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GMC Sierra is part workhorse, part command center

| Saturday, May 30, 2015, 12:01 a.m.
This undated photo made available by General Motors shows the 2015 GMC Sierra 2500HD Double Cab. (GM via AP)
This undated photo made available by General Motors shows the 2015 GMC Sierra 2500HD Double Cab. (GM via AP)

Trucks aren't bare-bones workhorses anymore, and GMC's new Sierra HD All Terrain pickup proves it.

With standard fancy chrome wheels, leather-trimmed seats with accent stitching, standard four-wheel drive, technology that reads text messages to you and turns the truck into a Wi-Fi hotspot, the 2015 Sierra HD All Terrain pickup is a modern workman's command center and reliable jack-of-all-trades.

The 2500HD All Terrain can tow as much as 14,500 pounds and carry a payload of more than 3,600 pounds. The Duramax turbodiesel V-8 is a $9,785 option and brings a whopping 765 foot-pounds of low-end pulling power. But the standard gasoline V-8 with 360 horses is no slouch, either.

Power, connections and communication are all covered in the All Terrain, which has up to six USB ports, a 110-volt electric outlet and a center console big enough to hold a laptop and a tablet.

All heavy-duty Sierras benefit from more handsome exterior styling and a spruced-up interior with premium materials. The ride remains like a truck, but a quieter-than-expected interior can surprise some passengers. There's also a new Sierra body style for 2015 — a double cab with small-sized rear seats. It sits between the front seat-only regular cab and full back-seat Crew Cab configuration.

Long known by serious truck owners for its quality and dedication to trucks, GMC can make pricey products, and the All Terrain is one of them — an extra-option package available only on upper-level, four-wheel drive, heavy-duty Sierras with double or crew cabs. So, for a 2015 Sierra 2500HD Double Cab SLE 4WD with standard box, the starting manufacturer's suggested retail price, including destination charge, is $50,315.

The biggest issue for even 6-foot-plus passengers was getting in — the floor of the vehicle was above the waist of a petite passenger, and there were no running boards. Everyone used the sizable handles at each door entry. Getting out required a leap, though getting into the bed was eased by a corner step in the rear bumper.

A couple nits: The hood was so tall — at shoulder level on someone who is 5 feet 4 inches tall — that it was difficult for a driver to see what was directly in front and how close the vehicle was to another car in a parking lot. The turning circle was huge, at 51.5 feet, so it needs a lot of room to make a U-turn.

There have been five safety recalls of the 2015 Sierra HDs, ranging from a hose clamp that might not have been securely tightened on a fuel tank vent line to a power steering hose clamp that might disconnect.

Ann M. Job writes about automobiles for The Associated Press.

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