GMC is making a push toward the front of the full-size pickup pack in 2019 with an all-new version of its Sierra 1500.
After decades of splitting the sales vote by selling a Sierra that was effectively a rebadged version of the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC has finally seen fit to set the Sierra apart with some industry firsts that will help attract some attention in a segment dominated by the Ford F-150.
Those include a MultiPro tailgate standard in SLT and Denali trims that can be deployed as a bed extender and eases access into the cargo box, and the Denali can also be had with a carbon fibre box that, along with aluminum doors, hood and tailgate, helps shave 163 kg from the Sierra's curb weight. In particular, the carbon fibre box is a direct response for Ford's use of aluminum bodywork to make its F-150 lighter and, so Ford says, more fuel efficient.
Also on offer is a new smartphone app for trailering that includes a pre-trip checklist and trailer tire pressure monitoring, among other functions. Hitching up is made easier by a hitch guidance system that helps the driver position the truck in relation to the trailer, and available side-view cameras and an HD camera that can be mounted on the trailer provide extra confidence once truck and trailer are connected.
The 2019 GMC Sierra is available with new versions of the GM's 5.3L and 6.2L V8 engines, good for 355 hp/383 lb-ft of torque and 420 hp/460 lb-ft, respectively.
Also new this year is a 3.0L turbodiesel inline six, marking the first time in a long time (if not the first time, period) the Sierra 1500 has been offered with a diesel. GMC hasn't announced power figures for that engine yet.
And while GMC had yet to say so when we wrote this, we predict the less posh Sierra trims will adopt a 2.7L turbo four-cylinder that lends its 310 hp and 348 lb-ft to entry-level versions of the also-new-for-2019 Chevrolet Silverado. Another possibility is a carried over 4.3L V6 that makes 285 hp and 305 lb-ft.
Transmissions include six-, eight- and 10-speed automatics, and a choice of RWD and 4WD.
Top-end Denali models will come with a bunch of upscale tech, including a multi-colour head-up display, 8.0-inch infotainment display, rear camera mirror, surround-view exterior camera system, blind spot monitoring, pedestrian alert and low-speed forward automatic braking.
GMC says the Denali also includes an adaptive ride control suspension that sounds a lot like the magnetic ride control setup that's optional in the Yukon full-size SUV and makes it such a pleasant vehicle to drive.