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Home / Technology / 2019 GMC Sierra First Drive Review: Mo, tailgates, no problems

2019 GMC Sierra First Drive Review: Mo, tailgates, no problems

The full-load cargo market is flourishing, and the players in the ultra-competitive segment continue to grow bigger and better. At this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Chevrolet rolled out a new Silverado that finally brought that truck to a point of modernity. And as our last first station confirmed it also made a damn fine job.

Of course, GMC could not be far behind, and in fact, the new 2019 Sierra 1500 was unveiled just a few months later. And now we have driven it too. Whether you're looking for the unique mix of posh and practicality in Denali or maybe something more aggressive in the raised AT4, GMC has a Sierra for you. After driving all of them, I can safely say they were worth the wait.

Brand new features

The GMC Sierra in 201

9 is brand new from top to bottom, stems to the stern and has grown a few inches in total, more significantly, got more than 3 inches of wheelbase. Despite this growth, the truck is up to 360 pounds lighter than its predecessor. This means a larger truck with more space and load capacity, but even easier for strengthened towing and handling.

These weight savings come down to a number of factors, including some aluminum parts like doors and hoods, but the most important savings come from an industry first: a carbon fiber bed. Yes, General Motors, a company that had a lot of fun poking holes in Ford's aluminum F-150 bed (literally and figuratively) will offer what is called the CarbonPro Bed on GMC Sierras. This tweak alone shaves 62 pounds of the truck while providing even more durability and of course corrosion resistance than the existing steel bottom.

You do not have to be a professional to appreciate the MultiPro tailgate.


The second major innovation with a camel case moniker is optional MultiPro tailgate, which shares the standard rear door in two, allowing each to open independently. What seemed like a gimmick to me at first glance turns out to be surprisingly useful, but more on it in a moment.

Driving all of this will be one of four engines on top of GMC's 6.2 liter V8. It delivers 420 horsepower and 460 pounds of torque through a 10-speed automatic and in Sierra Denali is expected to reach 15 mpg city and 21 freeways. The rig will drag up to £ 9,300, but choose the more work-focused Sierra SLT trim and that number rises to a big £ 12,100.

The other V8 is the 5.3 liter with 355 hp and 383 lb-ft, and both this and its big brother offer a new generation of cylinder deactivation, which in theory allows the engine to spin on just one cylinder. Other alternatives include a new 2.7-liter, 310-horse turbo-four that replaces the old V6 and a 3.0-liter turbodiesel also comes. The effectiveness figures for both of these elections have not yet been published.

Intellilink is a solid infotainment option, and the new HUD is a welcome addition.


All-new smarts

It's not just the record that has been thoroughly reviewed once more. 2019 Sierra's interior is taking a quantum leap forward with a vibe of new tech toys and safety features that ultimately give this truck the smartness to match its brawn.

Last year, Sierra did not even deliver blind spot surveillance, but now the truck offers a number of other adaptive safety features such as automatic pedal disaster pedal braking, lane retraction and enough cameras mounted at all angles to get parking, this gives you a breeze .

In the dashboard is a touch screen running GMC's latest flavor of IntelliLink as we have reviewed the shades of different colors for different General Motors properties. Regardless of dressing, it continues to be among the best, offering a simple yet extensive experience and most importantly responsive performance. Best of all? Both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are supported right out of the box.

Climb into the driver's seat and look forward and you'll see the Sierra's new heads-up display, bigger and wider than anyone I've seen in a car before. Of course, you get current speed, plus current limit and even scroll and pitch data from the inclinometer. Strange, but navigation information does not appear there.

And the latest new game? It's GMC's latest digital rear screen, an evolution of the technology we first saw in Chevrolet Bolt EV, which now offers a broader view and a much clearer picture.

All that is powered by a slew of both USB Type-A and newer type C ports, plus a 110 output and an optional wireless charger that not only kept my Galaxy Note 8 topped up in a long drive , it kept it cool and cool too.

