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2015 GMC Sierra 1500 review notes

Needs a few more features

09/09/2015
ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: There’s something to be said for a good, solid, workingman’s truck without all the bells and whistles we grew accustomed to on our long-term Silverado. Implicit in the whole “workingman’s truck” thing, though, is that said truck will provide said workingman some value for his hard-earned dollar.
 
At close to $37,000, this GMC Sierra is not that truck.
 
It’s not that $37,000 is a lot to spend on a full-size pickup truck these days; Indeed, this is nearer to the bottom of the pricing ladder. It’s that $37,000 doesn’t get you anywhere near the sort of features we’ve become accustomed to in 2015. There’s no four-wheel drive. No steering wheel-mounted audio controls (an omission that I found unexpectedly frustrating). No navigation, or even satellite radio, on the tiny 4.2-inch screen. No parking assist or backup camera. No sunroof!
The 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 is engine produces 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque.

Phase 3

Profit! 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT review notes

04/13/2015

DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: Given that the Sierra is a Chevrolet Silverado with perhaps some bushing changes and maybe a touch more sound insulation, it should come as no surprise that this Sierra SLT drives exactly like our long-term Silverado LTZ. I don’t mean it drives “a lot like,” I mean if you blindfolded GM engineers and put them in the driver’s seat of both, $10 says they couldn’t tell the difference between the two.

Mind you, that’s not a bad thing -- the Sierra is a smooth, refined pickup truck with interior equipment befitting a luxury sedan. Handling-wise, it’s easy to drive considering its massive girth, though even the uprated 6.2-liter V8 feels sluggish moving off the line; the numbers would indicate otherwise, and if you really stomp the pedal the Sierra roars to life, so I think it’s a more a matter of accelerator pedal travel than any lack of output.

The all-new 2015 GMC Canyon is expected to deliver the segment’s best horsepower, segment’s best payload and segment’s best maximum trailering rating.

2015 GMC Canyon SLT Extended Cab review notes

02/26/2015

EDITOR WES RAYNAL: Right out of college, I bought a Jeep Comanche, a smallish/midsize pickup. It had all-wheel drive and not much else. I loved that truck. It was just an honest, hard-working vehicle. Wish I will still had it. Like that Jeep and the Subaru XV Crosstrek I drove earlier this week, the GMC Canyon is just an honest car. Er, truck. Nothing fancy or frilly -- just a solid, really good-looking midsize pickup I predict is perfect for a ton of buyers.

And I mean solid both in the honesty mentioned above and solid as in this is one stiff chassis, no shakes, no shimmies. As Neff pointed out in December after driving another Canyon we had come through the office, the size is so handy it makes one wonder why all the automakers ditched the midsize category. The Canyon’s balance between being able to handle most pickup truck chores and maneuverability, ease of parking and on-road comfort is about perfect.

2015 GMC Canyon Extended Cab review notes

02/09/2015

ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: Honkin’ diesel-burning heavy-duties are enjoyable in their own right, but this manual-equipped 2015 GMC Canyon is genuinely fun. Yes, there were a few surprises -- no power mirrors, for example. That’s not a concern if you own the truck; how often do you need to adjust mirrors on your daily driver? But it’s nevertheless a bit surprising to me. Is it actually cheaper to build two versions of the truck, one without power mirrors (a vanishingly small number, I’d guess) and one with?

Anyway, the rest of this is a throwback in the best way possible. Without the benefit of all-wheel drive, I was even contemplating throwing a few bags of sand in the bed to keep things a little better planted. Modern traction-control mostly negated the need for that.

So, all the features you want, none of the 21st century distractions. There’s plenty of power from the 2.5-liter, and I had no trouble with the stick shift. I imagine that the working man who buys this sort of
The distinctive Denali models deliver an exclusive package of design, performance and upscale interior amenities.

2015 GMC Yukon XL Denali review notes

01/23/2015

ROAD TEST EDITOR JONATHAN WONG: I might be hanging out with Raynal a little too much. With every drive of the latest generation of GM’s big body-on-frame SUVs, I come away very impressed by them. Heck, you can even say that I like the Chevrolet Suburban, Cadillac Escalade and this 2015 GMC Yukon XL Denali. A couple of nights in it saw me using all the generous cargo space on a supply run for the family restaurant and then the following night I hauled five people to the movies in a snow storm.

So who needs something this big? Well, I suppose someone who owns a Chinese restaurant could find all the space useful. Both the second- and third-row of seats are power folding and fold flat. This allowed me to load up plenty of Styrofoam containers. I believe I stuffed 16 cases in there in addition to various other items. It was a great haul of supplies.

The next night it was off to see “Taken 3” with a car full of friends who enjoyed all the space and comfort in the Yukon XL Denali’s interior. Heated second-row seats were a hit and all the legroom was enjoyed, preventing people from being scrunched together.

2015 GMC Canyon SLE Crew Cab review notes

12/11/2014

SENIOR ROAD TEST EDITOR NATALIE NEFF: Call the GMC Canyon Baby Bear, because it’s juuuuust right. Well, almost. There is a little matter of that sticker, but we’ll get to that.

