Redesigned from the ground up, the 2019 GMC Sierra continues its trend of being one of the more driver-friendly models in the truck realm. This is especially true when you move up the trim levels and hit the luxurious Denali model. But is the driver-friendly Sierra 1500 a legit contender in a segment that puts so much focus on towing and payload? Keep reading to find out.

Best Value

There are tons of 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 versions to choose from, and each one does its own thing well. The SLE is a mixture of daily-driver and work truck; the Elevation looks more rugged; the SLT strikes a nice balance; the AT4 gets dirty with the best; and the Denali is the Cadillac of pickups.

For our money, the best value comes in the balance the SLT trim level offers. This trim has premium goodies like automatic climate control, a high-definition rearview camera, satellite radio, a 10-way power driver seat, leather upholstery, LED headlights, and a six-way tailgate. It's also the entry point into premium options like ventilated front seats, navigation, wireless phone charging, and more.

  • Model: 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT
  • Engine: 5.3-liter V8
  • Output: 355 hp / 383 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • MPG: 17 City / 23 Hwy
  • Options: Max Trailering Package ($850, increased towing capacity, automatic locking differential, upgraded suspension, enhanced cooling system, 9.76-inch rear axle, 3.42-to-one axle ratio, trailer brake controller, trailering equipment), Driver Alert Package I ($940, lane change alert, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear park assist), Driver Alert Package II ($745, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, pedestrian braking, forward collision warning, following-distance indicator, IntelliBeam headlights), SLT Preferred Package ($1,070, eight-inch premium GMC Infotainment system with navigation, wireless charging, Bose premium audio system)
  • Base Price: $48,195 (including a $1,495 destination fee)
  • Best Value Price: $53,260

Performance

GMC Sierra 1500

The GMC Sierra 1500 has plenty of engines to choose from with lots of power. Both V8 engines pull hard off the line, but the 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 holds a special place in our hearts. Sure, it lacks the head-pinning performance of the F-150 Raptor, but it’s plenty for most drivers.

The standard eight-speed automatic transmission paired with the 5.3-liter engine and the 10-speed that comes with the 6.2-liter engine are silky smooth. But despite all the complexities of these higher-cog-count transmissions and active fuel management, the Sierra 1500 is still a fuel hog. Models with the base 5.3-liter V8 and rear-wheel drive achieve an EPA-estimated 17 miles per gallon city, 23 mpg highway, and 19 combined.

Finally, despite all its power and reduced weight in the new model year, the Sierra is upsetting in the hauling department. It can tow up to a 12,000-pound trailer and haul up to 2,240 pounds in its bed, which are 1,000 pounds and 300 pounds less than the F-150, respectively. What the Sierra offers is new technology to make towing easier, like the available Hich Guidance system and Trailer Camera Package.

Style

It’s a pickup truck, so there isn’t much to the 2019 Sierra 1500’s looks. Sure, it has nice touches like the C-shaped LED signature lights, a rugged grille, and some slick chrome in the Denali model, but it's still a blocky, chunky pickup.

Inside, the Sierra keeps most of its pickup cues, but its higher trims gain some nice features. The Denali trim, for example, gets things like an eight-inch touchscreen, leather upholstery, open-pore wood, and dark-finish aluminum for some added class.

Space isn't an issue inside the 2019 Sierra 1500. It boasts 35.2 inches of rear leg room in the double cab body and a mighty 43.4 inches in the crew cab model. Got a taller family? Rear head room is also plentiful at up to 39.9 inches in the double cab model and 40.1 inches in the crew cab body.

The Best and Worst Things

The sheer number of powertrain, body, and trim options make the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 a great pick for virtually any truck buyer. And its Denali trim caters to the upscale buyer who needs power but wants comfort too.

Falling 1,000 pounds short on towing is a big deal in a pickup truck. Yes, GMC pawns this off as a sacrifice for comfort and fuel economy, and it says to buy its heavy-duty trucks for serious towing, but it flies in the face of the “Professional Grade” claims GMC makes.

Right For? Wrong For?

GMC Sierra 1500

Buyers looking for a pickup that can pull double duty as a work truck and a daily-driver will love the entire Sierra 1500 lineup.

Those looking for a simple work truck will quickly learn GMC doesn’t offer a just-a-truck trim like Chevrolet, Ford, and RAM.

The Bottom Line

The 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 fits a niche, and it fits it well. It caters to the slightly more discerning pickup truck buyer in virtually every trim. It makes mild sacrifices in towing and capacity, preferring to make life easier and more comfortable instead.