SAVVY Trucks & Toys

Denali Is Key to GMC’s Survival Among 1500 Pick-Up Rivals

GMC Sierra Denali CarbonPro

Chevrolet and GMC half ton pick-up buyers appreciate the flexibility of engine choices, three cab styles, three bed lengths, and six trim levels with four-wheel-drive available across all the available configurations.  The GMC Sierra 1500 is based on the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, sharing the same engine choices.  These include a V6, a turbocharged four-cylinder, two V8 choices,  or a 3.0-liter Duramax six-cylinder diesel engine. The frame as well as many of its interior appointments and available options are also very similar between the Sierra and Silverado.  The main differences lie in  Sierra 1500’s more premium experience and higher-end materials that help it better compete with the premium models of the rival Ram 1500 and Ford F-150.

With the Big Three automakers claiming that  luxury level trucks account for about 1/3 of their overall truck sales, and Texas dealers citing even higher numbers for premium level half ton pick-up sales, the Denali will continue to be key to GMC’s fight in a fierce segment.

While the top-of-the-line Sierra Denali has a standard listing price of $55,200, we drove the Denali 4WD Crew Cab sporting the upgraded 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 with a 10-speed automatic transmission rated at 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. The CarbonPro Edition had a full suite of exclusive GMC options with a price tag of $71,250.  These included the upgraded V8, CarbonPro carbon-fiber composite bed option, retractable side steps that can move forward and back for easier access to the cab or bed of the truck, head-up display, rear camera mirror, high definition surround vision, 22″ high-gloss black wheels and MultiPro Audio System by KICKER® integrated into the MultiPro six-position rear tailgate.

The 2021 GMC  will add Jack-Knife Alert, Trailer Length Indicator, enhanced Rear Trailer View with rear guidelines, an enhanced Rear Side View and Cargo Bed View and Hitch Guidance to Sierra 1500’s trailering technology suite.  Towing capability is improved for 2021 with the diesel engine rated at 9,300 pounds, (up from 7,400) and the turbo-four capable of 9,200 pounds (up from 6,900).  Indeed, the bar must be continually raised in order for GMC to stand out in the inevitable comparison against Ram and Ford’s latest.  Competition between the Big 3 rivals truly puts truck owners in the driver’s seat.

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