It is early October and Auto Trader is in Dubai; I’m at the bottom of a steep hill, covered in freshly fallen snow. Over the crest of the hill cruises the new pick up from General Motors, finding traction in the snow and slaloming toward me. The pick-up might not be Franz Klammer but it is handling perfectly on the downward traverse in the snow - no pizza ploughing here. Ok, Auto Trader is in Ski Dubai but the GMC Sierra is still a highly accomplished snow rider. While the residents of Dubai might be more used to taking the pick-up truck into the desert sands (more on that later) other-worldly drivers have colder elements to deal with: snow and rain, for example.
In Dubai we’re more likely to pack the vast flat bed with quad bikes than snow boards. The Sierra is equipped for all storage needs thanks to a well designed flat bed space taking into account fixed hitches, handles and lights to make carrying equipment safer and more secure than ever before.
In the main passenger compartment the attention to detail is more focused on functioning as a work horse but without losing any comfort – in fact, for a pick-up this is one comfy trucker. The average owner of the GMC Sierra is using the car for a job, hence the set up in the cabin: plenty of USB docking points, durable yet attractive fabrics and leathers and electricity points make this a mobile office. It is the extra refinement that sets the Sierra apart from its stable mate the Silverado which is a more budget vehicle.
We are so pleased to introduce the all-new 2014 GMC Sierra Light Duty to the Middle East,” said John Stadwick, President and Managing Director of General Motors Middle East Operations. “The pioneering redesigned model – engineered and built to ‘Command Respect’ – further elevates GMC’s reputation as an industry leader in styling and quality. The 2014 Sierra offers best-in-class standards and sets an important benchmark for pickup safety and refinement.” Leaving the snowy hills I take the Sierra out into the sand to see what the truck is like in a more Dubai environment.
From minus 3 degrees centigrade to plus 38 centigrade is a massive change for me never mind the car. The habitat for the Sierra in Dubai will be more heat based so I’m thankful for the chilly a/c that makes me feel like I’m still in Ski Dubai when I’m now ploughing over sand dunes in the desert heat on 20-inch chrome wheels. Sierra’s engine portfolio is updated for 2014 with increased power, torque and fuel efficiency across the board. New 4.3L V-6, 5.3L V-8 and 6.2L V-8 powertrains are offered, all from a shared EcoTec3 engine family. For a large truck the Sierra makes easy work of the dunes and deep sand. As I pass Bedouin camps and camel farms the Sierra powers on without a hint of bogging down. Granted, my flat bed was empty and the Sierra is more of a tow truck than a desert dueller but, even so, the truck never gave me a single moment’s worry in the sand.
Even on the sand, the best compliment I can pay the pick-up truck is that it was more like a car’s drive then a pick-up. Thanks to the powerful engine whether the need is for steep mountain climbs over rocks, desert bashing in the sands, skiing on the snow or relaxing on the tarmac, the GMC Sierra is going to improve on its already large market share here in the UAE