2019 GMC Sierra Denali has new tech and performance tools.
6.2 V8 returns while the 10-speed automatic borrows a feature GM’s diesel trucks.
The new Denali trucks are arriving at dealerships but are not sticking around very long.
The 2019 GMC Sierra Denali is well aware of its competition. As Ford and Ram dial down with their own luxury and limited editions, it’s clear the Sierra Denali is not the only sheriff in town. Such ultra-luxury trucks find favor with a select group of buyers. And GMC is lacing up their boots for 2019, preparing to go toe-to-toe with their Michigan rivals.
While it likely boils down to personal taste as to which luxury truck prevails in the hearts of consumers, the 2019 GMC Sierra Denali is not easily ignored.
The Denali is the flagship of the expanding Sierra lineup, which now includes the robust AT4 and Elevation models. The latter are for off-pavement adventures, but for the Denali, it’s about softening the concrete with things like Adaptive Ride Control. It’s about adding another three inches of rear legroom, trimming the inside with fancier materials, and pouring on the connectivity tech. Don’t forget the heated and cooled seats and heated steering wheel either.
The 2019 GMC Sierra Denali is on its way to dealers as you read this. Before you visit the showroom, here are some specs on the truck worth knowing.
When you gotta tow, you gotta tow! Expect to see GMC’s new ProGrade Trailering feature with a compatible smartphone app on offer. The system includes a pre-departure checklist, trailer light test, tire pressure monitoring for the trailer, and maintenance reminders among others.
Hitch Guidance, Hitch View, and a birds-eye camera should minimize the amount of swear words uttered while backing up to a trailer. The available side view cameras and a trailer-mounted HD camera can provide additional assistance when traveling down the road, or while operating in reverse. Also cool is the Trailer Theft Detection feature, which provides a mobile alert via OnStar should the trailer ever be detached from the truck.
The available Rear Camera Mirror is something most truck buyers will find useful too. It acts like a dual-function interior mirror, in the sense that it helps drivers see around potential obstructions, be it occupants or cargo. It expands the field of vision with a higher resolution display and the ability to tilt or zoom the view.
The MultiPro Tailgate includes six different functions and positions. There are second-tier loading and load-stop solutions, a standing workstation, and integrated hand grips and bumper steps – the MultiPro Tailgate is standard on Denali and SLT trucks. Although cool and definitely useful, the MultiPro Tailgate underscores a new approach for the 2019 Sierra in a fundamental area.
The 2019 GMC Sierra maintains its roll-formed, high-strength steel bed, although a revised alloy offers 50 percent more strength. What is new is “CarbonPro,” or essentially the industry’s first carbon fiber truck box. CarbonPro replaces the steel inner panels and floor with a lighter carbon fiber composite that cuts 62 lbs. from the truck. According to GMC, it offers better dent, scratch, and corrosion resistance.
Carbon Pro is on offer for the 2019 Denali later in the model year.
GMC’s Traction Select System morphs the transmission’s shift points, throttle mapping, and traction control to optimize performance. After all, a boss truck must have a slick way to disperse all that horsepower.
Tour Mode is for everyday use, while Sport creates quicker downshifts so the engine stays in peak powerbands for longer. In Sport Mode, power steering assist is dialed back so inputs feel more direct and sporty, according to GMC. Off-Road Mode allows for more wheelslip and is useful for higher-speed driving on gravel or muddy roads. Two-wheel drive Sierras even get a snow mode.
The Autotrac 2-Speed Transfer Case, standard on Sierra Denali, is among the other fun (and useful) tools. With a mechanical low range to boost torque at lower speeds, the transfer case helps in limited-traction situations.
Power & Performance
The 2019 Sierra Denali pours the gravy with the available 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft. of torque. A new Dynamic Fuel Management system utilizes 17 different patterns of cylinder deactivation to balance power and efficiency.
The 10-speed automatic takes a page out of the Duramax Colorado and Canyon’s book, incorporating a centrifugal pendulum absorber torque converter to reduce vibration.
Pricing & Availability
Cox Automotive says the average transaction price for the Sierra 1500 to date is $51,794 and $58,738 for the Denali. According to the Detroit Free Press, 2019 GM trucks that have arrived at dealerships are already spoken for.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. He studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.