Understanding Fuel: Gasoline vs Diesel

gasoline vs diesel in GMC vehicles

Diesel fuel: does it evoke figments of black smoke and sad environmentalists? That’s because the diesel industry has been dealing with scandals from automakers like Volkswagen, attempting to blindfold drivers from the realities of their vehicles. However, in the GM world, several diesel vehicles are being introduced in 2018 and 2019 to bring back diesel customers that have been wronged by VW. With better technology for diesel-burning vehicles, increased emissions standards, and upfront honesty, GM is aiming to improve diesel vehicles’ bad reputation.

Gasoline has been a frontrunner in the auto industry for a very long time. Is it finally time for diesel engines to have their spotlight, rightfully this time?

The 2019 Sierra AT4: GMC’s Off-Road Warrior

2019 Sierra AT4

In the 2019 Sierra AT4, GMC finally has its own off-road specific variant. Don’t get cynical, this isn’t a base model truck with big tires and some aggressive decals. The Sierra AT4 is built, from the ground up, to deliver excellent performance in adverse conditions. And of course, that capability is combined with what makes GMC unique among pickups, genuine luxury features and first-class comfort.

The 2019 Sierra AT4

According to GMC’s vice president Duncan Aldred, “The 2019 Sierra AT4 is designed for the customer who wants an elevated presence on the road and the capability to venture off life’s beaten path. It’s also the beginning for the AT4 brand, which will be seen on every vehicle in our lineup in the next two years.” Clearly, the AT4 name will become a counterpart to the Denali badge. Instead of elevated luxury, the AT4 badge will guarantee rugged, off-road performance.

Performance

Sierra AT4 performance starts with the standard 5.3L V8 engine and 10-speed gearbox. Other engines are available, but the standard setup is confident and efficient. It times the shifts well and improves acceleration. You also get a factory 2” suspension lift and Rancho monotube shock absorbers for better performance on tough terrain.

For superior handling and style, GMC’s off-roader comes with standard 18” wheels, but 20” wheels are available. Both sets are exclusive to the Sierra AT4 and feature a unique, machined-face, dark tinted appearance. By default, the AT4 comes with 33” all-terrain tires. However, 33” Goodyear Wrangler mud tires are also available. I would personally recommend the 20” wheels if only for the fact they more naturally fill out the new Sierra’s massive wheel cut-outs.

Multi-Pro

GMC also confirmed that the Sierra AT4 would get the new Multi-Pro tailgate as standard equipment. If you don’t know, the Multi-Pro is the most innovative tailgate ever. You can configure it in six different ways, serving as a standing workstation, load stop, extendable step/bench, and more. For an everyday workmanlike truck, it’s hardly an essential feature. But it helps set the Sierra apart in a tightly contested segment.

Other standard equipment includes:

  • Black chrome exterior accents on fog lamps and grille
  • Body-colour accents on grille surround and bumper
  • Exclusive athletic interior trim elements
  • Red vertical recovery hooks
  • Hill Descent Control
  • Traction Select System

Available Features

If you want to take the Sierra AT4 to the next level, you can add a bunch of advanced features. Take Surround Vision for example. It uses a series of cameras to generate a live image of your surroundings. It makes navigating tight spots easy – extra useful if you’re driving around rocks and trees. There’s the segment-first multicolour HUD. It projects critical vehicle information like speed, fuel level, and more. It’s also customisable, so you can see the information you need without taking your eyes off the road.

With the massive success of the Denali brand, GMC knows better than anyone that high-spec pickups are a veritable goldmine. And while there is stiff competition from off-road specific vehicles like the Ford Raptor, the Sierra AT4 is a really aggressive statement of intent. It will be interesting to see how its combination of rugged performance and premium style resonates with buyers.

The 2019 Sierra: GMC’s Four Best Features

2019 Sierra Best Features

According to Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global GMC, “The heritage of the GMC brand is rooted in full-size trucks, of which the Sierra is our cornerstone. The next generation Sierra caters to these unique customers who demand a premium, innovative truck that supports their professional and personal passions.” If you had to underline one word from Aldred’s statement, it should be innovation.

