Thursday, February 1, 2024



When it comes to motor vehicles, America has a long established love affair of pickup trucks as evidenced by the fact that the top three sellers traditionally are pickups from Ford (F-Series), Chevrolet (Silverado), and Ram.

And those are full-size babies, not the cute little modified SUVs that some manufacturers have come out with in recent years. Real workhorses.with top-of-the-line models offering a combination of luxury, utility, and versatility that not even the ubiquitous SUV can beat.

Sitting at No. 4 in the pickup segment and No. 7 in overall vehicle sales, according to 2023 figures from Kelley Blue Book, is another domestic entry, the GMC Sierra 1500. It is essentially an upgraded version of the Chevy Silverado and is promoted as “Professional Grade” in its TV ad campaign.

The 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 offers buyers a myriad of choices when it comes to powertrain, drive configurations, cabin accommodations, bed size, colors (two new for 2024), wheels, and eight.different trims.

This review is based on the 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate that sits at the top oft the portfolio and carries the biggest price tag.

It comes with a  6.2-liter V8 gas engine as standard but my test vehicle was equipped with the optional inline 6-cylinder diesel that GMC has dubbed “TurboMax.” It is mated to an 10-speed automatic transmission also found on the gas-engine models.

As is typical with diesel engines, horsepower is somewhat modest but torque is off the chart. The inline-6 diesel on the 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate is rated at 305 ponies (lowest among the four engine choices in the Sierra lineup) but delivers a top-of-the-chart 495 pound-feet of torque that gives it a max tow rating of 13,200 pounds in 2-wheel drive versions and 13,000 in 4WD models.

The diesel engine bests the gas-engine models by about a mile-per-gallon across the board in fuel economy with the 2024 GMS Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate earning numbers of 24 miles-per-gallon city, 27 highway, and 24 combined.

As the name suggests, the 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate incorporates as standard all the best features of the other trims (Pro, SLE, Elevation, SLT, AT4, and AT4X) plus a few extras.

The latter include 22-inch wheels, a carbon-fiber bed, sunroof, 15-inch head-up display, and a 12-speaker Bose premium sound system.

Super Cruise, GMC’s hands-free driving system (clap, clap, clap), is available only on Denali and Denali Ultimate trims.

The 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate is equipped with the latest in technology from GM starting with a 13.4-inch touchscreen to operate the company’s premium infotainment system. It features built-in Google compatibility, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay also are standard.

Other standard features for the interior include keyless entry and push-button start, premium leather seats, dual-zone climate control, 16-way massage seats for front-riding passengers, heated front and outer rear seats, ventilated front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Cargo area lighting, a spray-on bedliner, GMC’s multi-tier tailgate, and front recovery hooks are standard on the exterior.

Standard safety features include adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert, front and rear pedestrian warning, front and rear park assist, rear cross-traffic braking, HD Surround Visionow,  following distance indicator, blind-spot alert, and lane-keeping assist with lane-departure warning.

All that carries a hefty starting MSRP of $82,500 for the TurboMax version of 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate.

Super Cruise, sterling metallic exterior, and destination and delivery fee ($1,145) ran the final total for my test 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate to $85,540 including a credit of $1,000 for the diesel engine.

What I liked about the 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate:
Lots of versions lets you trim out this pickup in what seems like an infinite number of ways. The cabin is spacious and comfortable with plenty of rear legroom (43.4 inches). Ventilated seats are nice. The retractable running boards and grab handles make getting in and out a snap. Infotainment features are plentiful and user-friendly. The diesel engine provides plenty of torque. 

What I didn’t like about the 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate: The overall size is a big issue in mall parking lots, and it is difficult to see over the massive hood when finally finding a spot to pull into. The ride isn’t the smoothest, but then it is a truck.

Would I buy the 2024 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate? This is an unfair question since I have never owned nor ever will buy a pickup truck, especially a full-sized model. Just too big for me. The price may make you go back to the Chevy Silverado, which is pretty much the same vehicle, and save a few bucks.

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