Edmunds journeys to St. John’s, Newfoundland, and the far eastern edge of the North American continent to get a first taste of the all-new 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali pickup truck. Watch as Director of Vehicle Testing Dan Edmunds climbs behind the wheel of this fully redesigned full-size truck and gets familiar with its revised 6.2-liter V8 powertrain and its enlarged crew cab. You’ll also see what he thinks about GMC’s new MultiPro six-way tailgate.
Q: What is different about the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500?
A: The 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 has been fully redesigned, especially the crew-cab models, which rest on a longer frame that allows for about 3 extra inches of rear legroom. GMC has also added Dynamic Fuel Management (DFM) and a 10-speed transmission to the optional 6.2-liter V8 powertrain. A new six-way MultiPro tailgate has been introduced as well.
Q: What engines will power the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500?
A: The base Sierra 1500 comes with last year’s 4.3-liter V6 and a six-speed automatic, and last year’s 5.3-liter V8 is optional. The SLE and Elevation will start with a new 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and an eight-speed transmission, and here a DFM-equipped 5.3-liter V8 is available as an option. Finally, the SLT, the AT4 off-road model and the Denali come standard with the DFM 5.3-liter V8 and the eight-speed transmission, and each of them can be optioned with the 6.2-liter V8 and a 10-speed transmission available if you start with a 4×4 version. That’s right. The 6.2-liter V8 option is no longer available on two-wheel-drive models.
Q: How does the MultiPro tailgate work?
A: GMC’s new MutliPro tailgate is essentially a two-piece tailgate-within-a-tailgate design that also features a broad flip-up panel. The flip-up panel acts as a load stop when one or the other tailgate element is opened. It transforms the mechanism into a stairway by becoming a wide step when both tailgate elements are deployed at the same time. The best part is this tailgate is standard on the SLT, the Denali and the new AT4 off-road package.
Q: How much trailer weight can a 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 tow?
A: The maximum tow rating of the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 ranges between 12,000 and 12,200 pounds depending on which cab and bed you choose. To get there, you must buy the 6.2-liter V8 and opt for the Max Trailering package, which includes 3.42 axle gearing, stiffer rear suspension (which will harm ride comfort when you’re not towing), extra cooling and a bigger alternator. The 6.2-liter V8 tow rating drops to 9,100-9,300 pounds if you don’t get the Max Trailering package and instead stick with the standard 3.23 axle gearing. Maximum 5.3-liter V8 ratings range between 11,100 and 11,400 pounds with the Max Trailering package and 9,400 to 9,700 pounds without it. That’s no typo: The 5.3-liter V8 can tow more than the 6.2-liter V8 with standard 3.23 gearing because the suspension becomes the limiting factor and the 6.2-liter V8 truck simply weighs more.
Read our First Drive of the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 pickup here:
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