2015 GMC Sierra Denali 1500 4WD Crew Cab – truck review

2015 GMC Sierra Denali 1500 Crew Cab


Anyone out there consider their ride their second home? Yea, me, too. The Denali’s a rolling man-cave offering leather chairs, plenty of room, and a sittin’-on-top-of-the-world flavor.

High-endery abounds in the cabin, yet it still feels rough, tough and satisfying to drive; you never forget this is a truck. For this year, GMC’s packed an available 8-speed automatic tranny in its guts for better performance and a little better mileage. Magnetic ride control comes with as well as OnStar with 4G LTE and a built-in wi-fi hotspot. The kids’ll dig the fact that the interior’s inspired by modern fighter jets, with a particularly pleasing, ergonomically configured instrument panel delivering vital information where it ’s quickly visible, and controls where they ’re easily within reach.

2014-gmc-sierra-denali-1500-crew-cab-interior-view-02An 8-inch diagonal color touch-screen provides immediate data and quick response, while an 8″ diagonal Customizable Driver Display lets you personalize vital information. Knobs and buttons are large to accommodate gloved paws, and gauges are easy to read and LED back-lit. It’s like Christmas in the cockpit at night.

Handling is responsive though not razor-sharp, and the cabin’s quiet. Benefits include easy cabin access, simple controls, and generous towing and payload capacities. Its mileage of 16 MPG is good for a truck but you still don’t have an overly ferocious blastoff.

Outside – dayummmm!  The Sierra’s got muscle and cojones, with a stubby front end festooned with chrome, a high hood asThe latest Sierra’s look is muscular and refined, without straying too much from previous GMC truck design. The 1500 takes cues from the heavy-duty model, including a hood that sits just as high, and a blunt front end with plenty of chrome. The interior features a well laid-out upright dashboard, with easy-to-use controls that can be manipulated even by a gloved hand. Materials are as nice as any in the truck market, with soft-touch plastics used at almost all touchpoints. GMC’s signature red lighting is used on the clear gauges as well as for ambient lighting on models so equipped.

Power comes from GM’s latest smorgasboard of engines. Each engine has cylinder deactivation, direct fuel injection, and continuously variable valve timing. The base 4.3-liter V-6 will work for more needs, but if you tow in your day-to-day, consider the 5.3-liter V-8 making 355 horsepower, which can handle almost any towing task up to 11,000 pounds. A 6.2-liter V-8 producing 420 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque is also on the menu, though you give up some fuel economy for serious towing and hauling capability.

Each of the three engines can be mated with either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, and a six-speed automatic transmission (with a ‘cruise grade braking’ feature to reduce brake wear) is offered with the 4.3-liter V-6 and 5.3-liter V-8.

All models get electric power steering, natch, and four-wheel disc brakes with special long-life brake rotors are standard across the model line.

There’s so much to love about the Sierra Denali. For more features, trims and pricing, click here.

-Auto Gigolo

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