In keeping with a bigger-is-better U.S. market that is aided by cheap fuel and cheap credit, the 2019 Sierra AT4 1500 is larger in almost every dimension not unlike many ‘Mericans.
This includes a longer wheelbase and longer crew cab body that offers about 3 inches more rear legroom than the previous model. Unfortunately, the prices – $36,595 to more than $62,000 – are larger too.
One good detail is the (marketing babble alert) “MultiPro Tailgate”* that has six functions and positions for loading, load-stopping, and the much needed pickup version of mountain climbing without ropes into the bed.
With size and complexity comes weight and diminished performance, of course. As a counter, an industry-first carbon fiber cargo-box is bolted to the steel frame rails. It’s said to increase durability and efficiency while offering best-in-class dent, scratch and corrosion resistance. No data or independent tests were offered as proof of this assertion.
Best-in-class cargo volume comes with Sierra Denali’s 5’ 8” box at 63 cubic feet of volume. Most of that volume was created by widening the maximum width of the bed floor nearly seven inches. (Let’s hope you never park next to one.)
All told, the Sierra can be as much as 360 pounds (163 kg) lighter than the previous model, because of a mixed materials approach, including – a salute to the breakthrough Ford F150 – aluminum for the doors, hood and tailgate, However, there’s steel for the fenders, roof and standard cargo box. The fully boxed steel frame that is 88 pounds (40 kg) lighter than its predecessor, with 10% greater torsional rigidity. Changed front and rear suspensions have new, lightweight components. (Aluminum Ford F-150 Top IIHS Safety Pick, but Criticized, not for the First Time on Repair Costs, which could be Premature and Ford F-150 Aluminum Pickup Sheds 700 Pounds Late this Year)
Advanced technology items such as a Rear Camera Mirror are being pulled down from more expensive vehicles on the market – if you can refer to $32,000 – $85,000 GMC pickups as less expensive. Compared to the now prosaic inside rear-view mirror, this dual-mode looking glass functions either as a traditional mirror or as a camera screen. The camera mode helps to eliminate obstructions such as rear- seat passengers and head restraints while providing a wider, less clogged rear field of view.
Engine and Transmissions
- 4.3-liter V6 with Active Fuel Management and a six-speed automatic
- 5.3-liter V8 with Active Fuel Management and a six-speed automatic
- New 2.7-liter Turbo (yes, a puny four-cylinder) with Active Fuel Management and an eight-speed automatic
- New 5.3-liter V8 with new Dynamic Fuel Management* and an eight-speed automatic
- New 6.2-liter V8 with new Dynamic Fuel Management* and a 10-speed automatic
- New 3.0-liter I6 turbo-diesel and a 10-speed automatic
*Dynamic Fuel Management on new 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V8 engines expands cylinder-deactivation capability with 17-cylinder activation combinations to optimize performance and efficiency in all driving conditions
- The new HD Rear-Vision Camera
- Lane Change Alert with Size Blind Zone Alert
- HD Surround Vision
- All-New Traction Select System that allows the driver to choose from preset drive modes for different terrain or weather conditions. Selecting one of these modes adjusts Sierra ’s transmission shift points, throttle mapping and StabiliTrak to optimize performance for the situation at hand.
- Next-generation GMC Infotainment systems and connectivity
Sierra, SLE, Elevation, SLT, AT4
The redesigned Sierra Denali has segment-first technologies such as Multi-Color Head-up Display and Rear Camera Mirror, along with chassis enhancements such as Adaptive Ride Control and signature design and interior elements. (Be sure to cross shop this one and all others with F-Series.)
The new Sierra Elevation is offered exclusively in the double cab configuration in 2wd and 4wd and has monochromatic door handles, bumpers and grille surround, amplified by black exterior accents, including the grille insert, tow hooks, side window trim and standard 20-inch aluminum wheels.
The new Sierra AT4 offers authentic off-road capability and innovative technology paired with premium refinement. It features a 2-inch factory suspension lift, standard 4wd with a two-speed transfer case, locking rear differential, skid plates, Rancho monotube shocks, 18-inch wheels with all-terrain Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires (20-inch wheels available), Hill Descent Control, Traction Select System, MultiPro Tailgate, exclusive exterior and interior trim, red vertical recovery hooks and a standard 5.3-liter V8 engine.
- Primary gate — opens from the key fob, from inside the truck or via a button on the gate.
- Primary gate load stop — helps prevent items from sliding out of the box.
- Easy access — the inner gate folds down, allowing a deeper reach into the box.
- Full-width step — the inner gate folds into a large step for easy access and holds up to 375 pounds.
- Inner gate load stop — helps prevent second-tier items from sliding out of the box.
- Inner gate with work surface — when opened, provides a work surface as well as second-tier loading.