Three months after wowing everyone with a redesigned 2019 Silverado 1500, General Motors has taken the wraps off the next generation of the Sierra lineup. And though the 2019 Sierra and Sierra Denali half-ton pickups feature a new design, the exterior changes are a bit more conservative than what we saw from the next-generation Chevy truck.
Beyond the different look and luxury-leaning features you’d expect from GM’s “professional grade” pickups, the new Sierra half-ton is differentiated from Chevy’s offering by three key features: a carbon fiber bed, the new MultiPro tailgate and a “Head-Up Display” that projects vehicle data onto the windshield.
We’ll get to all of these features and more in this breakdown, but let’s start with the new design.
GMC says the 2019 Sierra is bigger than the previous generation of trucks “in virtually every dimension.”
The truck maker has matched those larger proportions with design changes that made elements of the exterior a bit larger and more pronounced. The hood features a taller design, the grille is larger and the C-shaped lighting inside the headlamps (which GMC calls a “signature” design) is now a bit larger and more pronounced than before.
GMC says it has also pushed the wheels more toward the corners on these larger trucks and has wrapped them in larger diameter tires. The Sierra SLT sits on 22-inch dark aluminum wheels with chrome accents, while the Denali is outfitted with 22-inch Ultra Bright aluminum wheels.
Carbon fiber box
Though a high-strength steel bed will come standard on the 2019 Sierras, a new CarbonPro bed will be an available option. The CarbonPro is a GMC exclusive and the first carbon fiber pickup box in the industry, the truck maker says.
With CarbonPro, GMC has replaced the steel inner panels and floor with a lightweight carbon fiber composite that will be “the most durable pickup box in the segment,” GMC says, adding that it will offer “best-in-class dent, scratch and corrosion resistance” while cutting 62 pounds from the weight of the truck over the steel version.
GMC says when equipped with the CarbonPro bed, the 2019 Sierra is 360 pounds lighter than today’s Sierra thanks to the carbon fiber box in addition to the use of aluminum in the doors, hood and tailgate. The fenders and roof remain steel.
Unfortunately, the CarbonPro will not be available at launch and instead will be available “later in the model year.” But if you do opt for the standard steel bed, GMC says it still offers best-in-class cargo volume (63 cubic feet) and, thanks to a new alloy, is 50 percent stronger than the current steel bed.
Another industry first that GMC is touting is the new MultiPro tailgate. Standard on the Sierra SLT and Denali, this tailgate features six functions and positions:
- Primary Gate: Your regular old open tailgate that activates with the touch of a button on the gate or the key fob.
- Primary Gate Load Stop: With the gate open, a compartment near the top opens outward from the inside serving as a load stop for securing long objects being hauled in the bed with the gate open.
- Easy Access: With the gate open, the inner portion of the top of the tailgate folds down, creating a D-shaped opening in the gate allowing you to get closer to whatever you’re pulling out of the bed.
- Full-Width Step: From the Easy Access position, the gate folds downward even further, creating a large step for hopping up into the cab. The step can hold up to 375 pounds.
- Inner Gate Load Stop: With the gate closed, folding down the portion of the gate that creates the Easy Access opening when the gate is closed now opens out, with a portion flipping upward to act as a load stop for longer, loads situated higher in the bed.
- Work Surface: With the gate closed, flipping down the Easy Access portion of the gate creates a work surface tall enough to act as a standing desk of sorts.
Here’s a video of how all the functions work.
Interior and technology
GMC says the 2019 Sierra will offer best-in-class front head- and legroom with a higher seating position for better visibility when driving. The Denali gets exclusive materials like leather seating and authentic wood trim. GMC has also added 3 inches of rear-seat legroom. The rear seat backs open up to reveal rectangular storage spaces large enough to hold tablets, laptops, tie-down cords and more.
Technology in the trucks is headlined by a new 3″x7″ multi-color Head-Up Display. GMC says the Sierra will be the first full-size truck to offer this feature, which creates a hologram-like effect by projecting information about the truck onto the windshield in the driver’s line of sight. Unfortunately, that’s all we know about it because GMC isn’t yet sharing any visuals of how the feature actually works.
Another interesting feature is the new rear view camera mirror. GMC says this dual-function mirror offers the driver a greater field of view than a conventional rear view mirror. It uses a rear-facing high-resolution camera and high-resolution display to create a view that “can help the driver’s view around potential vision obstructions such as occupants or cargo.” You can even tilt or zoom the view the mirror displays.
Rounding out new tech on these trucks is the ProGrade Trailering System. GMC says the trucks offer hitch guidance and hitch view along with automatic electric park brake to assist with “perfect positioning” when hitching up to a trailer. Side view cameras provide assistance while driving forward or in reverse. There’s even a theft detection feature that can send text and mobile alerts from OnStar when the trailer has been detached from the truck without permission.
The 2019 Sierra will be available with the 6.2-liter Duramax diesel, a 5.3L gas V8 and a new 3L inline-six turbo diesel. The 6.2L and 5.3L engines offer a cylinder shutdown feature, allowing the truck to operate only on as many cylinders as are needed for the task at hand. The 6.2L and 3L diesels will be paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
GMC says the 2019 GMC Sierra SLT and Sierra Denali will go on sale this fall.