Like everyone else, the GMC Sierra is looking to expand its repertoire. By integrating a Denali Ultimate version, the Grabowsky Motor Company (it was under this name that it was founded in 1902) strived to push the category (and prices) upwards.
The image is a little misleading. The raised cabin, the bed, the grille as high as a skyscraper and the large tires of the GMC Sierra give the clear impression that you absolutely have to put on construction boots to climb on board. No way. Look at it less, look at it more. The chrome, varnished rims and running boards betray its aspiration to frequent beautiful neighborhoods. To move away from its primary vocation, that is to say a work tool capable of towing, on a regular basis, (very) heavy loads.
The Sierra Denali Ultimate is undoubtedly a dream, but does not bring much to entrepreneurs or craftsmen, more concerned with the use value of their work tool than with its appearance. This version is the most chic, most accomplished illustration of this manufacturer’s range. The structure remains rustic (ladder chassis), but does not forget the woodwork or the leather and the little touches that we generally associate with prestigious vehicles.
The Sierra refuses nothing, not even the Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system, which allows you to clap your hands on expressways, as the television commercial suggests.
The “Crew” cab sits in front of the shortest bed available (5 feet 8 inches) on the Denali Ultimate version. Five people can board. The space is vast, but as soon as all the seats are occupied, the smallest piece of luggage is invited to be under the flexible ($595) or rigid ($1,380) cover which covers the rear tray. And if you still have $265 left in your wallet, you might as well spend it on lighting the step integrated into the heavy leaf. Back at the cockpit, a dashboard where the central screen has not had the greed to swallow all the physical controls in its path. Aligned like the keys of a piano, the switches are easy to locate and help reduce the risk of distraction. The front seats provide decent comfort – little support, however – and numerous adjustments.
His Majesty, the king!
Strangely, after climbing aboard the Sierra, a feeling of superiority mixed with shyness manifests itself. It must be said that this van is impressive. And it appears just as intimidating to other users who, sometimes, systematically give way to it in the left lane. Unfortunately, many owners abuse this “power”.
This heavy and opulent van sometimes takes on a little too much. If the steering is soft and relatively precise, the Sierra is not an acrobat. Especially in town where its turning circle and its size require patience and skill.
His overweight makes him clumsy. Especially in the sequences of turns. If these are negotiated too quickly, the Sierra punishes you by widening the trajectory. On the other hand, cash movements remain under control. Traction is not a problem either, as long as the user selects “Auto” mode, which automatically and nimbly switches the vehicle from two to four-wheel drive.
For a pickup truck costing over $100,000, the Sierra Denali Ultimate is rather discreet. You can barely hear the murmur of its 6.2-liter V8 engine. Despite its large displacement, this engine surprisingly does not consume more than other eight-cylinders in the category. Associated with a 10-speed automatic transmission, this 6.2 liter has no trouble tearing this XXL van out of its static position and the gear change is smooth. GMC also offers a six-cylinder turbodiesel. Although it has a lower hydrocarbon appetite, it can hardly be recommended. Its greater complexity, the cost of this fuel and the revisions that this mechanism requires make it difficult to make it profitable in the short and medium term.
Quiet and stable, the Sierra Denali Ultimate takes greater care of its comfort than before. The suspensions are in line with the primary purpose of the vehicle, that is to say republishing the 12 labors of Asterix. But this GMC is still troubled by road imperfections and ranks second in the category behind the RAM. The latter remains, in this chapter, THE absolute reference. The GMC, however, takes its revenge when towing a trailer. The presence of Super Cruise, a semi-autonomous driving device (level 2) which brings a lot of peace of mind to those who hate having cargo stuck to their back. A task that the Sierra Denali Ultimate masterfully accomplishes. At the asking price, we expected nothing less!
- Test version: Denali Ultimate
- Price range: $59,029 to $104,305
- Consumption: 14 L/100 km (6.2 L V8) / 9.8 L/100 km (3 L L6 turbodiesel)
- The effectiveness of Super Cruise (semi-autonomous driving)
- The reassuring sobriety of the six-cylinder turbodiesel
- The chic of the interior
We like less
- The asking price
- The 6.2 liters which does not provide any real advantages
- The rear suspension a little too playful
- A luxury that your trailer, your ATV or anything tied to the tow ball can miss out on.
Share your experience
The Press will soon publish the test of the following vehicles: Cadillac Lyriq, Fiat 500, Lucid Air, Rivian R1S, Subaru Crosstrek, Toyota Tacoma. If you own one of these vehicles or are awaiting delivery, we would love to hear from you.