2014 GMC Sierra 1500 First Canadian Drive: Alberta Bound

GMC’s engineers have rethought this year’s iteration, outside and in. On first viewing, the 2014 Sierra is bolder, more pugnacious looking than the 2013 model—like those huge Australian ruby players who, despite their height, still retain a low centre of gravity.

Beneath the hood the 2014 Sierra comes with your choice of three big new Ecotec3 engines. Our testers will feature the 5.3L V8, the smaller of the two V8s, and the spacious crew cab. Inside the cab, from what I’ve observed so far, it seems the designers taken as many cues from the spa as any worksite.

After a recent experience with the surprisingly agile and tactile Chevrolet Silverado, I’m looking forward to seeing how the Sierra handles off-road. However the opportunity won’t come till Wednesday.

The point of the first day and a half is to experience both the Sierra’s sheer power and nuanced creature comforts. So, we’ll be towing trailers deep into the countryside to experience the heft and weekender’s possibilities. We’ll camp at a ranch and sleep in the trailers we tow.

Towing isn’t something we downtownie–condo-bicycle types do much. To a degree, a larger trailer’s actually easier than something small. However what matters when you drive your car matters all that much more with a trailer. It’ll be a good opportunity to experience the new Sierra’s brakes and steering, because you need to allow a good deal more space for each. Weight distribution and tire pressure are important and can change during a drive. So you need to be continually aware.

Reversing a trailer can be an utterly emasculating exercise in frustration. Experts suggest a spotter, especially for those of us who’ve become hooked on reverse camera screens, which provide an excellent view of your trailer’s propane tank. Fortunately we were invited to bring a passenger who can help re-emasculate me should the experience of setting up camp prove excessively challenging.

More to come Thursday and Friday.

Though a co-owner and former editor of DailyXY, Steven Bochenek is actually an advertising writer who does some journalism on the side. In 2011 he was accepted into the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. His other interests include playing music, long-distance running, skiing and writing in the third person.

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