The GMC Sierra 1500 has been completely redesigned for model year 2019. The new design features modified proportions to allow for a larger cabin and cargo area. The ruggedly defined front grille also features the C-shaped headlights that similarly appeared on the GMC Terrain refresh last year.
An Innovative New Tailgate
The one feature that has caught everyone's attention is the new cargo tailgate. Billed as the "world's first six-function Multipro tailgate," it can be configured into 6 distinct positions. Besides the primary gate (like all other trucks have), there is also an interior gate. Essentially, only half the tailgate folds down.
On the inner side of the interior gate, a gate stop folds up. Depending upon how the tailgate is positioned, this gate stop can keep cargo inside the truck bed or can be used as a step to enter the truck bed. If it's a little hard for you to visualize, here's a video demonstration.
In the past, GMC and Chevrolet trucks were similar in all but name only. However, this distinctive tailgate is unique only to GMC. Additionally, it only comes standard on the SLT, AT4, and Denali trims.
For 2019, there are six trims, two drivetrains, three cab configurations, and five engine options for the GMC Sierra 1500. There is no single cab option for the 2019 Sierra 1500. Buyers wanting only a single cab should head to Chevrolet for that option. The five engine options for the Sierra include a 4.3L EcoTec3 V6 engine, a 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine, the same 5.3L V8 engine with dynamic fuel management (DFM) technology, a 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 engine, and, finally, a 2.7L Turbo engine.
For comparison purposes, we will be referencing the prices of a 2WD double cab with standard box (unless otherwise noted). Buyers should expect to pay a little more for 4WD, crew cab configurations, and larger V8 engines.
The base trim (simply called “Sierra”) has a starting MSRP of $34,995. That's for a double cab, standard box, 2WD truck. It comes with a 4.3-liter V6 EcoTec3 engine that produces 285 horsepower and 305 pound-foot of torque. This is the only trim with the V6 engine option standard. It has direct injection, active fuel management, and variable valve timing. Some of the top features in the base Sierra are StabiliTrak with traction control, trailer sway control, and hill start assist.
The towing capabilities don’t stand up to the Ford F-150 but are pretty substantial. Even at its least expensive, the Sierra has a max payload of 2,160 lbs and a max trailering weight of 11,300 lbs when properly equipped.
On the inside, the Sierra included an all-new infotainment system that includes Bluetooth connectivity and a 7” diagonal screen. In addition to this, the Sierra trim now comes standard with a rear vision camera.
The 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE is the next trim and has a starting price of $39,295 for a 2WD, double cab, standard box truck. The SLE sees the standard engine upgraded to a 2.7L Turbo engine. It is capable of 310 hp and 348 pound-feet of torque while paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The biggest changes for the SLE happen on the interior and include an eight-inch diagonal touchscreen color radio with IntelliLink and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise controls. Remote keyless entry also comes standard, which was only an available option on the base Sierra.
Otherwise, the SLE, at least in our opinion, serves as a starting point for feature add-ons. For example, a ProGrade trailering system, X31 off-road package, and safety features like lane change alerts are available for an extra cost. These upgradable options are not available for buyers who settle with the base Sierra trim. We think it might be a better deal for buyers to explore higher trims if they are truly interested in these features, however.
A new trim for 2019 is the GMC Sierra 1500 Elevation. With a starting MSRP of $41,795, drivers may appreciate some of the cosmetic differences that set it apart from the SLE trim. While it has the same 2.7L Turbo engine under the hood, the Elevation trim features a monochromatic exterior with a large black front grille. Gone are the chrome accents and front bumpers that the SLE carries. Additionally, LED fog lamps now come standard below the C-shaped LED headlamps.
Further additions at this trim level include keyless open and start capabilities, as well as available bucket seats.
A 2WD 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT has a starting MSRP of $45,795 and includes another engine upgrade. The 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine is the only engine option available for this trim level. The V8 without dynamic fuel management (DFM) is not available on 2WD drivetrain models. It produces 355 hp and 383 lb-ft. The DFM option has an 8-speed automatic transmission, while the V8 without DFM has a 6-speed transmission.
If you're a buyer looking for that new MultiPro tailgate to come standard, you need to start your truck search at this trim level. In addition to the 6-function tailgate, the SLT makes some other changes to the exterior. The monochromatic scheme from the Elevation is replaced with chrome accents around the front grille, bumper, and window trimmings. The LED headlamps and taillamps are also high-intensity for the first time.
On the interior, changes include 10-way power leather-appointed front seats, heated steering wheel, and rear seatback storage.
As its name may suggest, the only available drivetrain on the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4 trim is four-wheel-drive. The standard engine is still the 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine with DFM.
If you're a silver chrome lover, this trim won't be for you since the AT4 features black chrome grille and accents along with a jet black leather-appointed interior with Kalahari accents. The full gamut of exterior color options are still available, but, needless to say, the AT4 looks best dressed out in all black.
The trim's off-road focus is further accentuated by a 2-inch factory-installed suspension lift, an AutoTrac 2-speed transfer case, and an off-road suspension with Rancho monotube shocks and skid plates. The AT4 also has an automatic locking rear differential, an integrated dual exhaust, and vertical red recovery hooks. All of these features start at an MSRP of $52,295.
Lastly, the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali has a starting MSRP of $56,195. That gets you a crew cab, short box, 2WD truck featuring the same engine as the SLT and AT4. Once buyers reach the Denali trim, the double cab configuration is no longer available. Denali trim models are only offered as a crew cab configuration.
The Denali focuses its upgrades on comfort and safety since it's the top-of-the-line of GMC's offerings. The safety features on the Denali improve with the inclusion of lane change alerts with side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, and safety alert seat, all standard. The Denali also has features that other GMC Sierras lack. Inside, buyers will find authentic perforated Forge leather-appointed seating and open-pore ash wood trim throughout the cabin. Front seats are heated and ventilated, and the outboard rear seats are heated as well.