For some reason it seems as if the arrival of spring has been marked by the arrival of the newest GMC Sierra Denali pickup in our test driveway and this year has been no different. Last year, the model received some styling and technology upgrades. That trend continues for model year 2017.
This new GMC Sierra Denali arrived on the light duty 1500 series in crew cab 4WD configuration with the 5’8” cargo box. Optional upgrades on top of the nice equipment already provided in the Denali package includes the beefy 420hp 6.2-liter V-8 engine with active fuel management (allowing for four-cylinder operation under light loads). This engine is very smooth with good power across the rpm range and for those not liking the trend of loud exhausts from the factory this GMC keeps things toned down.
The engine is mated to a very smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox. Some of the other mechanical features include auto locking rear differential, two-speed electronic transfer case, and trailering package with factory trailer brake controller. Maximum towing is now up to a segment-best of 12,500 lbs. for crew cab pickups.
For those owners crazy enough to hand over the keys of their new Sierra, GMC makes its Teen Driver feature standard across the line. This feature
encourages safe driving habits with teenagers by enabling parents to view the vehicle’s maximum speed, distance driven, and the number of times active safety features were engaged during a drive.
For fuel economy enhancement, GMC now offers aero grill shutters standard across the Sierra 1500 lineup and for convenience tri-mode power steps are available. On the safety side, low-speed forward automatic braking has been added to the enhanced driver alert package.
As for the truck itself, it rides and drives as good as ever and the magnetic ride control is something all unto its own. Jumping from a truck with traditional suspension and into the Sierra Denali the difference is night and day. The GMC rides almost as good as many large luxury sedans and it is nearly as quiet. And of course it is laden with all the creature comforts buyers have become spoiled with lately including heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, remote vehicle start, 8-inch color touchscreen infotainment system, and remote locking tailgate.
Pricing for the 2017 GMC Sierra Denali 1500 4WD begins at $55,305 with our tester arriving with a final window sticker of $63,795. Fuel economy is rated at 15 mpg city and 20 mpg highway. The truck has a five-star overall vehicle safety score and features a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty with 24-hour roadside assistance.
I have come to call the GMC Sierra Denali the “Cadillac of pickups” and I believe it rightly earns that tagline. This is the smoothest riding truck on the road with great handling, attractive styling, boasts a bevy of amenities, and yes, rivals some Caddys in pricing. It is as ready for work as it is for a night on the town. Denali is known as “the great one” and the GMC Sierra Denali is just that.