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2005 GMC Sierra 1500 4WD EXT CAB Pickup Hybrid

The Good:  Great utility with loads of cargo room as well as people room. Quiet Hybrid system works without much intervention.  Use as electric generator for tools is great. 

The Bad:  Not a true hybrid system which would deliver much more gas mileage.  Interior is old GM with large foamy parts and dated buttons.  Soft suspension and loose steering.

            GM has finally brought the word 'Hybrid' to trucks.  The Sierra hybrid is available in two wheel and four wheel drive extended cab models.  It offers up to 10 percent improved fuel economy over standard gasoline engine models with reduced emissions.  The two and four-wheel drive hybrid models are available in limited quantities to retail customers in California, Washington, and Oregon, Alaska, Nevada and Florida for the 2005 model year.

            Power comes from a Vortec 5.3 liter V8 engine offering 295 horsepower and 335 lb.-ft. of torque.  This is mated to a hydramatic four speed electronic transmission.  Mated to the Hybrid system the Sierra delivers 17 miles per gallon in the city and 19 miles per gallon on the highway.  The Sierra hybrids are also mobile power-generating stations, with four 120-volt/20-amp electrical auxiliary power outlets (APO). The power outlets are located under the rear seat of the cab and in the pickup bed. Customers can conveniently operate power equipment without taking up the bed space typical portable generators would use.

            A key contributor to the Hybrid's fuel efficiency is its ability to automatically stop and restart the engine under different operating circumstances.  Instead of a conventional starter motor and alternator, the Sierra Hybrid uses a compact 14-kw electric induction motor or starter generator integrated in a patented, space-efficient manner between the engine and transmission.  The starter generator provides fast, quiet starting power and allows automatic engine stops/starts to conserve fuel, such at stop lights.  It also smoothes out any driveline surges; generates electrical current to charge the batteries and run auxiliary power outlets; and provides coast-down regenerative braking, as an aid to fuel economy.

The three valve-regulated lead-acid batteries store power for the 42-volt system.  The "deep-cycle" batteries employ absorbent glass mat technology, specifically designed for hybrid vehicles, and are tailored to GM performance requirements.  Lead-acid batteries are less costly to replace than nickel-metal hydride batteries, have a 50- to 55-amp-hour capacity and a projected four-year lifecycle.

The interior of the Sierra is typical GMC with dated buttons and foamy large plastic trim.  Large seats up front reminded us of the Hummer.  There is ample lighting all around the interior of the cabin.  The dash is slanted down towards the windshield which makes for a good place to store gloves and other materials, something that comes in handy when you are on the job.  We did want a real electric outlet up front on the dash so that powering things like cell phones and a laptop would be easy but we could not find one. 

Seating is comfortable in all positions with the large cushions up front giving good support and thinner seats in back providing adequate comfort for a short ride.  Seat heaters for the front two seats are very powerful, a GM trait. The large center armrest is great for all sorts of storage with a inner portion covered in non-slip rubber so cell phones and other items would not slide around at all.  The cabin is functional which is what most people buying this truck will need. 

            Silverado and Sierra Hybrid's advanced multiplexed electrical architecture enables the driver information center to monitor and report on as many as 34 system functions, including service indicators for "Ice Possible" and "Door Ajar," as well as feedback on the operation of the hybrid system.  Available redundant steering-wheel controls allow owners to personalize several functions and safely access infotainment options and provide easy access to the OnStar system.  Interior stereo controls are simple to use our multifunction leather wrapped steering wheel added simplicity to everyday commands.  A standard automatic temperature control heating system provides dual zones for temperature individuality and did work very well.

            The feeling behind the wheel of the Silverado is very much truck like, with a bouncy suspension and little road feel.  The Sierra at highway speeds is soft and does not feel under control.  The steering is not precise at all and here is where GM needs to do a great deal of work.  The four wheel drive system in 'auto' setting waits until wheel slip is actually underway before sending power to other wheels which is ok if you are in mud but not so great on ice and thin layers of snow.  The front end of the Sierra is noticeably lower than the rear which makes for a better viewing angle of cars in front and a slightly easier time getting in and out.  Driving around town in stop and go roads, we found it quite hard to notice the engine turning off many times.  The function is very quiet and due to the silent operation of most things at idle speed, it was a guessing game as to when the engine was actually off. 

