GMC put a tailgate in its new pickup’s tailgate, and if that doesn’t make the 2019 Sierra 1500 Denali sufficiently meta than we’re not sure what will. The completely revamped new truck is the fanciest of GMC’s pickups, and that makes it the starting point for some of the automaker’s newest features.
That includes the MultiPro Tailgate, which GMC has wasted no time in describing “the most innovative pickup tailgate ever.” While we’ve seen plenty of tailgates that have integrated steps, or even that can alternately hinge from one of two directions, the Sierra Denali’s rump has a whole second level. You can either open the tailgate fully, or just pull down the secondary perch (or, indeed, open it to six different positions in total).
If tailgate dynamics aren’t sufficiently exciting for you, there’s also a new, industry-first carbon fiber pickup box. Again, it has a clever name – CarbonPro, GMC is calling it – but a fairly straightforward function. The lightweight material is particularly resilient to dents, scratches, and corrosion, which should make the new Sierra Denali’s box extra-durable. It’s also 62 pounds lighter than steel box.
Then there’s the new ProGrade Trailering System with Trailering App. Standard on the Denali and SLT models, it includes various diagnostics and pre-departure checklists, available both in the car and through GMC’s smartphone app for iOS and Android. Optionally, GMC can send you notifications through OnStar if someone unhitches the trailer without permission, too.
Of course, all this would be for naught if the 2019 Sierra didn’t get the basics right too. Its certainly striking, with the familiar GMC grille bearing lashings of chrome, while the hood is taller and the C-shaped lights larger. LEDs are used for the headlamps and taillamps, along with the fog lamps, and the overall size of the truck has increased from the outgoing model. On the Denali, you can have 22-inch Ultra Bright aluminum wheels if you’re feeling particularly brash; the SLT has optional 22-inch dark aluminum wheels with chrome accents.
Inside, there’s more headroom and legroom in the front, and a higher seating position for the driver. The Denali gets special materials, too, like better leather, open-pore wood, and dark-finish aluminum. In 2019 Sierra 1500 crew cab form there’s almost 3-inches more rear legroom, while the rear seat backs can be opened for more storage.
A multi-color head-up display is a first for the segment, albeit an option, and there’s an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen with navigation as standard. GMC is talking up its new infotainment software, too, which promises swifter responses and better voice recognition. A rear camera mirror can be had for better rear visibility, as can surround vision.
The existing 6.2-liter and 5.3-liter V8 engines have been updated, now with stop-start technology and the ability to shut down as many as seven cylinders depending on overall load. There’s also a new 3.0-liter inline-six turbodiesel. Whichever the engine, you get Adaptive Ride Control that can adjust the active dampers every 2ms according to the road conditions.
GMC says the 2019 Sierra 1500 Denali and SLT will go on sale this fall. Pricing for each truck will be announced closer to release.