Following the debut of the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, General Motors has unveiled the second half of its pickup truck equation, the 2019 GMC Sierra which crams even more innovation and technology into its iconic lines for the new model year.
Like the Silverado, the front fascia of the Sierra is mainly a love it or hate it affair, but GMC designers did make extra effort into making the truck more upscale than the decidedly more mainstream Silverado. This includes adding a reworked chrome front grille, revised front and rear bumpers, as well as the addition of all new “lightblade” LED headlights. However, in an effort to save costs as well as maximize scale of production, the rest of the bodywork is still shared with the Silverado. Unlike the Chevrolet, there are two key items that should help the Sierra resonate with GMC loyalists, as well as new buyers looking to gain maximum innovation and practicality out of their truck purchase. The first of these is the all new MultiPro tailgate which is exclusive to the Sierra. Essentially a split folding tailgate, the nifty feature is supposed to help improve access to the bed with the help of a built in assistance handle. The gate has multiple positions, and it can either extend the bed, or fully drop the center for better bedside access.
However, the biggest surprise is reserved for the range topping Sierra Denali, and that is the addition of a segment first carbon fiber bed. Now before folks get excited, they should know that the bed is NOT made out of 100% carbon fiber. Instead the weight saving sweetness is only found on the bed floor and the inner side panels, with the outer sides still retaining their high strength steel construction. GMC claims that these carbon fiber inserts will help shed 62 lbs, while also enhancing corrosion and scratch resistance at the same time. All Sierras also benefit from a broader diet that helps shed 360 lbs from the truck versus its predecessor, thanks in part to taking a page out of Ford’s playbook (kinda,) and using aluminium for the doors, hood, and tailgate. Unlike their bitter rival, GM chose to not fully take the plunge this time around, and retained high strength steel panels for the fenders, roof, and the default bed box.
While we ponder the shift in narrative that GM has made here (versus a recent ad campaign that touted the superiority of all steel construction,) buyers looking for an outright revolution in interior design will be somewhat disappointed. The cabin is handsome, with splashes of chrome accents scattered about. But like its predecessors, the bulk of the cabin is mainly a carbon copy of what we have already seen in the Silverado. However, there are some standout items that make themselves known including an optional multi color heads up display system, as well as goodies such as the Cadillac sourced dual function rear view mirror, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection.
Denali owners, as expected, also benefit from higher levels of luxury including highly grained leather with accompanying contrast stitching, open poor wood, as well as dark aluminium trim that helps add a brawny essence to the refined modernism scattered throughout.
Performance hardware is also cribbed from the Silverado, and the 2019 Sierra will arrive with three engines including an all new diesel offering. The first two engines are carryovers from the previous generation, but we are not complaining considering both the 5.3 and 6,2 liter V8s have proven themselves to be reliable and impressively stout engine offerings. The duo do get new software that is meant to tailor their fuel economy, with built in start/stop and cylinder deactivation technology. This suite of features allows the truck to run on only a single cylinder (you read that correctly ONE cylinder.) As for the new diesel, GMC chose to keep the juicy stuff to itself, but the brand did reveal that it will be paired with the company’s all new 10 speed automatic transmission. Denali grade rigs also gain “adaptive ride control” but the world will have to wait until later to find out what exactly makes up this particular system.
The 2019 GMC Sierra is expected to go on sale this fall, so look for more detailed information including pricing, final mpg numbers, and more to gradually trickle their way out to the masses over the summer. We look forward to seeing the 2019 GMC Sierra in person soon, and finding out all of the tricks and surprises that it will have in store for lucky buyers.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.