2019 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali puts a tailgate in your tailgate

Where's Xzibit when you need him?

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
3 min read

Yo dawg, heard you liked tailgates, so when it came time to come up with a unique angle for its 2019 Sierra pickup, it put a tailgate inside the tailgate so you can... well, you get where this is going.

GMC unveiled the new 2019 Sierra 1500 pickup truck today. The Sierra is analogous to Silverado, which entered a new generation earlier this year in Detroit, so it only stood to reason that the Sierra's redo wasn't far behind. Just like its sibling, the Sierra packs some unique upgrades that you won't find in any other truck, and best of all, several of those new features are standard across both trims.

Enlarge Image

The new Sierra looks like it's ready to take your lunch money.


Lookin' good

The exterior is a fair bit beefier than before. The headlights have a notched look sort of like the new GMC Terrain SUV, and the grille is slowly growing to consume the entire remainder of the front end. It's larger in just about every way, from the length to the height of the hood. LEDs are everywhere on the top Denali trim, whether it's the headlights, taillights, fog lamps or anything else that produces light. It's got bigger wheels, too -- 22-inchers are available for both Denali and SLT trims.

Inside, the crew cab adds almost 3 inches of rear legroom, and the second-row seatbacks hide storage spaces suitable for laptops , umbrellas and other things you might need hanging around. Design-wise, its look is almost the same as its Silverado sibling. The Denali trim ramps up the fancy with a bunch of leather, open-pore wood and real aluminum trim.

Big changes out back

The truck's most important changes aren't aesthetic, though. Head around back to the bed, and you'll see some real interesting stuff. Both the SLT and Denali trims will get GMC's new MultiPro Tailgate, which is a tailgate within a tailgate. Using a button on the tailgate handle, you can deploy the smaller guy for workstation duties or loading smaller things into the bed. Combined with GM's bumper-step indentations, it's a unique way to make a pretty standard part of the vehicle a bit more versatile.

It doesn't end there, though. Later in the model year, the Sierra Denali can also be optioned with GMC's CarbonPro carbon fiber box. The bed itself is still made of steel, but the inner panels and floor have been replaced with a carbon fiber composite that GMC claims is even more durable and dent- or scratch-resistant than steel. It's also 62 pounds lighter than an equivalent steel box, which helps contribute to a 360-pound weight loss when compared to the current Sierra.

2019 GMC Sierra 1500 debuts with carbon fiber box, 'Inception' tailgate

See all photos

Checking the tech

GMC didn't forget about other kinds of tech, either. The Denali will get a 3-by-7-inch color head-up display and a rearview mirror that can display what the backup camera sees in the event rear visibility is obstructed by something in the bed. Both SLT and Denali also pack the latest version of GMC's IntelliLink infotainment system, which is basically a reskinned version of the new Cadillac CUE , which I happen to like a great deal. Safety features like automatic emergency braking and blind spot monitoring are also available.

Three engines will be on offer in the 2019 GMC Sierra. Both 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V8s receive a new cylinder-deactivation system that lets these gas engines run on a single cylinder in certain conditions. Like the Silverado, the Sierra will also receive GM's new 3.0-liter I6 turbodiesel. Both the diesel and the 6.2-liter V8 come with 10-speed automatic transmissions.

Trailers? There's an app for that

If you like dragging stuff around with your Sierra, there's a whole bunch of new tech just for you, too. Both Denali and SLT trims get GMC's new trailer-specific app, which offers a pre-departure checklist, maintenance remainders, light tests, electrical diagnostics and trailer tire pressure monitoring.

In conjunction with OnStar, there's even a theft detection system that can text you when the trailer has been detached from the truck. Side and trailer-mounted cameras are available for additional visibility while hauling, too.

The 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 goes on sale in the fall, and pricing will be available closer to its release date.

2019 GMC Sierra 1500
Enlarge Image
2019 GMC Sierra 1500

A little extra help never hurts when it comes to ensuring your trailer is set up correctly.


2019 Chevrolet Silverado: Wondering what's up with the Sierra's sibling? Check out all the new changes here.

2019 Ram 1500: Want to compare new trucks ? Here's Ram's latest, too.