There was a time that General Motors has been criticized for badge engineering. As the name implies, badge engineering involves changing the badge and little (or nothing) else on vehicles that share the same platform. The Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra (along with their predecessors) were some of the
best examples worst offenders of the practice; for years, the duo represented the same exact truck with identical body, cabins and powertrains that offered little more than different badges. If you were lucky, you got different grilles and lights. Fortunately, the GM that brought those sins upon the automotive world at large is no more. Case and point: the 2019 Sierra and 2019 Silverado.
Besides the very obvious differences in exterior design, GM’s all-new T1 platform trucks offer increased differentiation, with the 2019 Sierra offering a carbon fiber bed along with the acrobatic MultiPro tailgate. The cabins of both trucks remain identical save for a few color options and trim pieces. But another notable difference between the two is in the suspension: the Sierra offers Adaptive Ride Control, while the 2019 Silverado does not.
About Adaptive Ride Control
Adaptive Ride Control (ARC) is a General Motors chassis technology that provides increased driving refinement and exceptional responsiveness. It is a modification of the GM Continuous Damping Control technology, but adopted for body-on-frame vehicles such as pickup trucks and SUVs. The system delivers a high level of primary vehicle motion control, but with better ride isolation.
We should note that Adaptive Ride should not be confused with GM’s highly-acclaimed Magnetic Ride Control. Though both technologies deliver somewhat similar end results – a more refined ride quality – they deliver them in very different ways.
Now, as for the difference between the Chevy and GMC trucks: the 2019 Sierra features ARC (RPO code Z45) as standard on the 2019 Sierra Denali. No other 2019 Sierra trim levels offer this feature, either as an option or as a standard feature. Meanwhile, the 2019 Silverado does not begin to offer ARC on any model, trim level, or equipment group.
That is notably different from the previous-generation, K2 platform Silverado and Sierra, at which point both trucks offered Magnetic Ride Control (as RPO code Z95): the Silverado offered it as part of the optional High Desert package on the range-topping Silverado High Country, while the Sierra included MRC standard on the range-topping Denali trim.
So, there you have it: the 2019 Sierra has one more feature that the 2019 Silverado does not. We’ll let you decide if that’s good or bad in the comments.