Truth be told, the lineup of GMC trucks has never done much to catch my eye. Personal preference aside, it’s safe to say that I’m not entirely alone in my opinion. I say this based primarily on their modest placement within U.S. sales rankings, still managing to secure a coveted fourth spot (beneath the rest of the Detroit three) but losing footing each and every day to the likes of Toyota, Nissan, and even Honda.
Car and Driver recently published their ranking of the five best trucks of 2018 and, suffice it to say that there wasn’t a single GMC in the mix. Granted, there also wasn’t any place in their picks for the somewhat divisive RAM 1500 or the Nissan Titan (which happen to be my favorites) so my opinion could undoubtedly be invalidated. But with Ford continuing to dominate Full-Size and Heavy Duty spots (with the F-150 and SuperDuty, respectively) Honda’s Ridgeline managing to snag the Mid-Size category, Chevy’s Colorado named as having ‘Best Style’ and Toyota’s Tacoma being celebrated for its Safety Tech it feels like GMC is failing to assert themselves.
But one can’t help but feel that 2019 could prove a significant game-changer for GMC’s truck lineup with the identity crisis, due primarily to grand designs surrounding the Sierra. Let’s start with a quick introduction to the 2019 Sierra 1500, courtesy of cars.com
While there are the obvious benefits to be enjoyed by the Sierra’s use of the updated Silverado platform, it feels more like its own entity than an offshoot of its more recognizable cousin. Sure, the engine configurations are primarily the same (5.3-liter or 6.2-liter V8, and 3.0-liter TurboDiesel) but the new design of the Denali, including boldly refreshed grille and asymmetrical wheel arches, infuse it with a sense of character that sets it apart. For those interested in the short-bed Sierra the inclusion of an industry-first nylon-based carbon fiber bed is another discernible update.
Touching briefly on the interior, it does reflect a sense of refinement (a sentiment which we’ll get to further) utilizing strong material choices in terms of the pebbled leather upholstery and a more reserved, but intuitively designed control panel design. Wireless charging is undoubtedly an added plus, as well.
The inclusion of a 3×7 multicolor heads-up display continues to advance GMC out of stagnancy, ensuring that the driver’s attention never has to leave the road. This is especially beneficial when it comes to the use of turn-by-turn navigation, or simple Bluetooth phone use.
The new rearview mirror camera is another innovative touch, able to transform the mirror into a monitor which feeds images from a rear-facing camera (placed above the rear window). Eliminating blind spots from the likes of the vehicle’s C-pillars, it creates a simplified and more intuitive means of backing up safely.
Of course, the touchpad-activated dual action tailgate has garnered a lot of attention. Designed to improve ease of loading, as well as personal accessibility, the gate is also functional as a load stop, making it one of the most intelligent redesigns of standard equipment that we’ve seen in a long time.
GMC Trucks – Worthy of the Accolades
And with the new adaptive ride control suspension, the Sierra has never felt more versatile in terms of providing superior ride quality and a number of features (such as low latency, dynamic, multi-angle hitch camera and electronic brake assists) are designed to improve the ease of hitching up and towing. And speaking of towing, yes…there’s an app for that.
I have to admit, I always found some humor in KBB.com’s 2017 decision to name GMC ‘Most Refined Brand’, but that refinement now feels like it may have denoted a measured pause in a well-strategized long-game that we may not have realized GMC was playing.
Do you share our appreciation of the 2019 Sierra? Let us know what you think.