Comfortable, powerful, well-equipped, reliable
Emergency brake seemed to decide when it wanted to fully engage (around 8K).
I rented the Sierra for my cross-Canada vacation, starting in Toronto, then out west through Thunder Bay, Regina, Calgary, Vancouver and back through Jasper, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, etc. While I didn't drive the truck long enough to encounter any significant issues other than the emergency brake seemingly becoming worn from my substantial use, it proved to be very reliable and surprisingly fuel efficient. My first fill-up on the 98L tank was done in Parry Sound, and didn't need a refueling until I hit Wawa. That is a stretch of roughly 800 or so kilometers, and I don't think I need to say that I was pleasantly surprised!
I put in 10 hour days on the road for about 2/3 of my trip, and while of course treks of that magnitude are stressful, the Sierra's interior - while stark and basic at first glance - is well equipped and offers excellent seats to make long hauls as painless as possible. I might also add that even with my luggage, a guitar, and random supplies strewn about in the rear of the cabin, if the right position could be found, the interior made a decent camp-out for those nights when I just couldn't drive anymore, and needed to catch up on some sleep. Once after many gruelling days, I slept for a 10 hour stretch one night - the truck IS that comfortable!
The stereo system was also very good with auto-adjusting volume. A/C proved to be more than adequate; same goes for the heater (yes, I did need to use it in Jasper in mid-July!).
My only gripe with the Sierra lies in its automatic transmission. Now, I don't know if this was a problem specific to the cheap rental, but under moderate to hard acceleration, there was always a HARD jolt in the drivetrain/transmission while upshifting from 3rd to 4th gear. Around town this was a mild annoyance, but say if I wanted to overtake some slowpoke in an 80 km/h zone, I was reluctant to open the throttle wide to get down into 3rd, only to have that JOLT rock through the entire chassis when it came time to upshift.
The only maintenance required were a couple of oil changes, both of which were done in Saskatchewan. Now I don't know if this is Saskatchewan's laid-back lifestyle, but I found myself waiting an hour and a half to two hours for an oil change in the middle of a weekday! Not exactly what I'd call good service, but at least the price was right (I seem to recall them being in the neighbourhood of $80-$110 - oil changes at BMW and Moto Guzzi for example can cost upwards of $225!)
Overall impression: a comfortable, powerful, reliable and well-equipped full-size truck, with an understated reserved style.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 30th October, 2010