GMC has loaded the 2019 Sierra, which we discussed in an earlier post, with a ton of exciting new features. The new innovations meaningfully distance the Sierra from the Chevy Silverado (a problem in the past), but also from the rest of the full-sized pickup segment. There’s a lot to like about the next-generation of professional-grade pickup, I’ve picked out some of the best new features, and detailed them below.

MultiPro Tailgate

The MultiPro Tailgate is the most advanced tailgate in human history. It has six unique functions and a G.I. Joe Kung Fu Grip. I’m sorry. It’s hard not to be a little cynical about the new 2019 Sierra’s MultiPro tailgate. But, once you get past the skepticism, you’ll notice some impressive utility.

For example, the upper part of the tailgate can be independently lowered to reveal a standing workstation, a great convenience to those who have ever done detailed tasks or paperwork on a jobsite. The MultiPro tailgate also features a convenient cargo access position and extended load stops at two different heights. There’s even a sturdy, full-width step which can also serve as a seat. Some will dismiss the MultiPro Tailgate as a gimmick, but others will see how it can simplify the use of their truck.

CarbonPro Box

GMC will also be leading the industry by introducing the first carbon fibre box. General Motors has not been diplomatic in its criticism of Ford for using an aluminum alloy in the F-150’s bed. GM reasons that a pickup box is subjected to routine abuse and should be made of tough material. The 2019 Sierra features high-strength steel by default, but CarbonPro is an option on higher trims. It’s the strongest material in any pickup box and it’s also the most resistant to corrosion. Plus, it’s light.

Segment-First Multicolour HUD

A Head-Up Display (HUD) is a transparent display that shows information without requiring the viewer to look away from their usual sightlines. HUD are common in video games, airplanes, and “smart glasses”. In the automotive world, a HUD is information projected onto the base of the windshield. Some vehicles, like the Pontiac Grand Prix, had primitive HUD in the late eighties. But those units hardly compare to the Multicolour Head-Up Display in the new 2019 Sierra.

The 3×7-inch display is crisp and bright. It displays info like remaining fuel and current speed, but you can customise it to suit your needs. And, importantly, it’s not obtrusive or distracting and won’t impair your view of anything on the road.

Segment-First Rear Camera Mirror

On the theme of keeping your head up, the 2019 Sierra also gets the Rear Camera mirror. It performs as a regular rearview mirror, but also as a feed for the reverse camera when backing up. It was previously reserved for the Cadillac lineup where using the infotainment screen to display the backup camera feed is far too gauche. In all seriousness, the Rear Camera Mirror allows you to see what’s behind your truck without lowering your head so that you can still see what’s in front of you. It’s not an essential feature, but it’s a nifty add-on.

 

The 2019 Sierra: A Pickup Worthy of It’s Own Badge

The 2019 Sierra

GMC’s 2019 Sierra has finally been revealed. It boasts a first carbon fibre box, pro trailering tools, standard 22” wheels, and much more. Let’s take a closer look at the professional-grade pickup!

The 2019 Sierra

Whenever we’re talking about the Chevrolet Silverado or the GMC Sierra, one question always comes up. Why does GM sell the same truck under two names? Quite often, the models have been distinguished by little more than a badge and grille. If GM simply unified the two brands, they could boast much stronger sales. But, for the 2019 model year, with full redesigns, GM has promised that the two trucks will be markedly different.

And, at least ostensibly, GMC has delivered. The new Sierra is bigger, taller, and lighter. On the inside, that translates to best-in-class headroom and legroom. On the outside, it translates to a pretty impressive profile. The front-end is clean and imposing, aided by the sharp C headlights, elevated hood, and tall grille. It looks much

Power

The Sierra will feature a choice of three powertrains. The first is a 3.0L Duramax turbodiesel inline-six. It’s good to see GM addressing customer support for diesel pickups, despite the consumer concern that have followed the illegal emissions cheating from Volkswagen, Jeep, and RAM. Additionally, there will be two V8s, a 5.3-litre and a 6.2-litre variety – just like in the previous generation. However, both will be more efficient thanks to the inclusion of Dynamic Fuel Management which replaces Active Fuel Management.

Dynamic Fuel Management

In the simplest terms, a small number of cylinders generate a small amount of power more efficiently than many cylinders. So, in low performance demand situations, GM’s Active Fuel Management shuts down half of the engine’s cylinders (a predesignated block) to save fuel. The technology had not been dramatically altered since 2004, so the advent of Dynamic Fuel Management is exciting news.

