Review of 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT Crew Cab Long Box 4WD

By John Hayden

Thanks to its 2014 restyle, the 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT Crew Cab Long Box 4WD has a modern flair.   A mid-market model, the SLT – Special Luxury Touring – sits squarely between the luxurious Denali and the barebones SLE. Sitting as high as the hoods on heavier-duty models, its bluntly sculpted aluminium front and chunky fenders give it a more muscular look. 

Other improvements to its structure include a stiffer frame, with pillars moved forward for easier access and a rear bumper with integrated steps. Its damped tailgate lowers as smoothly as a glovebox, while LED bed lighting ensures easier night stowage. 

For added charm, the SLT crew cab value package includes practical 6” chrome assist steps, 20” polished aluminum wheels, and an optional Bose sound system. Other attractive features include trailering equipment, projector headlamps, LED taillamps, and thin-profile foglamps, with chrome door handles, mirror caps and bodyside mouldings. 

This trim package is the perfect option for family road trips and Sunday outings. A good-looking full-size pickup truck with a maximum towing capacity of over 12,000 pounds, the Sierra delivers a smooth ride through intuitive tech features. 

Versatility and Comfort in the 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT 

With a standard V-8 engine and 10-speed automatic transmission, the Sierra 1500 SLT Crew Cab might not be the most powerful truck in its class, but it’s certainly among the most versatile and comfortable. In addition to bigger wheels, its more luxurious options include two exclusive premium Texas Edition packages, with themed interiors.

But even the standard SLT has a surprisingly lush cab, with its revised design ensuring plenty of room for passengers through optimised seat placement. Added comfort is provided by packaged or stand-alone options such as:

  • perforated leather upholstery; 
  • a split-bench front seat; 
  • an eight-way power front driver’s seat with position memory; 
  • optional cooled/heated seats; 
  • a sun/moon roof; and 
  • a rear-seat Blu-ray DVD system. 

Presented in a bold but simple design, its upright dashboard is well laid out and easy to read, with GMC’s signature red lighting on its gauges. These straightforward displays are conveniently arrayed in two key areas: a large centre-stack area and clustered left of the steering wheel. 

All Sierras are fitted with keyless entry and a locking tailgate, AM/FM radio, automatic dual-zone air conditioning, stability control and mandatory airbags. Trailer Sway Control and Hill Start Assist are included as part of the standard StabiliTrak stability control system.

SLT  is Almost a Silverado Twin

The differences between the Chevrolet and the GMC trucks are relatively subtle. Some critics feel that the Sierra is just an upmarket Chevy Silverado, less butch but with more bling. However, enough of them are sold to show that the buying public appreciates these differences: a fancier grille, smarter exterior trim, and pleasing interior touches like brushed metal (rather than painted plastic) center console, vent surrounds, and steering wheel.

A wide range of bed, cab and interior options respond to the needs of even the most exigent light-duty truck driver. The materials are as good as any on the truck market, with soft and rich-hued plastics at almost all cabin touch points. Added comfort comes with the SLT Preferred package, including leather-appointed bucket seats in front, a centre console, power-slide rear windows and a heated steering wheel (which can be a real lifesaver in Canada’s harsh winters). 

Staying Online on the Road

GMC’s IntelliLink infotainment and connectivity suite is accessed through an 8” screen. This  is essentially a pared-down version of the CUE interface but with brighter, cleaner graphics. High-speed 4G LTE connectivity ensues quicker communications with the OnStar database. Its Wi-Fi hotspot can handle up to seven devices. 

For families with kids glued to their tablets or road warriors running a business out of their trucks, its Bluetooth, a 110-volt power outlet, and multiple USB charging points make every trip a breeze.

Fuel Savings with the 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT 

A valid alternative to the V-8, the V-6 engine offers significant fuel economy gains over the previous lineup. This drop in consumption results partly from more efficient body construction (Sierras weigh roughly the same as an Audi A8).  More particularly,  it’s due to cylinder deactivation on both the V-6 and V-8 engines. 

When loads are lighter, the system automatically shuts off four cylinders on the V-8. It then runs only on the remaining cylinders until demands increase again. Applied to the V-6, two-cylinder deactivation turns it into an effective V-4. This results in even greater fuel savings when engine loads are light.

Extra noise and vibration are offset by better sealing on the V-8, and with a balance shaft on the V-6. In parallel, tunable exhaust systems smooth out the noisy pulses created by cylinder-deactivated engines, while compensating for different backpressure needs. 

Driver reports mention getting 30 kilometers in town and 38 out on the highway. With this kind of fuel efficiency, even cash-strapped buyers can feel confident about paying back auto loans taken out to buy a 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT. 

Safety With Style

The Sierra Safety package includes an optional vibrating driver alert seat, with camera-based forward-collision and lane-departure warning signals,. It also offers a front/rear park assist feature. A strong selling point for winter-bound Canadians are its easy-to-use controls that can be manipulated smoothly, even when wearing gloves.

With light steering for easy manoeuvring around parking lots and driving on slippery roads, its braking muscle is robust, particularly for panic stops on high-speed expressways. A notable Sierra 1500 characteristic is its electric power steering. Crisp and quick, the wheel has a stable feel, with just the right weight and fast responses. 

Handling large bumps easily on rougher roads, there’s plenty of power for fast manoeuvring when necessary. Nevertheless, it still rides remarkably smoothly for a truck. The SLT Crew Cab Value Package discount includes a special price for all-season tires, for safer driving all year round. 

This tough but easy-driving pickup truck is equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission. Its cruise grade braking feature lessens wear and tear on its four-wheel disc brakes. Its special long-life brake rotors are standard across this entire model line. Assertive but comfortable, the GMC Sierra delivers one of the best hauling and towing performances on the full-size light-duty truck market, thanks largely to its new powertrain (introduced in 2014). 

Investing in Safety, Efficiency and Comfort

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded five stars to Sierra Crew Cabs in general.  They earned top ratings for frontal and side impacts and four stars for their rollover resistance. 

That’s good news for buyers working out the best way of financing their 2015 GMC Sierra SLT.  Now,  reasonably-priced insurance premiums leave more cash available at the end of the month for paying back their auto loans. Starting at around $ 40,000 and rising with each additional option, the Sierra SLT is undoubtedly a solid investment in safety, efficiency, and comfort.

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