Back in January GM chose the Detroit show for the official reveal of its new Chevrolet Silverado truck. Today the automaker’s GMC division is introducing its new 2019 GMC Sierra truck at the 2018 New York International Auto Show. Like its twin, the new Sierra largely eschews the silhouette of its older version. But my impression is that Chevy succeeded better in its redesign than have the folks at GMC. The new Sierra sports a rather generic look that lacks inspiration. Most of the focus seems to have been on the visuals of the front grille, now all chromed and pretty imposing. The press release in fact dawdled for quite some time on this design feature.
The overall dimensions of the new Sierra are larger than its predecessor’s, which translates into a more spacious cabin. The interior houses any number of storage spaces and USB ports. The rear seats are not only more spacious, they’re also more comfortable, particularly in the Denali and SLT versions.
GMC points out that the chassis and suspension have also been upgraded, as has the powertrain. Incidentally, the Denali edition features an adaptive suspension system that continually adjusts the suspension.
Buyers will be able to choose between three powertrains: a 5.3L V8, a 6.2L V8, and a Duramax inline-6 diesel. The two V8s feature stop/start technology and a new fuel management system that enables the engine to activate one to eight cylinders depending on need, to optimize both power and efficiency. The 6.2L and diesel engines can also be wedded to a 10-speed automatic transmission.
The Denali and SLT version of the Sierra will be equipped with a new multifunction rear gate, the first of its kind on the market. It can be configured multiple ways, beginning with the footboard with hand grip to give easier access to the bed, and can even serve as a picnic table. The gate also has a system for tying down objects once the gate is down. That gate, by the way, is power-operated.
Another available goodie is a carbon-fibre box for the rear. According to GMC, it is the most durable material available for a truck box and actually lightens the overall weight by 30 kg (otherwise the Sierra comes with a more-resistant but heavier steel box).
The Sierra is also the first to offer a colour head up display. The new ProGrade towing system, meanwhile, comes standard on the Denali and SLT models, and includes a totally new application providing a pre-departure verification list, maintenance reminders, electronic diagnoses of the trailer and a system to monitor the pressure and temperature of the trailer’s tires. All of that data displays on the central screen. A smartphone app also allows for monitoring various systems.
In addition to presenting the new edition of the Sierra, GMC also used the occasion to unveil a new, off-road-focused version of the model: the AT4.
As per current trends in the industry and on the marketplace, the Sierra AT4 targets consumers who want a more aggressive-looking truck that can also handle substantial off-road chores. The majority of the additions and modifications are of a practical nature, though some are clearly intended to announce to those around you that you are a genuine off-roading dude or dudette.
Standard equipment offered on the 2019 GMC Sierra AT4 includes:
- Factory-installed 2-inch elevated ground clearance
- Four-wheel drive with two-speed transfer case, locking rear differential and protective plates
- Monotube shocks calibrated for off-roading
- 18-inch wheels with all-terrain or available Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires designed for muddy terrain, or available 20-inch wheels with all-terrain tires
- Exclusive dark-tint wheel design with machined surface finish
- 33-inch all-terrain tires with available 33-inch mud-terrain tires
- Hill descent control
- Traction selection
- Covers for the anti-fog lights, fender cage and black-finish chrome grille accents
- Body-coloured contours for the grille, door handles and bumpers
- Exclusive interior decorative elements
- Red vertical salvage hooks
- Standard 5.3L V8 engine
Whether you’re looking at the Sierra, its Denali or SLTY editions or the AT4 version, the next generation of the model is modernized, mechanically more sophisticated, and more generous in terms of options and refinement. We’ll see if consumers can look past the relatively ordinary silhouette of the thing.