Dynamic Fuel Management is capable of shutting down any of seven cylinders at any given time as a live response to the demands. That sounds complicated, but it just means that your V8 can be reduced to single-cylinder function when you’re driving very slowly. While Active Fuel Management improved fuel economy by 5.5%-7.5%, Dynamic Fuel Management pushes those numbers to as high as 15%.

High Strength, Low Weight

But the flashier fuel-saving measure, is the construction. Ford has gone all-in on aluminum – and met significant resistance for it (largely from GM). Instead of following the lead, GM is using what it calls a “mixed materials approach.” GMC will make the Sierra’s swing panels (hood, liftgate, doors) out of aluminum. Fixed panels on the body will continue to use steel. Most impressively, GMC is introducing an optional carbon fibre pickup box. It’s the first in industry history and it’s 62 lbs lighter than the steel one it replaces.

The 2019 Sierra distances itself even further from the Silverado with a ton of incredible technology like the MultiPro Tailgate. But we’ll cover the best innovations in a separate post.

 

 

The 2018 Yukon: GMC’s True Heavyweight Contender

The 2018 Yukon in its natural habitat.

The 2018 Yukon

The GMC Yukon is celebrating 25 years on the road at the top of the GMC food chain. The professional-grade full-sized SUV brings rugged performance, seating for up to seven, and some undeniably good looks. Plus, with the Denali badge, the 2018 Yukon becomes an uncompromising luxury vehicle with a genuine chance of unsettling the Cadillac Escalade’s preeminence.

What’s New for 2018?

GMC has refined rather than remade the 2018 Yukon. Perhaps the greatest highlight is the new transmission, a smooth 10-speed automatic exclusively paired with the 6.2L EcoTec3 V8. Tire-pressure monitoring system has been improved with an alert that will tell you when you need to fill up the tires. It’s only available with the 6.2L V8 engine reserved for the Denali and Denali XL models. On the outside, there’s a new Satin Steel metallic paint colour and chrome grille. On the inside, GMC has added new wood trim options for Denali models.

Finally, GMC has introduced a Denali-exclusive Ultimate Package which bundles the following:

  • Power sunroof
  • Automatic running boards
  • Adaptive cruise control w/ collision warning; exterior paint accents
  • 22” Wheels
  • And more

You can check out a more detailed breakdown of the 2018 GMC Yukon Denali right here. But for now, let’s take a look at what customers can expect as standard equipment.

Professional-Grade Standard

The Yukon SLE is the base model in the family and comes with an MSRP of $56,175. That might be tough to swallow, but that price is competitive with other full-sized luxury SUVs. Plus, even the base model comes with a good balance of “premium” features including Rainsense automatic wipers, 18” aluminum wheels, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Performance is pretty solid, too.

The standard engine in the 2018 Yukon is a 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 delivering 355 horsepower and 383 lb/ft of torque. GMC pairs that engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission which delivers power capably (though not as capably as the Denali’s 10-speed). 4WD, of course, is available on every trim level. In any configuration, the Yukon is solid. It can tow and haul without breaking a sweat and is pretty enjoyable to drive. But performance and driving dynamics are not the Yukon’s greatest assets.

The area in which the SLE really excels is entertainment. An 8” infotainment screen is standard. And with standard OnStar 4G LTE WiFi, you can stay connected with music, messaging, and navigation. SLE buyers also get a Bose 9-speaker sound system paired with the audio brand’s exceptional Active Noise Cancellation. The combination delivers crisp and encompassing sound that surprises in a vehicle so large.

 

Denali: The Peak of Professional Grade

Denali: The Peak of Professional Grade

Since 1999, the very best GMC vehicles have worn the name Denali. Named after the highest mountain in North America, Denali vehicles are the peak of luxury and performance. They’ve always included the most powerful engines and the finest interior materials. And for 2018, GMC’s best vehicles will also include the most sophisticated entertainment and safety technology.

