2019 GMC Sierra Denali 1500: Making Its Mark With Innovation

Published: Monday, June 3, 2019 | 10:58 PM

2019gmcsierradenali475The first thing I need to say is this is by-far the biggest vehicle I have ever driven. I top out at 5’2” and the Sierra Denali towered over me. There was a nice running board for me to use when I had to “climb” into the cab which made it possible for me to drive. Once inside, while staring out the front window it seemed pretty normal, but a quick look in the review mirror and I realized what I was pulling behind me. It took some getting used to. But if you are a regular driver of large trucks, I’m sure it would seem normal.

What was really intriguing was the multi-function rear gate. I have a small truck and I always have trouble operating the tailgate. That dang lever always sticks (and I don’t want to break my nails), but the Sierra’s tailgate is operated with a push of a button. It has six different positions including a step, work surface and it has stops for extra-long cargo. It’s really pretty cool and plenty useful for truck-driving people. My only disappointment was that I had nothing to haul.

There are six trim levels available on the Sierra: base, SLE, Elevation, SLT, AT4 and Denali. This review will focus on the Denali with the Crew Cab and 4-wheel drive.

2019 GMC Sierra DenaliBecause the Denali is the top of the heap it has all the bells and whistles from all the other trim levels. Some highlights are: parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assist. There’s also a head-up display, a rear camera mirror, exclusive adaptive suspension dampers, 20-inch wheels and unique interior appointments. The MultiPro power assist steps are only available on the Denali.

A V8 provides the power for the Sierra Denali and it’s needed. It produces 420 horses and 460 lb-ft of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission transitions easily through the gears. Gas mileage with this big engine is not too bad at 15/city, 20/highway, and 17/combined mpg.

The interior of the Sierra Denali is straightforward and made for ease of use. There’s plenty of room for front seat passengers and the back seat is cavernous and there should be no problem seating three adults back there.

All of the driver assists really did make it easy for me to drive the Sierra Denali, but parking was a challenge. I found myself passing up curbside parking and looking to the back corners of parking lots. It’s a whole lot of vehicle to maneuver.

With its big V8 engine the truck had a lot of get up and go! I loved the low growl of the V8 as I hit the accelerator and that burst of speed that accompanied it. Steering is as good as it gets when driving something this big. It is a truck after all.

Need some utility? A place to haul stuff but with a nod to passengers? Give the new for 2019, GMC Sierra Denali a test drive.