On sale this fall, the all-new 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali has just broken cover. Now entering its third generation, the primo Denali variant once again ups the style, technology and pure luxury antes in a manner that should please plenty of Sierra 1500 partisans. GMC execs -- who note that fully 20 percent of the division's overall buyer base now says "Make mine a Denali" -- are hoping this latest and arguably greatest iteration based on the fully redesigned 2014 Sierra Crew Cab also will find a way to entice at least a few owners of rival pickup brands to reconsider their loyalties.
Exterior changes to the Sierra 1500 Denali follow a fairly predictable but undeniably popular formula. Highlights include a unique chrome grille and Denali-spec 20-inch chrome wheels, body-color front/rear bumpers, polished stainless steel exhaust tips, LED running lights and special brightwork ID badges on the front door and tailgate.
Inside, the 2014 Denali comes loaded with just about everything you can get on a Sierra 1500 -- and then some. Heading the list are leather upholstery, aluminum trim, heated/cooled power front bucket seats, an 8.0-inch Color Touch navigation radio with Intellilink, Bluetooth, five USB ports, dual-zone climate control, a heated steering wheel, front/rear park assist and a power sliding rear window with defogger. The Denali also boasts an exclusive 8.0-inch Customizable Driver Display nestled between the speedometer and tachometer that can show numerous bits of relevant vehicle information along with selected audio and navigation data.
Sole cabin upgrades on this ultimate GMC pickup are confined to a power sunroof and a rear-seat entertainment system. Two is the magic number when it comes to Denali option groups, as well. The first is a Z71 Off-Road Package on 4WD models that includes Rancho monotube shock absorbers, Hill Descent Control and a transfer case shield. The Driver Alert Package --offered on both rear-drive and 4WD Denails -- brings Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert and GM's patented Safety Alert Seat Technology.
Powertrain availability in the Denali mirrors that of the Sierra 1500 SLT. The standard engine is GM's new 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 that makes 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque while the larger 6.2-liter version that will produce an estimated 420 horses and 450 lb-ft of peak twist is optional. Offering the greatest output of any current light-duty truck engine, the latter motivator is expected to give the Denali and SLT (along with their Chevy Silverado cousins) a best-in-class, 12,000-lb maximum towing capacity. Both engines are backed by a 6-speed automatic transmission and rely on three key technologies -- direct fuel injection, a cylinder-deactivating Active Fuel Management system and variable valve timing -- to deliver what is projected to be far better mpg numbers than the engines they replace. Those final EPA numbers as well as pricing for the 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali will be released closer to truck's actual on-sale date.
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