2019 GMC Sierra 1500

The 2019 GM Sierra 1500 has been redesigned from the ground up and is larger in almost every dimension, including a longer wheelbase and longer crew cab body that offers about 3 inches more rear legroom than the previous model. It also features GMC-exclusive, industry-first MultiPro Tailgate that offers six functions and positions for enhanced second-tier loading and load-stop solutions, a standing workstation and easier access to items in the cargo box. Those are just a few of the many updates in the 2019 Sierra 1500.

2019 Sierra Range

The Sierra 1500 is offered in a number of different configurations including regular cab, double cab, and crew cab body styles,  all offered with 4WD. In addition, the Sierra 1500 range has been modified to better meet the needs of truck buyers. The new models range from the Sierra SLE, Elevation, SLT, AT4, and Denali. 

The new Sierra Elevation is offered exclusively in the double cab configuration, in both 2WD and 4WD, and features monochromatic door handles, bumpers and grille surround, amplified by black exterior accents, including the grille insert, tow hooks, side window trim, and standard 20-inch aluminum wheels

The new Sierra AT4 offers authentic off-road capability with a two-inch factory suspension lift, standard 4WD with a two-speed transfer case, locking rear differential, skid plates, Rancho monotube shocks, 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, Hill Descent Control, Traction Select System, MultiPro Tailgate, exclusive exterior and interior trim, unique recovery hooks and a standard 5.3 L V-8 engine.

The redesigned Sierra Denali offers segment-first technologies such as Multi-Color Head-up Display and Rear Camera Mirror, along with exclusive chassis enhancements such as Adaptive Ride Control and signature design and interior elements.


 2019 Sierra Engines and Drivetrain

There’s an incredibly broad range of engines and transmissions available in the 2019 Sierra 1500, with six combinations  ranging from the 4.3 L V-6 with Active Fuel Management and a six-speed automatic, 5.3 L V-8 with Active Fuel Management and a six-speed automatic, the new 2.7 L Turbo with Active Fuel Management and an eight-speed automatic, the 5.3 L V-8 with new Dynamic Fuel Management and an eight-speed automatic, the 6.2L V-8 with new Dynamic Fuel Management and a 10-speed automatic and a new 3.0L I-6 turbodiesel and a 10-speed automatic that will be available later in the model year.

Robust Underpinnings

The 2019 Sierra 1500 is supported by a fully boxed steel frame that is 88 pounds lighter than its predecessor, while offering 10 percent greater torsional rigidity through the use of High-Strength Steel, upgrading to enhanced front and rear suspensions that incorporate new, lightweight components, while stopping is managed by an improved brake system featuring electro-hydraulic power assist, larger-diameter Duralife brake rotors and larger brake pads with ABS. The all-new Traction Select System allows the driver to choose from preset drive modes that have been tailored for different terrain or weather conditions. Selecting one of these modes adjusts Sierra’s transmission shift points, throttle mapping, and StabiliTrak to optimize performance for the situation at hand.


A Truck Bed That’s Up to the Job

The 2019 Sierra is fitted with a more rugged standard steel floor; roll-formed from High Strength Steel and is 50-percent stronger than the previous model. Additional bed functionality includes enhanced LED cargo lights, 12 fixed cargo tie-downs rated at 500lbs per corner and larger rear CornerStep openings. The Sierra Denali also offers best-in-class cargo volume, with its 5’ 8” box offering 63 cubic feet of volume with most of that volume was created by widening the maximum width of the bed floor nearly seven inches. The Sierra Denali is available GMC-exclusive, industry-first CarbonPro carbon fiber cargo box that was developed to increase durability while offering best-in-class dent, scratch, and corrosion resistance.

 The 2019 Sierra Offer More to Serious Truck Buyers

Unfortunately there’s not enough space to cover all the available options and packages on the 2019 Sierra 1500 including the Max Trailering Package, Pro Grade Trailering System, Snow Plow Prep package, the expanded suite of active safety features, including HD Rear-Vision Camera, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert and HD Surround Vision, and the new GMC Infotainment systems with improved connectivity.

The best way to learn more about the all-new 2019 GMC Sierra line-up and which pickup is right for you is to come and talk to the truck experts at Fletch’s GMC Buick. They’re ready to assist you in decking out a truck that meets your demanding needs.  

2019 Buick Encore

Encore is Buick’s best-selling vehicle in North America, and for good reason. It offers consumers premium features typically associated with larger luxury SUVs but with greater maneuverability, complemented by its timeless design. In the rapidly evolving small SUV segment, the Encore continues to lead the pack with technology, elegance, and refinement.

Introduced in 2013, the Encore quickly carved out a niche of its own, as it quickly rose to the top of the fast-growing small SUV category, and continues to sit at the top of the market.

New for 2019

The 2019 Buick Encore features a simplified lineup comprised of the base Encore, Preferred, Sport Touring, and Essence trims. An Encore Sport Touring package features unique design cues such as a rear spoiler, 18-inch aluminum premium-finished wheels and body-color door handles. 

