The GMC Sierra Elevation cleans up real nice for a Saturday night on the town.
It’s a monochromatic paint and trim treatment for a genuine, full-size half-ton pickup. And even with 20-inch wheels, it is fully functioning for work — not dumbed-down to be street cool.
Sold only in a double-cab body style, Elevation Edition pricing starts at $34,865 for a 2WD model with the 285 horsepower, 4.3-liter V-6. Or upgrade to the 355-horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8 for $1,095. Both engines use a six-speed automatic. Four-wheel drive adds around $4,000 depending on the engine choice.
The Elevation package adds $3,885 in style and conveniences to a fairly basic Sierra. It is sold in four colors — black, silver or red metallic and white — with all exterior trim in body color. The package includes such extras as 20-inch alloy wheels painted black, automatic locking rear differential, halogen headlights and LED running lights, front fog lights, deep-tinted glass, audio upgrade and a 110-volt household plug.
Standard equipment includes the necessities, such as remote locking, power side mirrors and windows, USB ports, trailer sway control and hefty four-wheel disc brakes (13-inch vented rotors front, 13.6-inch vented rear). The audio system is also a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, with a three-month/3GB trial (whichever comes first), GMC IntelliLink with color display and Bluetooth wireless connectivity.
The Onyx Black test truck was upgraded with the V-8 and a spray-on bed liner ($475) for a sticker price of $36,565, which included a $750 Elevation package discount and the $1,195 freight charge from Fort Wayne, Ind.
If it were my truck, I’d also add the factory options for the Borla (cat-back) performance exhaust ($1,249) and the Borla exhaust tip ($189).
On top of that, I’d add the rearview camera for $200 and a driver assist handle for $80 and another $50 if you want one for your shotgun rider.
And I might even shop for a lowering kit. It would be easy to drop 3 inches or more to spike its street stance.
The engine upgrade seemed like a smart move. Acceleration is strong and the six-speed shift points keep the power flowing. Fuel economy is decent for a 5,102-pound pickup — 16 mpg city, 23 highway and 19 mpg combined, on 87 octane. I was averaging 19.6-20 mpg and expect it could have continued to climb with more commuting miles. (The 2WD 4.3-liter is rated 18/24 mpg city/highway.)
It is almost dumbfounding how smooth rolling and quiet the cabin is. It just calls out for a road trip with three of your best buds. Headroom up front is for the big and tall at 42.8 inches with rear legroom of 34.6 inches. The rear seat bottom folds up for a lot more hauling space from the big-box store.
The Elevation will appeal to young, gainfully employed truck enthusiasts and to families who need a dual-duty vehicle for those times of show and go.
Mark Maynard is online at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find photo galleries and more news at Facebook.com/MaynardsGarage