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Refreshing or Revolting: 2019 GMC Sierra vs. 2019 Chevrolet Silverado

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/2/2018 Motor Trend Staff
2019 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali front side view

In the past, General Motors has been criticized for selling essentially the same truck under two different nameplates, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. GM began changing up the styling with the outgoing generation, but the automaker takes the brand differentiation further with the 2019 Silverado and 2019 Sierra, which was just revealed this week. Has the automaker done enough to make each model distinctive and unique? Compare for yourself below.

Though both trucks are boxy and chunky up front, it's from this angle that the Sierra 1500 and the Silverado 1500 look the most different. The GMC gets a thick chrome grille frame that surrounds a massive expanse of chrome mesh. The Chevy gets several different grille designs depending on the trim, but each is just as large as the GMC's. Because of the frameless design, however, the grille blends into the front end more seamlessly. The Sierra's headlights bear a more traditional shape but are slightly recessed in the middle to give them an interesting three-dimensional look.

It's unclear if these units are exclusive to the Denali trim, but GMC says the C-shaped LED accent strip that surrounds the main lamps will be a design signature for Sierra. The Silverado has a few different headlight arrangements depending on the trim. Higher trims get narrow full LED headlights on top with a slim LED accent bar and more room for the chrome grille below. Lower models get evenly sized lamps top and bottom and large-print Chevrolet branding in the grille, with the Bow Tie emblem downsized and moved to the lower right portion of the grille. But whichever Silverado you choose, it'll appear as though there's a notch in the headlights.

2019 GMC Sierra Denail and 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country© Motor Trend Staff 2019 GMC Sierra Denail and 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country

Because the Sierra and Silverado share the same basic mixed-material structure, as well as a good number of parts, there's only so much you can do to make them look different from the side. The cab designs look virtually identical from this angle, both sporting a beltline kick-up at the rear window in crew cab configuration. The character lines across the body appear to be slightly different, however, suggesting different door skins, and the GMC gets chrome window trim instead of black as on the Silverado. The wheel wells are rounded on the Silverado, whereas on the GMC they're more angular and lined with black plastic cladding. The Sierra gets a decorative vent on the front fender displaying the engine size, near the same spot where the Silverado badge (or trim level badge in the case of the High Country) can be found on the Chevy. But the biggest distinguishing features remain the front and rear ends, which make the trucks easy to tell apart even from the side.

From behind, the two trucks look very different, but each sports taillights that mirror the front in some way. The Sierra's lamps feature C-shaped LED elements within the housings, while the Silverado's taillights have a notch in them much like the headlights. Higher-trim GMCs get a unique tailgate with six different positions. Both trucks feature corner steps in the rear bumper and similar dual trapezoidal exhaust tips.

Though we've only seen close-ups of the Denali trim interior so far, the GMC Sierra's cabin looks very similar to the Silverado's, with a virtually identical center stack and familiar 8.0-inch touchscreen display. The instrument cluster also looks similar to the one in the higher-trim Silverado, with a large central display flanked by two circular gauges. The Denali model gets real wood trim for the first time, and uses other high-end materials to make it more upscale.

What do you think of the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 compared to the Silverado? Did GM do enough to differentiate the two trucks? 

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