Top Shelf Rod [19659004] While the new bodywork and trick tailgate will rightly get the most attention, they as fans will find the new Sierra a very possible companion. I had a chance to nest a boat wagon carrying a Zodiac boat and found the process to be very straightforward.

Much like coming down to the angle of cameras. When you backed up, Sierra displayed the backside and expanded a line that showed the line, which made original customization easy. As I got closer, I was able to switch to a zoomed up-down view of the ball itself, which means I could see exactly when it was in line.

After that, I still had to work hard to lower the chin on the ball and connect the chains and everything, but the infotainment system at Sierra can also help you show a custom checklist of pictures and animations to help you if you is new to this kind of thing – or is just forgetful, as I am increasingly.

When connected, the new Sierra Trailering app lets you test the lights on the trailer, just by pressing a button, a process much faster than calling your significant other to stand behind the trailer and shouting when the flasher coming on.

Finally, the 2019 Sierra can be equipped with a secondary TPMS receiver that snaps in behind the rear license plate. From here, it can wirelessly detect tire pressure and even temperatures, the type of information that can save you high speed exhaust and a very long pit stop.

When loaded, the Sierra's adaptive suspension will automatically adjust and allow you to look behind the trailer using a secondary remote control camera.

It's all maybe a bit much, but as the kind that sometimes can get a little stressed while you turn on, I can definitely see the complaint.

If muddin is your thing, the lifted Sierra AT4 is for you.


Hitting the trail

I spent most of the day over the beautiful roads outside St. John's Newfoundland in a 2019 Sierra Denali, a top model with almost all the literal bells and figurative whistles, including the great 6.2 -liter lump of a V8. Its effortless moment turns the empty truck forward with aplomb, and in standard trim I thought the sound was a little unremarkable, the optional sports blowout solves it nicely – at the expense of any drone.

My first impression behind Wheel of Denali was one of calm, a hallmark of Sierra and indeed Silverado. While you do not want to confuse it for an S-class, Sierra manages uneven pavement and unexpected slag without drama and offers a clean, comfortable cruise on the highway. You can cover big, big miles in the heated and cooled front seats without much discomfort.

And you will not miss much from the rear seats. The extra legroom out there means that the Crew Cab version of the truck can handle a crew of any size. Or fold up the back seats and there is plenty of space for bikes, big dogs, polar bears or anything else you travel with.

For what's not in the cab, the MultiPro tailgate really makes the bed easy to fill. With both folded down and the inner lip extended, it becomes a wide solid step that made it very easy to climb into while handling a tail tail. Turn up the inner tailgate and extend the lip to an integrated bedside valve. Or close the tailgate and expand the inner bit and you have a passable working position.

It works well and it's the kind of thing that we'll certainly see copied on other trucks in the near future, but for now you can just get it on Sierra. If I was on the market, I would probably check that box.

It's quite hard not to like this thing … if you can afford it.



2019 GMC Sierra, especially in Denali trim, is hard to not like. Sure the styling might be conservative, but given its market and the varied reception to Silverado, which seems like a wise move to me. It runs clean, runs and is capable of being able to compete on the market.

But all that comes at a price, of course. 2019 GMC Sierra starts at $ 29,600, but if you want all the games you've read about, expect to pay more. Offroad-focused AT4, with its 2-inch lift and Rancho tube, starts at $ 53,200, while Denali is $ 54,700 and upwards.

Spendy? Yes, actually, but last year, the average Denali buyer went to $ 55,656, and with all these fun new selection boxes to cross in 2019, the number just goes up.

Editor's Note: Roadshow accepts several days Car Loans from Manufacturers to Score Editorial Reviews. All evaluated vehicle reviews are carried out on our turf and on our terms. But for this feature, the manufacturer covered travel expenses. This is common in the automotive industry, as it is far more economical to send journalists to cars than to send cars to journalists.

Judges and opinions from Roadshow's editorial team are our own and we do not accept paid editorial content.

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