2014 GMC Sierra SLT Z71, Double Cab 5.3 AFM V8 from North America


Good truck in desperate need of a personality


- Alloy wheels began pitting and losing chrome finishes. Got a bit ugly. They also warp quite easily surprisingly and do not hold tire beads well. This also caused issues with valve stem seats on two of the wheels

- Over-cycling thermostat caused a cracked radiator so the truck leaked coolant. Luckily GM put out a social coverage TSB on it and provided replacement under power train warranty coverage (VERY VERY quietly I might add, but I was able to find it after a lot of digging online; my dealer hadn't even heard of it but I gave them the info I researched and sure enough it existed).

- Infotainment was occasionally intermittent. Turning truck off and turning back on usually solved it.

General Comments:

Overall a good truck, but not without faults and frustrations. Honestly, with the exception of the thermostat issue, which would have been a $1500+ fix had I not been able to find the TSB special coverage warranty code, the truck was very reliable and served me well. The remote start was wonderful in extreme weather (as it automatically turned on interior climate control) and the creature comforts of the truck were certainly nothing to shake a stick at - and it had a lot of them. Reverse camera, puddle lights, side steps, heated leather seats and steering wheel, BOSE stereo, XM, the list goes on. Two of my favorites: The power rear sliding window and spring assisted tailgate were GREAT. That said, the Bluetooth connectivity was pretty pathetic. Only worked properly about 60% of the time. I eventually just stopped using it because it was so frustrating.

Performance was... OK. It was good enough for a heavy pickup, but sometimes the transmission would get confused and not shift/kickdown properly. Unfortunately, and probably worst of all, the active fuel management (AFM, cylinder deactivation) was cool at first, but eventually I came to hate it. Made the truck feel clunky and hesitant, on top of burning about a quart of oil every 5-7k miles. Plus, it did not net me much fuel mileage improvement over previous trucks. Average was about 16 MPG and I did mostly highway driving. Sometimes I could crest 20 MPG but only if I was really, really trying. Not even worth it in my opinion over the full-time V8, especially an LS.

Weather did not stop this truck. Point it at snow and drive. HOWEVER, the traction control and stability control cannot be fully disabled. Stability control will automatically turn itself back on if it detects 'excessive' slipping and will start cutting fuel in an attempt to regain traction. Also very frustrating after you tell it to turn off. Standing water and large puddles were no problem getting through though.

Comfort was good. Seats were supportive but still soft enough. Back seats had OK room but I didn't expect greatness since it was the double cab, not the crew cab. Visibility was also great (because of course it was). Handling was OK. Not great, but it's a pickup so this isn't the vehicle to buy for great dynamics.

And 'OK' was kind of the theme to this truck. It did most everything well enough but it wasn't... fun. It was boring honestly. It lacked a certain quality that made me like it beyond its good looks. It was good to have for a while and it served its purpose, especially when it had to do 'truck things', but I don't miss it, which is a shame. I will likely be looking elsewhere for my next pickup.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th January, 2019