It’s the same question every year. Is the GMC Sierra different enough from the Chevrolet Silverado to warrant its higher price tag? You could have easily argued “no” in the past, but the 2019 model year marks some significant changes that tempt us to think otherwise. To differentiate itself from its Bowtie brother, the Sierra gets a number of exclusive features, including a multi-configurable tailgate and carbon-fiber box. That’s all well and good, but it’s also going to take some interior refinements to make it feel like a true step up from Chevy. We examine the top trim levels of both trucks, the Chevrolet Silverado High Country and the GMC Sierra Denali, and determine which has the best interior in this comparison. Find out what we think below.
FEATURES AND TECH
The GMC Sierra (shown above) offers a greater selection of features, but not really for the interior. One unique creature comfort you’ll find on both the Silverado and Sierra is a head-up display, which projects key information such as speed and navigation onto the windshield. Also on the options roster is a unique camera that gives drivers a view of what’s behind the truck through a digital image in the rearview mirror. Although the mirror displays a clear image, it doesn’t provide much depth perception, and many will find the backup camera image displayed in the main infotainment screen just as useful in accomplishing most of the same tasks.
The trucks share other important interior offerings, such as leather-appointed upholstery, a responsive 8.0-inch touchscreen with navigation, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, wireless charging, and USB ports front and rear.
TRIMMINGS AND TRAPPINGS
Everyone has different tastes. Some will like the dark-finish aluminum decor on the Denali (shown above) more than the bronze accents on the High Country, and vice versa. GMC gets points for its genuine, open-pore wood with a nice, grainy texture.
Despite the GMC brand name and the higher price tag, the leather-appointed seats in this truck don’t feel more premium to the touch compared to those in the High Country (shown above). We also like the two-tone brown and black seats in the Chevy tester. The badging on the headrests is a little more visually interesting on the High Country than on the Denali, as well.
While the Chevy and GMC might wear different feathers, they’re the same bird underneath. At least when it comes to the interior. You’ll find both trucks feature the same layout of controls on the center stack. The GMC’s instrument cluster, however, looks slightly different than the one on the Chevrolet (shown above), with square gauges instead of more conventional round ones.
Since both trucks feature essentially the same design with different trimmings, they are equal when it comes to storage amenities. The center console box offers plenty of room for a small backpack or purse, and on top, there’s a slot for your cell phone. There are two main cupholders in front of the center console box, along with a space that’s perfect for holding your walkie-talkie, as well as two more cupholders behind the box. In the rear, fold down the center seatback, and you’ll find additional cupholders. The outboard rear seats open up to reveal small storage areas that can fit small items such as books.
The 2019 GMC Sierra Denali is shown above.
Even though GMC has made strides to differentiate itself from Chevrolet, the value equation hasn’t caught up. A Silverado 1500 4WD High Country Crew Cab starts at $57,795, but for the comparable GMC Denali Crew Cab, you’ll pay at least $67,340. Keep in mind both models come standard with a 5.3-liter V-8. Needless to say, GMC buyers are paying a hefty premium, and it’s partially for the badge.
Although GMC has improved for 2019 when it comes to feature availability, it misses the mark in terms of interior refinement. Although it has pleasing wood trim, it could have stepped up its game in terms of leather feel and overall layout. The Silverado High Country offers an equally attractive interior, with all the most important amenities, at a much lower entry price. But it’s not all bad news for GMC; the price difference hints that the perceived cachet of the “professional grade” brand remains strong. And remember, this win only applies to the interior, as the GMC has some other real advantages over the Chevy in other areas, including a flashier grille, improved tailgate maneuverability, and adaptive ride control, which promises improved body control.
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