Wed. Sep 19th, 2018
2019 GMC

2019 GMC Sierra Denali First Drive Review

Canadians love their GMCs. Both anecdotal and statistical evidence supports this. In certain areas of Canada, the Sierra outsells the Chevy Silverado. But in this area of Canada, Cape Spear, the morning fog and salt air are thick. This is most eastern point in Canada, and the most eastern point of North America if you don’t count Greenland.

2019 GMC

We woke up early and drove to the coast in the new 2019 GMC Sierra Denali, hoping to catch what was promised to be an absolutely spectacular sunrise. The sunrise was a no-go thanks to the fog, turning the sky into a grey mist that melted into the Atlantic. Still, if the world had an edge, this is what it would look like.

Driving in an inspiring place like this invites introspection, and since we’re in an GMC Sierra, why not examine the brand’s place in the world? Recall that for years, a GMC showroom was just packed with slightly more expensive versions of other GM products. Badge engineering, if you will – a dirty word in our business, applied to such notable machines as the Cadillac Cimarron, Buick Terraza, Chevy Aveo and Saab 9-7X.

There are a few transmissions on offer, but we only had an opportunity to test out the 10-speed automatic, as it’s the only transmission that’s paired with the 6.2-liter V8. It does its job smoothly and silently – it’s forgettable, in a good way. As it was co-developed with Ford, variants of this transmission can be found in both the 2019 F-150 and 2019 Mustang, including our former long-term GT.

We have no doubt loyal GMC owners, both north and south of the border, will love the new Sierra. But the real differentiator between it and the Silverado is the styling, not the tailgate or carbon-fiber bed. The top-trim Denali sacrifices comfort for looks, and still falls short of top-grade trims on the Ram 1500 and F-150.