Full 2007 GMC Sierra 1500 Review
What's New for 2007
The 2007 GMC Sierra 1500 is all-new, from the tires to the roof. Key improvements in cabin trim, build quality, safety features and towing capacity make the Sierra 1500 an odds-on favorite in the full-size pickup class.
Our chief criticisms of the GMC Sierra have long been centered around its mediocre cabin style, build quality and materials. Although the Sierra was certainly a strong workhorse full-size truck, the level of refinement left a lot to be desired. For 2007, GMC is continuing to sell the old truck (the "Classic") but is also introducing a fully redesigned Sierra 1500. The new truck's extreme makeover finally takes care of our age-old gripes and builds on the Sierra's traditional strengths.
Even without close scrutinizing, it's evident that the 2007 GMC Sierra's cabin is light-years ahead of the previous one, as higher-quality plastics with uniform graining and tight panel gaps attest. One might even confuse the interior of the top-trim SLT and Denali trims with that of a Cadillac, as those Sierras' lustrous wood and metallic accents create a luxurious ambience.
Under-the-skin improvements include a more robust frame that contributes to a significantly higher towing capacity than last year's. The engines, always a strong point with the Sierra line, get even stronger this year, as output is up for nearly all of them. The truck's steering now has a rack-and-pinion setup that eliminates the big on-center dead spot of the previous system, and safety is increased via the adoption of side curtain airbags, stability control and rear park assist.
Although nearly everything has been covered, there are a few small demerits. One is the use of a four-speed automatic transmission on all trims except the Denali, which uses the superb six-speed unit seen in some of GM's full-size SUVs. The four-speed works fine most of the time, but occasionally, it is slow to downshift, leaving the engine flat-footed when a burst of power is called for. The other minor quibbles are a larger turning radius (by about 2 feet) than rivals such as the F-150 and Titan, and door armrests that are too hard.
Overall, however, we're quite impressed with the all-new GMC Sierra 1500. Like its corporate twin, the Chevrolet Silverado, it should prove to be a smart choice for a full-size pickup. Shoppers in this segment should be aware, though, that there will also be a completely redesigned Toyota Tundra this year. Like the Sierra, it's extremely well-rounded and ready for hard work. So in this segment, we're talking about a two-horse race in which the versatile, comfortable and well-built 2007 GMC Sierra 1500 is worth betting on.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 GMC Sierra full-size pickup comes in three body styles (standard cab, extended cab and crew cab). Standard cabs can be had with either a standard or long bed. Extended cabs can have a short, standard or long bed. Crew cabs come only with the short bed, making them easier to handle in traffic and during parking maneuvers. Regular cabs can be had in base Work or midlevel SLE trims, while the extended and crew cabs can also be had in those trims as well as the plush SLT. The even more luxurious Denali is offered only in crew cab form.
The Work trim comes with the basics, including air-conditioning (extended and crew cab versions), a trip computer, OnStar telematics, vinyl seating, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat and tilt steering wheel. The SLE trim actually consists of SLE1 and SLE2. The SLE1 adds deep-tinted windows, chrome grille trim, alloy wheels, a CD player, cruise control, full power accessories, cloth seating, keyless entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The SLE2 adds dual-zone automatic climate control (in extended and crew cabs), front bucket seating and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.
The SLT adds rain-sensing wipers (with heated washer fluid), a Bose audio system with six-disc CD changer, keyless entry/start, leather seating, an exclusive dash design with wood/metallic accents, 12-way power and heated front seats, rear audio controls and Homelink universal remote. The range-topping Denali adds unique exterior chrome trim, a choice of 18- or 20-inch wheels, a navigation system, remote start, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, satellite radio and a sunroof.
Notable available options include the Z71 Off-Road Package (skid plates, off-road suspension and locking rear differential), power-adjustable pedals, upgraded audio systems with satellite radio, a navigation system, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a sunroof, a power sliding rear window, a cargo management system that features tracks with sliding hooks, rear park assist and an "EZ Lift" tailgate that requires only about half the effort (compared to the standard tailgate) to open and close.
Powertrains and Performance
Work trucks feature a 4.3-liter V6 (195 horsepower, 260 pound-feet of torque). A 4.8-liter V8 (295 hp, 305 lb-ft) powers the SLE1 trucks (except the long-box versions). A 5.3-liter V8 (315 hp, 338 lb-ft) powers Sierra SLE2 and SLT pickups, with a flex-fuel E85 version optional. The Denali's 6.2-liter V8 makes 403 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque.
Optional on all but the Work truck and Denali is the "Vortex Max" 6.0-liter V8 that makes 367 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque. All V8s except the 4.8 and 6.2 feature Active Fuel Management, which shuts down four cylinders under light-load conditions (such as highway cruising) to promote greater fuel economy. With the optional Max trailering package, tow capacity is 10,500 pounds.
A four-speed automatic transmission with a tow/haul mode is standard on all models except the Denali, which has a six-speed automatic. Buyers have a choice of either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. The Work trim with 4WD has a traditional floor-mounted selector for the transfer case. All other 4WD GMC Sierras except the Denali have Autotrac, which features an automatic setting that shifts into 4WD when wheel slippage is detected. The AWD version of the Denali is a full-time system that requires no intervention from the driver.
Antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum) are standard on the 2007 GMC Sierra 1500, with an all-disc version optional. A stability control system with rollover mitigation is standard on crew cabs and optional on extended cabs. Side curtain airbags are optional across the board, as is rear park assist. The Denali has all the preceding items standard, along with full OnStar service and an upgrade to four-wheel disc brakes.
Interior Design and Special Features
The fit and finish of the cabin is vastly improved over the previous-generation GMC Sierra pickup truck. Tight build quality, an attractive two-tone scheme and comfortable seating front and rear combine with sound ergonomics to make the interior enjoyable on long road trips. A one-touch lane-change feature, plenty of storage cubbies, three power points (including one in the console box) and well-placed cupholders add to the user-friendly environment. SLT trims feature a unique dash and door panel treatment with lustrous wood grain and metallic accents.
Equipped with the burly 6.0-liter V8, the Sierra's acceleration is predictably swift, going from zero to 60 in 7.9 seconds and clocking a quarter-mile time of 16 seconds flat. The four-speed is sometimes caught flat-footed, taking a beat or two to downshift and provide a surge of power. Steering feel is much improved over previous GMC Sierras thanks to a new rack-and-pinion design. There's no longer a massive dead spot on-center and the power assist feels about right for a full-size truck. On long trips, the supple suspension swallows bumps (even with the heavy-duty towing option) while still allowing confident, no-slop handling with a minimum of body sway through the turns. The cabin is impressively quiet, as we recorded a lower sound reading at 70 mph in the 2007 GMC Sierra than we did in an Audi A6 luxury sedan.