Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Breaking News

Z_CNHI News Service

August 19, 2013

New GMC Sierra a tougher, more sophisticated truck

It should come as no surprise that when redesigning the GMC Sierra for 2014, General Motors made it a tougher, stronger truck than before.

Cue the gravel-voiced announcers and pictures of the Sierra climbing mountains and pulling oceanliners.

What's weird about it, though, is just how refined GMC managed to make it at the same time.

This is a truck that's now capable of towing up to 12,000 pounds — while still technically being classified as a "light duty" pickup, if you can believe it — yet it rides with the quiet serenity of a family car when you're cruising down the highway.

To be clear, the fresh Sierra is designed first and foremost to do more work. I love the rugged simplicity of steps that are carved into the rear bumper and the cargo tie-down system that's standard equipment. I also love the fact that you can get it with a 420-horsepower, 450-foot-pound V8 engine.

But what strikes me the most about this new truck is how it can be so hard-edged and tough in some ways while being so soft and supple in others.

It's like wearing silk work gloves.

Consider the rear tailgate, for example. For decades, anyone who has dropped the tailgate has heard a loud, clunky "thud" as it slams down under its own weight.

But the Sierra's mechanism has a soft, slow closing motion that sets the tailgate down gently if you drop it. I've only seen that kind of tailgate on one other truck — an extremely expensive Lexus luxury SUV — so it puts the new GM trucks in rarefied air.

It's a little thing, yes. But a long list of those little things makes the Sierra stand out.

The doors are set lower in the frame, like a car, and triple-sealed to keep out wind noise. The side mirrors and tailgate are designed to reduce turbulence. And the suspension is designed to be more smooth and comfortable than ever, something noticeable even on my test truck that was equipped with the Z71 off-road package.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Grandstands feel a little empty at NASCAR races

    Two decades after NASCAR started running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the crowds have thinned considerably. It's probably no reflection on the sport's massive following, which stretches from coast to coast, but it surely doesn't NASCAR's image help when the cameras pan across all of those empty seats.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists

    A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.

    July 31, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • Rodden, Danny.jpg Sheriff accused of lying about relationship with prostitute

    The sheriff of Clark County, Ind., faces an eight-count federal indictment that accuses him of lying about paying a prostitute for a sex act and giving her a badge so that she could claim a discount rate at a hotel.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

Biz Marquee
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN