- The Washington Times - Friday, June 21, 2002

The versatility and practicality of driving a full-sized pickup just got easier to handle. GMC has introduced the first practical use of four-wheel steering I've seen in a vehicle.
Yes, there have been a number of other vehicles offered with FWS, but they did not last long on the market, for whatever reason. It could have been the wrong feature at the wrong time. This time I think GMC has a winner on its hands.
The first application of GM's FWS system is put to very practical use by giving the GMC Sierra Denali pickup the maneuverability of a small sedan. When GMC first provided this truck for testing, I did a comparison with a Saturn sedan (this is the car GMC uses in its comparison).
Surprisingly, the truck had an identical turning radius of the passenger car. In fact, I could almost swear the truck had just a tad bit better figure than the car. Granted, it was in fractions of inches. Certainly not enough to quibble about. Hey, if you have the turning radius of a passenger car in a full-sized pickup why worry about fractions.
There are two major situations where having the rear wheels steer in conjunction with the front wheels is a big advantage. This system is a major benefit during parallel parking and maneuvering with a trailer in tow. I tried both and found that once I became familiar with the influence the rear axle had over the truck's movement, I could park with ease. It took a bit more practice maneuvering with a trailer attached. One of the beauties of this feature is that it can be switched off if you really need it disabled. Once you become familiar with the system there is no situation I can think of where you would want to disable it.
The system is linked to the driver's input of the steering wheel through a computer that determines the demands being put on the truck. The rear steering turns in the opposite direction of the front wheels at slow speeds and in the same direction at higher speeds.
Be assured that the Denali is still every bit a truck. Unlike some of the new sport utility trucks, this GMC can work as hard as any other truck on the road.
The Denali uses the identical platform of other GMC pickups, but has a wider stance at the rear axle with the addition of Quadrasteer that adds 5 inches to the rear axle width. Retaining the ruggedness GMC trucks are known for also assures you that the Denali retains a trucklike ride on the road. Sure, today's trucks are nothing like what trucks once were, but there are still times when you can feel every expansion joint in the road surface.
There are number of things you can count on from any GMC truck, luxurious accommodations and the load-hauling capabilities. But now you have the nimbleness of a family sedan added to that list, and there isn't another truck that can say that, is there?

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide