The 2019 Sierra: GMC’s Meaner, Leaner, and Smarter Pickup

The 2019 Sierra

The 2019 Sierra

Guess what? Canadians love pickup trucks. So, when a major brand announces a new generation of truck, people get excited. GM finally pulled the curtain off the 2019 Sierra at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and it looks great.

Meaner

Admittedly, we’ve only seen the face of the new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado. But the Silverado and Sierra usually share everything important, so it’s safe to assume we won’t be surprised.   The 2019 Sierra is going to be both longer and wider, and you’ll notice it most in the cabin with headroom and legroom. On the outside, the headlights and taillights are sharper and brighter. They blend well into some swooping, wing-like designs along the sides. Some (it’s me) have called the new front end a little “busy”, but GMCs are usually a little more understated than Chevrolet counterparts, so don’t be surprised if the Sierra’s front is cleaner.

Leaner

Despite the increased size, the 2019 Sierra has actually gotten significantly lighter.  

In fact, it’s shed 450 pounds from the previous generation. How has GM done it? Well, in spite of its recent (obnoxious) attacks against Ford for using aluminum, they’re using aluminum. They placed the flexible metal in swinging panels like doors, hoods, and tailgates. But the fixed panels (box and roof) will remain primarily steel. But even those components are lighter thanks to the use of a high-strength variant of steel.

As a side note, the new aluminum tailgate allowed GM to add automatic raising and lowering. It’s a clever touch that makes the 2019 Sierra even more indispensable for everyday work.

Smarter

Active Fuel Management (tech that reduces the number of cylinders in use at low speeds) isn’t old tech. However, Dynamic Fuel Management has already supplanted it. The technological improvement is greater than the lexical one.

Dynamic Fuel Management, which will improve fuel economy by an additional 5%, does not deactivate the same block of cylinders every time. Instead, it uses an algorithm to determine measure the cylinder load and directs which cylinders fire and which do not on an event-by-event basis. The pattern would seem chaotic if you were watching it in action. But, as a driver, the transition between partial and complete cylinder activation will be less noticeable.  

Engines

It’s been widely reported that the two V8 engines from the previous generation of Sierra will be carried over:

  • 5.3L EcoTec3 V8: 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque
  • 6.2L EcoTec3 V8: 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque

But, excitingly, GM is adding a 3.0L Duramax Turbodiesel I-6 to the mix. The decision comes at a time when many automakers are running away from diesel after the Volkswagen poisoned public opinions. Convincing customers that diesel isn’t evil may be a challenge, but informed buyers know that a diesel engine, abiding by industry regulations, is no worse for the environment than a gasoline one. Plus, it provides far better fuel economy and increased torque for towing and hauling.

If you want the high torque and fuel savings of a diesel, you may want to wait for the 2019 Sierra to hit the dealership lots. But if you’re a fan of the current powertrains, and healthy savings, you may want to pick up a 2017 or 2018 model.

 

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