Denali Luxury

Of course, luxury remains a top priority of every vehicle in the Denali lineup. GMC has carefully crafted the interior of each to ensure comfort and class. First-class materials like Java Burl poplar wood, aluminum, and fine leather set the tone. And the exterior reflects that tone. The signature, chrome Denali grille, LED signature lighting, and stunning wheel options ensure that your Denali truck or SUV is unmistakable on the road. But a Denali is about much more than just luxury.

Technology

Colour Head-Up Display: A Head-Up Display or HUD is a display projected onto the windshield of your vehicle. You can customise what information you want to see on the HUD and it appears above the dashboard in vivid colour. You can see speedometer, RPM, transmission position, external temperature, and current audio input. Obviously, having a HUD allows you to view important driving information without taking your eyes off of the road.

Wireless Charging: The days of fumbling with wires and finding the right adapter in your vehicle are gone. Denali vehicles come with standard Wireless Charging mats. Just place your compatible smartphone in the dock and you’ll be ready ready to go when you arrive at your destination.

Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking: Cameras and sensors at the front of your vehicle scan the road for potential obstacles. In the event of an imminent collision with an obstacle, the system can engage the brakes automatically to limit the severity of a collision without any input from the driver. When driving at very low speeds, your GMC vehicle can even prevent a collision entirely.

Bose Audio: Bose has a track record of creating some of the best audio systems for high fidelity sound reproduction. In every Denali vehicle you’ll find authentic Bose speakers positioned perfectly for studio quality sound. Behind the scenes, GMC has also included Bose’s highly regarded Active Noise Cancellation. The system emits negative waves that cancel the sound of the wind and road. And, with standard OnStar 4G LTE WiFi, connecting to your favourite songs and audiobooks is easier than ever.

To learn more about the Denali lineup, stop by today and speak to one of our experts. Or, hit the link below and explore for yourself.

The Sierra 2500HD Denali All Mountain

Sierra 2500HD Denali All Mountain

Last year, GMC built a completely customised GMC Sierra with tank treads for crushing the powder at Whistler Ski Resort in British Columbia. But that arctic warrior has been put to shame by the brand-new Sierra All-Mountain concept built on the bones of the Sierra 2500HD Denali.

Sierra 2500HD Denali All Mountain

GMC, as the official supplier of chairlift-replacing truck tanks, is adding the Sierra 2500HD Denali All Mountain to its fleet. This model will be on display at the Vail Ski Resort in Vail Colorado. As you can see from the picture, the most obvious enhancements are the Mattracks treads replacing the traditional wheels. Of course, they offer superior traction on ice and snow. But perhaps the greater benefit is the increased ground clearance. With a few extra inches of height, the All Mountain’s body remains above deep snow drifts.

Under the hood is the available 6.6L Duramax turbodiesel V8. It produces 445 horsepower and an insane 910 lb.-ft. of torque. Needless to say, it’s more than powerful enough to rip up and down the slopes. It also gets the Allison 1000 6-speed transmission with It even has Auto Grade Braking which automatically downshifts to help with engine braking downhill.

GMC included tons of official accessories that can be installed by your GMC dealer.

  • Sierra sport bar
  • Off-road step bars
  • Soft roll-up tonneau cover by Advantage
  • Premium floor liners
  • Ski/bike carrier by Thule
  • Lund bed-extender

Play Hard

The GMC Sierra HD lineup is about professional-grade performance. But the Danli trim level is about climbing the peak of style and comfort. So, it’s no surprise that the Sierra All Mountain has a few party tricks up its sleeves. Take the functional-looking sportbar, for example. It features a custom integrated KICKER amplifier and sound system into the sport bar. If you want to partake in some night skiing, the All Mountain features a wheel-well and underbody LED light package.

Of course, it also has snowboard and ski racks. And for style (and a little practicality), GMC tacked on a RIGID E-Series 30” lightbar. Finally, it’s hard to ignore the custom mountain graphics surrounding the exterior.

At the end of the day, GMC’s partnership with Vail is a great way to showcase the automaker’s innovation, dependability, and style. If you happen to hit the slopes this year, consider skipping the gondola queue.

Visit Capital Customs to build your own All Mountain machine (we don’t have any Mattracks in stock right now, so don’t ask).

