General Motors revealed that the EcoTec3 6.2-liter V-8 offered in the 2014 GMC Sierra SLT or Denali, has been SAE-certified at 420 horsepower (at 5600 rpm) and 460 lb.-ft. of torque (at 4100 rpm)! This rating certification means that the Sierra will have the most torque of any light duty pickup. This engine features a trio of technologies to aid power, torque and fuel efficiency: Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), direct fuel injection and continuously variable valve timing. Naturally, the Truckin staff jumped at the recent opportunity to drive a 6.2-liter 2014 Sierra Denali during the 2015 GMC Yukon Denali unveiling at Thunder Studios in Southern California. Since the 6.2-liter Sierra isn’t available on dealer lots just yet, enjoy the following driving impressions.
Editor-in-Chief Dan Ward
Walking up to the 2014 GMC Sierra Denali, it's hard not to appreciate the prominent grille, chrome 20-inch wheels, and body-colored bumpers, mirrors, and grille surround. Besides the traditional rectangular fenders, the Sierra is a handsome pickup. My first impression behind the wheel was how GM finally answered the call to update and upgrade the interior. Fit and finish, quality of materials, and available safety technologies make the Sierra Denali the current class of 1/2-ton trucks. A new steering wheel connected to the new electric power steering rack had good low-speed lightness and felt heavy enough at higher speeds to return the requisite feedback truck owners desire. Power from the 6.2L is impressive, however, the throttle input still has the common GM slowness and it seems the throttle body isn't fully opened even at max throttle. My biggest gripe is the lack of rear AC vents. GM is completely remiss to leave off such an important standard feature that rear occupants will now suffer from a vastly different truck experience than the front passengers. This needs to be addressed for the next model year.
Feature Editor - Max Matthewson
The first thing I noticed was the increased power out of the 6.2L. The 420 horsepower and 460 lb/ft of torque are very prominent. The next thing I noticed about the truck was how absolutely quiet it was inside. The triple door seals are more than just marketing talk. The one thing I wish the truck had was an 8-speed transmission. But other than that, GMC did a great job with it.
Online Editor - Jeremy Cook
Dan said it best the second he stabbed the pedal and said “still haven’t fixed the lag in the drive-by-wire system, I see” . But other than that, I could not find much to complain about. The exterior confirms my suspicions that all truck designers are in the midst of a “boxy” contest, but like all the others I’m sure it will grow on me. The execs were giving us the hard sell on the incorporated bumper steps; all I was thinking was who start making filler pieces first! The cab is the quietest I’ve ever been in; GMC stepped into the big leagues with the luxury of these interiors (and without overthinking it, as high end vehicles tent to do, in my opinion). The back seat was super comfortable and had a ton of room, although we could not seem to get the cold air back there on this 100+ degree day (I guess I did find something else to complain about). The power of the 6.2L was super impressive and is going to make a lot of people very happy. We can’t wait to get some of the standard power-adders on one of these things.