a bad idea, as cabin design and materials look to be much improved. Those just desiring a good deal on a workhorse pickup truck, however, may find the Classic, with its inevitable dealer and factory discounts, a tempting choice.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 GMC Sierra 1500 Classic offers a variety of body styles and trim levels. The Sierra is offered in three cab styles (regular, extended and crew) and three bed lengths. In addition, there are five trim levels: bare-bones Work Truck, base-model SL, midgrade SLE (which actually has two subsets: SLE1 and SLE2), luxury SLT and full-boat Denali. Not all trims are offered on all body styles. Regular cabs can be outfitted with Work Truck, SL or SLE1 trim, while extended cabs come in Work Truck, SL, SLE1, SLE2 or SLT trim. The crew cab model is available in SL, SLE1, SLE2, SLT or Denali trim.
True to their name, Work Trucks offer only the basics, but you still get manual dual-zone air-conditioning and ABS. The SL throws in a few more amenities like a 40/20/40-split front seat, cruise control and a CD player, as well as chrome trim for the grille and rear bumper. The SLE1 trim adds upgrades like power windows and locks, remote keyless entry and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The SLE2 adds automatic climate control, bucket front seats, Bose audio and a power driver seat. SLT trucks feature all that plus alloy wheels, a six-disc CD changer, a power passenger seat and leather upholstery. Top-level Denali models include nearly every available option as standard, as well as unique trim (such as a chrome honeycomb grille) and a 345-horsepower V8 engine. Depending on the model, one can also order OnStar, a sunroof, the Sierra Limited Edition and VortecMax Performance Packages, trailering equipment, satellite radio and a rear-seat entertainment system.
Powertrains and Performance
Several engine choices are available for the Sierra 1500 Classic, ranging from a 195-hp, 4.3-liter V6 to a 345-hp 6.0-liter V8. In between, you'll find a 285-hp 4.8-liter V8; a 295-hp 5.3-liter V8; and a 310-hp 5.3-liter V8. All Sierras come standard with a four-speed automatic, except V6-equipped regular cabs, which come with a five-speed manual. Maximum towing capacities range from 5100 pounds for a V6 automatic to 10,400 pounds for trucks with the 6.0-liter V8. The Denali is rated at 8100 pounds. Either two- or four-wheel drive is available on all models; the Denali comes with all-wheel drive. A hybrid powertrain option is available on SLE extended cabs with the 5.3-liter, but the system does not provide any power boost. Its main function is to conserve fuel via automatic engine shutdown and startup at stops, as well as provide on-the-job power through four 120-volt AC outlets.
Antilock brakes are standard on all Sierras and traction control is optional on all but the Denali. Many passive safety features, such as stability control and side curtain airbags, are not available. In crash testing, the 2007 GMC Sierra 1500 Classic received a rating of "Marginal" (second lowest out of four rankings) in the IIHS' offset crash test, while NHTSA frontal impact testing yielded four stars (out of five) for the driver and three stars for the front passenger.
Interior Design and Special Features
A clean, simple layout with easy-to-use controls typifies the Sierra's cabin. Materials quality is unimpressive, and build quality, though improved over the years, is still subpar. On the upside, the cabin is roomy, particularly on crew cab models, and comfortable, thanks to plush seats. XM satellite radio is available, as is a DVD entertainment system for those riding in the back of crew cab models.
The 2007 GMC Sierra Classic is comfortable enough to be a daily driver, yet still powerful enough to use as a dedicated work truck. Acceleration ranges from adequate to vigorous, depending on which V8 you select, and the automatic transmission shifts with authority. The steering feels vague on center, but it's light and precise enough for easy maneuvering at low speeds. The automatic engine shutdown and startup feature work seamlessly in the hybrid pickup truck. Additionally, the hybrid's electric power steering feels just about as good as the traditional setup.