2019 GMC Pickup First Drive

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The GMC Sierra 1500 Denali. This is the first chance anyone’s. had to drive this all new truck, and we’re. going to find out if you should buy this instead of a Chevrolet. Silverado. This is GMC’s new MultiPro Tailgate,. and it’s configurable in six positions. Let’s go through them. The bottom button here opens a tailgate. like a normal tailgate. But from here you can open this load stop,. and it’ll keep items from sliding out. And if this was a 6 and 1/2 foot bed,. there would be enough room here for a 4′ by 8′. sheet of plywood. You can also touch the top button,. and now it opens so you can get in closer to load. like a cooler or something that’s heavy. And from here, you fold the stop down, and it becomes a step. And you just hop right in. And it’s wide enough that you could. do that while you’re pushing a motorcycle up a ramp, too. Close this. Start back here. Open this, and now you have a different kind. of load stop for items that you might want to have angling in. And if you fold this down, now you’ve got a work surface. So, yeah. That’s the MultiPro Tailgate. It’s pretty nice, got to admit. I want that. We’ve seen this corner bed step before,. but this year, it’s bigger and more compatible with heavy work. boots. But that’s not the only trick. Kick the running board, and it comes out and puts itself. in a position where you can get into the bed really easily. Kick it again, and it returns. This Sierra Denali I’m driving has the 6.2 liter V8 engine,. which makes 420 horsepower and 460 pounds feet of torque. That is quite a bit. I’m not able to use much of it here,. because the speeds on the island are pretty slow,. and we’re not towing anything, so it’s pretty much. just loping along in a really high gear. And there are a lot of gears in this transmission,. because the 6.2 is paired with a 10 speed automatic. If you get the 5.3, which is the base engine in this truck,. the 8 speed comes with that. If you get something below a Denali,. then you get into the 2.7 liter turbo. In the future, they’ll be a 3 liter turbo. diesel that will also come with this 10 speed. It’s got adaptive damping, which means there’s electronically. controlled shock absorbers that have a couple of modes. It does some adjustment on the fly while we’re driving,. but I can also set it to sport mode or comfort mode. I think they call it touring instead. The thing is, it’s not proving to be. terribly comfortable here. Probably because this has the optional 22 inch. wheel and tire package, which doesn’t have much sidewall. You know, the jury’s out on that until we get it home,. but right now it’s a little bit clompy and a little bit shaky. once in a while. Definitely quivers after you hit certain bumps. But selecting sport mode doesn’t just. change the adaptive dampers, it also. adjusts the weight of the power steering. Right now in touring, it’s a little bit light. I go to sport mode by flicking that,. and it firms up just a little bit. Not a huge difference, but there is a difference there. So if you buy one of these trucks with a standard 3.23. gearing, you have a tow ring that’s under 10,000 pounds. If you want to boost it up over 10,000 pounds,. you need to option up the truck with the 3.42 gearing,. which also gets you a little bit stiffer spring and heavy duty. cooling. All that comes together if you pick the optional axle ratio. The GMC Sierra has a full range of models down to work truck. and up to the Denali, but it definitely. skews towards the higher end of the luxury part of the market. It competes with the most highly optioned versions. of the F-150, the Ram 1500, and even the Chevy Silverado. But in its lower cost forms, they’re. still good work truck value to be had. At first glance, the interior of the GMC Sierra. is pretty similar to that of the Chevrolet Silverado,. but there are differences that make it a nicer place to be. The leather looks and feels more high end. There’s some wood trim here, open pore wood trim. And the knobs have this texturing. that makes them look more attractive and a little bit. easier to use. And then there’s the gauge package. There’s a configurable display that. has a lot more power than what you’ll see in a Silverado. Plus, there’s a heads-up display that projects information up. onto the windshield, so you don’t have. to take your eyes off the road. And here is a rear view camera mirror,. which displays an image from a camera up by the third brake. light above the bed. It’s really quite clear, and you can zoom in. and change the brightness. I really like this. I mean, we have one of these on our Bolt,. but it’s mounted lower, the camera isn’t as good,. and it kind of makes me queasy to use it. But this one– this one is really nice. The basic design of the dash itself, to me,. isn’t that interesting. It looks pretty similar to the last generation. It’s kind of vertical and monolithic. They’ve somehow managed to make the screen look. smaller than it is. It kind of gets lost in the mass of this center stack. The knobs are pretty easy to understand,. but they also aren’t that interesting. There’s a lot of space that isn’t being used here. And then, this power outlet, I’ve. attached things to the window on the Silverado. and the cord goes right across this. to get to this power outlet, so