TodayApril 15, 2022

2019 GMC Sierra Denali, building on the best

GMC is building on its most popular pickup truck to make it the best they can with a completely redesigned 2019 GMC Sierra Denali and 2019 GMC Sierra Denali SLT. Expect GMC to center their attention on the SLT and Denali models, which contributed 87 percent of the total crew cab sales.

Seventeen years ago the GMC Sierra Denali was launched, and Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global GMC notes, “The next generation 2019 Sierra Denali establishes a new benchmark in capability and refinement. It exemplifies precision in every detail.”

What is the difference between Sierra and Sierra Denali?

In 2018 Sierra’s claim to fame was that the EcoTec3 6.2-liter engine was the most powerful gasoline V-8 in its class, while the number one reason for buying the 2018 GMC Sierra Denali was exterior design. Denali builds upon the best the Sierra offers in design.

The more significant difference for 2019 will be the design and content of the Denali versus the Chevrolet Silverado. The high-end Denali, named for the Alaskan National Park that was established over 100 years ago is thought of as a professional pickup; the pickup the construction owner owns, while the Silverado is the pickup the construction worker owns.

Exterior design

With that fact in mind, the exterior design has taken more powerful and distinctive proportions. The attention to the detailed pattern framing the strength of the chrome grille and the taller stance of the hood flowing into the C-shaped lighting are part of the new GMC design. GMC refers to the front lighting signature as the light blade, an advanced lighting technology that delivers uniform LED illumination for the daytime running lamps. You can also find the LEDs in the headlamps, taillamps, and fog lamps.

The Wheels

Elon Musk has BFR, GMC has BFW; Big Ferocious Wheels! While the truck is larger than the previous truck in virtually every dimension, the wheels pushed closer to the corners give the truck an even larger stance. The 2019 GMC Sierra Denali comes standard with 22-inch Ultra Bright aluminum wheels; the 2019 GMC Sierra Denali SLT offers some honking 22-inch dark aluminum wheels finished with chrome accents. If people can’t see you coming with this truck, they’ll see the block-style DENALI nameplate on the tailgate leaving.

Interior design

GMC knows that these vehicles are used for professional and personal use, so they focus on the driver cockpit with premium materials, they also improve the interior space, including nearly 3 inches of additional rear-seat legroom compared to the current model, and innovative storage solutions.

A higher seating position and a segment-first Heads-Up Display on the windshield in a 3x7-inch display, make driving easier on the body. The rear seat-backs open up to reveal rectangular storage spaces large enough for storing laptops, and other flat accessories.

You can feel the stitching pattern in the leather that compliments the wood trim features.

2019 GMC Sierra Denali dash

2019 GMC Sierra Denali dash

A Suite of Safety

A suite of advanced safety features are found in the new Denali, such as Adaptive Ride Control, Side Blind Zone Alert, Pedestrian Detection and Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking along with exclusive chassis technologies (see Adaptive Ride Control below).

A feature I first saw on the Volvo XC models is the Surround Vision. When you put your vehicle in reverse the image on the NAV system will become a bird’s-eye view of the truck displaying an overhead image on the infotainment screen. It’s a little disconcerting at first, but once you get the hang of the view, you can detect obstacles when backing up, especially in tight spots, including when trailering. Hitch View and Auto Electric Park Brake are part of a suite that helps with perfect positioning when hitching. The side-view cameras and a trailer-mounted HD camera provide improved visibility when driving down the road, changing lanes, or going in reverse.

2019 GMC Sierra Denali tailgate

2019 GMC Sierra Denali tailgate

Trailering made smarter

GMC has a new ProGrade Trailering System, standard on Denali and SLT. Download the trailering app (MyGMC app) on your Android or iOS smartphone and test the lighting and pre-departure checklist while outside the truck and trailer. You will also be able to preview Maintenance Reminders, Trailer Electrical Diagnostics and Trailer Tire Pressure and Temperature Monitoring.

Did you know that there were 30,000 car break-ins reported in San Francisco in 2017? Imagine parking your truck and trailer for a bite to eat, and going outside to find your trailer missing! With GMC’s exclusive Trailer Theft Detection, Denali owners can receive a text and mobile alerts from OnStar when the trailer gets detached from the truck without permission.

2019 GMC Sierra Denali rear view camera

2019 GMC Sierra Denali rearview camera

Sierra engine performance

Just like the exterior design has been refreshed so have the 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V-8 engines. Both engines will feature stop/start technology and new Dynamic Fuel Management (DFM). DFM allows the engine, depending on demand, to operate on one to eight cylinders. This management system not only optimizes power but increases fuel-efficiency.

Joining the group of engines will be an all-new 3.0-liter inline-six turbo-diesel engine. The 3.0-liter and 6.2-liter engines are mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Details of the 5.3-liter will come closer to production.

Sierra Denali features an exclusive Adaptive Ride Control suspension system that employs sophisticated sensors that monitor road conditions and chassis responses in real-time, enabling adjustments to active dampers every two milliseconds.

When can I buy the 2019 GMC Sierra Denali?

The 2019 GMC Sierra Denali and SLT go on sale this fall. Additional details such as pricing and mpg will be released closer to the start of production.

2019 GMC Sierra Denali carbon pro

2019 GMC Sierra Denali carbon pro

Tailgating just got better!

If you want the most functional tailgate in the industry, you need to buy the SLT or Denali for the industry-first MultiPro Tailgate. The tailgate boasts six unique functions and positions plus a standing workstation mode. A step entry and egress mode can be paired with an assist handle that can be incorporated into both steps and seated functionality up to 375 pounds. There are two buttons on the tailgate for the inner tailgate release.

The 63 cubic feet cargo box has additional tie-downs and a new, available 110-volt power outlet. The high-strength steel bed uses a revised alloy that offers 50 percent more strength than the current model. The 62-pound lighter CarbonPro, an industry-first carbon fiber box, will be offered later in the model year.


Pricing hasn’t been released yet, but the

2018 GMC Sierra 1500 base price is $30,000 (2WD regular cab/standard box – includes shipping), while the

2018 GMC Sierra Denali (1500) base price is $53,900 (2WD – includes shipping).

Those prices are in line with the premium trim lines of pickups, which is in line with the high-end automakers such as Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, Audi, and BMW.



Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

One Comment

  1. Chambles Moore Jr Reply

    My name is Chambles Moore Jr, and I have a 2015 GMA Denali. The 2019 I gotta have it when will it be for sell?

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