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5 things to know about the 2019 GMC Sierra

2019 GMC Sierra 7.jpg
2019 GMC Sierra (Sinclair Broadcast Group / Jill Ciminillo)

The GMC brand is relatively synonymous with luxury trucks. And though it has branched off into the realm of SUVs, the Sierra remains one of its most important products.

So it should come as no surprise that GMC wanted to do a reveal outside of an auto show to give special attention to the all-new truck.

When I posted some preliminary photos, one of my Facebook friends asked: How is this different the Chevrolet Silverado? My succinct answer: GMC has cooler toys.

Here are some things to know about the all-new Sierra, which should hit dealers sometime this fall.


Coolest tailgate ever

The Sierra SLT and Denali trims will come standard with what GMC calls the “MultiPro Tailgate,” which has six different configurations that do everything from creating a cutout that gives better truck bed access to giving you a step up into the bed to giving you a standing work station.

In addition to the flexible functionality of the gate, what we really love is that this tailgate is a result of some neat employee collaborations. As one exec explained it, the multi-function tailgate was pitched during a “Shark Tank-like” session and then approved for production.

Roger Olle, GMC Design Engineer, walked us through the configurations, and it was nice to see that all of them are intuitive and easy to execute.


Nearly indestructible box

In the truck wars, the bed has been a primary point of contention. Do you use aluminum or steel, and which one will hold up better under significant wear and tear?

Of course, each automaker will find a way to support whatever material they are using, but GMC decided to throw a wrench – and a hammer and a concrete block and a hammer breaking a concrete block—into the truck bed by introducing an industry first CarbonPro Box.

Available as an option in the Denali trim, this carbon fiber pickup box is designed to increase durability and garner some best-in-class statuses.


Eyes in the back of your head

Let’s face it, if you own a truck, you’re likely to be hauling things in the bed that will block your rear visibility. And while side mirrors play a key role in watching your six, it would be really nice if you could see through your cargo to get an even better view of the road.

Now you can.

For 2019 the Sierra will offer General Motors’ rear vision camera, which utilizes a camera on the tailgate to give you a better view of the road behind you by delivering the image directly to your rearview “mirror” which doubles as a camera display.

I first saw this feature in the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, and thought it was a good idea for the compact electric car. It’s a brilliant idea for a large truck. The camera completely obliterates any visual obstruction and gives a clear and detailed rear view.

The Sierra will also get the next-gen system, which offers a higher resolution image and the ability to tilt or zoom.


There’s an app for that

The new Sierra adds a ProGrade Trailering system, which will be standard on both the SLT and Denali trims. This new system includes a Trailering App, which offers a pre-departure checklist, maintenance reminders, a trailer light test, trailer electrical diagnostics and trailer tire pressure monitoring.

The app should be compatible with most Apple or Android phones.

In addition to the app, the next-gen Sierra makes trailering easier with hitch guidance and an auto electric park brake. Plus, owners who use OnStar can take advantage of the trailer theft detection, which will send a text to owners if a trailer is detached without permission.


More to come

In addition to the cool features mentioned above, GMC has announced there will be three engine options: 6.2- and 5.3-liter V-8 gasoline engines and a 3.0-liter inline-six turbo diesel. But no technical specifications or pricing information have been released just yet. Nor have we seen any trims other than the SLT or Denali.

Thus, this seemed to be more of a sneak peek than a detailed product reveal.

Mark Reuss, executive vice president for global product development, purchasing and supply chain for General Motors, ended the press conference with a definitive “We aren’t done yet,” stating that there would be even more news revealed at the New York Auto Show at the end of March.