’09 Sierra Hybrid Hits Pickup Market

By dancurranjr On April 14th, 2009

sierra_hybrid_truck_r350x200Efficient, fuel-sipping hybrid technology is available in the full-size pickup segment. The 2009 GMC Sierra Hybrid pickup – with its 6,100-pound towing capability – gets 21 miles per gallon city, 22 mpg highway.

On first blush, these fuel economy numbers may not appear so impressive, but they are. General Motors reports that they are a 40 percent improvement in city economy over the standard full-size truck. Consider these figures: A comparable standard 6.0-liter V-8 gets 13 mpg city. Now that makes the 21-mpg, 6.0-liter V-8 hybrid stand up and get noticed.

The full-size GMC Sierra Hybrid is offered as a five- to six-passenger, four-door crew cab for 2009. The test truck was a 4WD model (2WD also offered), with a base price of $41,540. The truck had just one option, the $275 six-way power driver’s seat. The destination charge on the 2009 truck is $975, bringing the final price on this 2009 hybrid pickup to $42,790.

The overhead valve 6.0-liter Vortec V-8 with active fuel management is coupled to GM’s two-mode hybrid transmission with four fixed gears and a 300-volt nickel-metal-hydride energy-storage system. GM’s hybrid component parts have a warranty of eight years/100,000 miles. One of the jobs of the 300-volt system is to provide air conditioning, even when the gasoline engine is not running.

The continuous electric variable transmission lets the Sierra pickup start up and operate at up to 30 mph on the electricity system and is designed for the tremendous trailering capability, according to GM. The benefit of the active fuel management is the cylinder cut-off operation that lets the V-8 truck run economically in a V-4 mode. The GMC Sierra hybrid 2WD pickup, with a 26-gallon gas tank, has a full tank driving range of 500 miles; the 4WD model drives on a full tank for about 470 miles.

The Sierra Hybrid 4WD returns just slightly less than the 2WD in gas economy with 20/20 mpg fuel ratings. While the 2WD Sierra Hybrid tows up to 6,100 pounds, the 4WD model has a maximum trailering of 5,900 pounds.

Besides the better fuel ratings, one of the other more notable characteristics of a hybrid is its hushed, quiet operation. This also is evident in the 2009 Sierra Hybrid’s huge passenger cabin. Aiding in the quiet ride that we experienced on the test drive were the new exhaust system for the 6.0-liter active fuel management operation, engine induction tuning, plus quiet-tuned, 18-inch low-rolling resistance tires for road-noise reduction.

In addition, the 2009 Sierra Hybrid’s Z85 suspension system features uniquely tuned shocks and a new hydraulic mount that the automaker says smooths out a choppy ride over the rough bumps on rugged road surfaces.

GMC’s body-on-frame pickup with four full-swing wide doors has a short box cargo bed and a payload rating of 1,418 pounds on the 4WD tester. The 2WD pickup payload increases to a capacity rating of 1,459 pounds. Stadium-style seating with a 60/40-split fold is the arrangement in the rear seat of the crew cab.

The Sierra full-size pickup has a five-star frontal crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The 2009 Sierra Hybrid pickup comes standard equipped with StabiliTrak. And a stronger frame and body structure is designed to provide increased compatibility with other vehicles.

Sierra Hybrid is a full-size capable pickup designed with work capability, passenger comfort and fuel economy. It’s also about the quietest pickup on the road today.

SOURCE: Washington Times

Leave a Reply