2020 Sierra 1500 New Car Test Drive
Redesigned for the 2019 model year, like its Chevrolet Silverado close cousin, GMC's Sierra has lost weight while growing a bit, expanding interior space. Without attempting to be Number One in towing capacity and the like, this full-size pickup stresses smart, easy-to-use modern technology.
New features include a MultiPro six-way, two-piece tailgate. Standard on SLT, AT4 and Denali Sierras, it can swing and fold in two sections for easier loading. A newly optional carbon-fiber cargo bed is said to be tougher and lighter than some competitors provide. New options also include a rear camera mirror and a multi-color head-up display.
Sierras come in regular-cab, extended-cab, and crew-cab configurations. Regular-cab trucks have a 126.5-inch wheelbase. Extended- and crew-cab models ride a 147.4-inch wheelbase. GMC claims the longer-wheelbase version provides nearly 3 additional inches of back-seat legroom. Crew cabs have been the most popular Sierra body style.
GMC offers six Sierra trim levels: base, SLE, Elevation, SLT, AT4, and Denali.
Eventually, GMC plans to offer the 2019 Sierra with a broad range of powertrains, including a new turbo four-cylinder, a gasoline V6, and a turbodiesel inline six-cylinder. Initially, however, only Sierras with gasoline V8s have been available. The 5.3-liter V8 develops 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, driving an 8-speed automatic transmission.
For greater muscle, an optional 6.2-liter V8 generates 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet, mating with a 10-speed automatic. The 4.3-liter V6 makes 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque, working with a 6-speed automatic transmission. GMC's 2.7-liter turbo six generates 310 horsepower and 348 pound-feet. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with four-wheel drive available.
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash-tested a 2019 Sierra. NHTSA gave the 2018 model five-star ratings overall and for frontal and side impacts.
Sierras can get such features as a rearview-mirror camera, but cutting-edge active-safety technology is limited to top models. Blind-spot monitoring costs extra on every model except Denali. Forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, a prominent safety feature, is optional only on SLT, AT4, and Denali, bundled with adaptive cruise control and active lane control.
The camera mirror offers a clear view to the rear, but with rapidly-moving images. A multiple-viewtrailer camera also is available. The MultiPro tailgate drops down with damped assist like a normal tailgate, but its center section can fold to create a standing-height desk or a wide step..
Prices do not include $1,495 destination charge.
Double Cab with 147-inch wheelbase:
Base V6 ($33,500 with 2WD, $36,800 with 4WD) contains the 4.3-liter V6 engine, 6-speed automatic, power locks and windows, air conditioning, 17-inch wheels, Bluetooth, and 7.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Base work trucks have vinyl flooring, a front bench seat, and cloth upholstery.
SLE ($37,800 with 2WD, $41,100 with 4WD) substitutes a 2.7-liter turbo four with 8-speed automatic, heated power mirrors, remote keyless entry, and lift-assisted tailgate. Powertrain options include a 5.3-liter V8 or a 3.0-liter turbodiesel with 10-speed automatic.
Elevation ($40,300 with 2WD, $43,600 with 4WD) includes the 2.7-liter turbo, off-road appearance elements, body-color trim, and 20-inch wheels. A 5.3-liter V8 or turbodiesel engine may be substituted. An optional X31 Off Road Package for 4WD adds a locking rear differential, hill-descent control, skid plates, and two-speed transfer case.
SLT V8 ($44,300 with 2WD, $47,600 with 4WD) gets the 5.3-liter V8, along with dual-zone automatic climate control, a high-definition rearview camera, satellite radio, power front seats, leather upholstery, LED headlights, and six-way tailgate.
4WD AT4 V8 ($50,800) comes with 5.3-liter V8 and four-wheel drive, adding an off-road suspension with 2-inch lift, two-speed transfer case, skid plates, locking rear differential, Rancho shocks, 18-inch wheels with, hill-descent control, and two-tone leather. A 6.2-liter V8 or turbodiesel may be substituted.
Crew Cab with 147- or 157-inch wheelbase:
147″ V6 ($35,900 with 2WD, $39,200 with 4WD) has V6 engine and four conventional doors.
157″ V6 ($36,200 with 2WD, $39,500 with 4WD) rides longer wheelbase.
147″ SLE ($40,200 with 2WD, $43,500 with 4WD) is similar in content to Double Cab SLE.
157″ SLE ($40,500 with 2WD, $43,800 with 4WD) rides longer wheelbase.
147″ SLT V8 ($46,700 with 2WD, $50,000 with 4WD) is similar in content to Double Cab SLT.
157″ SLT V8 ($47,000 with 2WD, $50,300 with 4WD) rides longer wheelbase.
147″ AT4 V8 4WD ($53,200) is similar to AT4 Double Cab, with four conventional doors.
147″ Denali V8 ($54,700 with 2WD, $58,000 with 4WD) comes with the 5.3-liter V8, heated/ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, trailer camera display, perforated leather upholstery, open-pore wood trim, and Bose audio. Lane-change and blind-zone alerts are standard.
157″ Denali V8 ($55,000 with 2WD, $58,300 with 4WD) rides longer wheelbase..