2019 GMC Sierra: A ‘celeb’ with loads of tricks

General Motors intends to distinguish the 2019 GMC Sierra from the competitors– and from its Chevy Silverado brother or sister– through additional high-end amenities and technologies that the automaker calls segment-leading. Improvements to the upgraded Sierra, aside from bolder styling and weight reduction of as much as 360 pounds, begin in the back with a brand-new standard tailgate on SLT and Denali trims. Here’s a roundup of Sierra reviews from the automotive media.

“Our route in the new Sierra covered a range of terrain, from smooth, slow-speed roads sprinkled with occasional potholes to higher-speed freeways. I tested two of the Sierra trim levels– the mid-range SLT equipped with the 5.3-liter V-8 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the range-topping Denali that consisted of the sturdy 6.2-liter V-8 and 10-speed transmission.

“Both models carried out remarkably out on the roadway, with much sharper steering than in previous trucks. Directional stability is greatly enhanced over the prior-generation truck, as is body control– there’s very little wallowing or dive when changing directions on a curvy road or rounding bends onto a highway on-ramp. The steering feel can be changed also: Just twist the knob sitting at the upper left part of the control panel into Sport mode, and both effort and feedback boost. The throttle reaction and transmission shift points likewise adapt to a more sporting nature, and in the Denali’s case, the electronic suspension also adjusts the damping for a firmer flight. Braking feel and performance is absolutely nothing brief of impressive– the pedal operates with an excellent preliminary bite and continues to build progressive pressure throughout its travel, granting the motorist a sensation of confidence and strength.

“But ride quality is blended depending on the version you sample– the SLT with its smaller sized 18-inch wheels, taller tire sidewalls and non-adjustable suspension really rode more efficiently than the Denali despite the latter trim level’s Adaptive Ride Control suspension and shock absorbers. This is not the expensive Magnetic Ride Control system we have actually seen on GM’s SUVs like the GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Tahoe or Cadillac Escalade, however a different digitally adjustable system. It appears counterintuitive that the more economical SLT ought to have a more glamorous flight than the big-bucks Denali, but the seat-of-the-pants-o-meter doesn’t lie: I preferred driving the SLT to the Denali over the occasionally broken pavement we came across.”

“Mentioning cars, my Denali had a similar 6.2-liter V-8 to the Corvette. Paired with a 10-speed and spitting out 460 pound-feet of torque, it was as smooth as the Sierra’s wardrobe. Dress a Chevy Silverado in a tuxedo and it’s good-looking. If it can do a six-way tailgate, wade streams with 1,600 pounds on your back and go zero-60 in less than six seconds, it’s a star.”

“I invested the majority of a day crossing the gorgeous roads outside St. John’s, Newfoundland in a 2019 Sierra Denali, a top-shelf design with nearly all the literal bells and metaphorical whistles, including that big 6.2-liter lump of a V8. Its uncomplicated torque surges the empty truck forward with aplomb, and while in default trim I found its noise to be a little unremarkable, the optional sport exhaust fixes that nicely– at the expense of some drone.

“My preliminary impression behind the wheel of the Denali was one of composure, a trademark of the Sierra and, undoubtedly, the Silverado. While you would not puzzle it for an S-Class, the Sierra handles irregular pavement and unexpected potholes without drama and offers a tidy, comfortable cruise on the highway. You might cover big, huge miles in the heated and cooled front seats without much pain.”

“A sport setting in a Sierra with adjustable dampers may strike one as odd, however thankfully that’s not the coolest technique here. The Sierra can pick up weight in the back; when that equates to 500 pounds or more, the dampers tighten method up and enhance truck stability. To show the system in action, GMC loaded an 800-pound ATV in the bed and sent me on a drive. Everything feels quite regular on a smooth road, however even when striking huge bumps, the truck takes in the shock and immediately settles, no oscillating in back with the extra weight. Very cool.

“Otherwise, much like the Silverado, the Sierra drives with next-level civility that surrounds on that of an automobile. The compromise of ride quality and sound, vibration and cruelty concerns are going away with trucks. Moreover, seats can be wrapped in soft leather, and real, open-pore wood becomes part of the interior. The cabin is massive inside, with area for, I would guess, the beginning lineup of the Detroit Pistons to drive around in, not to mention average-height adults. The single most significant, and intensifying, issue with pickups nowadays is parallel parking.”

“Despite the fact that the truck is longer, taller, and larger, it feels smaller from behind the wheel. You only end up being conscious of its body-on-frame building on a few of Newfoundland’s rough roadways with pits that would make Detroit cringe. The new electrohydraulic system supplies effortless braking.

“These roads showed best for examining the suspension. For 2019, GMC replaced the Denali’s magnetic ride control with a brand-new Adaptive Flight Control. The brand-new system still moves fluid through the shocks however has actually a digitally controlled valve developed to react to roadway conditions much faster. It sopped up the flaws of the island roads quickly– striking down the joke: ‘You understand you’re from Newfoundland when driving is better in the winter season because the pits are filled with snow.'”

“Steering is firm and direct and the turning radius is remarkably small. Still, it’s a big truck and you feel every bit of its nearly 7-foot width. Visibility is typical for the class (helped by the rear-camera mirror and 360-degree electronic camera), though its thick A-pillars can obstruct your view in a corner. The cameras are a boon if you’re off-roading, providing views from both bumpers and of both sets of wheels.

“The seats and seating position are great (the brand-new, focused steering column is valued), though general comfort and ride quality are bad in the Denali, even with Adaptive Ride Control. The system uses sensors to change the dampers every 2 milliseconds, but it’s not sufficient. The Sierra crashed and bounced over the average Newfoundland backroads. It’s bound to be worse in a place like Detroit or Los Angeles. I’m putting a lot of blame on our tester’s optional 22-inch wheels, as the trip was much better in our extremely brief time in the AT4.”