The 2018 and 2019 calendar years will be defining years for General Motors as the automaker overhauls two of its most important product lines: the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light-duty (half-ton) pickup trucks. Historically, the models have been identical vehicles from a mechanical and design standpoints, having only slight variances – mostly consisting of different front facia treatments, lights and logos. The last, third-generation models that ran from the 2014 thru the 2019 model years have begun to differentiate the trucks more than before, albeit arguably not enough. All this brings us to today’s topic du jour: will the fourth-generation, 2019 Silverado and 2019 Sierra be any more differentiated than their predecessors and – if so – how?
Before we get into it, we should note that we’re looking at the trucks at a peculiar time: though Chevy has already revealed the 2019 Silverado, GMC has yet to do so, and will reveal the 2019 Sierra on March 1st. So what we have to work with in the meantime are spy shots of the Sierra, rather than actual photos. Still, we can glean some eye-opening insights from what we have.
Perhaps the most prominent and noticeable change for the 2019 model year GM trucks can be seen in the profiles: the 2019 Silverado and 2019 Sierra will have entirely different wheel wells – one of the defining features of a pickup truck.
Whereas the all-new, fourth-gen T1 platform Silverado does away with the squared off wheel wells of the K2 platform model, the 2019 Sierra will have slightly more squared-off wells. From what we can tell from the spy shots, the Sierra will have a semi-octagonal wheel well in that it will have four corners, or half of a full octagon. In other words, the Sierra’s wells will not be a traditional “box” shape like those of the K2 generation trucks.
This is clearly visible in items labeled 1 and 2 in the graphic above.
Another clear distinction between the 2019 Silverado and 2019 Sierra is the character line, labeled as item 3 in the graphic above: the Chevy features a flowing character line that starts just above the headlamp, runs horizontally along the front fender, and then swoops downward at the front door cutline only to dissipate roughly in the middle of the front door.
By comparison, spy shots indicate that the Sierra will not have this line. Instead, it looks like GMC’s truck will likely continue the “boxy” motif set out by the fenders.
Spy shots of the Sierra also appear to show that the hoods of both models are quite different. Whereas the Silverado features two power domes (bulges) pushed towards the edges of the hood, the Sierra appears to have less prominent bulges. Although we should note that this might be our eyes and the Sierra’s camouflage playing tricks on us.
The spy shots also indicate that the 2019 Sierra will have a different tailgate configuration compared to the Silverado. Look closely at the spy photos and you’ll see that the handle for the Sierra’s tailgate is positioned lower than that of the Silverado, an element that will likely result in different tailgate designs.
The Sum Total
So, here’s what we can tell from the spy shot about the 2019 Silverado and 2019 Sierra thus far:
- Front facias, including grilles, head lights, surrounding components and logos
- Rear facias, including tailgates, tail lights and logos
- Wheel wells
- Character line on the front fender and front door
- Dual exhaust treatments and outlets
What other design elements, equipment and features will vary between the 2019 Silverado and 2019 Sierra, and has GM finally learned to properly differentiate its most important product? We’ll find out when we get our eyes and hands on the new Sierra this Thursday, March 1st. Until then, stay tuned to GM Authority’s around-the-clock coverage of Silverado news and Sierra news.