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2013 GMC Sierra 1500 Overview
Sure, its design is a bit long in the tooth, and yeah, it lags a little in techno-gizmos and ride comfort, but the 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 is still one fine medium-duty pickup. A cornucopia of powertrains, several off-road and towing packages, and the traditional overflow of cab and bed configurations keep this full-size hauler in the thick of the truck wars, though it has some distance to go to knock off Ford’s mighty F-150 lineup. Rumors are in the wind, however, that the Sierra 1500 lineup will undergo a major upgrade, possibly as early as next year. In any case, a few minor changes are expected for the 2013 Sierra 1500 editions, including several new exterior colors and deletion of the sunroof option in Extended cab versions.
Maintaining tradition, Jimmy should again offer its entry-level full-size truck in the base Work Truck, the lower-midlevel SL, the higher midlevel SLE, the posh SLT, the fuel efficient XFE and the flagship Denali trim levels. The 3-passenger Regular cab (Work Truck, SLE) and the 5/6-passenger Extended cab (Work Truck, SL, SLE and SLT), each with the standard 6.6-foot bed or the 8.2-foot long bed should be retained, as should the 5/6-passenger Crew cab (all trim levels) with its designated 5.8-foot short bed. And, of course, all trim levels except the XFE will likely be offered in the standard rear-wheel drive (RWD) or available four-wheel drive (4WD) configuration. The latter comes with either manual or Autotrac electronic hi-lo gear selection, depending on the trim level, with both featuring auto-locking hubs.
For 2013, Jimmy’s half-ton workhorse is expected to offer 4 engine choices, beginning with the somewhat anemic 4.6-liter V6 that’s standard in Work Truck Regular and Extended cabs. This not-quite-ready-for-prime-time powerplant mates with a dated 4-speed automatic transmission to the tune of 195 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque for an expected maximum of 5,200 pounds of towing capacity when properly equipped. Look for mileage in the range of 15 mpg city/20 highway in RWD trims and 14/18 in 4WD editions.
The SL, SLE and Work Trucks in Crew cab guise will likely retain the standard 4.8-liter, ethanol-friendly Flex Fuel (FFV) V8 that combines with the 4-speed automatic for 302 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque. Variable valve timing (VVT) should keep mileage at 14/19 in RWD trims and 13/18 in 4WD variants, while towing is maxed out at 7,200 pounds with the proper equipment.
The mighty 5.3-liter V8 and the mightier 6.2-liter V8, each with Flex Fuel capability, should again come standard aboard the SLT/XFE and Denali trim levels, respectively. A 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission mates with both powerplants, with the smaller V8 putting out 315 hp and 335 lb-ft of torque and the numbers for the 6.2-liter running 403 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque. Towing is maxed out at 9,600 pounds in a properly equipped Denali, and mileage runs 15/21 with the smaller V8 and 12/18 in the 4WD Denali. Additionally, the Work Truck Extended cab long-bed trim, as well as all SL and SLE editions, should each remain eligible for the 5.3-liter V8 as an option.
Creature comforts and appearance features are sparse in the Work Trucks, including 17-inch vinyl upholstery, air conditioning, tilt-wheel steering, cruise control and an AM/FM stereo with 4 or 6 speakers, depending on cab configuration. The SL, however, improves things with standard cloth upholstery, 17-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, simulated alloy cabin accents, a CD player, satellite radio and OnStar Directions and Connections service.
Look for premium cloth upholstery, leather and simulated alloy cabin trim upgrades and floor mats in the SLE, while the SLT becomes truly posh with 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable front bucket seats, dual-zone climate control, memory for driver's settings and Bose premium speakers, with Bluetooth complementing the OnStar system.
Finally, expect the top-shelf Sierra 1500 Denali to throw in a touring suspension, 20-inch alloy wheels and a trailer hitch and wiring outside, while sporting genuine wood and alloy accents inside. Also, look for power-adjustable pedals, a universal remote garage door opener, rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera aboard this posh pickup.
A number of towing and off-road packages (including the popular Z71 package) are available for selected 2013 Sierra 1500 trim levels, with an integrated trailer brake controller available across the lineup. The available power sunroof is now limited to upper level Crew cab trims, with the SLT and Denali each eligible for available hard-drive-based navigation, rear-seat entertainment and tubular step running boards.
Safety-wise, besides their sheer bulk, Jimmy’s Sierra 1500 pickups each sport 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags and front (and in Extended and Crew cabs, rear) head airbags. Daytime running lights come standard across the line, while the SL and higher trim levels boast a post-collision safety system and OnStar emergency services, as well as a remote antitheft alarm. Finally, the SLT and Denali trim levels additionally sport standard front fog/driving lights and turn-signal-integrated mirrors.
by Eric Tallberg
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