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

Leaders of Tomorrow kicks off Jan. 16

Nominations accepted for youth recognition until Feb. 22

Team improves access to addiction, mental health supports

Service provides expanded on-call consultation

Hang up on the phone fraudsters

If the phone call seems kind of crazy…

Pinpointing innovations

How precision spraying system helps Kings Lake Hutterite Colony save time, products and water

Road allowance closure goes to prov govt

Encroaching house situation could set ‘precedent’

VIDEO: Trudeau insists Iran respect families’ wishes when it comes to burials

All 176 people on board the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 were killed

New nasal spray launched in Canada to combat hypoglycemic shock in diabetics

Baqsimi is a nasal spray contains three milligrams of glucagon

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Alberta premier wants federal government to do more about opioid imports

Jason Kenney says Canada should find ways to cut down on drugs being smuggled into the country

Alberta Energy Regulator laying off staff, restructures, deals with budget cuts

Gordon Lambert, interim CEO, says the changes are part of a restructuring

Energy companies owe more than double the tax to Alberta municipalities

Survey says communities are owed $173 million — up 114% since last spring

No gondola from Banff to Mount Norquay, feds say

Parks Canada dismisses proposal for gondola, Grizzly Pavilion and boardwalks

Most Read