GM Special Edition Trucks: Desert Fox

Earlier this week, automakers and enthusiasts from around the world congregated at the Dubai Motor Show. You know what that means! You don’t know what that means? Oh, neither do I. I didn’t even know Dubai had an auto show – not that I’m surprised. This is the city piloting (pun intended) a flying drone taxi service. So, they undoubtedly have some interesting ideas for the vehicles that stay on the ground, too. Somewhat surprisingly, it was GMC that made a splash at the show, with a one-off revival of the GM Special Edition Desert Fox truck. But it doesn’t actually quite live up to its namesake.

GMC Desert Fox

In 1971, GMC introduced the GMC Desert Fox. The special edition truck featured a unique paint job (Buckskin base with multicoloured stripes. Performance gear included dual CIBIE lamps, sport wheels, air conditioning, tilt steering, cruise control, etc…

Frankly the original Desert Fox looks much better than GMC’s new homage. That’s partly a consequence of the of the fact that the colour scheme shows much better in matte than gloss finish. And it’s partly a consequence that the shape of the new Sierra is far from retro (the black wheels don’t help either).

Check out this video which proves “the dunes are its playthings”– whatever the hell that means.

 

GM Special Edition

While the Desert Fox is probably an appropriate choice for the show, it’s not the most exciting GM special edition trucks they could have revived. Here are a couple trucks from the archives more deserving of their own renaissance.

Chevy Sno Chaser 1984

Could there possibly be a more suitable special edition for Saskatchewan? No, there could not. The super rare Chevrolet Sno Chaser of the 1984 model year was only sold in the snowiest American states. And some of them probably migrated north of the border to be closer to their natural habitat. The Sno Chaser was basically a Chevy Scottsdale ½ ton with (obviously) 4X4. Plus it had a unique cab spoiler and paint job.

Bring back the Sno Chaser!

GMC Jimmy Casa Grande

GM Special Edition Casa Grande

The GMC Jimmy Casa Grande is a Jimmy/Camper, and boy is it glorious. GM partnered with Chinook, a manufacturer of self-contained campers in the mid-seventies and they came up with the GMC Jimmy Casa Grande. As you can see from the photos, the Casa Grande had a completely unique colour scheme. More importantly, it had a dining area, a cooker, a fridge, and a sleeping compartment. It’s basically an Instagram pseudo-celebrity’s dream.

Only 1,800 Casa Grande/Blazer Chalets were ever produced, and very few have survived until the present day. To have GMC create a new Casa Grande special edition would be especially gratifying considering that they would first have to revive the beloved Jimmy nameplate.

Which GM special edition would you stick in your driveway (or sandbox)?

The 2018 GMC Yukon

The 2018 GMC Yukon

These days, vehicle shoppers have tons of choice. There are always great deals, low interest rates, and competitive offerings from half a dozen brands in any category. Customers usually have the luxury of asking “why this one?” When it comes the 2018 GMC Yukon, I don’t have a “one size fits all” answer. But I do have a pretty good answer.

The 2018 GMC Yukon: A New Standard

The value proposition for the 2018 GMC Yukon is based on the fact that you get so much standard equipment. Base models for most vehicles are bereft of quality materials, useful features, and a powertrain worth a few years of monthly payments. But when you buy a 2018 GMC Yukon, you’ll find that comfort, convenience, and performance all come standard.

You want big performance? Try out the 2018 Yukon’s standard 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine with 355 horsepower and 383 lb.-ft. of torque while still getting a respectable 10.7 L/100KM on the highway. Inside, the high benchmark continues for comfort and convenience. You even get a premium Bose nine-speaker system which delivers stunning sound quality even on the highway.

Other remarkable standard features include:

  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • 4G LTE WiFi
  • Rainsense automatic wipers
  • Remote start
  • 18” bright aluminum wheels

While the standard features are amazing, the fun doesn’t stop there. Upgrading to the 2018 GMC Yukon Denali opens the doors to possibilities previously unconsidered.

2018 Yukon Denali

Denali has always represented the peak of professional grade. A Denali combines GMC’s best features in all categories with a sophisticated flourish. In the 2018 Yukon, it begins with a standard 6.2-liter V8. For your own sake, I hope you don’t encounter a driving scenario that demands more power than you’ll have on tap. While it’s mighty, the power is tempered by sophisticated features like 10-speed automatic transmission, Forward Collision Alert, and Lane Change Alert. Oh, and it looks good, too.

