My colleague Matt ran into a situation a few weeks ago that many potential GMC Sierra buyers also have to contend with at the moment. See, I was just returning from Newfoundland where I drove the 2019 GMC Sierra, but back home Matt was picking up a 2018 Sierra presser.
Dealerships are also overlapping at the moment as 2019 units are starting to roll in and ultimately competing with leftover 2018 models. From the outside looking in, it’s hard to spot any significant differences between both model-years which makes things even more difficult.
If the 2019 GMC Sierra was completely different from the 2018, then the only real consideration when choosing between the two would be pricing. In this case, however, 2019 improvements and additions are a bit more subtle. Whether they make the 2019 Sierra better than the 2018 depends on what’s important to you.
And then we have to consider how the 2019 GMC Sierra ranks against its competition. The Ram 1500 has been redesigned and the Ford F-150 is, well, the F-150. Ford could put milk crates instead of seats in its full-size pickup and still outsell every other vehicle in North America.
So, should you buy a 2019 GMC Sierra instead of a 2018? And should you buy a GMC Sierra instead of a Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado or Ford F-150? Let’s take a closer look.
Why you should buy a 2019 GMC Sierra
1. We’ll start with one of the Sierra’s new additions this year, the MultiPro Tailgate. Point blank, it’s not a gimmick. There are six positions available in the MultiPro tailgate, and each is useful in different situations for anyone who uses their truck for work.
2. The 6.2-liter V8 engine isn’t more powerful for 2019, but it’s still as good. With 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, it’s one of best in the segment, and it’s now more fuel-efficient than ever thanks to an advanced cylinder deactivation system.
3. Speaking of which, the 2019 Sierra’s cylinder deactivation is all-new for this year and quite advanced. You won’t find it anywhere else in the pickup segment.
What it does in a nutshell is vary how the cylinders are deactivated instead of sticking to one specific pattern. There are 17 ways the cylinders can shut themselves off in order to get the very best combination of efficiency and available power.
You don’t feel it work, your Sierra feels as powerful as it needs to be, but your fuel consumption goes down.
4. The 2019 GMC Sierra we drove was the Denali edition, and honestly, I don’t think there’s a more upscale-looking pickup out there. But’s that’s personal.
5. It doesn’t feel as heavy as the Ram 1500 or Ford F-150. There’s something about driving the 2019 Sierra that’s different from Ram or Ford pickups. Put the Sierra in Sport mode, and it feels more planted and connected to the road than you expect a truck of this size to be.
Why you shouldn’t buy a 2019 GMC Sierra
1. The GMC Sierra is supposed to be GM’s luxury offering. The Denali model is supposed to be a benchmark of refinement for all pickups.
That’s not the case unfortunately. GMC didn’t do anything to the Sierra’s interior and the overall design looks dated when compared with the new Ram and current F-150. In other words, it’s just not as luxurious as it should be given its purpose.
2. Aside from the MultiPro Tailgate, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how the 2019 GMC Sierra differs from the 2018. Yes, there are a ton of adjustments and improvements, but the Sierra doesn’t feel that different like, for example, the new Ram 1500 feels different from the previous model.
It’s a bit annoying that GMC didn’t put any effort into giving the 2019 Sierra a new, more upscale interior. On the other hand, the Multipro Tailgate is one of the best things to happen to pickups in a long time.
And, I still think the GMC Sierra is the best-looking truck available today. GMC didn’t revolutionize its Sierra, but current owners will welcome the evolution. It may not be enough however to convince F-150 or Ram owners to switch their allegiance.