not a fan of that. Just the one USB here. USB-C as well. There is another USB inside the center console, so that’s good. And this is a 120 volt outlet that you turn on and off here. There’s another one in the bed that this switch also controls. Considering this has a column shifter and not a pistol grip. shifter like the F-150, this console area. is still kind of small. I mean, especially when you look at the new Ram 1500. They could’ve done more with the space it seems to me. This is a wireless charge pad though,. but there’s just not very much bin space. The GMC Sierra’s interior is quite a bit more user friendly. and more feature packed than the Silverado,. but it’s still based on a design that. isn’t terribly interesting. [MUSIC PLAYING]. I’m pretty comfortable. I have to admit. There’s a ton of leg room back here. They added three inches compared to last year. Just like the Silverado, but this is adjusted for me. I’m six foot two. I got tons of room back here. Lots of toe space. It’s pretty easy to kick back. I’d like the seat back angled where. you reclined a little bit more, but it’s really not that bad. GM, Ford, RAM, they all have tons of leg room this year. That wasn’t the case before, but now. you can pick between the three, wouldn’t really matter. This doesn’t recline or have any of those extra features. that the Ram has, but it’s pretty comfortable. It does have tri-level seat heaters. back here, which is nice. There’s a USB and a USB-C port, just one of each. And they’re power only, so you’re not. going to serve any music up to the front end from here. There is a 12 volt power outlet. And then of course you have a fold down center console. And they’ve got these clever little compartments here,. one on each side. There’s one behind me. I’m not going to open that one right now,. but you get the idea. As with all pickup trucks like this, the seats in the back. fold up. These are split 60-40. So I can fold up the other side here. You can see the floor is pretty wide. It’s not as wide as some of the others,. because of this little wall here. And the transmission hump is just tiny, but it’s there. But still, it’s a good amount of space with both. of these seat backs flipped up. So the GMC Sierra Denali 4 by 4 Crew Cab,. which is what this is, starts for about $58,000. This particular one with the options. it has stickers for over $67,000. And it’s got two main options that get it to that price. One is the 6.2 liter V8 which costs $2495 right off the top. And I think a lot of people are going to want that,. because it’s pretty darn good. But you don’t have to get that engine. You can stick with the standard 5.3 V8 and the 8 speed. if you want Denali. The other option that this truck has. is the Denali Ultimate Package, which is just over $5,700. And it includes the rear view camera. mirror, heads-up display. It also includes this trick camera system. that has multiple cameras all around the truck. And then there’s the forward collision warning. The lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, all of that. stuff. The one thing it doesn’t have, which. is kind of an odd omission, is adaptive cruise control. The Denali 4 by 4 with the 6.2 liter V8. is rated at 17 MPG combined. That’s 15 in the city and 20 on the highway. The interesting point is the 5.3 leader. V8 is also rated at 17 combined but it’s 15 in the city. and 21 in the highway, so you’re not really. giving up that much if you get the 6.2 V8, except the $2495. it costs to buy it. The standard gas tank in this truck is 24 gallons,. but you can opt for a larger one, which I would recommend. if you’re going to do any sort of towing. for any length of time. The Denali comes with an 8 inch touchscreen. that has Apple Car Play and Android Auto support. It also has built-in nav, which is great. when you travel off the grid in places where you don’t. have any cell phone coverage. Like everything else these days, the Sierra. has steering wheel controls that operate the stereo. They’re on the back where you can’t see them. But they’re right here under your fingertips, which is nice. They don’t clutter up the front of it. That leaves room for the menu controls, cruise control,. a couple of other switches for like a heated steering wheel,. which is nice. Little bit weird action here. One of them’s a roller in the up-down direction,. and then it’s a rocker on the left-right,. but imagine you’d get used to it. It still would be nice if they were the same. Yeah. It’s really clean looking, and everything’s right here. You really don’t have to move your hands around. very much to operate any of it. One of the things I do like about this interior–. I mean, the materials in general are upgraded really nicely,. but there’s not a lot of overly shiny chrome. I mean, this is kind of a hand rub finish. that they’ve got here for this metal. It’s not as shiny as some real plasticky looking chrome. can be. And so there just isn’t a lot of stuff. that can reflect light back in the driver’s eyes. And I really appreciate that. My favorite truck is still the Ram 1500,. but this has a lot of things going for it. It’s got the 6.2 V8 10 speed transmission. Works great. But I really like this tailgate most of all. For my money, I take the GMC Sierra over the Chevrolet Silverado any day.

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