GMC Trucks For 1999
By Carey Russ
The premium truck division of General Motors has plenty to show for 1999. An all-new full-size Sierra pickup, GMC's best-seller, leads the list. The flagship Denali, upscale derivative of the Yukon full-size sport-utility, was introduced earlier in the year, as was the smaller, but no less luxurious Envoy.
The only similarity between last year's GMC Sierra full-size pickup and the 1999 truck is the name. From the body styling to the frame and engine, everything about GMC's core-model workhorse is new. It is offered in regular and extended-cab body styles, with a choice of short or long "Wideside" or short, retro-look "Sportside" cargo boxes and two- and four-wheel drive.
The new Sierra is styled conservatively, with a strong similarity to previous models. It is meant to look like a pickup truck, not a car or big rig. The new body and frame are much stronger and more rigid than those of previous Sierras. Both the regular-cab and extended-cab models are roomier than any previous versions, and a third door for rear passenger access is standard on extended-cab models. The rear seat back is angled further for increased comfort. Both split-bench or twin bucket front seats are available, with cloth or leather upholstery.
A 4.3-liter V6 and all-new V8s in 4.8, 5.3, and 6.0-liter sizes are the engine choices, with five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions. All 1999 GMC Sierras feature powerful four-wheel antilock disc brakes for safe, fast stopping ability.
Yukon and Yukon Denali
A new height of sport-utility luxury, named after the highest mountain in North America, GMC's luxury flagship Yukon Denali has been available since mid 1998. Positioned above the regular Yukon, it has its own styling, with unique wheels, hood, grille, headlights, and front fenders, and a monotone paint scheme. Inside, standard leather seats and Zebrano wood trim, and a custom Bose (r) Acoustimass sound system are just some of the standard features that give the Denali all the comforts of a luxury car.
As in other Yukon models 350-cubic inch, 255-hp V8 is the only engine choice. In the Denali, it is matched with a four-speed automatic transmission and "Auto-Trac" push-button activated four- wheel drive.
The other Yukon versions continue to be offered in five- and six-passenger form with no major changes.
Because not all luxury SUV buyers want a full-size vehicle like the Denali, GMC also offers the compact Envoy. Introduced in mid- 1998, the Jimmy-based four-door Envoy features special monochrome bodywork, full cladding, and high-intensity discharge headlights outside and a leather and Zebrano wood-trimmed interior. New upgrades to the interior include the availability of memory for the driver's seat and eight-way power control for the front passenger seat. Steering wheel-mounted controls for the standard Bose (r) premium audio system add convenience.
A 190-hp V6 provides power, and is matched to a dual-mode four-speed automatic transmission and "Auto-Trac" four-wheel-drive.
The Jimmy compact SUV emphasizes GMC's premium position. It is offered in two-door and four-door body styles with two- or four-wheel drive. The "Vortec" 190-hp, 4.3-liter V6 is the only engine choice. Several trim levels and suspension packages are offered for maximum suitability for all SUV uses from station wagon replacement to serious four-wheeling.
The 1999 Jimmy line has many new features. All models have new rearview mirrors and color choices. Select 4WD models now have the "Auto-Trac" electronic transfer case. Upscale trim levels have numerous interior enhancements.
GMC's compact pickup has a redesigned steering wheel with a smaller air bag module, redesigned outside rear-view mirror, a minor front restyling, and new color choices for 1999. In typical pickup fashion, many configurations are available. Buyers may choose from regular and extended cabs, and a three-door extended cab, two different bed styles and lengths, 2.2-liter four-cylinder and two 4.3-liter V6 engines, manual or automatic transmissions, and two- or four- wheel drive.
The GMC Safari is one of the few mid-size vans. Bigger and more capable for towing than a minivan and smaller and more economical than a full-size van, it fills many needs. Offered in three trim levels and 2WD and 4WD form, the eight-passenger Safari has interior upgrades and new color choices for 1999. Both versions are powered by a 190-hp, 4.3-liter V6, with a four-speed automatic transmission.
If a nine-passenger Suburban is just too small, GMC offers the Savana full-size van. It is available in cargo or passenger form, with a choice of two wheelbases and a variety of V6 and gasoline or diesel V8 engines. A Savana may be configured to seat up to 15 people. This year, color choices and enhancements to automatic transmissions are new.
There are full-size sport-utilities and then there is the Suburban. It can accommodate up to nine people and tow up to 10,000 lbs. Offered in two- and four-wheel-drive form with a variety of gas and diesel V8 engines, it has new color choices this year.