The rollout of GMC’s next-gen Sierra continues unabated. We’ve officially seen copies of the luxo Denali, off-road AT4, and volume SLT trims. Now, it’s the Elevation’s turn in the spotlight.
Off-road fans of the GMC brand will be spoiled for choice in 2019. With the AT4 already in the hopper, the truck company announced the Sierra Elevation will be available with an X31 Off-Road package. Checking this option box will imbue the truck with a decent level of kit, including unique suspension tuning with Rancho shocks, locking rear diff, and Hill Descent Control.
Also along for the off-road trail ride are protective underbody skid plates, what GMC describes as a dual exhaust system, and a two-speed transfer case with low-range gearing. A/T tires are described as standard equipment and are indeed shown in the photo but they are absent of any sidewall markings, leaving us guessing as to manufacturer and size specifics beyond their 20-inch diameter. Twenty-inch hoops will clear GM’s performance brake system, it should be noted.
With GMC’s Traction Select System, the driver can choose from preset modes designed for distinct road purposes or trail conditions with the twist of a dial. Selecting one of these modes adjusts Sierra’s transmission shift points, throttle mapping, and other systems to optimize performance for the situation at hand. Tour mode, for instance, is set up for everyday driving, while Terrain mode configures the Sierra for venturing off the beaten path.
Standard on the 2019 Sierra Elevation is an all-new 2.7-liter turbocharged engine (that GMC is careful not to identify as a four-cylinder in its marketing materials) paired with an eight-speed automatic to deliver 310 horsepower and 348 lb-ft of torque.
The 5.3-liter V-8 is also available with an eight-speed automatic, this time deploying a new Dynamic Fuel Management system that enables the engine to operate on one to seven cylinders, depending on demand. Early in 2019, the Sierra Elevation will also be offered with a tasty 3.0-liter turbo-diesel inline-six, paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
An X31 badge pops up on the flanks of the truck box, while most of the chrome trim has been dipped in color-keyed paint. GMC’s unique “squircle” wheel wells are finished off with black plastic cladding. The example shown here has its engine size, 5.3L, displayed on its upper fender port.
It’ll be interesting to see if that styling flourish is included for the four-banger, as some owners may not be keen to advertise the diminutive engine. Surely, diesel models will have those six letters hammered into the Sierra’s body somewhere, likely in a ten-foot tall font (I may be exaggerating there).
The much-trumpeted ProGrade Trailering System will be available on the Elevation-grade Sierras. Incorporating a number of innovative features, including an available Trailering App, the feature is designed to help take the guesswork out of connecting and towing a trailer.
Sierra Elevation is based on the double cab model and is offered with two- or four-wheel-drive configurations. The next generation double cab has nearly 3 inches of additional rear-seat legroom compared to the current model.
Look for it on dealer lots starting in the fall of 2018.