GMC’s all-new 2019 Sierra is loaded to the gills with new technologies, such as a very flexible tailgate, a carbon fiber box, task area lighting, and a rear camera mirror. But despite these high-tech features, the all-new truck soldiers on with only one auto-dimming mirror.
In other words, GMC’s all-new full-size pickup truck has the auto-dimming feature only on the driver-side exterior mirror, but not on its passenger-side counterpart, regardless of model, trim level, equipment group, or options package.
Why It’s Important
Auto-dimming mirrors provide the utmost convenience, comfort and safety, as they significantly reduce the light that is reflected off the mirror glass (produced by the headlamps of a following vehicle) and into the eyes of the driver.
The feature was introduced years ago in order to improve vehicle safety by:
- Eliminating instances in which the driver would become temporarily visually impaired by the light reflecting off the mirror.
- Eliminating distractions that require the driver to relocate his or her head to avoid the light reflecting off the mirror.
- Avoiding instances where the driver would not be able to use (look at) the side mirror because of strong light being reflected from the headlamps of the following vehicle.
Auto-dimming mirrors bring similar benefits to non-driving vehicle occupants (passengers), but the focus has been and continues to be on the driver.
Ultimately, having two auto-dimming mirrors is better than having only one – for drivers, owners and occupants alike.
Why It’s (So Very) Disappointing
To truly comprehend why having only one auto-dimming mirror on the 2019 Sierra is so disappointing, we must first look to GMC’s role within General Motors.
For the last decade, GM has invested a significant amount of time, money and energy into positioning GMC as a premium-level brand that’s a cut above the rest… one that’s Professional Grade that enables you to feel Like A Pro thanks to offerings that go one step beyond normal. From that standpoint, not including a basic feature such as a passenger-side auto-dimming mirror is downright blasphemous on the part of the product planners.
Even more disappointing is the fact that this is the case regardless of which 2019 Sierra model one picks: the base Sierra model doesn’t have an auto-dimming passenger-side mirror, and neither does the range-topping Sierra Denali, which starts at a not-insignificant $58,000. At the least, the higher-trim models should have the feature standard, but alas they do not. The situation is a repeat of that seen on GM’s Cadillac current ATS and CTS models.
But wait, it gets even worse: the Sierra is one of GM’s best-selling and profitable vehicles, with GM turning a rather significant and hefty profit on every model it sells. The 2019 Sierra will be no exception to this due to two factors:
- A slight increase in price compared to the current, K2 Sierra, and
- An assortment of optional features and packages (like the aforementioned Rear Camera Mirror, CarbonPro Box, MultiPro tailgage, to name a few)
So despite a higher price, a passenger-side auto-dimming mirror did not make the cut. Meanwhile, other premium and luxury automakers have figured out ways to include two auto-dimming mirrors on their vehicles.
Not Breaking The Habit
Equipping only the driver-side mirror with auto-dimming functionality has been a long-time GM tradition, with every single Sierra generation foregoing the auto-dimming function for the passenger-side mirror.
It’s quite concerning when you consider that the truck is equipped with the same mirror technology today as it was two decades ago in 1999, when the first-generation Sierra launched. Though the crimes of older GM products under “Old GM” management were understandable and ultimately written off as mistakes, their repetition by the “New GM” is concerning.
2019 Silverado, Too
Right about now, you may be wondering whether the Sierra’s corporate brother – the 2019 Silverado – is also in the some boat, and the answer is yes. We will cover the Chevy’s issues in a subsequent installment.
The GM Authority Take
The tradeoff GM chose to make on such a basic part/feature is significantly disappointing, especially for a premium-level product like the Sierra. Perhaps a better way to describe the Sierra, then, is a product that is marketed as being premium, but is instead quite mainstream in reality. And that is a shame, since the 2019 Sierra does so many things well and gets so many other things so right, with the cabin and other details (such as the passenger-side mirror) being particular exceptions.
So here’s to hoping something changes to rectify this… though instituting a directional change at an enterprise like GM is easier said than done.
More 2019 Sierra Info & Reporting
- 2019 GMC Sierra
- 2019 GMC Sierra Features
- 2019 GMC Sierra Order Guide
- GMC Sierra sales results