In August 2015, President Barack Obama announced that Mount McKinley, the highest mountain peak in North America, will be renamed Denali. Well, in the American automotive industry the name Denali also stands for the highest peak in luxury and has been the name attached to top-of-the-line GMC vehicles since 1999.
Starting with the Yukon in 1999, Denali became known as the ultimate GMC luxury trim level in the brand’s lineup. Since then, the name has adorned the rest of GMC vehicles including the tough and rugged Sierra pickup.
Today, we take a look at the new 2016 GMC Sierra Denali, otherwise known as “the pinnacle of premium” in the pickup segment.
2016 GMC Sierra Denali Exterior:
Completely redesigned in 2014, the new GMC Sierra now looks bolder than ever. For the 2016 model year, GMC went ahead and refreshed the Sierra with an even more aggressive appearance. New additions for 2016 include a subtle redesign to the front-end with signature LED lighting and a new grille design for each trim level in the model lineup including the Elevation Edition, SLE, SLT, All Terrain, and Sierra Denali.
The 2016 GMC Sierra Denali gets a shiny Denali chrome grille, massive 20-inch wheels, a 6-inch chrome side step (which is available with an automatic power assist step), body-color bumpers, chrome exhaust tips, and a spray-on bed liner sporting a 3D Denali logo that keeps the bed safe from adverse weather.
Park the 2016 GMC Sierra Denali next to a standard GMC Sierra and you can see that the Denali model stands out with a premium look which demands more attention than other Sierra models.
2016 GMC Sierra Denali Interior:
The interior of the GMC Sierra is already a very inviting place, however, the GMC Sierra Denali takes that interior to the next level with a long list of standard features and luxury appointments.
The 2016 GMC Sierra Denali’s interior comes standard with heated and ventilated leather front bucket seats (12-way power-adjustable), a heated steering wheel (one of our favorite features), dual-zone climate control for you and your passenger, door seals which help tone down outside noise, a soft-touch instrument panel, power adjustable pedals, brushed-aluminum trims, and a power sliding rear window.
Standard technology features on the 2016 GMC Sierra Denali include a wireless smartphone charger (you do need a special case for your smartphone), front and rear parking sensors, an awesome Bose audio system, GMC’s IntelliLink infotainment system that is housed in a huge 8-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, navigation, OnStar, OnStar 4G LTE connectivity, and much more.
Optional features on the GMC Sierra Denali include a rear-seat entertainment package, IntelliBeam headlights and Lane Keep Assist, and a cargo convenience package that will help you stay organized for any duty or trip you’re about to conquer.
Our test model was packed with all the bells and whistles and, at times, we felt as though we could live inside our 2016 GMC Sierra Denali. The seats are extremely comfortable and the features are everything you need and more.
2016 GMC Sierra Denali Performance:
The 2016 GMC Sierra comes standard with a 5.3-liter V8 engine making 355 horsepower and 383-lb.ft. of torque. Our test model came with the upgraded 6.2-liter V8 engine making 420 horsepower and 460-lb.ft. of torque. Mated to an eight-speed transmission, the 6.2 liter V8 powered GMC Sierra can go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds with a top speed of 110 mph. Since this is a pickup, and those figures may not be what you’re looking for, let’s get into the other capabilities of the 2016 GMC Sierra Denali.
With a range of innovative technologies and powerful engines, the 2016 GMC Sierra Denali is designed to help you tow and haul with ease and do the work you need to get done. Our test model had a maximum payload of 2,260 lbs. and a maximum tow capacity of 12,000 lbs.
There are many ways that the new 2016 GMC Sierra Denali makes life much easier for you. The Trailer Sway Control helps you keep anything you’re trailering from swaying left and right when changing lanes. Hill Descent Control is another option that allows for more controlled driving in unstable and rough terrain. Like many pickups, there is a standard Tow/Haul mode that allows the GMC Sierra to gear up for any heavy-duty work. There is also the optional Trailer Brake Controller, which allows you to control the trailer brakes right from the driver seat.
As a daily driver, the 2016 GMC Sierra Denali offers an extremely comfortable ride and comes standard with the third-generation magnetic ride control which delivers more precise body motion control.
Fuel economy for our 2016 GMC Sierra Denali with a 6.2 liter V8 has an EPA-rated 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway**.
2016 GMC Sierra Denali Safety:
Standard safety features on the 2016 GMC Sierra Denali include six airbags, a very useful rear-view camera, StabiliTrak stability control with anti-rollover technology, trailer sway control, and more. The optional Driver Alert Package adds IntelliBeam, an automatic high-beam option for your headlamps, and lane keep assist, which notifies you when you’re veering out of your lane. Other safety features include forward collision alert via a bright red beam on the driver-side dash.
2016 GMC Sierra Denali Overall:
There is no doubt that the 2016 GMC Sierra Denali is a very capable and luxurious pickup. We would definitely put it on the top of our list as the perfect balance between a work and daily driver vehicle. Prices for the 2016 GMC Sierra Denali start at $51,090* and, once you’ve gone Sierra Denali, it’s hard to go back to anything else.
To test drive a 2016 GMC Sierra Denali, please call or visit your local AutoNation GMC dealership today.
*MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**Based on 2016 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.