"Our route in the new Sierra covered a variety of terrain, from smooth, slow-speed roads interspersed with occasional potholes to higher-speed freeways. I sampled two of the Sierra trim levels -- the mid-range SLT equipped with the 5.3-liter V-8 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the range-topping Denali that included the beefy 6.2-liter V-8 and 10-speed transmission.
"Both models performed impressively out on the road, with much sharper steering than in previous trucks. Directional stability is greatly improved over the prior-generation truck, as is body control -- there's very little wallowing or dive when changing directions on a curvy road or rounding bends onto a highway on-ramp. The steering feel can be adjusted as well: Just twist the knob sitting at the upper left part of the dashboard into Sport mode, and both effort and feedback increase. The throttle response and transmission shift points also adjust to a more sporting nature, and in the Denali's case, the electronic suspension also adjusts the damping for a firmer ride. Braking feel and performance is nothing short of outstanding -- the pedal operates with an excellent initial bite and continues to build progressive pressure throughout its travel, granting the driver a feeling of confidence and solidity.
"But ride quality is mixed depending on the version you sample -- the SLT with its smaller 18-inch wheels, taller tire sidewalls and non-adjustable suspension actually rode more smoothly than the Denali despite the latter trim level's Adaptive Ride Control suspension and shock absorbers. Keep in mind that this is not the fancy Magnetic Ride Control system we've seen on GM's SUVs like the GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Tahoe or Cadillac Escalade, but a different electronically adjustable system. It seems counterintuitive that the less expensive SLT should have a more luxurious ride than the big-bucks Denali, but the seat-of-the-pants-o-meter doesn't lie: I preferred driving the SLT to the Denali over the occasionally broken pavement we encountered."
-- Aaron Bragman, PickupTrucks.com