A passenger-sensing system and dual-level air bags are an integral part of all Silverado and Sierra models, including the Hybrid.  The system automatically deactivates the passenger-side front air bag under certain conditions to help protect smaller occupants.  Dual-stage frontal air bags are designed to help reduce the risk of air bag-induced injury.  When the air bag system's control unit detects an impact, it determines whether the crash is severe enough to trigger a deployment, and whether the primary amount of inflation is sufficient.  The primary stage alone will deploy in most frontal impacts requiring the supplemental protection of an air bag, while a secondary stage is designed to deploy in more severe frontal collisions.

            The base price of the Hybrid Sierra in four-wheel drive is $31,700.  Add to this the hybrid system for $2,500, a steep option.  The safe and sound package for $2,485 includes power drivers seat, Bose audio system, OnStar, and XM Satellite radio.  A light duty power package for $1,675 included the 5.3L V8 engine and locking differential with trailering equipment.  Front leather seating surfaces add $800.  Outside rear view power heated mirrors with auto dimming feature on the drivers side adds $213.  Dual zone air conditioning adds $195.  Steering wheel radio controls are a separate option for $125.  A 3.73 rear axle ratio adds $50.  This brings the total to $40,593 for our test car.  Our sticker price also included a $1000 hybrid discount making the final sticker $39,593. 

            Overall the Sierra is a good work truck made better with the addition of an Hybrid system for those who want to be active in the pursuit to save the planet and help reduce our dependency on foreign oil.  The Sierra does not set any benchmarks in the fuel economy game but does put a nice green Hybrid sticker on the side of your truck.  At least you will be proud in knowing that you are helping keep this planet green.  We hope that GM can make some trucks in the future with more modern interiors, better suspension on-road, and more steering feel so that we all can have the utility of a truck without giving up a stable and controlled ride.


Base Pricing 26,846 31,700



Models: Silverado Hybrid Fleetside, Sierra Hybrid Wideside; C/K 15753 with Hybrid System option (HP2)
Body style / driveline: 5- passenger extended cab 1/2-ton 2WD and 4WD
Construction: body on frame
EPA vehicle class: full-size truck
Manufacturing location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Key competitors : none
Type: Vortec 5300 5.3L V-8
Displacement (cu in / cc): 325 / 5328
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 3.78 x 3.62 / 96 x 92
Block material: cast iron
Cylinder head material: cast aluminum
Valvetrain: OHV, 2 valves per cylinder
Engine cranking: starter generator control module initiates cranking (under direction of PCM), replacing conventional starter
Ignition system: coil near plug, composite distributor, platinum-tipped spark plugs, low-resistance spark plug wires
Fuel delivery: sequential fuel injection
Compression ratio: 9.5:1
Horsepower (hp / kw @ rpm): 295 / 220 @ 5200
Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm): 335 / 463 @ 4000
Recommended fuel: 87 octane
Maximum engine speed (rpm): 6000
Emission controls: 3-way catalytic converter, positive crankcase ventilation, evaporative collection system
Estimated fuel economy:  
MPG (city / hwy / combined) targeted 10 percent increase over base Extended Cab in composite city/highway and up to 10 percent increase in city-only driving
MPIG (city / hwy / combined) 2WD: 21 / 27 / 24
4WD: 20 / 25 / 22
L/100km (city / hwy / combined) 2WD: 13.2 / 10.4 / 11.9
4WD: 14.3 / 11.3 / 13.0
Type: Hydra-Matic 4L60-E 4-speed auto (RPO M33)*
Gear ratios (:1):  
  First: 3.06
  Second: 1.63
  Third: 1.00
  Fourth: 0.70
  Reverse: 2.29
Final drive ratio: 2WD:  3.23, 3.73

4WD:  3.42, 3.73


Front: 2WD: coil springs, gas-pressurized shocks, 32-mm stabilizer bar;

4WD: independent torsion bar, 32-mm stabilizer bar

Rear (all): solid axle with semi-elliptic, variable-rate, two-stage  multileaf springs, gas pressurized shocks
Traction control: not available
Steering type: engine-independent electro-hydraulic power;

2WD: rack-and-pinion

4WD: recirculating ball

Steering ratio: 2WD: 17.5:1; 4WD: 15.7:1
Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock: 3
Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft / m.): 2WD: 46.6 / 14.2

4WD: 47.3 / 14.4


Type: power; Hydroboost hydraulic brake boosters; 4-wheel-disc, 4-wheel ABS
Rotor diameter x thickness (in / mm): front : 12.01 x 1.14 / 305 x 29

rear: 12.80 x 0.78 / 325 x 20

Swept area (sq. in / sq cm): front: 213.6 / 1378

rear: 211.1 / 1362



Wheels: 2WD / 4WD std 16-inch x 7-inch cast aluminum
Tire size and type: 2WD std P235/75R16 all-season blackwall radials

4WD std P245/75R16 on/off road blackwall radials




Wheelbase (in / mm): 2WD/ 4WD: 143.5 / 3644
Overall length (in / mm): 2WD/ 4WD: 227.7 / 5781
Overall width (in / mm) base mirror, folded: 78.5 / 1994
Overall height  (in / mm): 2WD:  71.2 / 1808

4WD:  73.9 / 1877

Min. ground clearance (in /mm): 2WD: 8 / 203

4WD: 8.7 / 221

Track width, front / rear (in / mm): front: 65 / 1651; rear: 66 / 1676
Ground to top of load floor (in / mm): 2WD: 31.6/803

4WD: 33.7 / 856

Approach angle (deg): 25.4
Breakover angle (deg): 12.4
Departure angle (deg): 27.5
GVW (lb / kg): 2WD: 6200 / 2811.8; 4WD: 6400 / 2902.5
Curb weight (lb / kg): 2WD: 4617 / 2094

4WD: 5008 / 2272

Payload (lb / kg): 2WD: 1583 / 718

4WD: 1392 / 631

Cargo Box  
Cargo volume (cu ft / ): 56.9 / 1611
Length at floor (in / mm): 78.7 / 1998
Width at floor (in / mm): 60.2 / 1529
Width at top (in / mm): 61.9 / 1572
Width between wheelhousings (in / mm): 50 / 1270
Tailgate width (in / mm): 60.6 / 1539
Inside Height (in / mm): 19.5 / 495
Head room, front / rear (in / mm): 41 / 1041; 38.4 / 975
Leg room, front / rear (in / mm): 41.3 / 1049; 33.7 / 1856
Shoulder room, front / rear (in / mm): 65.2 / 1656; 66.3 / 1684
Hip room, front / rear (in / mm): 61.4 / 1560; 61.5 / 1562


Seating capacity: 5
Fuel tank (gal / L): 26.0 / 98.4
Engine oil (qt / L): 6 / 5.7
Cooling system (qt / L): 16.9 / 16.0
Maximum trailer weight (lb / kg): 2WD: 7800 / 3538

4WD: 7500 / 3402

Built-in Generator


Maximum output power (KVA): 2.4
Output voltage: 120 VAC +5 / -8V @ outlets
Current output: 20 amps continuous total all circuits
Output frequency: 60 Hz + / - 0.25 Hz
Total harmonic distortion: < = 10 percent
Overload protection level: 21 amps current limit for 4 seconds
Ground fault detection level: 6 Ma
Generator cooling system (qt / L):** 2.22 / 2.1