Buick’s Safety Package II is now offered on Essence trim and includes Rainsense wipers, Front and Rear Park Assist, Forward Collision Alert, and Lane Departure Warning. There are also two new exterior colors: Deep Azure Metallic and Satin Steel Metallic.

Engines and Drivetrain

The standard four-cylinder engine is a turbocharged EcoTec 1.4 L with DOHC operated through continuous valve timing that develops 138 horsepower. Available is an EcoTec 1.4 L turbocharged four-cylinder engine with VVT DI-4 that features direct fuel injection and develops 153 horsepower. Both engines direct power to the wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission with the sixth gear as a fuel-saving overdrive. All trims are available with AWD with the exception of the base Encore.


Premium Interior

The 2019 Encore’s cockpit-style interior design features an emphasis on premium materials, chrome accents, and contrast stitching, while Signature QuietTuning and Active Noise Cancellation technology keep exterior noise to a minimum. All 2018 Encore models offer room for five and up to 48.4 cubic feet storage space with the 60/40 split rear seat folded, while the front passenger seat can be folded flat to extend the cargo length to eight feet long. There’s 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up, more than enough room for a week’s worth of groceries.

Connectivity and Infotainment

The instrument panel of the 2019 Encore features a 4.2-inch-diagonal color driver information center, center stack with an intuitive Buick infotainment system and a frameless, 8-inch-diagonal color touchscreen with full-color radio display. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are standard while Bluetooth personal cell phone connectivity to vehicle audio system with voice recognition for audio, phonebook and music selection. A Bose seven-speaker audio system with an external amplifier is available on Sport Touring and Essence trims. Buick 4G LTE connectivity comes through a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, complimentary one-month,3GB data trial (subscription required after one month).


Safety and Security

The 2019 Buick Encore is equipped with a suite of active safety features including ten standard airbags, a standard rear-vision camera, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and electronic brake force distribution, cornering brake control and brake assist ,StabiliTrak stability control system with full-function traction control and LED daytime running lamps, all of which are standard on all models . Available is the Safety Package on Preferred and Sport Touring and includes Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, which are all standard on the Essence trim.  A Safety Package II is available on Essence and includes an ionizing air cleaner, Rainsense wipers, Front and Rear Park Assist, Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning.

If you’re in the market for a compact SUV and are seeking style and comfort as well as utility and convenience, then drive over to Fletch’s GMC Buick and check out the FWD and AWD versions of the 2019 Buick Encore.


Is My Car, Truck or SUV Ready For Towing a Trailer?


Living in Northern Michigan there are plenty of opportunities to use your car, truck, or SUV for towing, from boats and campers,  hauling a car home from college to transporting a car to the city of a recent graduate’s new job. If you’ve not towed before, here’s a checklist you can follow to make certain that your tow is pleasurable, event-free, and doesn’t impact your vehicle’s warranty.

Your first step is to determine if the vehicle you intend to use to tow is capable of pulling the load you have in mind. You’ll need to add the weight of whatever you want to tow to whatever you plan to pack inside it to determine the towing weight. It’s happened more than once that someone has purchased a vehicle to tow a camper based on the camper’s weight alone, not taking into account the hundreds of pounds of water, food, and supplies in the trailer. You can find your vehicle’s towing capacity in the owner’s manual.

If your vehicle is rated to tow the load you have in mind, the next step is to assure that it’s ready to tow. If there’s a factory-installed trailer package on your vehicle, you’re good to go. If not, check with our service department.  They can provide you with a list of what the manufacturer includes in its towing package, including the rating of the hitch you’ll require. You may need to add a transmission cooler as well as a hitch and wiring harness. If you don’t match the OEM package it could void the part of your warranty affected.

Once you have your car, truck or SUV sorted, now it’s time to hook the trailer to the tow vehicle. Plan this out in advance and not the morning of your trip, as it could take some time and if not done properly it will diminish your enjoyment of the drive and could even be dangerous. 

The first task is to set the tongue weight. That’s the amount of weight the trailer pushes down on your vehicle’s hitch. Too little or too much is bad. There’s an ideal range of about 10% – 12% of the total weight of your trailer. Though it should never exceed the maximum tongue weight rating in your owner’s manual. 

Now that you know the target, load the trailer with the equivalent weight that you’ll be hauling. Level the trailer onto a bathroom scale to check the tongue weight. If it’s outside the 10% – 12% range (up or down) move the weight around in your trailer until you achieve the target. If the rated tongue weight is greater than your scale, you can check using a simple lever arrangement for which you can find instructions online.

It’s also important that the loaded trailer be level to the ground when it’s attached to the vehicle so that the trailer remains stable as your drive. You can trim the trailer’s flatness either with an adjustable drawbar or by finding one with the right offset. If you end up using an offset drawbar, make sure it’s rated to handle the trailer weight. Park both your tow vehicle and the trailer on level ground and measure both. Allow about three inches for the ball. 