Meantime, driving the GMC Canyon is so comfortable, so easy, it makes one question why we all but abandoned the segment in the first place. I say that not just as a former compact pickup owner (though I really did love my Ford Ranger), but because full-size trucks have bloated to such comical proportions that it’s curious we still flock to them in such numbers. Seriously, for every compact pickup sold last year in the U.S. (mostly Toyota Tacomas, but with some Nissan Frontiers and a few dozen carryover GM compacts), almost eight people made space in their driveway for a Ford F-series, Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, Toyota Tundra, Ram or Nissan Titan. And seeing as they can’t all be construction site managers or farmers, that makes for a heckuva lot of suburbanites trying to squeeze their King Ranches between the Toyota Priuses populating most suburban parking lots.

2015 GMC Yukon XL Denali review notes

10/14/2014

EDITOR WES RAYNAL: Driving GM’s new full-size SUV line is a joy. There’s no other way to put it. I like the 2015 GMC Yukon XL Denali’s look that’s more chiseled and creased than before. It looks lower and wider, and with that big chrome snout, meaner.

Everyone who recently rode in the Yukon remarked how nice the interior looked and how well screwed together. I hear ya: For this kind of jingle it should be nice inside…

The ride is luxury-car smooth and quiet -- quite un-truck like. The body-on-frame construction is even stiffer on the new models than the old, allowing for a slightly stiffer suspension. Body control is amazing for a truck this big and heavy. There’s more than enough power from the big, smooth V8, and shifts are imperceptible. Out on the freeway, it’s quiet and confident.

Would I spring for the long wheelbase? Indeed I would -- if you’re gonna go big, go big and make use of the den-sized cargo area out back in the big fella. I think of it as a luxury car that can haul seven passengers and tow 9,000 pounds. How many other trucks can do that?

The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickup trucks are all-new.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon first drive

09/24/2014

What Is It?

If you looked at a graph of mid-sized truck sales over the last, say, 30 years or so, you’d notice a big meaty peak of 1.4 million in 1986 followed by a steady, pitiful decline every year thereafter. By 2013 the chart shows only 250,000 for the entire segment which, when compared to the massive, meaty, multi-million-truck full-sized segment qualifies as about a pimple on the keister of the whole truck market. Only the decade-old Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier (yes, they’re still making those) sell in any numbers that register on a sales chart in the mid-size truck segment any more. But where others see despair, General Motors sees opportunity. Into this darkness and gnashing of teeth The General drives with two fresh entries: The 2015 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon.

GMC Sierra 3500HD Denali boasts plenty of capability and flash.

2015 GMC Sierra 3500HD Denali review notes

06/02/2014 ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: You know you're getting horribly spoiled when you hop in a heavy duty pickup and, after glancing around the interior, think to yourself: “No sunroof? This is bullshit!” To be fair, it was a lovely sunny day and I wanted to enjoy the spring air. And it's so easy to get entitled when you're dealing with this segment: The pickup industry is presently locked in a battle to see who can spoil consumers with more comfort and more capability.Hooray! We're all winners! At least those of us shopping around for big trucks, or dreaming about having an excuse to do so. This makes it tough to recommend one full-size pickup over another, at least when it comes to Rams and Chevys (I'm sure Ford's new F-150 won't make this debate any easier). All of the domestics boast quiet, comfortable, tech-laden cabins, capacities far in excess of what the average buyer will call on in a typical work week and looks as rugged as creeping fuel economy standa
GMC's fresh take on a classic formula.

2015 GMC Yukon SLT review notes

05/08/2014 DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: Few would argue this 2015 GMC Yukon (and it's Chevrolet Tahoe sibling) is the most luxurious, best-trimmed full-size SUV General Motors has ever conceived. Building on the exceptional Sierra platform, the Yukon gets additional rigidity thanks to its full body -- versus a flexy bed structure -- that makes it even quieter, smoother and better controlled than its benchmark pickup truck brother. Optioned as our tester was, a leather-trimmed interior boasting nearly every conceivable luxury greets the driver and passengers; heated and ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, power everything, trailer brake controller, adjustable pedals … try to think of something and chances are this particular Yukon offers it. At $65,000, it darn well should, at least until one considers the competitors in the class include the outstanding but equally pricey Mercedes-Benz GL, Cadillac Escalade

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The image the company sent to future owners who have made deposits is a lightly photoshopped sketch that Britain's Autocar magazine published in March of this year.

TVR makes progress on new Cosworth V8, teases owners with Autocar's sketch

12/29/2015

TVR, the boutique British automaker run aground in 2006 after purchase by a Russian oligarch, is back with plenty of deposits on an undisclosed coupe and a teaser image photoshopped from an Autocar magazine sketch. The fledgeling car company is at work on a new coupe powered by a Cosworth V8 with an expected output of 450 to 500 hp, though it won't be until 2018 that customers will be able to take delivery of the cars. The factory has to be built first, even though the first year's allocation is already sold out.

TVR Chairman Les Edgar gave the future owners of the new coupe a progress report, stating that the company is running at least one engineering mule that has been operating on roads, and that they've recently fired up one of the Cosworth V8s.

Watch F1 cars rip up a mountain in Japan

12/29/2015

Two ex-Formula One cars plus one mountain road equals an epic video shot in Japan by Motor Head Magazine.

It's not too often you see open-wheel cars on public roads -- the Stallone vehicle "Driven" notwithstanding -- but something about it makes the cars look even better than when they're on the racetrack. After the F1 cars have a go, they're followed by some drifters who are nearly as impressive.

The camerawork is also great, so check out more of Motor Head's stuff here.

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