GMC was nice enough to fly me out to Detroit for the global debut of the all-new 2019 GMC Sierra . When the new Silverado first showed its face a couple of months ago, one of my first thoughts was, “Wow, that’s a pretty ugly truck. I hope the new Sierra will be better looking.” Good news: it is!
The 2019 Sierra has a whole new look, and it really hits home the design ethos of blending the rugged capability of a full-size pickup with the luxurious refinement of a high-end car. Those two ideas sound like they’d be incongruous — but as we’ve seen over the past decade or so, there’s plenty of room in the truck market for high-class, high-dollar luxury pickups with GMC as a leader in the premium truck segment.
The GMC Sierra started out as little more than a rebadged Chevy Silverado. The two have always been mechanically identical — and they still are — but with each new generation, the Silverado and the Sierra look less and less alike. That trend continues with this generation — and if you were to see the two trucks side-by-side without knowing what they are, it’s not immediately obvious that they’re basically the same truck.
Engine options in the Sierra are the same as in the Silverado. You can get a 6.2-liter or 5.3-liter V8, or a 3.0-liter inline-6 turbodiesel. During the presentation of the new GMC, hints were dropped that those are just the three options for now, and there are more to come later in the truck’s lifecycle.
The two Sierra models shown off in Detroit were the Denali and the SLT. It’s worth clarifying that Denali is not a trim, but rather a sub-brand of GMC. That’s made clear by the new truck’s tailgate, where the word “Denali” is bigger and more prominent than the word “Sierra.” The SLT is the fanciest non-Denali Sierra, and it’s still a very nice truck.
Almost one-third of every truck and SUV that GMC sells wears Denali badges and pretty grilles, so it makes sense that the brand continues to move the Denali nameplate further upmarket. The interior of the new Sierra Denali is gorgeous. Everything you touch when you get in this truck is made from premium materials like large-pebbled grain leather and authentic open-pore wood trim.
It’s not just the handsome look or the premium interior that makes the new GMC Sierra the new benchmark in full-size luxury pickup trucks. This thing is packed with impressive technology for both work and play. It has what GMC calls the ProGrade trailering system, which is a technology suite including a bunch of cameras that give you eyes on both sides of your trailer — and even behind it — along with maintenance reminders and trailer electrical diagnostics. It can even tell you the pressure and temperature of your trailer tires.
Ford trucks have aluminum bodies, and that’s great, but GMC is upping the ante with a carbon fiber bed that will be available in the Sierra later in 2018. Carbon fiber is usually used to add lightness to performance cars, but its high strength-to-weight ratio makes it great for trucks, too. The CarbonPro box will be stronger, lighter and more resistant to dents and scratches than its competitors. It’s also a strong selling point for the GMC over the Chevy in terms of further differentiating the two trucks.
Speaking of differences in the two GM pickups, the new Sierra has a trick tailgate that you can’t get in a Silverado. It’s called the MultiPro tailgate, and it folds and transforms in six different positions. On top of just folding down like a regular tailgate, it can turn into steps with an assist handle making it easier to climb into, a load stop to keep your stuff from falling out when the tailgate is open, a standing workstation where you can place your laptop and a couple other clever positions that make it easier to load and unload your stuff.
Between the advanced technology, the versatile tailgate, the carbon fiber box, and the supremely luxurious interior, the 2019 GMC Sierra will offer options you truly can’t find in any other pickup truck when it starts hitting showrooms this fall. If you’re in the market for a premium pickup, the new Sierra should be toward the top of your list. Find a 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 for sale