By on January 22, 2018

GMC Sierra SPY, Image: Brian Williams/SpiedBilde

General Motors earned kudos from the TTAC crew by announcing a diesel inline-six for its redesigned 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, as well as for efforts to shave hundreds of pounds from the body and adopt a more slab-sided look. The front end met with resistance from this author, however, and still does.

Bold, unconventional, and above all else, tall, the Silverado’s polarizing visage will surely add fuel to arguments between brand loyalists for years to come. But what about the Silverado’s equally revamped sibling, the GMC Sierra?

Here it is. Our money’s on this one winning the beauty contest.

GMC Sierra SPY, Image: Brian Williams/SpiedBilde

As you might expect, the overall body is pretty much a dead ringer for its bowtie twin. Gone are the bulging wheel arches, replaced by flusher openings of more or less the same shape. The same lower character line runs between both aches. No surprise, the greenhouse carries over the Chevy unchanged, too.

While the taillights remain cloaked in impenetrable plastic, there’s more to see of the face, and what there is to see looks alright. Forgoing the Silverado grille’s layer cake look, this 2019 Sierra shows an offset eggcrate mesh pattern, not too dissimilar from the 2018 Sierra Denali’s grille. Depending on what variant we’re seeing here, the old horizontal slats could stage a return on lesser trims.

GMC Sierra SPY, Image: Brian Williams/SpiedBilde

The same general grille shape, albeit a little rounder, carries over here, and the lower part of the opening cuts into the very flush bumper much like it does on the current generation. LED running lights set into the bumper move from a horizontal orientation to a vertical one. C-shaped headlamps appear very Ford-like, with the same front fender crease seen on the Silverado flows rearward from the truck’s peepers.

Depending on your view of the Silverado, the Sierra’s facial redesign seems much more conservative — which might be right up your alley. Expect the same powertrain options in the new Sierra: two 5.3-liter V8s, a 6.2-liter V8, and the 3.0-liter inline-six diesel. GM’s 10-speed automatic should find a home in most models.

GMC Sierra SPY, Image: Brian Williams/SpiedBilde

Expect to see the 2019 Sierra wearing far less clothing at either the Chicago or New York auto show. Sales begin in the second half of this year.

[Images: Brian Williams/SpiedBilde]

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31 Comments on “Spied: 2019 GMC Sierra – Not Just Another Pretty Face...”


  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    So every truck now has to have the rear window kick-up from the Tundra and Tacoma?

    • 0 avatar
      Sub-600

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I see it as aping the Colorado/Canyon crew cab. Which is a BAD thing. The full size trucks should be dictating the styling of the midsize trucks, not the other way around.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Why?

        I do believe there is greater variation in midsizers globally than the few full size trucks in the US. Even drivetrain, chassis, suspension, etc. Its inevitable this will flow across all markets.

        This is good as we can have greater choice in design.

        You’ll find external influences will become more apparent as we move forward.

        Pickups are no linger the domain of the US.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          Who buys more pickups than anyone else?

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @BigAl…

            a.) Because the current Colorado/Canyon have been on the market since 2012, why copy a styling feature from a 6 year old design?

            b.) The big boys are still the “desirable” ones to the majority of the U.S. population. Their design cues are what we will see on the next Colorado/Canyon. I will be surprised if we don’t see some shrunken version of those new headlights on the next Colorado/Canyon.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            PrincipalDan,
            The styling is different on the US Coloradoes. Styling ques vary.

            As well globals are latching onto US features. One significant change with globals as they become more daily driving car alternatives is a softer rear suspension option, “half tonners”. I like this as my pickup is overly sprung for my use.

            Another couple of features are the higher riding trucks (lifted) and high pickup tubs on globals, straight from the US.

            Its working both ways design and styling. So far we don’t have those mini me grilles, which ruins a pickup.

    • 0 avatar
      cargogh

      Dodge’s Maxx Cab was doing it 18 years ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hYXwnB8RqI

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    The GMC is almost always the better looker, I bet the same holds true for this new generation.

    Didn’t the 4.3L get redesigned for the current/last gen? Seems weird to drop it so soon after such an investment. It should’ve been put in the midsize trucks already, but oh well.

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      And that is where we have gotten to.

      Back in the day…GMC offered superior VALUE. The GMC-only V-6, which was legendary in its toughness. Differing suspensions. A different loadbed floor…back when wood was preferred over the easily-dented and rusting sheet-steel.

      First go the suspensions; then the engines; and now it’s all about STYLE.

      I guess, GMC is the new Cadillac.

  • avatar
    caltemus

    Ugly body intrusions in the lights, a bed height at your shoulder, and the stupid hoffmeister kink that all new trucks seem to have. There goes my hope that the GMC would be better looking than the silverado.

  • avatar
    kefkafloyd

    Curious as to the lack of comment on what looks a lot like asymmetrical wheel wells (which the new Silverado doesn’t have, despite its newly rounded wells).

