2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 vs. 2019 GMC Sierra 1500: Compare Cars

December 27, 2018
2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Pickup truck buyers are reliable in their loyalty—until they aren’t. If you’ve made it this far, you’re down to the wire between the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500.

The good news? Underneath, they’re the same truck, a redesign that arrived last year. The bad news? On top, they can be very different, with unique bed materials and tailgate designs which makes for comparing the two less predictable than you might expect.

We rate the two trucks at 5.6 out of 10 based on their most popular configurations—with a 5.3-liter V-8 underhood, a crew-cab body, and LT trim for the Chevy and SLE trim for the GMC.

MORE: Read our 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 reviews.

(Note to readers: For most of the 2019 model year, Chevy and GMC dealers also will have the last-generation Silverado and Sierra. This comparison looks at the redesigned models, which were new in 2018.)

Both trucks share an engine lineup that starts with a 4.3-liter V-6 primarily aimed at commercial users focused on keeping costs low. A new 2.7-liter turbo-4 rated at 310 horsepower is optional and the engine impresses with its smooth power delivery. More buyers are likely to opt for twice the cylinders, if not double the power, in the 5.3-liter V-8 rated at 355 hp. A 6.2-liter V-8 rated between 420 and 435 hp, depending on the trim package, tops the lineup. Eventually, both trucks will be available with a 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-6.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Transmission choices are similarly diverse. In lower trims, the V-6 and smaller V-8 pair to a 6-speed automatic transmission, but higher trims with the V-8 and the turbo-4 swap that gearbox for an 8-speed automatic. A 10-speed automatic is teamed to the larger V-8.

Our suggestion? The new turbo-4 provides good power and should be less thirsty in most situations than the V-8s, but the 5.3-liter is a solid choice for those who tow more often.

No matter the engine, the Silverado and Sierra tell the same fuel economy story. It’s not a great one. According to the EPA, the turbo-4 with rear-wheel drive is the most frugal at 21 mpg combined, while V-6 and 6.2-liter V-8 models are rated at just 17 mpg combined.

Both trucks are formidable towers in most configurations. Their standard rearview cameras let drivers zoom in at the tap of a screen for more detail when hitching up, for starters. With the optional Max Trailering Package and the 5.3-liter V-8 paired to the 10-speed automatic, extended- and crew-cab versions are rated to tow as much as 12,200 pounds. Notably, the optional 6.2-liter V-8 isn’t rated to tow quite as much.

Charting the differences

Where the Silverado and Sierra begin to weave different tales is in their styling and myriad trim levels.

The two trucks share a side profile, a roofline, and doors, but they have very different faces. The Silverado’s narrow headlights sit high above a massive grille and front bumper that are chrome on most trim levels. The inorganic shape of the Silverado’s front fascia is echoed in its alien taillights.

In contrast, the Sierra has a more conservative look with C-shaped headlights flanking a grille that might as well be a massive belt buckle. Boxy taillights complete the look at the rear.

2019 GMC Sierra

2019 GMC Sierra

2019 GMC Sierra

2019 GMC Sierra

2019 GMC Sierra

2019 GMC Sierra

Inside, the two trucks are more similar—and, if we’re honest, they’re not all that different than their predecessors. To start, extended- and crew-cab configurations are available with either a 79-inch or a 70-inch bed, depending on the body. A standard cab version will follow eventually. The front seats can be a three-piece bench or two buckets with a center console. Extended-cab trucks are tight for second-row riders, while the crew-cab body is borderline palatial. Upholstery options range from easy-clean vinyl to cloth to leather, but even the GMC Sierra Denali’s hides aren’t all that special.

Both trucks share a separate ladder frame with conventional coil springs up front and a solid rear axle suspended by leaf springs at the rear. Unlike some competitors, there’s no air suspension option, although the range-topping Sierra Denali features adaptive dampers that quell small road imperfections better than the traditional shocks in the Silverado.

Cross-shopping the 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 and 2019 GMC Sierra 1500

For buyers on a budget, the Silverado Custom costs about $43,200 to start with four-wheel drive and the crew-cab body and it includes a 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a single USB port, power features, and 20-inch alloy wheels.

Off-roaders might be tempted to spend about $2,000 more on the Trail Boss package that adds a 2-inch suspension lift, off-road tires, and a two-speed transfer case with an automatic mode for use on any road surface.

The Silverado lineup climbs from there through LT and LTZ trim levels that pile on more luxuries before topping out at the Silverado High Country. Starting at about $58,000, it includes niceties such as a tailgate that powers up or down at the tap of a button, LED headlights, leather seats, and navigation.