  2005 GMC Sierra 1500
4dr Extended Cab SLE Hybrid 4WD SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A)
2005 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
4dr Extended Cab LS Hybrid 4WD SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A)
2005 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500
4dr Quad Cab SLT 4WD SB (4.7L 8cyl 6M)
2005 Nissan Titan
4dr King Cab XE 4WD SB (5.6L 8cyl 5A)
2005 Toyota Tundra
4dr Access Cab SR5 4WD SB (4.7L 8cyl 5A)
MSRP $34,335 $33,460 $30,235 $26,000 $27,465
Invoice $30,006 $29,240 $26,657 $23,502 $24,878
Basic 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders V8 V8 V8 V8 V8
Base Engine Displacement 5.3 liters 5.3 liters 4.7 liters 5.6 liters 4.7 liters
Valvetrain 16 Valves
overhead valves (OHV)
16 Valves
overhead valves (OHV)
16 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
32 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
32 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
Horsepower 295 hp @ 5200 rpm 295 hp @ 5200 rpm 240 hp @ 4800 rpm 305 hp @ 4900 rpm 282 hp @ 5400 rpm
Torque 335 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 335 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 300 ft-lbs. @ 3200 rpm 379 ft-lbs. @ 3600 rpm 325 ft-lbs. @ 3400 rpm
Tires P265/70R17
all season
all season
all season
mud and snow
Wheels chrome steel rims
17 x 7.5 in.
alloy rims
16 x 7.0 in.
chrome steel rims
17 x 8.0 in.
steel rims
17 x 7.5 in.
steel rims
16 x 7.0 in.
Spare fullsize matching
fullsize matching
fullsize matching
fullsize matching
fullsize matching
Handling Sierra 1500 Silverado 1500 Ram Pickup 1500 Titan Tundra
Turning Circle 45.8 ft. 47.3 ft. 46 ft. 45.3 ft. 44.3 ft.
Hauling Sierra 1500 Silverado 1500 Ram Pickup 1500 Titan Tundra
Max. Payload Capacity 1392 lbs. 1392 lbs. 1510 lbs. 1585 lbs. 1515 lbs.
Max. Towing Capacity 7400 lbs. 7400 lbs. 8050 lbs. 9500 lbs. 6900 lbs.
EPA Mileage Estimates Sierra 1500 Silverado 1500 Ram Pickup 1500 Titan Tundra
City 17 mpg. 17 mpg. 14 mpg. 14 mpg. 15 mpg.
Highway 19 mpg. 19 mpg. 18 mpg. 18 mpg. 18 mpg.
Fuel Data Sierra 1500 Silverado 1500 Ram Pickup 1500 Titan Tundra
Fuel Tank Capacity 26 gal. 26 gal. 26 gal. 28 gal. 26.4 gal.
Length 230.2 in. 230.2 in. 227.7 in. 224.2 in. 218.3 in.
Width 78.5 in. 78.5 in. 79.9 in. 78.8 in. 75.2 in.
Height 73.9 in. 73.9 in. 76.6 in. 76.6 in. 71.3 in.
Weight 5008 lbs. 5008 lbs. 5144 lbs. 5038 lbs. 4785 lbs.
Wheel Base 143.5 in. 143.5 in. 140.5 in. 139.8 in. 128.3 in.
Ground Clearance 8.6 in. 8.6 in. 8 in. 11.3 in. 11.2 in.
Front Headroom 41 in. 41 in. 40.8 in. 41 in. 40.3 in.
Rear Headroom 38.4 in. 38.4 in. 40 in. 38.9 in. 38.3 in.
Front Shoulder Room 65.2 in. 65.2 in. 67 in. 65.1 in. 62.4 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 66.3 in. 66.3 in. 66.7 in. 64.9 in. 63.2 in.
Front Hip Room 61.4 in. 61.4 in. 65.1 in. 61.3 in. 59.3 in.
Rear Hip Room 61.4 in. 61.4 in. 64.6 in. 60.3 in. 56.6 in.
Front Leg Room 41.3 in. 41.3 in. 41 in. 41.8 in. 41.5 in.
Rear Leg Room 33.7 in. 33.7 in. 36.4 in. 33 in. 28.6 in.


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