GMC Trucks First Drive: Low-Key Luxury in the Sand


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GMC Trucks First Drive: Low-Key Luxury in the Sand Listen to this article

This truck had all of the bells and whistles — including 20″ aluminum wheels, an EZ lift and lower tailgate, and automatic running boards that would pop out every time the truck was stopped and a door was opened. I’m going to admit that 9 times out of 10, I stepped right over the running boards; while they would likely be very handy for a shorter person, I had no trouble getting in and out of the truck.

GMC Trucks First Drive: Low-Key Luxury in the Sand

I put the charging mat in the center console to good use topping off my Note8; the only issue that I ran into was that the phablet was a smidge too wide to lie in the charging well unless I removed its case.

GMC Trucks First Drive: Low-Key Luxury in the Sand

The thing I love about GMC trucks is that you can drive one without looking like a show-off. Do you know what I mean?

Chevy trucks to me are work trucks — and even though I know they can come completely loaded out, I think of them as more utilitarian. Cadillac Escalade trucks, on the other hand, are simply too showy — unless you’re a celebrity. GMC trucks look like something you could drive to a job site without looking out of place, yet they have interiors that are every bit as nice as you would expect from a luxury vehicle.

When you get the Denali trim package, the ante is really upped — you may have what looks like a “normal” truck on the outside, but on the inside you’ve got a spaceship full of safety and security features like low-speed FWD auto-braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, forward collision alert, and all the interior bells and whistles like leather bucket seats, wireless charging, heated and vented front seats, remote vehicle start, power adjustable pedals, a customizable driver display, heated steering wheel, 8″ infotainment center with rear vision and navigation (compatible with Apple CarPlay), and a Bose system that sounds excellent.

This truck had the Denali Ultimate Package, which includes 6.2L V8 Ecotec engine with 22″ wheels, a power sunroof, trailer brake control, and the tri-mode power steps that I kept forgetting to use.

The 2018 Sierra Denali 1500 4WD Crew Cab sells for $64,345 including a $1295 destination charge.


Disclosure: GMC paid for my travel, room, and meals; there were no conditions or expectations made regarding what I chose to write about with regard to my experience.

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Editor in Chief of Gear Diary, Secular Humanist, techie, foodie, hoarder of Kindle eBooks, lover of live music, and collector of passport stamps.