As even work-spec trucks begin to offer more luxurious amenities, one might think that the position of the GMC Sierra – essentially a Chevy Silverado in nicer duds – might be becoming superfluous. But don't think that GM is euthanizing their golden goose just yet. The 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 is all new, and the Sierra continues to stand firmly apart from it's also all-new cheaper twin. The range-topping Denali trim returns to define the GMC experience, and buyers will also find new and exclusive features that convincingly bolster the Sierra's claim of being the leader of the premium truck segment.
What's New for 2019
The Sierra is all new for 2019.
Choosing Your GMC Sierra 1500
The previous generation Sierra saw 87 percent of buyers opting for the SLT or Denali trims on Crew Cab models, so for 2019 GMC simply has made SLT the base model and kept the popular Denali as the uplevel option. Crew Cab is now the only cab style, and the shorter five-foot-seven-inch box is the lone bed size. For anyone who's complained that the seemingly endless amount of potential full-size truck configurations is too confusing, the single-configuration Sierra is a breath of fresh air.
One choice buyers do have is between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. Two-wheel-drive models are only available with the tried-and-true 5.3-liter V8 engine, while four-wheel-drive buyers have the option of getting the also-proven 6.2-liter V8. For 2019, both of these engines feature stop/start technology and Dynamic Fuel Management, a system which lets the engines operate on anywhere from the full eight to just a single cylinder in an effort to optimize power and performance. The 5.3-liter engine puts out 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, which is the same as last year's model, and is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 6.3-liter's 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque is also unchanged, and is sent to the wheels via a new 10-speed automatic transmission.
The big powertrain news, though, is the eventual availability of a 3.0-liter inline-six turbodiesel, which will be paired with the 10-speed automatic. As of this writing there's few other details available on this oil-burner, so we'll update this page as soon as we learn more about GMC's first-ever light-duty diesel.
With the redesign, GMC has introduced a number of notable available features to the Sierra. These include a color head-up display, a surround-view camera, a rear camera mirror, and a full suite of active safety features (well, almost – there's still no adaptive cruise control). Perhaps most appreciated is the new, industry-exclusive six-way tailgate. With it's six distinct positions and functions, the new tailgate can function as a step, seat, or work bench. This nifty piece is standard on all Sierras.
The box that the tailgate opens up to is also redesigned, offering 50 percent more strength than the current model. If that's still too wimpy, a carbon-fiber bed will be available later in the year. Yes, that's right, that haloed stuff of supercar status will now be found in the inner walls of a pickup bed. GM claims that the carbon fiber saves over 60 pounds when compared to the standard steel box and that it'll be the most dent-, scratch-, and corrosion-resistant bed in the class.
All trucks also come with the ProGrade Trailering System. It includes an onboard app that puts a pre-trailering checklist, maintenance reminders, electrical diagnostics, and other helpful functions right on the eight-inch infotainment screen. Many of these features are also available on the MyGMC smartphone app.
Available Packages include the Assist Step and Tonneau Cover Package ($1,295), Cargo Convenience Package ($495), and Tralier Camera Package ($250). 4WD is an additional $3,300, while the 6.2-liter V8 adds another $2,495. Eleven exterior and two interior colors are available.
As enticing as the Denali's snob appeal is, save money by getting the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT and adding the equipment package(s) that most strikes your fancy. Even if you opt for the priciest $5,875 Premium Plus Package, the total out-the-door cost is "only" $54,070 – over two grand cheaper than the Denali.