The Sierra lineup starts out in a similar vein to the Silverado but quickly climbs upward, first with the Elevation trim level with its blacked-out exterior trim and 20-inch black-finish alloy wheels.

Opt for the Sierra SLT and GMC throws in its useful six-function tailgate, which can work as a step to climb into the vehicle or as a standing desk. It’s clever, if a little clumsy in its operation.

GMC reserves its off-road tech for the $53,500 Sierra AT4, which uses Rancho shocks to set itself apart from the Silverado Trail Boss.

The GMC Sierra Denali costs more than $60,000 with four-wheel drive and the larger 6.2-liter V-8, but it’s generally decked out like a luxury truck with heated and cooled front seats and no shortage of chrome trim.

Eventually, GMC will have another option not available on the Silverado: the pickup market’s first carbon-fiber bed. GMC says the bed saves some weight while being tougher than steel and incapable of rusting.

One big demerit to both trucks: Active safety tech we consider essential is a costly option. Chevy and GMC both reserve automatic emergency braking for the top few trim levels, and even then the tech is pricey.

It pays to shop closely between Chevy and GMC dealers. In most mainstream configurations, the two trucks have nearly the same list price, but some dealers may be willing to discount more.

If it’s a budget-conscious off-roader you’re after, we’d stick with the Silverado Custom Trail Boss. For family use, a Sierra SLT crew cab with the optional active safety tech and the 5.3-liter V-8 engine with the 10-speed automatic transmission comes in a smidge over $50,000 with rear-wheel drive.

These two trucks offer loyal buyers plenty of reason to jump ship—as long as they closely review their options.

Summary

5.6
Expert Rating
The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is more refined and useful for cargo, though it isn’t as polished inside as the new Ram 1500.
5.6
Expert Rating
The 2019 GMC Sierra steers out of the max-tow race; instead, it puts its marker down on smart and easy-to-use technology.

Styling

5.0
Expert Rating
A square-jawed grille dominates the 2019 Chevy Silverado’s look on the outside, but inside it’s all business with smartly placed controls.
Read More
5.0
Expert Rating
The 2018 GMC Sierra doesn't spend much effort on dramatic style.
Read More

Performance

6.0
Expert Rating
Smooth-riding, well-controlled, and powerful with either V-8, the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is pleasant to drive while it gets work done.
Read More
6.0
Expert Rating
Towing and gas mileage are down, but the 2019 GMC Sierra still has exceptional strength to match its utility.
Read More

Comfort & Quality

7.0
Expert Rating
A versatile bed and a smartly designed interior make the 2019 Chevy Silverado a workhorse.
Read More
7.0
Expert Rating
The 2019 GMC Sierra boosts interior space and bed utility, and its six-way tailgate sets a new flexibility standard.
Read More

Safety

More safety features are available for 2019, but the best are reserved for high-end models and the new Silverado has yet to be crash tested.
Read More
No crash-test scores exist, and the 2019 GMC Sierra limits important safety technology to expensive models.
Read More

Features

7.0
Expert Rating
With a variety of models, engines, and body styles, there’s a 2019 Chevy Silverado for most every truck buyer.
Read More
7.0
Expert Rating
A trick new trailer camera system and luxe features tip the tech and price scales, but there’s a 2019 Sierra for most budgets.
Read More

Fuel Economy

3.0
Expert Rating
The Silverado’s V-8s have historically provided good real-world fuel economy, and they are better this year. Even more efficient 4-cylinder and diesel options are coming.
Read More
3.0
Expert Rating
Gas mileage gains haven’t shown up on the 2019 GMC Sierra’s EPA scorecard yet.
Read More

MSRP

from $28,300
from $29,600

Invoice

from $27,083
from $28,327

Fuel Economy - Combined City and Highway

17
17

Engine

Gas V6, 4.3L
Gas V6,

Drivetrain

Rear Wheel Drive Read Full Specs
Rear Wheel Drive Read Full Specs
Compare Free Dealer Price Quote
With competitive price quotes from multiple dealers, you will be prepared when you meet your local car dealer. Please tell us how to contact you so that dealers can compete for your business!
Search Dealers by ZIP Code
Update ZIP Code
2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
2019 GMC Sierra 1500
Looking for dealers in your area...
Powered By
We are committed to your privacy. By submitting this form you agree the phone number you provided may be used to contact you (including text, autodialed or pre-recorded calls). Consent is not a condition of purchase.
2019
The Car Connection
See the winners »
2019
The Car Connection
 
Ratings and Reviews
Rate and review your car for The Car Connection
Review your car
Related Head to Head
The Car Connection Daily Headlines
I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.
Thank you! Please check your email for confirmation.