GMC Sierra Denali Review
Size matters. What better than the GMC Sierra to comment this? It’s diligently curated for itself, a reputation for being bold, almost a predicament for other infinitesimal vehicles on the road and a nasty reputation for overthrowing everything that shows the slightest intent of obstructing its movement. Albeit we have transitioned towards preferring compact SUVs, there is still a segment of people who rummage for such burly, menacing behemoths; to whom GMC has beckoned and launched the latest iteration of the Sierra which pushes itself out of its comfort zone and tries to stand true to its character and purpose while being extremely cosseting and civilised for its masters. Has it managed to strike the quirky combination?
Our top-spec GMC Sierra Denali has certainly got the show to match the go. Its mean persona is revealed as soon as a glance is laid down from the front. Our tester’s body combination of black colour with silver accents on the massive grille testifies that. Hawk-eyed ones will notice functional air vents which add to its temperament. Further down, a chrome bar enveloping the bumper and towing hooks is present. However, we felt it was a bit pretentious and the unique “Vader Chrome Finish” hue instead, would’ve suited its bulky haute-couture. Monstrous proportions demand wheels that are equally gigantic. Hence, the Sierra Denali comes clad with 22” wheels finished in black for machismo. A thoughtful feature is sliding side steps that automatically jut out when the doors open. An FYI bit is the easter egg paying homage to Mount Denali, the highest peak in the USA. It only makes for an ideal suffix for the Sierra as the mountain’s rugged paths reveal its purpose.
The dark chrome logo, chrome exhausts, LED lights and a small cavity to rest the foot and oversee the bed are highlights of the rear. Reducing arm effort is the electric tailgate which also goes up electronically on the press of a button. However, being a true Samaritan is the six-way Multipro tailgate feature where the liftgate is split into two portions which open and close according to the requirement. The tailgate also gets power steps for easy and unruffled access into the bed. It also features a ‘Kicker’ sound system that features buttons to modulate the volume and track. In addition, an AUX and USB jack are available too.
Special mention needs to be given to GMC for engraving the bed area with carbon-fibre deposits. It prevents rust and dents while being extremely durable to bear everything placed on it.
The palatial interior is awash with idiosyncrasies. For starters, the silhouette of Mount Denali is portrayed on the dashboard, door panels and the seats. The cockpit is very regal with leather wrapping the steering wheel and upper dashboard. The Denali, despite being rugged on the outside, is a sublime place to be in on the inside as it pampers with bells and whistles such as adaptive cruise control, fully digital instrument cluster, paddle shifters, head-up display, 16-way powered leather seats with ventilation and heating, dual zone climate control, navigation, rear parking camera, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a 13.8” touchscreen infotainment interface.
An Ute has to be practical. Hence, the Sierra Denali features a shack to house the phone and keys, two USB ports, a neat little compartment for wallet and two cup holders on the front and rear. However, for those who are still not satisfied, the Sierra also harangues of a glove box in the centre which offers huge amount of space to store things and even a wireless charging compartment for the phone. However, here’s the catch. To enable the wireless charging, a converter will be required as American plugs have been installed.
The rear area is extremely roomy and comfy. However, there aren’t much goodies to relish when your chauffeur is ferrying you around the dunes. Two modicum sized AC vents just behind the central glove box and two USB ports sum up the feature roster at the rear. However, for a vehicle its size, more AC vents on the roof is a conspicuous expectation. The heating option for the rear seats may be usable in the winters but doesn’t serve great purpose as the weather is scathing for the most time.
Engine and drivetrain
Powered by a 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine, GM’s stalwart provides thrust of 420 hp and torque of 620 Nm for effortless lugging. In case you aren’t used to such a behemoth, the prima facie may be daunting for you. Unlike some cars, which provide the perception of shrinking their mass, the Sierra Denali takes no diligence in doing that and without any ignominy, will make its girth and size felt on the road. That said, for those lamenting over the loss of body-on-frame vehicles, the Sierra will provide that tall, commanding view of the road and the impression of a BIG BOSS. However, it’s surreal that even at speeds of 130 km/h to 140 km/h, the Sierra feels stable and minimal noise is heard inside the cabin. We are mightily impressed with the noise insulation of the cabin.
The suspension setup is very comfortable on most occasions, save that it can get a tad wobbly over really bizarre road surfaces. As one would expect with most full-sized SUVs and pickup trucks, even at slow speeds, the truck will exhibit a lot of body roll which can get unnerving when wanting to take up a corner in a spritely manner.
We were able to manage fuel efficiency number of a respectable 5.8 Km/l. It’s anticipated that one can’t hanker for great frugality numbers for what is inclined towards high fuel consumption. Bear in mind that it tips the scales at nearly 3 tonnes, hides a thirsty 6.2-litre V8 engine and dishes out colossal power and torque. Augmenting fuel efficiency is the Flex Fuel technology which can lay-off 4 of the 8 cylinders while coasting or when extraordinary amount of power isn’t needed.
This full-spec Sierra Denali costs AED 283,000. For that price, it makes for a great companion that will never leave you no matter how sepulchral, things overturn. It certainly offers value for money with the kind of features, power, utility and comfort it offers. However, do you think it would be a better bargain over a Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500 or a Ford F-150? Let us know in the comments.