2014 Sierra Denali 1500 4WD Crew Cab
by Mike Tucker
I confess I am not really a truck guy. I don’t do a lot of manual labor, actually I avoid it like traffic jams. When I think trucks, I think hauling and construction sites, so I tend to get less excited about them.
When I got a glimpse of the huge black, chrome-accented machine, part of me thought, “This will be fun.” I think the integration of big SUVs in popular culture like Escalades and Tahoes have made pick up trucks more palatable. The exterior was just the beginning, as this truck hater quickly found the GMC Sierra Denali 1500 more than acceptable and rather exceptional.
One thing I also learned immediately was the Sierra Denali is more than a mild-mannered luxury truck, it’s a pothole crusher! The vehicle was great on the worst roads in the Nation’s Capital, which happens to be most of the streets in my city. GMC tested the Sierra at a secret obstacle course of potholes to help build the truck to withstand harsh road conditions.
Okay, the “Pothole Crusher” is practically in a monster truck, but how does it drive? It drives like a car. I know it is hard to believe with its size and weight, but this isn’t a clumsy waddling road hog. The ride is balanced and smooth. The steering is responsive and the ease of control of the driver will allow a novice trucker or smaller driver to feel comfortable at the helm.
Another thing that increases the comfort level in the truck is the quiet cabin. Whether bouncing over potholes or at a high speed, wind-whistling drive down the highway all remains calm and quiet inside. Well, all but the kids, of course.
One slight drawback is finding a big enough space to park but parking it is relatively easy with front and rear park assist. Also parking the vehicle is simpler as its shape essentially a rectangle void of all the curves and angles of cars and SUVs.
My three kids really go a kick out of the truck. Here is what they had to say:
“I love the way it sits so much higher than other cars, it’s fun.” – Michal Zoe (10)
“It’s big and cool!” – Arin Tucker (8)
“I like trucks more than cars. I like how the back window opens.” – Nya Tucker (8)
What really sweetens the deal is what comes with the truck. The Sierra Denali 1500 comes standard with a premium Bose audio system, heated and cooled plush leather front seats, a heated steering wheel for those cold mornings, park assist, a power sliding rear window with defogger and all that icy chrome and girth.
General Motor’s IntelliLink connects to business and family via an eight-inch HD color touch screen with a Pandora app, Bluetooth phone features, and navigation with all-new map displays. There are multiple USB and multiple 110-volt AC outlets to allow you to power all you need on the go.
I know its a lot of features but no worries most of them can be controlled by the sound of your voice to lessen distractions. Also for another $450 the Driver Alert Package, which we tested, warns the driver of potential forward collisions and alerts driver when drifting out of his/her your lane.
Still one of the coolest features for this dad was the 420 horsepower V-8 engine, which is the most powerful in its class but still runs with the leaders in fuel economy among full size pick-up trucks.
The Sierra Denali 1500 doesn’t play cool; it is cool. It Unlike some trucks I have driven in the past like the Cadillac EXT or the Lincoln Blackwood, this truck doesn’t try to be something it’s not, or try to force luxury or cool. The Sierra Denali is a naturally large, powerful, good looking and refined for sure, but completely unafraid to get its hands dirty. We had fun with it.
2014 Sierra Denali 1500 4WD Crew Cab
Price Tag: $49,965base ($54,730 tested)
Power: 6.2L V8 420 horsepower
Transmission: 6-speed Automatic
Drivetrain: Four-Wheel Drive
Fuel Economy (mpg): 14-city/ 20-hwy