2019 GMC Sierra

Think of it as a Chevrolet Silverado, but with a few extra tricks up its sleeve

When it comes to pickup supremacy, the battle for top ranking rages on. And benefiting from this one-upmanship tussle are the buyers — hundreds of thousands per year — who plunk down their hard-earned dollars and in return get the latest in content and performance innovations.

As with the Chevrolet Silverado, the GMC Sierra has been completely made over from the roof to the road. Outwardly, the body appears similar to the 2018 truck, including a dominating grille that boldly announces to one and all your chosen brand. In fact, though, every body panel has been reshaped and the hood, doors and tailgate are made of aluminum instead of steel. As well, there’s a carbon-fibre box for the high-end Denali model.

All told, GMC says up to 165 kilograms of body weight have been pared from the pickup, even though all Sierras are slightly larger than before and the four-door crew cab’s distance between the front and rear wheels has been stretched nearly eight centimetres for additional legroom.

Underpinning the Sierra is a redesigned steel frame that’s claimed to be stiffer by 10 per cent, resulting in a further 40-kilogram weight reduction. Lighter front and rear suspension components save even more.

Along with a distinctive appearance, the extended- and crew-cab models are blessed with some exclusive items that aren’t offered for the Silverado. This includes an available Multi-Pro tailgate with a load-stop feature that keeps cargo inside the bed when driving with the tailgate lowered. The tailgate can also be partially dropped down to form a small work table or a step-up to the bed itself.

Also available is a 360-degree rear camera monitor (replacing the traditional rear-view mirror) that provides unobstructed views in back, which is especially handy when hooking up a trailer.

For 2019, the Sierra can be had with one of a half-dozen powerplants, starting with a 4.3-litre V-6 that makes 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. Optional are two versions of the 5.3-litre V-8, including one with Dynamic Fuel Management (DFM). Its 17 different cylinder-deactivation-mode combinations are constantly working to deliver fuel efficiency in all driving and load conditions. Both V-8s put out 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque.

Also new is a turbocharged 2.7-litre four-cylinder (a first for both the Sierra and Silverado) that’s rated at 310 horsepower and 348 pound-feet. A 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder turbo-diesel arrives later in the year, although as of this writing the output and fuel efficiency aren’t known. Lastly, the 6.2-litre V-8 returns with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet.

The V-6 and the base 5.3-litre V-8 are matched with six-speed automatic transmissions, while the 5.3 DFM and the turbo four-cylinder get eight-speed automatics. The 6.2-litre V-8 — and likely the turbo-diesel — is mated to a 10-speed automatic. All engine/transmission combos are available with four-wheel-drive, however the crew-cab-only GMC Denali comes standard with 4WD.

Aside from their unique grilles and trim, the premium Denali comes with a wood-trimmed interior, premium leather-covered seats and a 20-centimetre touchscreen (other Sierras get the 17.5-centimetre version). Also standard is an adaptive-ride-control system that instantly adjusts the suspension stiffness according to surface conditions and driver aggressiveness. At close to $70,000 including destination charges, the Denali lists for much more than a $36,200 base Sierra V-6 long-box extended-cab.

New for 2019, the rough-and-tumble $61,400 4×4 Sierra AT4 gets the 5.3-litre V-8 with DFM (the 6.2 V-8 and the turbo-diesel are optional) plus off-road shocks that provide five more centimetres of ground clearance. Available off-road rubber is mounted to 20-inch wheels (18-inchers are standard).

Although most of the powertrain combinations overlap with the Silverado, there’s enough (and growing) differentiation with the GMC Sierra to make the latter stand apart with its own brand of style, substance and swagger.

What you should know: 2019 GMC Sierra 1500

Type: Four-door, rear- /four-wheel-drive pickup

Engines (h.p.): 4.3-litre OHV V-6 (285); 5.3-litre OHV V-8 (355); 2.7-litre DOHC I-4, turbocharged (310); 6.2-litre OHV V-8 (420); 3.0-litre I-6, turbo-diesel (n.a.)

Transmissions: Six, eight and 10-speed automatics

Market position: General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) go all out building trucks to lure each other’s buyers. The upgrading and improvement is relentless.

Points: New sheetmetal is slightly bolder than before. • Roomier, well-appointed cabs and larger pickup beds won’t go unnoticed. • A choice of six powerplants, three transmissions and numerous trim levels is almost too much to fathom. • Upcoming turbo-diesel option should challenge Ford’s version for top torque, fuel-economy honors.

Active safety: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (opt.); forward-collision alert (opt.); lane-departure alert (opt.); pedestrian alert (opt.)

L/100 km (city/hwy) 14.1/10.2 (5.3 V-8, RWD); Base price (incl. destination): $36,200

BY COMPARISON

Ford F-150 SuperCab

Base price: $34,400

A best-seller for years; new turbo-diesel engine was introduced for 2018.

Ram 1500

Base price: $34,850

New 2019 model has the right stuff. Absent Turbo-diesel V-6 yet to reappear.

Chevrolet Silverado Dbl Cab

Base price: $37,050

If you’re a GM fan, your biggest decision concerns style of pickup you prefer.concerns style of pickup you prefer.

If you’re interested in new or used vehicles, be sure to visit TodaysDrive.com to find your dream car today!

-written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Bear in mind that this is the interior of a hard-working pickup truck. The top-end Denali model brings the kind of refinement that’s normally found in a luxury car. PHOTO: GMC

The Sierra is slightly larger than before and has more distance between the front and rear wheels for more legroom. PHOTO: GMC

Just Posted

Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Department promotes deputy to chief

Mike Kobus replaces Charlie Starratt in Alberni Valley-based fire hall

City approves $10M to finish Port Alberni’s wastewater treatment plant

Money won’t come from taxation, but will affect sewer user fees, says city CAO

Women assaulted in pair of weekend attacks in Port Alberni

RCMP say no reason to suspect attacks are related, but suspects still at large

Coulson Aviation CEO walks Australian crash site, pays tribute to fallen flight crew

Company’s 737 tanker crews back in the air fighting Australian bushfires

VIDEO: Kenney wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Former UN committee member defends stance on B.C.’s Coastal GasLink pipeline

First Nations LNG Alliance accused UN committee, human rights watchdog of not doing their research

Opioid crisis to blame for shorter life expectancy in B.C. men, says Stats Can

Opioid crisis held responsible for declining life expectancy

Earthquake on top of highway closure a wake up call for Island’s West Coast

“When someone says, ‘Be prepared for 72 hours,’ that means exactly that: be prepared.”

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Taxi association asks B.C. Supreme Court to stop Uber, Lyft from operating

Petition alleges Passenger Transportation Board did not take taxis into account

Majority of Canadian boards had no female members in 2016 and 2017: StatCan

Statistics Canada says 18.1 per cent of director seats were held by women in 2017

Most Read