2007 GMC Sierra 1500 4×4 Crew Cab SLT – Every Good Cowboy Needs a Good Horse
American icons like the Statue of Liberty or John Wayne conjure up images of patriotism and true grit. But the Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France, John Wayne’s real name is Marion Morrison and this is an automotive web site. So, that leaves us with things like John Deere and the new GMT900 trucks from General Motors, which have a long history, heritage and iconic status.
AutoPacific and VehicleVoice staffers have been evaluating a 2007 GMC Sierra with a list price of $47,135… WOW! Looking at the LA Times this weekend, I saw some full size half ton pickups offered in the mid-teens. Let’s see if there is enough “product” in the Sierra we are evaluating to justify the price.
With the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado roping in Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year we thought it would be interesting to saddle break the 2007 GMC Sierra; the Silverado’s supposedly more ‘posh’ counterpart. If we start with the exterior of the truck we notice that the overall styling is ‘boxier’ than that of the GMT800. The fender flares are no longer plastic/composite extensions stuck on with double-sided tape and a couple screws; they are integrated into the sheet metal of the fenders. Gaps between body panels, headlamps, grills, bumpers, etc., are much improved over the last generation.
It is only fair to compare the GMC Sierra 1500 with the Ford F-150, Dodge Ram 1500, Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra. Overall, aesthetically, the GMC is just as rugged, tough and brawny as the competition. Only the Ford Super Dutys with its purpose-driven, utilitarian like craftsmanship and solid front axles can really emasculate the driver of the GMC. Then again, all Super Duty’s are 3/4 or 1 Ton trucks and not really in the same class as our half ton.
In The Saddle
This particular 2007 GMC Sierra is impressive. Not only has close attention been paid to fit and finish on the exterior but the interior as well. Things looked and felt ‘tighter’ than they had been in previous generations. Ergonomically everything was where it should be. The interior looked and felt more like a mid to high-level sedan with some build materials falling short of only the highest expectations. Overall, touch points are softer. The parking light/headlight controls and 4×4 controls are now rotary dials wrapped in a rubberized rim (instead of the old hard plastic rotary dial and push button 4×4) , the instrument panel is much more car-like and no longer protrudes into the cabin area. It looks much ‘cleaner’. I personally appreciated the location of the back-up sensor warning lights; integrated into the C-Pillars. This location allowed the driver look over their shoulder and watch the warning lights indicate the truck’s distance to objects.
The more I drove this truck the more I liked it. It soaked up bumps better than the GMT800 and seemed a little more solid. The fact that mechanically the GMT900 is basically carryover (same V8s available 4.8L, 5.3L, and 6.0L – Vortec Max) didn’t bother me too much. Aside from what people may say about the competitions 32-valve, dual-overhead-cam engines the basic layout and performance provided by GMs simpler ‘Vortec’ engines is great. The 6.0L Vortec Max performed very well but what weighed heavy on my mind was the four-speed 4L80e transmission. In order to compete in this segment these trucks now need a six-speed transmission. This would probably improve fuel economy and performance. Instead, the 6.0L Vortec V8 had ‘Cylinder Deactivation’ which is now running its covert operation under the alias of “Active Fuel Management Technology”. This ‘technology’ shuts down four cylinders on the highway and makes for great EPA fuel economy ratings. This particular GMC Sierras fuel economy was rated at 15 city/19 highway, which is pretty impressive given this trucks size and weight.
So, is it a nice truck? Yes it is. Are there enough Cowboy’s interested in buying a 2007 GMT900? There better be! GM ‘bet the farm’ on them and they need the revenue generated by these trucks to be profitable. Although there is some room for improvement I think GM knows what changes need to be made.
Great Selling Features:
• Our particular truck came with disc brakes all the way around (not true for all 2007 GMT900s – some come with rear drum brakes)
• Interior is very nice (almost too nice for a truck!?
• Heated Seats were wonderful and made me wish for a cold winter day
• Center Console doubles as an Arm Rest; it’s huge and offers great storage space
• Power rear sliding window is a great feature! (Why not have the whole rear window retract like the Toyota Tundra CrewMax (or 2006 DoubleCab)
Room For Improvement:
• Sticker price (MSRP) of $47,145 seems a little steep
• No Sun visor extensions
• No bed liner or spray-in bed liner or composite bed (at over $47K)
• Mammoth windshield Wipers (not blocking visibility) but definitely a distraction
• Radio/CD/DVD/MP3/XM Satellite Radio/Navigation/ Rear Seat Entertainment Package was a little pricey at $3745 USD?
• Unladen the truck did ‘buck’ (or bounce) while at speed (Which is expected from most trucks – especially when the roadway is constructed out of concrete sections)
• Six speed transmission (6L80/6L90) needed. Not a four speed! I would trade cylinder deactivation for a six speed!