Before heading out there are a few items that need to be addressed. First, is the tow vehicle ready? Towing puts a great deal of stress on a vehicle and it’s important that the engine oil, coolant, tires, and brakes are all inspected and serviced prior to towing. And don’t overload your tow vehicle either.

On your trailer, check the condition and inflation pressure of the tires, the condition of the battery if your trailer is equipped with electric brakes, inspect all lights for proper operation and that the safety chains are crossed and attached. Safety chains should not be taken lightly as they’re your last line of defense so make certain they won’t come loose. You should be ready to go now.

If you plan on towing a car on a dolly, there are a few extra items you need to be aware of. All the same rules about trailering capacity and tongue weight still apply, of course. In addition, you need to be aware of a couple of decisions you may need to make. If the car is front-wheel drive, you can use the dolly without any changes to the car you’re pulling. 

If it’s a rear-wheel drive car, the driveshaft will have to be removed by a mechanic. You’ll now have to deal with a six-foot-long greasy steel tube as well.  If your tow vehicle can handle the weight of a car trailer this may be the better option. When it comes to AWD or 4WD, it depends upon how the manufacturer configured the system. Some systems allow for the rear axle to freewheel when disconnected, which means it can be loaded like a front-wheel drive car. Others have power going to the rear axle at all times, so you’ll have to disconnect the driveshaft on those vehicles. Check your owner’s manual and if you can’t find a definitive answer you can call the vehicle manufacturer or check in with us.

The company from which you’re renting the dolly can also provide you with lights that attach to your towed vehicle magnetically so you don’t have to cut into the wiring harness.  Just make sure you stow them inside the car if you have an overnight stop. If you plan on towing a car on a dolly behind a motorhome, it may be worth the investment to have a standard jack installed in the car to operate the lights.

Follow these straightforward recommendations and you should enjoy trouble-free towing throughout the summer season.


Why the all-new 2019 Buick Envision is a great car for Northern Michigan

2019 Buick Envision a great car for Northern Michigan
2019 Buick Envision

From its unmistakable Buick grille to its sculpted rear profile, one glance at the new 2019 Envision confirms that this small luxury SUV offers owners both versatility as well as style. To complement the new styling, there’s increased engine power, a new transmission, and improvements in its connectivity systems. Best yet, the 2019 Envision makes for an outstanding SUV for the conditions that drivers in Northern Michigan face on a year-round basis.

Stylish New Exterior

The New 2019 Envision makes a lasting impression from every angle. At the forefront of the refreshed exterior: the unmistakable Buick grille and tricolor insignia, along with bright, crisp available LED-accented headlamps and new low-profile LED-enhanced tail lamps. The 2019 Buick Envision also features a standard hands-free power liftgate that helps you access your cargo area without lifting a finger.

Comfortable Redesigned Interior

The sense of luxury inside the new 2019 Envision is apparent from its soft-touch materials and modern amenities. The spacious cabin is quiet and comfortable, with up to nearly seven inches of available rear seat leg room. The 60/40 fold-flat rear seats can be easily adjusted to accommodate a variety of configurations. You can even fold the second row flat before entering the vehicle, by utilizing release handles on either side of the cargo area.

Available Engines

Press the premium Start button and the 2019 Envision comes to life. Buyers have a choice of one of two sources: the standard 2.5 L DOHC engine with 197 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque or the available 2.0 L turbocharged DOHC engine with 252 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, which comes mated to a new, smooth-shifting nine-speed automatic transmission. The turbo engine model is a full half-second faster from 0-60 than last year’s model.

The 2019 Envision is equipped with a stop-start deactivation switch on the instrument panel that allows the driver to choose whether to use the auto-stop function. The calibration of the stop-start technology has also been refined for an even more seamless operation.

All-Wheel Drive

Available Intelligent All-Wheel Drive with an electronically locking rear differential with twin clutch automatically adjusts the amount of engine torque delivered to each wheel based on road conditions to optimize traction and respond before slipping occurs.

Winter Driving

Beyond the safety and security of all-wheel drive, buyers in Northern Michigan seek creature comforts that’ll make the old winters a little easier to bear. Available on the 2019 Buick Envision are cold-weather features like a heated steering wheel, heated front seats that can also be cooled during hot summer months, separate climate controls for rear seat passengers, heated rear seats for the outside rear seat passengers, and heated exterior mirrors.

There’s much more to the 2019 Envision than we have space to cover, like the standard  Buick Infotainment System with an 8-inch-diagonal color touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and the standard Buick 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. It’s your best bet to talk to the experts at Fletch’s Buick GMC and Audi and check out which features best suit your year-round driving needs. And if you’re an RVer looking for an outstanding dinghy to flat tow, talk to the Fletch’s team about how you can outfit the 2019 Envision for that purpose.