  • avatar
    agroal

    GM restyled their Chevy/GMC full size trucks after what? Only 3-4 years? The current one looks better to me. Until I see the ’19 in the flesh that front fender treatment looks like an answer to a question that nobody asked.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      The current ones looked better before the refresh. My cousin has a 2014 Silverado, I think the front end is the best looking since the C/K. My brother has a 2009, it looks (and feels) cheap by comparison. The 2019 is trying too hard, whereas Chevy trucks in the past were about understated toughness, letting Ford and Dodge/Ram be bold and less conservative.

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      Yup…three years and a restyle.

      Pickups are the new sedans. Fashion, first.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I think it is more the fact that Ford is just blowing GM away in truck sales because Ford is getting more converts from sedans to trucks.

        As Crown Vics, Grand Marquis, and TownCars go to their final reward at the shredder’s, those owners are shifting toward F150 Platinum and Limited. Plenty of examples throughout the Great Southwest of America.

        GM always has been more evolutionary where Ford has been more revolutionary, i.e Ecobusted and aluminum. GM? Same old, same old, like lipstick on a pig, dressed in a new tutu.

        But really, is a GM light-makeover going to draw buyers away from RAM, Tundra and Titan? Buyers who choose those three brands usually have voted with their feet and wallets AWAY from Ford and GM.

        • 0 avatar
          Bazza

          “But really, is a GM light-makeover going to draw buyers away from RAM, Tundra and Titan?”

          Not likely, but I think the new RAM might get some converts from Tundra/Titan. Just a hunch.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Just another brick in the wind. It’s CoD may be low but its overall drag HAS to be high.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      When I still had my 2016 Tundra 4dr 4×4, the faster I went on the Interstate, the worse my mileage got. It was “as advertised” at 60mph cruising on the Interstate.

      But when driving long distances at 85mph on cruise-control on the Interstate, 10-12 was the real mpg, even with the tailgate down.

      So people who worry about FE and mpg ought not to buy a pickup truck.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy67

        Driving with the tailgate down actually reduces mileage:

        https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/08/pickup-truck-tailgates-and-fuel-economy/index.htm

        http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/mythbusters-database/driving-tailgate-fuel-consumption/

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I tried it both ways, with the tailgate down and with the tailgate locked upright. Only four 5-gallon containers of gas in the bed. No other load.

          This was on I-10 from Las Cruces, NM to LA, CA. Fuel up in Eloy, AZ and Quartszite.

          Trucks are not the most aerodynamic vehicles on the road but I didn’t care about FE. And both my Tundra trucks (2011 & 2016) seemed to cruise best at 85mph on this Interstate.

          The moment you cross into CA though, the speed limit drops to 70mph and cops are waiting everywhere to collect some of that toll so it’s best to go no faster than 75mph on cruise. (12mpg @ 70mph)

  • avatar
    deanst

    I look forward to GM’s proclamation that their 2 pickups now have 37% more differentiation. Why they can’t better target different markets in a high volume, high revenue segment is beyond me. There’s no reason not to have Audi-like interior quality for their big-hat/no-cattle versions.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Lol why? So people can make fun of them for not being “real” trucks?

      It may surprise you to know, but plenty of rich oil/cattle/etc guys do work out of their High Country/King Ranch/Denali trucks. How long do you suppose an Audi-like interior would hold up to muddy boots and ranch hands with filthy work cloths on?

      Let me guess the reply:
      Oh, but I see clean ones being driven on the interstate, ergo all trucks are never used for work and are only driven in the suburbs/on paved roads by men who could/should be driving an A8 if their 3rd leg wasn’t so tiny, which is why I prefer a Corolla (wink wink).

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    So cars have to have sloping front ends and no more tall grilles for “pedestrian safety”, but trucks can have the vertical profile of a brick wall? Is it safer for a pedestrian to be embedded in the monster grille than rolled over the cab into the truckbed?

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      Huh? Cars have been doing the opposite of what you are saying…they are getting less sloping front ends and more upright grilles. The reasoning is simple. Cars with low/sloping front ends hit pedestrians at their legs and pivot them up into the windshield, which does more damage to the body. Tall front ends give a lot of surface area to spread the impact around. So while more of you might hurt the overall damage done to the body is less severe.

      Regulators don’t what pedestrians rolling over cabs into beds. That is not safe at all despite what you might picture in your head.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    After the new Ram, this is disappointing. Nothing can touch the capability of the Ram.

  • avatar
    s_a_p

    Im pretty surprised at this re-design, and equally surprised at the need for there to be continued GMC/Chevrolet twins. It looks as if they purposely make the chevy version ugly, only to have a handsome alternative in the GMC. If there were true differentiation between the two models it would be one thing, but it is little more than badge engineering and maybe a trim level difference between the two trucks. I remember that ford was in danger of losing their sales lead for a while, but the f-150 now comfortably outsells the two(at least as of October ’17) They didnt do themselves any favors with this redesign…


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