Here’s what GMC has to say about the Yukon Denali’s signature grille, “The horizontal pattern is highlighted with three-dimensional block elements, which were carefully crafted to catch light just the right way, much like a high-end timepiece or sculptural jewelry.” I don’t know what sculptural jewellery is, but I do know that the grille is the perfect complement to the standard 20” bright machined-aluminum wheels. The 2018 GMC Yukon Denali makes an impressive first impression. And the refinement and sophistication carry on into the Yukon Denali’s interior.

Inside, you’ll find a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel; perforated, heated leather seats; and heated second-row seats. And, thanks to Bose’s Active Noise Cancellation, the sounds of the road and wind are entirely deadened. You get a customizable 8” Driver Information Centre as well as a vivid, 8” infotainment screen. GMC has even included a wireless charging dock for your smartphone.

The 2018 GMC Canyon

The 2018 GMC Canyon parked illegally.

The 2018 GMC Canyon

For a few years, the GMC Canyon has been billed as the first premium midsize truck. And the 2018 GMC Canyon is poised to continue defending that legacy. The current generation of Canyon/Colorado began in 2006. That means we will soon see a complete redesign. It also means, with the Canyon nearing the end of its life, the changes for 2018 are minimal. But that’s not such a bad thing. GMC has included a few styling tweaks including new mirrors and two new colours: Marine Blue and Satin Steel. But let’s be honest, it looks better than the Colorado in any colour. However, drivers will be more interested in what’s under the hood.

Engines:

The base engine in the 2018 GMC Canyon is still the 2.5L 4-cylinder. It delivers 200 horsepower, 191 lb.-ft. of torque, and max trailering of 3,500 pounds. It’s capable and definitely fuel efficient for a pickup. But it’s the 2018 Canyon’s other two engines that will steal the show.

Next, is the 3.6L V6. It gets 308 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque. GMC has also included Active Fuel Management to reduce the number of cylinders in use when performance demands are low. That means as you pull out of your driveway, or cruise at low speeds, you aren’t wasting fuel with full 6-cylinder operation.

Last, is a Duramax 2.8L I-4 Turbo Diesel. The engine cranks out 181 horsepower and a stunning 369 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The diesel engine is available on SLE models and up.

Canyon

Notably for 2018, a 7” IntelliLink Screen is replacing the standard 4.2” model. That’s a welcome adjustment that defeats the need for eye strain. And you can use it for the Rear Vision Camera that’s standard across the lineup. Obviously, it makes parking, and reversing in general, much easier. That’s particularly welcome with the Canyon being such a big small truck. All 2018 Canyons also come with projector-type LED signature headlamps. LEDs are both brighter and longer-lasting than traditional bulbs.

Canyon SLE

The 2018 Canyon SE elevates the standard of comfort and style quite quickly. Upgrades to the aluminum interior trim and soft-touch instrument panel. The Steering wheel is leather-wrapped. And Remote Keyless Entry. The SLE’s infotainment screen is 8”. It works in accordance with the 4.2” Driver Information Center. Other standard equipment includes:

  • Fog lamps
  • EZ-lift tailgate
  • 17” Blade Silver Wheels
  • Auto-dimming mirror

Canyon SLT

It also comes standard with the 3.6L engine, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The shorter distance between gears results in smoother acceleration and improved fuel economy. The 2018 GMC Canyon SLT also comes with:

  • Standard Remote Start
  • Front heated seats
  • Chrome folding heated mirrors
  • 18” Polished Aluminum Wheels

Canyon Denali

GMC Denali is the peak of professional grade. As you probably expect, the Canyon Denali will feature custom stitching and badging as well as premium interior materials. You also heated/ventilated leather seats, heated steering wheel, and burnished aluminum trims. The Canyon Denali comes with the latest safety technology, too. Lane Departure Warning keeps you centered while driving and Forward Collision Alert helps avert some life-threatening collisions by using sensors at the front of your truck. Other Denali equipment includes:

  • Standard trailering package
  • 20” Ultra-Bright Aluminum Wheels
  • Spray-on bedliner
  • Bose Premium Surround Sound

The 2018 GMC Canyon will be arriving fall 2017. Visit here for more information