I have an SLE2 (2007). I, too, pondered between the SLE1 and SLE2. Initially I was looking at the "bench" style seat vs the console+buckets. The SLE1 I looked at had the smaller wheels and NO trailering package. Both were 4WD.
My WIFE actually was the one that said she liked the buckets + console over the bench. I can't recall exactly what MORE was in the SLE2 vs. the SLE1, but, in the case of the SLE2 I purchased, it had the 20" wheels with the big Goodyear Tires. It has Remote Start, heated mirrors, steerwheel controls and the XM radio. It also had the heated washer fluid feature.
The SLE2 had the trailering package. The trailering package, combined with the 20" wheels, made for a MUCH better ride and firmer feel (I drove both the SLE1 and SLE2 several times).
Thus far, I have NOT regretted going with the SLE2.
For various reasons, I am one of those that is NOT a fan of leather seating. Thus, I wanted a premium interior WITHOUT leather. The upgraded cloth of the SLE2 was, in my opinion, a significant improvement over the standard cloth in the SLE1.
Now, combined with the fact that the SLE2 was Stealth Grey, and the SLE1 was fire engine red, sealed the deal. I like red, but the frst time I saw the stealth grey in the sun, I was sold. An awesome color IMHO. Also, I'm sure it's no accident that every Sierra commercial features at least ONE stealth grey truck.
Now, I have never had a vehicle with remote start. My last Ford truck had heated mirrors, which, in the winter became a "must have" in my mind after having a truck with that feature. I have never had a heated washer fluid reservoir. Have used it a few times on cold mornings thus far---must say, cool feature---works GREAT. I even used it once to see if I could get a little tree sap off of the window, and it worked like a charm.
, went SLE2 over SLE1, and have never looked back or regretted it. I like consoles to stash "important" shtuff around me. If you like all kinds of hidden places to sotre stuff, the console is for you.
I have a back problem, and the 6-way adjustable electric bucket is a god-send on longer trips.
Just my $0.05. Cheers !