2014 GMC Sierra 1500 First Canadian Drive: Day 2

The 2014 GMC Sierra handles like buttah. Two days we drove 200km south from Calgary, towing thirty-foot camper-trailers. Turns out I wasn’t the only one who was trepidatious—between the fully kitted out trailer and the truck we were piloting over $100,000 in machinery—but the Sierra’s tow/haul feature made the experience surprisingly easy.  The button is on the shifting bar. You simply depress it and the truck’s computer knows to monitor for sway and veering issues that can come of trailering.

Another useful feature was the trailer grade braking. On a downhill slope, you’d typically use the brake to slow yourself for control. But consider: what are you to do if there’s an emergency and you need to brake hard? You don’t have the extra control. With a tap of your foot on the brake at the start of the hill, you alert the truck to hold your speed from increasing as you descend. Very useful.

Within a half hour I had the confidence to pass others on Alberta’s Highway 2. Later, on the far more scenic Highway 22, there were some fairly steep and curvy ups and downs but by allowing extra road to slow and turn, again, it was easy to master. We arrived at the appropriately named Sierra Ranch on the edge of the Rockies for a night of country camping.

After releasing the trailer, both Sierras (the pickup and the ranch) were free for some off-roading fun. In four-wheel drive there’s pretty much nowhere you can’t go, including through a three-foot deep river, which our GM hosts disliked hearing us say we forded.

Yesterday we drove the Sierra back to Calgary for an evening at the Stampede.

Tomorrow: the Sierra bling and the on-road experience sans trailer.

Missed Part One? Check it out here.

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.

Photo courtesy of the author. 

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