5 Not-So-Hidden Treasures in the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500


The all-new 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 that debuted March 1 in Detroit boasts unique, class-first technology along with some impressive upgraded features. After spending some time chewing on what's significant and what's more flash and style, we've come up with five key features we think will differentiate this half-ton pickup truck when it hits goes on sale later this fall.

GMC designers and engineers always do an awkward dance between substance and style, keeping the needs and interests of their customers as their primary focus. Of course, Chevrolet and GMC always have had an interesting relationship, with Chevy being the bigger player in each pickup class, but GMC always having higher prices and being something of a technology test bed for parent company GM. In fact, the GMC Denali trim package, now practically its own brand, was originally an experiment in content boundaries. It is now the most popular trim level for GMC, with 1 in 3 GMCs sold equipped with Denali badging.

These features below are likely to gain momentum for GMC, giving it extra cache and separation from Chevy. We're sure that over time these technologies will make their way into Chevy pickups and possibly spread further than that.

Here are our top five not-so-hidden treasures:


1. Rearview Camera Mirror

This new system uses a center high-mounted bed camera embedded in the cab's bed light bezel to provide the driver with a taller view of what's going on behind the truck and in the bed. The standard-looking rearview mirror becomes a full screen showing what the rear camera sees, just in case your rear window view is blocked. The system also has a zoom-in feature. This will be one of those features you didn't know you wanted until you use it.


2. Adaptive Ride Control

GM has offered several versions of adaptive shock absorbers, the most recent being its wide use of MagnaRide shocks to quiet urban road noise and smooth out rough pavement in sports cars and GMC pickups. Active Ride Control is the next step up in suspension technology. The system actively monitors and adjusts the shock stiffness and comfort levels (every two milliseconds) to deliver the best ride, empty or loaded. We're assuming a Sport or All Terrain model is in our future.


3. ProGrade Trailering System

GMC's new trailering system is vastly improved and offers lots of important information and safety data to the driver. It comes with an app that offers a pre-departure checklist, maintenance reminders and a variety of trailer tests and diagnostics. Our favorite are the sensors placed in the trailer tire rims that give you tire pressure and temperature. But why can't we have that for the vehicle tires, too?

4. High-Definition Camera Cables

The biggest problem with wireless cameras on big, long trailers is the lag time between what you're seeing and what's actually happening. In some cases there can be delay of a half-second or more. When you're parking your camper or backing your horse trailer into a tight loading dock, you don't want to feel something before you see it happening. That's why GM has upgraded the GMC's trailer plugs with two hard-wired cable connections to allow those who tow quicker and better imaging. And we love that fact they've included two; we'd put a camera at the back and another inside.

5. Large Head-Up Color Display

Head-up displays have not caught on with many mainstream pickup manufacturers, but GM is bumping up its investment to include better, easily accessible safety information for the driver. Acting under the principle that the more information you can offer drivers in their line of sight, the safer the driving experience is likely to be, the new Sierra 1500 will have navigation, engine data and radio information reflected in the windshield screen via the head-up display. photos by Mark Williams




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