Father-approved smart design on GMC Sierra


2014 GMC Sierra 1500 4WD Crew Cab SLT Z71
• Full-Size Pickup, 4WD
• 5.3L ECOTEC V8 Engine
• 6-speed Automatic Transmission with Transfer Case
• Tailgate steps
• Driver & Passenger Heated Leather Seats
• 8” Color Touchscreen with Navigation & Intellilink
• Underbody Shield
• 5 Year/100k Powertrain Limited Warranty & Roadside Assistance. 2 Year/24k Scheduled Maintenance
• mpg 18 (16/22 city/hwy)
MSRP: Around $48k, pictured
As always, check with dealer for details

To thoroughly try out the 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 from Fuoco Motor Co. that I drove this week, I decided to call in my truck expert.  It’s not that I couldn’t take a look at a truck by myself, but when I look at trucks, I try to think what my Dad would think of them, so this time I cut out the middle and invited him along.

It’s purely a happy coincidence that it’s Father’s Day weekend, too, I assure you.

A long time truck owner, from a line of truck owners, my Dad, Jim, has loaded, modified, repaired (sometimes rebuilt), tied-down and filled up trucks for as long as I can remember.  And more than once he’s shaken his head and sighed as I did something less-than-successful in them.  Like the time that I discovered that our workhorse GMC Sierra   “Old Blue” used to be gold.  All the way down the passenger side (sorry, Dad).

This test drive was more successful.  I had a lot of fun showing him all of the gadgets that GMC has added to this latest generation of Sierras.  Gadgets like the Intellilink navigation system with touchscreen controls that has a smartphone-like interface with ‘apps.’  Pandora streaming music is on there, as well as a Bluetooth link for your phone, OnStar and even a weather map.

My Dad, though, is a practical truck owner.  His trucks are used to haul stuff. Tools, materials, stuff he gets deals on when he goes to the auction, things that are too big for my car — you name it, he’s probably found a way to load it into the truck.  So when he got a chance to look around, he noticed some very cool, very complete use of space — usually with the word “Impressive,” but once, he noted that the fold-down bench seat’s console and under-seat storage had “A helluva lot more space” than his current truck.

Another feature he liked was the fold-up (rather than forward) rear seats, allowing 1) storage space under the floor and 2) the ability to fold up the rear seats that doesn’t hit the back of the front seats, since I didn’t get my extreme height from my Mom’s side of the family.

When I pointed out the bumper steps that were a favorite feature of Ed Nielsen, general manager at Fuoco Motor Co., my Dad chuckled and said “Those would be really handy.”

We took a long time getting back on the drive, mostly because we had so much fun trying out the Hill Descent Control and Start Assist.  On a steep incline (mostly off-road), if you’re aimed upwards, the Start Assist keeps the brake on for about five seconds so that the Sierra doesn’t roll backwards when you switch pedals. 

With the Descent Control, turning it on lets the Sierra brake, by itself (foot off the gas and the brake), to keep it from going over about 2-3 mph, to help primarily when going offroad.  My Dad pointed out how much it would help to have a similar-in-effect system to help hauling loads down Vail Pass, but at a slow highway speed.  Hopefully, something to look forward to, GMC.

With Fuoco Motor Co.‘s (741 N. 1st St.) 80th Anniversary sale, now is a great time to buy a truck, or to just check one out, because they’re offering a complimentary StarBucks gift card (my Dad loves these, too) with a test drive (see ad below), and for every new or used car purchased through June 30, they will be donating $80 to Roice-Hurst Humane Society to help out some homeless animals because, ccording to Nielsen, the owners are dog lovers, just like my Dad and I.

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